Saturday, November 03, 2012

Crowd-Reviews for Services that Need to Be Reviewed Almost Daily


I have been suffering from very poor cellphone service in Colombia. It appears that there is no good cellphone provider in Latin America, all providers are regionals and every provider has some type of problem with its infrastructure. When I am in Bogota it is very common to hear people complaining about their mobile providers but despite complaints there is NO other choice. The biggest problem is that you actually do not know which provider is better. This is a huge problem because you end up choosing a provider because of a specific discount or promotion or even worse because of an anecdote by a friend.

There is a clear need to have a platform that can compile reviews for services that are really hard to measure. This is not about a specific product that reviewers can buy and just comment on it pretty quickly. This is about reviewing services that can change on daily basis. Services that need to be reviewed every day of the year.


Imagine if we could have a platform that can compile review for specific services. These reviews will be generated by the same people that are complaining about the service on a very specific format that has to be reviewed by an internal team from the platform. 

Let me explain it better by using an example. I want to know which cellphone provider is the best in terms of quality of calls, quality of data connection and customer service (just to mention three very relevant topics). The platform will be open to collect reviews under a very specific format. In this case I can see how to be able to upload a review you need to have three other friends with a different cellphone provider. The review will be relatively easy to make. It is a video of the three friends trying to call someone from the same location to test quality of calls. Then a video of those three friends trying to use their data plan (e.g. using skype, or sending a large file on whatsapp, etc.). Then a video of those three friends trying to call customer service to claim the same problem. People can upload just a video per topic, do not need to cover all topics. The idea behind the video and the simultaneous reviews is to guarantee the veracity of all reviews.


The business model is probably similar to TripAdvisor, using the platform to sell services or charging for advertising. In terms of numbers I do not have a clue but it feels that it can be a big market.