06/06(Tue) Don't Make Me Rate You (Host:Janice)

06/06(Tue) Don't Make Me Rate You (Host:Janice)

文章Janice Wang » 週日 5月 28, 2017 11:58 am

Hi there,

This is Janice, your host of 06/06 meeting. As a first time host, the most daunting task is not only to overcome my laden anxiety, but also to ready a topic to curry favor with YOYOers’ taste. “Don't make me rate you” is the topic I have selected for our meeting. Please do not misconstrue the topic literally, I have no audacity to “rate” any of you. Instead, many services out there urge us to rate them, as such, let’s have a discussion to see how it plays out in our lives. There are 4 questions in each session and please usher any improvised questions in your group discussion at your will.
Here you go and enjoy!

Don't make me rate you


Last week I had to attend an event that required me to look better than my regular wilted self (having left "effortless beauty" behind somewhere in my 20s), so I did what any self-respecting woman would do, which was to go for a blowout at a nearby Drybar. Drybar is one of those totally genius, why-didn't-I-think-of-that businesses that are making someone who is not me very rich. After the visit, my hair looked much better--so much better, in fact, that I was feeling almost effortlessly beautiful until I got back to my desk to find an email from Drybar, asking if I would rate my experience. Which means there's yet another business I have to break up with because it wants more of me than I'm willing to give.
Life is so complicated now, and I'm pretty sure it's Yelp's fault. Before we were all rating and reviewing everything we did, life was straightforward. Now in order to buy, visit or do anything, you need to follow this six-step process:
1. Decide and plan to do the thing
2. Do the thing
3. Take a photo of yourself doing the thing
4. Post the photo of you doing the thing on social media
5. Repeatedly check how many likes the post of you doing the thing got
6. Rate the thing
Meaning just going to Taco Bell or the dentist becomes a six-step process. And sensible cranks like me would usually like to stop after step 2.
As I see it, there are two problems with our rate-everything way of living. First, the mystery-of-life issue. By my completely unscientific estimation, every time a new social-media platform is introduced, life loses about 8,500 mysteries. Before long we will all know everything about everybody, and most of it will be stuff you didn't want to know in the first place. Ever since KimKardashian West's naked derriere broke the Internet, the idea that we can "leave something to the imagination" has grown smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror.
O.K., millennials, I know what you're thinking: expressing ourselves through ratings allows businesses to constantly iterate, remain in lean startup mode, do all those things that sounded supersexy and new back in, oh, 2009. Well, guess what? I'd venture to say there can be more muscle in keeping your opinions to yourself than in giving a business a lousy review. Have we forgotten that there is great power in playing your cards close to the vest? In cultivating mystery? (Thomas Pynchon, help me out here.) Would Mr. Darcy--the most captivating, mysterious man in literature--have rated his Uber driver after being dropped off at Pemberley? "My good opinion once lost is lost forever," he avowed, and I'm not sure anyone wants to know more than that. I once worked for a legendarily scary woman whose power was all about her inscrutability. Every day involved anxious tea-leaf reading on the part of her staff. "Did she like that thing you showed her?" "I don't know, she hasn't responded." "Where did she go all afternoon?" "I don't know, she didn't tell anybody." She was stern, capricious, taciturn. And above all, mysterious, which both explained her allure and enabled her to keep us firmly within her control.
Second problem: the time-suck factor. No, Drybar (and Uber and Everlane and Paperless Post), I do not want to be in a committed, dynamic relationship with you. I don't want to fill out a survey, and while I appreciate the peppy email from user-support associate Katie, I resent you for the time I spent reading it. Katie, if I need more help, I will reach out. Am I just a grumpy middle-aged lady who left effortless beauty behind in her 20s and now mostly wants to be left alone? Perhaps. And I'm selfish: I often make recipes on the basis of the number of stars they receive and choose movies by Rotten Tomatoes scores.
In summary, and to businesses everywhere: I just want you to provide me with something that I pay for, and then I want no contact with you until the next time I need you. Isn't it enough that I gave you my credit-card number? If time is indeed money, then by taking my money and afterward making me rate the experience of your taking my money, you're essentially double-billing me. And I'm pretty sure that's illegal, at least in most states. All I know is that as soon as I rate the experience of writing this column, I'm getting on the horn with the FTC.

