The Three Best Rated® 50-point Inspection Explained - Part 1

by - Monday, June 24, 2019

Welcome to the six part series of the Three Best Rated® 50-point inspection explained! There seems to be a great deal of confusion around our inspection and how it is used so I wanted to take the time to break it down and show the differences between how Three Best Rated would rate a restaurant and a doctor. 

An Introduction

Our 50-point inspection uses indicators to pinpoint the best local businesses. Similar to how indicators will let you know which cities are the safest to live in or what universities result in high-paying jobs, our 50-point inspection lets you know which businesses are the best.

At Three Best Rated, picking the best businesses boils down to 50% algorithm and 50% our human employees. First, the algorithm will run it's magic and spit out a score. While we could be done here and just say "Hey this is what our machine told us," we know from experience that machines make mistakes. (Like when my coffee machine decided to auto-brew at 3 AM because the clock reset. Cold coffee = bad coffee. Fight me.) Our employees meticulously go through every category to ensure the algorithm was accurate. This is where the "handpicked" part of "handpicked using our 50-point inspection comes in."

Now, it's important to realize that as a business, you aren't being compared to every single business out there. Just the businesses within your category in your city. Every category and city has slightly different standards on what it means to be the best so to do a straight comparison would be ridiculous. In this same vein, a doctor and a restaurant have different requirements on what makes them great and as a result our 50-point inspection varies slightly from category to category to ensure accuracy.

A final note, since businesses are being compared to other businesses, you don't have to score a perfect score to be the best. A business should be reacting to customer feedback and needs, what their competitors are doing, and supply and demand. This means if you decide to not do something on the inspection, because nobody in your area cares about it and none of your competitors are doing it (because no one cares about it) then you won't be docked points. You will be given zero points and so will your competitors, and the things that matter will make the difference.

Bottom line if you're a business: Pay attention to your customers, competitors, and market, and react appropriately and the 50-point inspection will naturally factor these in.

Bottom line if you're a customer: The 50-point inspection naturally takes into account what's important to you based on what businesses are delivering. It will also change slightly from category to category to ensure accuracy.

Let's start with our first category: History

History is comprised of three sub-categories:
  1. Experience - How many years of experience do they have in their craft
    • Usually a business that has had more experience will be able to provide higher quality services to their clients - after all, it's what they have been doing for years!
      • For our restaurant, it can be the years the business has been open and serving food. 
      • Now, for our doctor, it would be how many years they have been a doctor and how many years of schooling they have.
Already I'm sure you can tell that's a little different from the restaurant category. This is because the 50-point inspection is dynamic and changes based on category. This ensures the list remains accurate. Remember experience is only one piece of the puzzle! Just because someone has more points in one area doesn't mean they are better than the other businesses listed.
  1. Online History - How long has the business maintained an active online presence through websites and pages and how well they are kept track of.
    • Image by rawpixel from Pixabay
    • With so much of our lives online, it's important that business are also online. This category says nothing about the looks or features of the website (that comes later) but simply the business has had a consistent online presence
      • For our restaurant, it would be the length of time they have had an online presence.
      • For our doctor, it's a little trickier as not every doctor will have their own unique web-page if they are working for a large hospital. However, most will have profile talking about them somewhere so that will be looked at. It usually doesn't hold much weight.
Overall, online history doesn't tend to hold a huge weight, but it is still considered.
  1. Ownership History - This pertains to the type of business ownership (ex. family-owned, LLC, etc.) and how long has it been under that ownership
    • At Three Best Rated we believe that local businesses give the best services. While you will see some chain corporations on our website, rest assured that is taken into account here.
      • For our doughnut shop, it is pretty simple to determine the business ownership and how long it's been under that ownership and assign the appropriate amount of points.
      • For our doctor, it's a little bit trickier since many great doctors don't always work on their own private practice and work for large hospitals instead. It wouldn't be right to put a lot of weight in this category simply because they didn't want to own a private practice. While we typically believe that smaller clinics offer a better service experience, we understand that some doctors choose to go to larger hospitals because they feel that is where they can make the most difference; therefore, we typically don't put a lot of weight in this area.
Ownership History matters more to a restaurant then a doctor.

Moving onto our second category: Services

Services is made up of three sub-categories
  1. Exact Services - This is how well the businesses specialize in their unique services. For example, a vegetarian restaurant serving meat isn't well-specialized.
    • When you are looking for a particular service, you want that service. Keeping that in mind, this typically holds more weight electricians, plumbers, etc.
      • Now restaurants typically will serve a wide variety of food with a focus on their core menu. For example, a pizza place might serve pasta as well. To harshly grade a restaurant on this criteria would be unfair. However, it is still considered. If that same pizza place served mostly pasta and only had one type of pizza, then they really aren't a pizza restaurant.
      • Doctors are typically very well-specialized. After all, they have to be trained in their particular specialization in order to practice in that area. The theory is if a doctor stretches themselves too thin, then they will struggle to provide top notch service in each area.
This category is more important for contractors, but is still considered for everyone.
  1. Special Features - This refers to extra complimentary services to the customers. 
  2. Image by danvolks99 from Pixabay
    • Think free breadsticks at a restaurant or free vacuums at a car wash. We are in no way telling businesses they need to offer free things to get a high rating; instead, businesses need to look at their competitors and see what customers expect. For example, I expect a free coffee when I get my oil changed. I've never been in car repair shop that didn't have coffee. This category is more about making sure customer's expectations are met instead of encouraging businesses to start giving away free things.
      • For a restaurant, something as normal as free refills won't really make a difference in this category. Free breadsticks on the other hand... nom nom nom! We aren't telling the businesses to start giving away all their food away for free. Just keep in mind what your competitors are doing and what seems standard in the eyes of the customers.
      • For doctors, this category isn't really considered. When's the last time you went into a doctor's office and received a free check-up? Probably never. What about a lollipop? They keep telling me I'm too old for that. :(
Special Features is about making sure customer's expectations are met instead of encouraging businesses to start giving away free things. Keep in mind your customers, competitors, and market, and you'll do fine in this category.
  1. Service Diversification - This encompasses the additional, but related, services offered.
    • Many places offer more than just their core services. For example, dog trainers may also offer dog sitting, house cleaning services may also deep clean carpets, estate planning lawyers may also deal with divorce. This allows a business to address a wider range of customer needs
      • For our restaurant, if they cover a related service (such as delivery) then it has a higher chance of being awarded more points
      • For our doctor, it all depends on the treatments they provide to patients!
As long the business offers a related service, they have a higher change of scoring well in this category. This category is all about addressing a larger number customer wants and needs!

Check out the Three Best Rated 50-point inspection explained - Part 2!

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