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Q: Why don't more people rate the answers they get here? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: Why don't more people rate the answers they get here?
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: meego-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 05 Jan 2003 09:04 PST
Expires: 04 Feb 2003 09:04 PST
Question ID: 137825
Hello researchers!

Okay, I'm bored; but I'm also curious. I can't help but notice how few
answers get any rating at all. I imagine this is frustrating to
researchers (which you may expound on if you wish). What could Google
do to improve this? Perhaps someone could address the
coginitive-behavioral reasons why people don't rate? Could there be a
non-monetary "reward" that might improve the likelyhood of a rating?

Ready? Set, GO!

Subject: Re: Why don't more people rate the answers they get here?
Answered By: hailstorm-ga on 05 Jan 2003 19:56 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

Thanks for your question!

First of all, as a researcher I am not at all frustrated with a
non-rating, as that is simply one of many options the customer has
available to them.  As a customer, the only necessity of the Google
Answers service is to ask a question and have it answered.  Once the
question is answered to satisfaction, anything else with regards to
that question is optional, and offers no direct benefit to the
customer.  If the answer received is greatly above or beyond one's
expectations then the probability of a rating or repost/refund request
is much higher, but if the customer's questions has been basically
answered, providing additional feedback may seem unnecessary to
people.  For example, when was the last time you called your local
electric company to tell them you were satisfied with the service they
were providing?

Just like Americans have to right not to vote in elections they do not
feel compelled to participate in, Google Answers customers have the
right to not provide additional feedback on their transactions here. 
Unless I have reason to believe otherwise, I take such lack of
feedback to mean that the customer has been satisfied with their
answer, and no additional correspondance is necessary.  Of course from
an overall perspective, rating questions honestly gives a better
picture of the researchers ability and the quality of services
provided.  But as an individual, my researcher rating is just a
number, and as long as I believe I am providing quality service, I am
not too concerned with what that number is.

If Google felt it necessary to increase the percentage of rated
answers, I can think of a couple of ways they might go about doing
this.  One is to offer incentives to customers, such as waving the
posting fee for a question after the customer has rated a certain
number of answers.  Another is expanding the range of participation,
so that other customers or researchers could also rate answers, and
the final rating might be a weighted average of all responses.  But
any manipulation of the current system would need to be studied
carefully, and probably should not be implimented unless a great
improvement in the current system can be expected.

Finally, always remember that while the number of stars or rating
points beside a researcher's name may be a decent indicator of their
ability, the only point that matters is the satisfaction of each
individual customer they serve.
meego-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00
Good answer! Thank you for taking the time.

Subject: Re: Why don't more people rate the answers they get here?
From: lot-ga on 05 Jan 2003 20:49 PST
Another reason is the rating is one way only (researcher is rated).
On ebay where the seller and buyer are rated, ratings are much higher.
Though this is totally inapplicable to Google Answers. Another reason
is feedback usually gets emailed to the questioner, so it doesn't
require them to come back and log in to the service, and if you have
forgot your log on details.... I do it all the time :-) where almost
every forum, demo, free membership, download, alert service, prize
draw, e-commerce site, billing and banking require different log on
and passwords it is all too easy.
Subject: Re: Why don't more people rate the answers they get here?
From: johnfrommelbourne-ga on 06 Jan 2003 06:55 PST
Well as a "frequent user" (i.e Google's actual terms for my particular
usage of the system as a questioner)I always rate the ansers I get
back and just think it is the polite thing to do; and in nay case I am
usually genuinely  most satisfied withy the resonses I have got back
relative to the fee offered. I make this last point as I have usually
paid only between $4.00 and $9.00  per question and have nearly always
thought that the response I got back more tham met the value of the
fee offered. I have been using the service on and off almost since
inception earlier last year. I have rated answers from 3 to 5 stars
but the great majority have been five stars with only one or two 4s
and one 3 as I remember. I have recieved answers from a number of the
long term seasoned researchers such as whose names you would recognise
I am sure.

 John From Melbourne
Subject: Re: Why don't more people rate the answers they get here?
From: meego-ga on 06 Jan 2003 09:32 PST
Lot, I hear what you are saying about trying to remember your sign in
info! John from Melbourne - I'm with you, I think it is the "right"
thing to do to provide a rating and feedback for the researcher. I
suspect there are some people who may be less than totally satisfied,
but rather than go through the clarification process, they just don't
rate. I also notice that some people rate impulsively without giving
the researcher a chance to clarify or improve the answer! I'm sure
this is also frustrating for researchers. But I have noticed that most
researchers handle this very gracefully anyway. Kudos to all out there
for your work. I love GA, and I have learned a great deal by just
reading through the answers.

Subject: Re: Why don't more people rate the answers they get here?
From: margi-ga on 08 Jan 2003 20:23 PST
I'm a new user to GA, and an ongoing user of expertexchange and a few
similar portals that focus on technology.  My personal belief is that
not rating an answer is a close equivalent to not saying "thank you"
when given a gift or when you have been provided excellent service. 
Of course, I ask substantive questions that require a bit more than
the typical $5 or 20 point transaction, but I'm always thankful that
someone took the time to help me -- paid or not. Doesn't everyone need
a little pat on the back now and then? If etiquette doesn't dictate it
(since we Americans are known for not having much, if any, LOL) then
certainly being thankful does. I make one exception: Mom taught me
that if you can't say something nice, don't say it at all. So rather
than leaving negative feedback, I choose direct communication with the
vendor to resolve the problem. Cheers to all of the excellent
researchers here like lot-ga and prof-ga.  You make coming to GA a
worthwhile experience. I've been fortunate enough to benefit from
others' posts as well, without spending a dime, and there's no better
bargain than that in my book ...and for that, GA gets 5 stars! :-)

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