Positivity Bias in Customer Satisfaction Ratings

Published in In the 27th International Conference on World Wide Web (WWW), 2018

Customer ratings are valuable sources to understand their satisfaction and are critical for designing better customer experiences and recommendations. The majority of customers, however, do not respond to rating surveys, which makes the result less representative. To understand overall satisfaction, this paper aims to investigate how likely customers without responses had satisfactory experiences compared to those respondents. To infer customer satisfaction of such unlabeled sessions, we propose models using recurrent neural networks (RNNs) that learn continuous representations of unstructured text conversation. By analyzing online chat logs of over 170,000 sessions from Samsung’s customer service department, we make a novel finding that while labeled sessions contributed by a small fraction of customers received overwhelmingly positive reviews, the majority of unlabeled sessions would have received lower ratings by customers. The data analytics presented in this paper not only have practical implications for helping detect dissatisfied customers on live chat services but also make theoretical contributions on discovering the level of biases in online rating platforms.