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Why Have a Digital Comment Card for Customer Feedback?

Nov 29, 2020 | Blog, Comment Card

Digital Comment Card Feedback Process

Still Using Paper Comment Cards?


The digital customer comment card is what you should be considering using if you haven’t already. There is no good news about paper comment cards, as they have never been an effective feedback tool. Neither have other traditional forms of on-location feedback including mystery shopping. We have shared many of these concerns with the design and delivery of this type of traditional feedback. Businesses should make the switch to a digital comment card instead, that erases the issues with customer comment cards and delivers on the spot, actionable feedback.

Customer defection rates are getting worse. For many businesses they are double digit per year – so clearly the outdated comment card is not up to the task of obtaining guest satisfaction scores or what to do.

A typical American business will lose 15 percent of its customers each year.

27 percent of small business owners estimate that 11-20 percent of first-time customers don’t return to their business.

Following a negative customer interaction, 58% of Americans would never use that company again.

96 percent of unhappy customers won’t complain to you, but will tell 15 friends

So Just What is The Bad News About Comment Cards?

As we have discussed before, there are at least 12 big problems with comment cards. A quick summary of the top 6 are shown in the video below:


The bottom line is that paper comment cards do not allow the business to take immediate action to fix the issue for the unhappy customer. This means:

  • Bad reviews cannot be fixed
  • Defecting customers cannot be salvaged

Comment Cards Replacements … or Why Have a Digital Customer Comment Card?

When a guest can deliver on location, instant guest feedback, even as they are consuming the service. And moreover, when this event is combined with instant analysis and direct staff alerts – the business receives huge benefits. See the example below:
Statistics show that 70% will give you a second chance if you solve their issue at some point in time but if you do it immediately, your chances to “Recover the Guest” jumps up to 95% – Restaurant Money Makers
Key to guest recovery is an instant alert to staff when a customer is unhappy. So imagine a business team receiving the alert message below. Specifically an email or SMS direct from the customer while at the location to the right personnel – closest to the customer..

Customer feedback alert message

Note the message includes everything to take action::

  1. Location of the issue
  2. Description of the problem
  3. Severity of the problem
  4. Additional detail
  5. Even the customer contact info – if they wish to be contacted (but this should never be obligated)

What Does Taking Action Mean?

  • The right personnel can fix the issue,
  • Correct the hazard, service or maintenance problem
  • And connect with the guest – before they defect, or worse, defect and complain online
  • With everything occurring in real time

So instant feedback drives action and delivers an improvement in operating standards, happier guests that return more frequently. And ultimately an improved online reputation. This on location, immediate and actionable feedback becomes a customer intelligence platform – driving a huge ROI in the business.

What Digital Comment Cards are Not

Don’t be confused here, by a sneaky online only method, smuggled in as a ‘Digital Customer Comment Card’. Examples of these poor excuses include:

  1. Post event email invitations
  2. Online surveys, embedded on your site
  3. Apps
  4. Reliance on online review sites

They are all too late for action, and usually confined to only part of your total customer population. Don’t be fooled – these methods are equally redundant, not providing real time feedback – and will not deliver insights on guest satisfaction or guest experience.

So How Does a Digital Comment Card Work?

A digital comment card enables point of experience customer feedback. This experience here can be at anytime, anywhere, on or offline, transactional or non transactional. Simply put, it is feedback on the customers’ terms. They choose if, how, when and what to give feedback on. In brick and mortar businesses – this means customers use their own cell phone to input. The whole feedback process is shown below:
Digital Comment Card Feedback Process
The first stage is to encourage feedback though on-location signage. Many styles, many formats – but always on the customers terms.
Requesting feedback signs in a retail store
Valuable insights and quality feedback is delivered when it is easier for the customer. Specifically:
  1. On a device they are familiar with – their own cell phone
  2. Using an input they prefer – SMS, Phone Call, Web Site or QR code
  3. And a language they are more comfortable with – English, Spanish or French
This means higher response rates for the business.

Opiniator Closed Loop Feedback

The feedback data populates a private online dashboard – so the business can review satisfaction and performance by location, Low scores from dissatisfied customers triggers an alert to the right team. They fix the issue and confirm in the system that it has been done, hence delivering closed loop feedback.
This ensures the business delivers action on any feedback and drives accountability across the organization. For more information including a full description, feature list and case studies are all available.

Recap: So Why Have a Digital Comment Card?

Traditional feedback methods are outdated, ineffective and not in real time.. Does this mean comment cards are dead? No, but they should be. Compare a paper comment card to a digital alternative:

Digital comment card compared to paper comment card

A more effective means is an on the spot comment card as part of a customer feedback program – where the input is via the customers’ own cell phone This will improve customer satisfaction at the business. Specifically retaining customers you would have lost and showing customers you care.

For some examples, listen to a recent podcast on how this can be applied for restaurant owners trying to get increased and analytical restaurant ratings and comments.






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