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Paper Comment Card Designs – What Could Go Wrong?

Comment Card Design Errors

The Most Frequent Flaws

and How to Avoid Them.

Paper comment cards are flawed in process and design
There are many frequent mistakes, and some horrendous comment card templates.
To avoid these, use a digital comment card instead.


ONE - Bad Questions

Ineffective and confusing.
Cannot deliver insight.

TWO - Incorrect Rating

Useless scoring method.
Delivers incorrect info.

THREE - Too Personal

Enforced Public Data.
Decreases response rates.

FOUR - Poor Execution

Failed roll out and application.
Staff & Customer interference.

Bad comment card questions


Ambiguous – What does ‘Service’ or ‘Professionalism’ mean?

Compound question – Which one should be answered?…..It means the answer given is always a compromise or dilution of the truth.

Imprecise question – impossible to answer without guidelines…so the answer is meaningless.

No value questions – What action would the business take based on the response? ….And impossible to analyze.

Bad comment card rating scales


Leading introduction – Implies that the rating should be high.

Biased rating scale – Two positive, one average, but only ONE negative. Means the answers will skew higher than they should. Use a balanced 5 point rating scale instead.

Simplistic scale – The gap is too big to record adaquate differences in responses. 

No numeric scale – Now open to interpretation what descriptors mean. Will vary by person.

Comment card request for personal information


Insistence on name – Not needed. Data collection and rectification is first priority. Customer recovery via the name is secondary ONLY if the customer agrees to give their name.

Additional user personal info requests – Not necessary and a disincentive to give any information.

No consent requested – Suggests future spamming

Operating fields – High error rate. Should be captured automatically without reliance on memory.

Irrelavent questions – Feedback being used as a catch-all, without prioritizing data needed. Low value info captured.

Comment card poor operational execution


Spelling mistake– Means the business is not serious about feedback, process, or user experience. 

Postage requested –  A huge issue. Why should the customer pay to give their own opinions? Postage – even if actually mailed will mean the business does not see any negative data until too late.

Feedback via staff – A negative review will be read and discarded – never to inform management.

Too many questions – Anything over 90 seconds to complete will not be documented or remembered accurately.

Confusing layout – Hard to read, too much effort means polarized views and low response rates.

Paper comment cards have been used by many businesses for decades for customer feedback. Developed using a comment card template, they may look pretty, but are ineffective in delivering actionable customer insight. In fact, comment card design errors are common.

Better to use a digital comment card instead, to overcome the comment cards template and design issues and deliver actionable customer feedback to the business.

for on the spot customer feedback – use a digital comment card
for improved standards at lower cost than traditional feedback methods