Review websites can be helpful, but you have to be careful when using them. It’s important to understand the key differences between how the Diamond Certified Resource (DCR) conducts research and how review sites collect reviews. While DCR exclusively conducts telephone surveys from an entire customer base of each rated company, review sites post reviews from any person who chooses to post, which means legitimate, spontaneous reviews are mixed with fake and cherry-picked reviews that come from a company’s best customers, family and friends. Due to the accuracy of its ratings, DCR is able to back your purchases from top rated companies with the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, while review sites do not. For these reasons, consumers are naturally encouraged to first look to top rated Diamond Certified companies whenever possible.
To start each rating, DCR uses a company’s actual customer list. Then DCR only performs its surveys by telephone, which allows it to verify that each customer has actually purchased from the company being rated.
Fake Reviews / Multiple Identities
Anyone can post an anonymous review, whether they were a customer or not. Roughly 30% of posted reviews are fake. Anyone can game the system by creating multiple identities and posting fake reviews to bolster bad companies, or sabotage good ones.
Random Sample / All Customers
DCR receives all customer names and phone numbers or a large, random sample of customers (400) from each rated company. Company owners can’t cherry-pick because of such a large base. Thus, dissatisfied and satisfied customers are surveyed in true proportion to their occurrence.
Review sites encourage companies to ask people to write reviews. Many times, owners and employees solicit their families, friends and best customers to post 5-star reviews. This cherry-picking produces misleading and biased results.
Statistically Reliable / Rigorous
DCR research is statistically reliable because a large, random sample of customers is pulled from each company’s customer base. Customers are “interrupted” by phone interviews at home, so there’s not a self-selection bias. Ongoing research, complaint and credentials ratings ensure Diamond Certified companies continue to perform well.
Inaccurate Star Scores
Each company’s “star score” (calculated by averaging scored reviews) isn’t an accurate score for customer satisfaction because review posters aren’t derived from a random sample that represents all customers served. Instead, customers and non- customers are solicited to write reviews.
The Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee provides mediation and a money-back guarantee (up to $1,000) if a customer has a problem with a Diamond Certified company.
Most sites don’t offer a performance guarantee.