Should Instacart discard shopper ratings from chronically grumpy customers?
Instacart has overhauled its customer ratings system to dilute the impact of hard-to-please customers and deliver a more “fair experience” to shoppers (independently-contracted delivery drivers).
As part of the update, Instacart will remove ratings if a customer consistently rates shoppers below five stars. Shoppers will also now only need to maintain a 4.7 average rating or above for batch prioritization in another move to reduce the impact of a single or a few low ratings.
Under the former system put in place just before the pandemic arrived, shoppers were prioritized batches based on whomever had the highest average rating. Instacart has said shoppers favored the system based on customer feedback over the prior system based on time spent shopping, or speed, because it put a priority on the quality of the customer interaction.
Shoppers have complained their ratings — and thereby access to the most profitable batches — were hurt by issues out of their control, including customers who tend to give low ratings as well as customers lying about having received their order. Some also claimed the low rating was tied to an out-of-stock situation, even though Instacart has said it removes such ratings from shopper scores.
An analysis from the Los Angeles Times from December 2020 found that shoppers whose ratings dropped slightly below 4.95 out of five stars saw significantly fewer and less lucrative batches.
Instacart’s system is based on the average customer star rating of the shopper’s last 100 orders, with the lowest rating removed.
Under the update, Instacart shoppers also gain new features, including a feedback loop to report issues with customers and now have an option to block certain customers from their list of batches moving forward.
Past articles have detailed how Uber and Lyft drivers with low scores risked receiving few rides or getting delisted from the app. Outside of the on-demand workplace, a recent NBC News article explored how Starbucks’ workers felt threatened with reduced store hours because of the cafe’s use of crowd-sourced ratings, called connection scores, to evaluate the customer service.
- Instacart Introduces Reimagined Ratings System And More Features For Shoppers – Instacart
- Quality First: Rewarding Shoppers & Providing the Best Customer Experience – Instacart
- What really happens when you leave your Uber or Lyft driver a bad rating – MIC
- Starbucks’ crowd-sourced store reviews leave workers feeling shame, employees say – NBC News/Yahoo
- Unfair ratings cost some Instacart shoppers hundreds a week. Here’s what’s happening – Los Angeles Times
- Instacart shoppers challenge ratings system – ABC News
- Uber prices are still way up, so the company is bringing back carpooling – The Verge
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do think the adjustments to Instacart’s customer ratings are fairer to its shoppers as well as the end customer? Do you like the use of customer feedback ratings to gauge the performance of front-line employees, or are other methods more effective?