The new "Ratings" tab on AT&T's Facebook page essentially imports the five-star-scale ratings and reviews posted on the carrier's main Web site. Users can see recent reviews posted directly on Facebook or the brand site, along with those for featured, highest-rated and popular phones or other wireless gear sold by AT&T.
The company said the new section gives customers a new way to "engage with each other on Facebook around the products they love." Or don't. AT&T earlier this month was rated as the nation's worst wireless carrier in an annual cell service survey conducted by Consumer Reports. Customer dissatisfaction is reflected in harsh comments and complaints about AT&T service on the carrier's Facebook Wall.
To its credit, AT&T isn't purging the negative feedback, at least not all of it. It also appears to be the first of the four major carriers to set up a dedicated area for product ratings on its Facebook page, which has 755,244 fans. The company has offered ratings and reviews on its own site for the last two years, but more recently has integrated Facebook's "Like" button as well.
"Browsing product reviews has become an integral part of the online purchase process for more than 70% of consumers, and we recognize the importance of bringing those customer conversations to the forefront of our business," said Christopher Baccus, executive director of digital and social media at AT&T.
To that end, AT&T used the Ratings & Reviews module from the SocialConnect Applications suite Bazaarvoice introduced earlier this year allowing companies to syndicate content across Facebook, Twitter and MySpace with custom tools and apps. In addition to giving consumers a way to share product information, the software allows brands to track what's being said and shared.
Bazaarvoice has previously worked with companies including Google and the Nielsen Co. to integrate product reviews into other types of online content and services.