How to Use Comment Cards?
IT DOES NOT MATTER – THERE ARE MUCH BETTER ALTERNATIVES!
Many say that a well designed comment card from a nifty comment card template, laced with insightful questions will deliver customer engagement, even customer loyalty. Specifically, a well-conceived comment card system enables customers to rate their experience, express their opinions and provide valuable customer feedback to management. Moreover, they deliver insight and ideally create engagement with customers by letting them know you’re listening to their opinions. For without this, the bad ones will likely end up on Yelp. Hospitality businesses, particularly the restaurant industry have been using them for years – never successfully.
Unfortunately however, they do not provide a true measure of the customer experience, nor provide a customer feedback platform. Moreover, there is very little evidence to show that comment cards deliver a return on investment or are capable of such a return. For this reason, businesses should make the switch to a digital alternative that erases the issues with customer comment cards and delivers on the spot, actionable feedback. Wake up people!
Why it is Pointless to Talk About Conventional Comment Cards:
While there is a lot of material on the web about comment cards, with popular searches including:
- Comment card templates
- Card prints
- Card designs
- How to ask the right questions
- Comment card systems
- How to make comment cards
- Where to put comment cards
- Survey your customers
- Restaurant guest feedback
- Cards for positive feedback collection
- …or even the Perfect Comment Card
Discussing any of the above is pointless as it is irrelevant. Even though the paper based comment card or even the online comment card may have served businesses adequately in the past (most often seen in the restaurant industry) better technology is here. For this reason much better customer feedback alternatives exist today. These substitutes do not involve a card box, are still from actual customers, can deliver instant customer feedback and make the customer issue – actionable for the business.
Summary of Bad News About Comment Cards
We have discussed before, some of the common issues facing a business, particularly customer defection. Since then we produced a feedback guide consisting of articles highlighting why comment cards should be replaced with a digital card successor. There are four essential elements:
1) Twelve major problems with Comment Cards
Despite their popularity , there are at least 12 big problems with comment cards.
2) The Top Six Classic Comment Card Problems – Video
We highlight via video the top six reasons we advocate no more comment cards:
3) Customer Comment Card Design Errors – The Top Twelve
When we do see comment cards or comment card templates – many suffer the same flaws. In particular, restaurant comment cards are often the worst. We review the top 12 design issues, and step through a business may correct these. There are better design options if this method is used at all.
4) Why and How Digital Comment Cards are More Effective
A digital comment card overcomes all the disadvantages over the traditional comment card. We describe real-time feedback opportunity, delivered by phone, what it is and how it works, the use of the survey code, the improvement in customer service, the increase in revenue and the business benefit.
(For the restaurant industry audience, we also review why restaurant comment cards area really bad idea that never get to the bottom of poor customer service, negative experience, rude people, anonymous feedback or offhand comments)
Upgrade from Paper Comment Cards to Digital Comment Cards and A Digital Feedback Platform
The bottom line is that paper cards, email, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter or online reviews are a poor source for customer feedback, do not allow the business to take immediate action from instant feedback to fix the issue for unhappy guests. For management this means:
- Bad review / negative feedback are not fixed
- Defecting customers are not salvaged
- The guest experience is never analyzed
- Direct responses are too late
- True customer satisfaction goes unmeasured
- Comments including positive feedback have little value
- Bad decisions get made
- Customer engagement does not improve
- Feedback from unhappy customers to operators is too late
- Negative feedback repeats
- Customer service does not improve
- Management will see more bad service from guests in Yelp
- So the business return is minimal
- And customer relationships do not improve
Conclusion and Next Steps
A more effective strategy for company management (particularly restaurant owners) is an on-location survey. Specifically, the solution is a feedback request that does not use the card method, rather survey questions are delivered via phone or tablet. Significantly the customer responses appear in moments and reviewed in real-time with comprehensive analysis.
As a result, the big advantage from tools like this is the higher percent response rate and staff alerts. Notably the immediate action fixes the issue and creates a stronger impression on the guest leading to a closer relationship and improved customer loyalty. This aspect allows organizations a way to salvage their reputation and deliver remarkable service and best in class operations. The business delivers on guest expectations and financial health will improve.
Feedback from customers is critical and best coupled with a guest feedback and recovery platform. The average customer will not fill in a comment card even if for positive comments. They want to deliver anonymous feedback to the business owner that reflects their actual customer experience. Customer demand for a more effective on location feedback program (not just a random online customer interaction) is growing – and the digital comment card is the answer.