Still Using Paper Comment Cards?
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 alternative 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 For many businesses they are double digit per year – so clearly the outdated comment card is not up to the task of obtaining guest satisfaction scores or what to do.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?
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%. (restaurantmoneymakers.com)
Note the message includes everything to take action::
- Location of the issue
- Description of the problem
- Severity of the problem
- Additional detail
- 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. A digital comment card thus 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 Comment Card’. Examples of these poor excuses include:
- Post event email invitations
- Online surveys, embedded on your site
- 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?
- On a device they are familiar with – their own cell phone
- Using an input they prefer – SMS, Phone Call, Web Site or QR code
- And a language they are more comfortable with – English, Spanish or French
Opiniator Closed Loop Feedback
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 comment card.
A more effective means is a digital comment card as part of a customer feedback program. 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 food service feedback