It’s no secret that the reviews you’re reading online might not be actual reviews written by real people. Review aggregator Yelp faced scrutiny last fall when New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman found that 19 different companies had been publishing false reviews on the site in order to get a competitive edge among prospective customers. And a recent study from a collaboration between Yale University, University of Southern California and Dartmouth University discovered that more anonymous reviews on a given site were likely to be signs that the reviews had little to no truth to them whatsoever.
But global market research firm J.D. Power and Associates is attempting to foster more accountability when it comes to online reviews — in the world of automobile manufacturing, anyway.
The California-based J.D. Power will partner up with DealerRater, an online service that allows users to submit ratings for vehicle dealerships, in an effort to make it easier for both dealers and automakers to collect reviews from consumers. This move may help expedite the process of customer feedback across the industry, including to manufacturers, dealers and customers. All of that data can play a big role in the firm’s Customer Service Index and Sales Satisfaction Index surveys, which are published annually. More responses are likely to mean a more accurate reading of the market, TireBusiness reports.
J.D. Power already submits proprietary customer satisfaction surveys to certain customers once they purchase a car. With this new plan, J.D. Power will also ask customers if they’d to additionally review the dealership where they purchased the car. If they do, J.D. Power will take this review and send it to DealerRater.com, where it will be posted publicly and shared with the automakers and dealers involved in the process.
In the short term, this could mean more reliable results for both car buyers and dealers. J.D. Power plans to couple these surveys with its already hefty 200-question surveys tackling vehicle diagnostics for now, but future plans might include branching out the new questionnaire to its Customer Service Index and Sales Satisfaction Index surveys.
In the age of digital falsehoods, it appears as though J.D. Power is trying to keep the industry’s cards where all the other players can see them. And that’s definitely a good thing — just ask Eric Schneiderman.