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Stop Comment Cards

Ditch The Comment Card

– 12 Reasons to use Real-Time Feedback Instead

The comment card should be consigned to the elephant graveyard of bad ideas. They have many flaws, but  their biggest is not enabling businesses to take immediate action on their own Real-Time Customer Feedback.

There is simply no point in asking how your coffee tasted today if the business can’t act on the feedback until tomorrow.  Fortunately, mobile surveys – such as opiniator, that use the customer’s own mobile phone to input on the spot feedback, solve these issues, help the business retain customers and become more profitable.

So here are the dirty dozen reasons why comment cards should be retired and why a mobile phone questionnaire should be used.

1) Inconvenient — Comment cards are often hard to find, harder to read, with neither a writing implement to hand nor a box in which to post them.

2) Inflexible — Comment Cards are printed, have fixed questions for every customer, are costly to change and waste many trees. This means that you are asking the wrong questions to the wrong customer and you can’t alter anything until you reprint the cards. OPINIATOR uses no paper, can be updated in real-time and deliver different questions for every customer type.

3) Way…Too…Long — If you just finished eating a bad meal, you don’t want to complete a long survey. Surveys need to be short – no more than 8 questions and rotated often. With opiniator you can change questions at any time – via the web.

4) Crammed With Poor Content — Even if the customer has taken the trouble to fill out your survey, most questions are poorly worded, ambiguous or too open-ended preventing the business owner from taking action. opiniator provides both the technology and the expertise in feedback construction to ensure the questions are understandable and the answers are actionable.

5) Demand Too Much Info — This is the kryptonite of customer feedback. Anonymity is precious. Name, address, dog’s maiden name – are useless to the business and a turn off for customers.  This results in low response rates. Get feedback first and improve the business or better yet, use a technology that asks for permission to contact customers.

6) Staff Interference — A comment card left on the table or in the comment box will be read by staff, and only the best will be kept. Don’t think it doesn’t happen in your business. opiniator feedback goes straight to management.

7) Error-Prone — Data from cards has to be manually entered into a spreadsheet, so is prone to typos or missed columns. Likely the analysis will be poor quality, incurring a delay in getting it to the right staff to take action! opiniator does all the analysis, so you don’t have to, even while the customer is still experiencing your service.

8) Without Integration — Many businesses use comment cards as just one of a number of methods to get feedback (others might include web, or mystery shopping). So now the business needs this data integrated with the others. This means more expense, more time and more error. opiniator is one database that receives feedback from all sources, 24/7.

9) Way Too Costly — Having comment cards are more expensive than you think. Think about how the following costs add up: designing, printing, distribution, postage, re-printing, collection, inputting, analyzing, correcting, communicating and delay. opiniator is more cost effective because it does all this in real time without error.

10) Wasted Social Media Opportunity — Even if a customer wanted to share something nice about your business they can’t! Guest feedback on comment cards is not connected to social media, and that’s a wasted opportunity! opiniator invites only happy customers to post on social media – generating awareness and interest in your business.

11) Way…Too…Late — Worst of all, an unhappy customer tweets and posts to Facebook/Yelp/Google all before you know it has even happened. No chance to fix the problem, no chance to salvage the customer, and no chance to save your reputation. opiniator operates in real-time, enabling immediate recovery so the customer no longer needs to vent.

12) Not Actionable —  Low feedback scores mean unhappy customers and a reason to defect to a competitor. Comment cards provide too little, too late – and seldom connected to the right staff. The business doesn’t know how it is performing so the unhappy customer leaves, never to return. You lose the revenue and your reputation. opiniator delivers alerts to the right staff in real-time whenever there is an issue, so they can take action and salvage the customer.

All businesses lose customers through defection. Customer feedback will help, but only if the feedback is convenient for the customer and actionable for the business. Comment cards are neither – falling short in at least a dozen ways, but mobile phone surveys like opiniator provide a convenient way for customers to give feedback and a powerful way for businesses to stop customer defection.