We’re building a system for members to give each other public ratings and private feedback. We’d love your input.
We understand that it’s vital, when you are trading goods or services with people you don’t know personally, to be able to rely on their public reputation. This is how peer-to-peer platforms like eBay, AirBnB, and Uber create trust between strangers, and ensure that everyone in the community either plays by the rules, or is not able to transact.
We are in the process of building a new software platform for peer-to-peer car sharing. We have been rolling it out in stages. One of the next features we will build is a member-to-member feedback system. We plan to have this up and running before Christmas this year (hopefully earlier).
Here’s a quick update on our thinking so far, and a call-out for your input.
How the feedback / rating system will work
We haven’t finalised the plan for the new feedback system, and would welcome your input (email firstname.lastname@example.org). We are thinking that it will look something like this:
When a Borrower completes his booking, he can review the car against various categories (mechanical, cleanliness, etc), giving an overall rating out of five stars.
The Owner will also get a prompt to review the Borrower (how well he left the car, whether there was any damage, friendliness, etc.). The Borrower will also get an overall rating out of 5 stars.
If the Owner is not happy with the way the Borrower treated her car, she can choose to block this Borrower from using her car.
Both parties can also give private feedback to each other, that will not be listed in the member’s public profile.
Both parties can give feedback to Car Next Door as well.
Members will create a public profile when they join, with a photo and short introduction (similar to AirBnB, though perhaps with less detail given that our members won’t be making smalltalk over cornflakes).
As members get reviews, these will be added to their profile and allow them to build up a reputation within the community.
We believe that having a sense of the real person on each side of the car-sharing transaction will make it a more personal, tangible experience. Borrowers will understand more clearly that there’s a real owner of the car, who loves and values it – and likewise, Owners may be less likely to sweat the small stuff with borrowers, as knowing the person behind the problem will make it easier to pick up the phone and sort things out amicably.
This brings another level of respect and accountability to the car-sharing relationship.
How can a member respond to public feedback?
If a member gives public feedback, the member who received the feedback will be able to respond to it and the response will also be public.
For example, if a Borrower wrote “Car had no windscreen wiper fluid”, the Owner could respond “I’ve just filled that up, thanks for letting me know!”
What happens if a member gets a bad rating?
If a Borrower is blocked by a particular Owner, Car Next Door will investigate what happened and may cancel that Borrower’s membership if warranted. It is really important to us to quickly weed out people who don’t treat other members and their cars with respect.
We know that 99% of our members are lovely, thoughtful, community-minded people; and we want to be able to quickly eliminate the odd bad apple.
Eventually we will allow Owners to be able to restrict access to their car to Borrowers who have a 4 star rating or higher.
Do you have any other ideas?
We are looking closely at other peer-to-peer sharing sites like Airbnb and Uber for guidance in developing our ratings system.
We know how important it is for members to be able to rely on other members’ reputation within the community. We want to ensure that feedback is both accurate; and simple to give.
If you have any ideas about how we can build a great feedback system, please email email@example.com with the subject “Ideas for the feedback system”.