Questions for discussion
Session I
1a) Do you resonate with the editor that life is so complicated now as a shopper to complete a purchase? If so, please share some examples.
1b) Is a rating report, such as Yelp or any alike apps, a culprit to complicate our selections or an aide to facilitate our purchases?

2a) Would you reference rating reviews prior to purchasing a service/product? Why/not? Any specific example to share?
2b) How can you tell that a rating review is practical and trustworthy? Have you ever cast any doubt on the validity of user rating? Any example to share?

3a) Do you partake in the six-step process mentioned in the article? Why/not?
3b) Is the process a social SOP or a byproduct of FOMOphobia (Fear Of Missing Out) in the world of social networks? Any pressure to practice it or not field it?

4) The editor specifically singled out the millennials’ way of living as trendsetters in rating as lacking of the sense of the dominance of the mystery-of-life issue.
4a)Whose side are you on—the editor’s or the millennials’ regarding this very subject? Please share your thoughts.
4b) Out of sync among generations has never been unfamiliar to all ages. Are you usually comfortable with or tormented by the disparities? What's your take on it? Any example to share?

Session II
1)The editor’s argument against rating reviews seems less than compelling as she frequently relies on rating reviews in her everyday life. It juxtaposes one modern conundrum that a rating report can be viewed as either a key element in progress improvement or a backlash of revealing or invading one’s privacy in the era of "Big Data" nowadays! What can we do to create a win-win scenario as netizens?

2a)What's your spin on the following sentences:(Please refer to 4th paragraph in bold and underlined)
** expressing ourselves through ratings allows businesses to constantly iterate, remain in lean startup mode, do all those things that sounded supersexy and new back in, oh, 2009.**
2b)What do you think the editor is referring to in the aforementioned sentences ? Do you agree that startups tend to value customers’ experience more than big corporations? Why?

Reference – Lean startup https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lean_startup

3a)Sending and bombarding customers with unwanted rating surveys may cause “survey fatigue” or create a high level of annoyance. Why do some companies or services unwisely keep doing so?
3b)How would you amend the approach if you were someone who need feedbacks for your products/services?

4)Study has shown that the service industry has outperformed other industries since the mid 70s, which took up 63.15% of Taiwan GDP and populated 59.17% of employees. Obviously, going the extra mile with customer service plays a crucial role in the advancement of the industry.

Reference: http://www.ey.gov.tw/state/News_Content ... 5B857F7A92

4a)Do you consider rating surveys to be pivotal to customer service in Taiwan? Has the follow-up of a rating questionnaire been fashioned well here? Any specific experience to share? (Like it or not doesn't really matter)
4b)What do you value the most in terms of customer service? How does a business stand out in a competitive service industry? How can a business win your heart as a loyal customer? Please share with us one of your most memorable customer experiences….

6:45 ~ 7:00pm Greetings & Free Talk / Ordering Beverage or Meal / Getting Newcomer’s Information
7:00 ~ 7:10pm Opening Remarks / Newcomer’s Self-introduction / Grouping
(Session I)
7:10 ~ 7:55pm Discussion Session (45 mins)
7:55 ~ 8:10pm Summarization (15 mins)
8:10 ~ 8:20pm Regrouping / Instruction Giving / Taking a 10 Minutes Break (Intermission)
(Session II)
8:20 ~ 9:05pm Discussion Session (45 mins)
9:05 ~ 9:20pm Summarization (15 mins)
9:20 ~ 9:30pm Concluding Remarks / Announcements ********************************************************************************************************************************************
聚會時間:當天請準時於 6:45 pm 到達 ~ 約 9:30 pm 左右結束
地址、電話:台北市濟南路三段25號 (02) 2740-2350
捷運站:板南線 忠孝新生站 3 號出口
走法:出忠孝新生站 3 號出口後,沿著巷子(忠孝東路三段10巷)走約 2 分鐘,到了濟南路口,左轉走約 2 分鐘即可看到。
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最後由 Janice Wang 於 週日 7月 30, 2017 11:25 pm 編輯,總共編輯了 3 次。
Janice Wang
YOYO member
文章: 24
註冊時間: 週六 3月 25, 2017 7:45 pm

Re: 06/06(Tue) Don't make me rate you (Host:Janice)

文章Rock » 週三 5月 31, 2017 10:45 pm

This topic is super good. We've never discussed a similar one, if my memory serves me right. Besides, we all have the experience of this rating thing more or less, so I guess everybody has something to say.

The ratings from Hetel.com or Agoda is very useful to me. The one who invented it is a genius. The authentic opinions of the guests help the customers make good choices, and also give a pressure to the staff of the hotels so they would be more careful about their services, theoretically.
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
Vice President
文章: 1839
註冊時間: 週三 10月 31, 2007 9:03 am

Re: 06/06(Tue) Don't make me rate you (Host:Janice)

文章Janice Wang » 週四 6月 01, 2017 8:15 am

Looking for an exclusively YOYOish topic idea as a first time host was like sailing into uncharted waters in search of untapped resources. I had resort to the YOYO forum and skimmed through as many threads as possible for reference. I'm thrilled to luckily hit the bullseye to cater a topic that hasn't been brought up yet!

Once the topic was decided and I started to linger my attention on the topic-related rating and reviewing surveys in everyday life, I found that it actually scatters around every corner of our lives, such as, a rating questionnaire after online shopping, taking flights, car maintenance....etc., even Microsoft asked me to rate my experience while compiling my hosting materials on the Word app!

Really looking forward to hearing your experiences at the meeting.
最後由 Janice Wang 於 週日 7月 30, 2017 11:26 pm 編輯,總共編輯了 1 次。
Janice Wang
YOYO member
文章: 24
註冊時間: 週六 3月 25, 2017 7:45 pm

Re: 06/06(Tue) Don't make me rate you (Host:Janice)

文章Iris Wu » 週日 6月 04, 2017 8:02 pm

First, I think Janice writes better than that Time author. She is so well-prepared for her hosting debut! Just reading her write-up and questions has already enlarged quite a bit of the size of our vocabulary repository ! :)

I am probably like most of you, tossing away the customer service survey or any alike. Most people, especially in Taiwan, feel that if it is a good service, not much we need to say, but if it's a bad experience, we complain, we curse privately or behind the scene, and we would just reject to do business with them again. We think it's useless even we say something because nobody would listen and the big corporations or government agencies would continue their practice regardless what we said. So our bad experience stays within ourselves or in our limited circles. That's how I feel how it works in our society. I myself probably contributed to this paradigm.

I agreed the problems brought up by the author about rating and surveying: privacy/unwanted personal details revealing and time consuming for doing this. I am probably tossing away those survey questionnaires for the same reasons, but honestly I am starting making some changes. Some platforms got me into the new practice. I appreciate the reviews and feedbacks provided by the people who are not afraid of revealing certain details of their experiences and do take some time and efforts to write it out. The TripAdvisor and Airbnb reviews are pretty thorough, for me, at least they are good references and I have established a practice to write my sincere comments for my Airbnb usages because the platform is well-thought, it allows you to write public and private messages both ways (renters and landlords), and since I take advantage of other users experience, so I think it's only fair if I contribute my genuine comments to the community to help other group members.

Finally, I would say "rating" has had existed in our society for longer and wider than we thought. We got rated by our teachers, schools, government and all sorts of testing. Sometimes they are unfair and you don't have any channels to contest it. It was not democratic, now in the new digital world, we get chance to have a say, I think in general I would appreciate the opportunities and hope we can use it more wisely. Before we fully establish a solid system to take advantage of the rating systems, sure, we will see a lot of people abusing it and things could really go wrong with it, but I still value the true spirit of it and am willing to give it more time for its maturity!

-- writing on the cruise from Alesund to Bergen, Norway. Getting off the boat soon, sorry if it is too long and unorganized or if any grammar mistakes in this writing!
Iris Wu
YOYO member
文章: 568
註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm

Re: 06/06(Tue) Don't make me rate you (Host:Janice)

文章Janice Wang » 週日 6月 04, 2017 11:47 pm


Thanks for sharing your view on ratings far from Europe, hope you have an amazing trip!

Your words of affirmation has always been an encouragement to all yoyoers, including myself! Some of those "big" words I used are completely new to me as well! Thanks to the yoyo forum, the thinking tank and vocabulary repository, where I have learned a lot from.

To lay it on the line, completing the rating surveys is still something that is reigning in the hands of humans' , not robots'. When will this privilege be abdicated from us? I believe this will likely depend on how humans, as customers, can secure the ball in our court by being responsive and providing broad and effective feedbacks! We should take the advantage and weigh on things that are important to us by making a splash with our valuable opinions or we might be ruled by robots in no time if we give up our right to speak.

I echo that rating survey has never been a stranger to all of us. For people who are born and bred in Taiwan, it is inevitable to be rated as we grow up at home, learn in school and at work ...etc, I am always wondering whether rating is an impetus that propel us to go further and do better, an impediment that drag us down in an abyss or just does nothing and let us remain status quo!? I guess it reflects on businesses as well. Regardless, I believe we have all been there and done that, we will all have different opinions to share.

I sincerely invite you to join the meeting on 06/06 to have a say!
最後由 Janice Wang 於 週一 3月 05, 2018 9:39 pm 編輯,總共編輯了 1 次。
Janice Wang
YOYO member
文章: 24
註冊時間: 週六 3月 25, 2017 7:45 pm

Re: 06/06(Tue) Don't make me rate you (Host:Janice)

文章Rock » 週一 6月 05, 2017 11:33 pm

I wonder if there is an underlying sub-purpose behind the rating and feedback thing. Is it possible that, when the customer is filling up the survey form, their purchasing memory is also strengthened so they would remember the business better? Kind of like an active advertisement, in the disguise of a quality improvement plan. Of course, the image enhancement is only good when the business is confident enough about their commodity, or it would go the opposite way.
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
Vice President
文章: 1839
註冊時間: 週三 10月 31, 2007 9:03 am

Re: 06/06(Tue) Don't make me rate you (Host:Janice)

文章Luis Ko » 週二 6月 06, 2017 6:09 pm

the article for discussion is the first of it's kind in yoyo meetings. good, if not great! i really wanna say the whole article is really about a grumpy middle-aged lady groaning about what she personally doesn't like. i don't think there's anything wrong with lean startup. how you implement it is the key i would say. it's pity i can't make it, otherwise.. 8)
i might be a cynic and, a sceptic as well but, i'm definitely not a bad person!!
Luis Ko
YOYO member
文章: 790
註冊時間: 週三 6月 06, 2007 10:18 pm

Re: 06/06(Tue) Don't make me rate you (Host:Janice)

文章Rock » 週二 6月 06, 2017 10:11 pm

Yeah, it's a pity that you didn't come to the meeting and had fun. It could have been a great debating time again.

Anyway, many people joined it, as usual. The attendee list: Janice (Host), Rock, Amy, Joseph, Wen-han, Ryan, Shirley, Abraham(newcomer), Way, Yvonne, Ken, Chris, Jin, Jason, Tashi, Julian, Danny.

Special thanks to our first-time host Janice for her wonderful hosting. She said that she was nervous, but we simply couldn't see it.
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
Vice President
文章: 1839
註冊時間: 週三 10月 31, 2007 9:03 am

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