The comment card should be consigned to the elephant graveyard of bad ideas. Their biggest flaw is not enabling the business to take immediate action on their own customer’s feedback. There is simply no point in asking you today how your coffee was, if the business is not able to act on the feedback until tomorrow – where “act” means fixing the issue, contacting the customer or posting a great review to social media. The good news is that mobile surveys – such as OPINIATOR, that use the customer’s own mobile phone to input on the spot feedback, solve these issues and provide the most effective method to deliver satisfaction surveys. It is the best way in answering how to improve customer retention.
There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, and 7 deadly sins, but there are at least 12 reasons why your comment card system should be put out to grass and why mobile surveys will help you retain customers and make more money.
- Poorly Presented – Comment cards are often hard to locate, in a small font, with neither a writing implement to hand, nor a box in which to post them. So they are not customer convenient and do not express a genuine desire by the business to get feedback.
- Inflexible – Comment Cards are printed, have the same questions no matter the customer type (don’t you want to know why a new customer selected you?), are costly to change and waste many trees. This means that it is likely that you are asking the wrong questions of the wrong customer and you won’t be able to change the questions until you reprint the cards. A mobile survey uses no paper, can be changed in real-time and can deliver different questions for each customer type.
- (Way) Too Long – If you just finished eating a bad meal, you don’t want to have to take the SATs just so the business can figure out what you did not like. Surveys need to be SHORT – we recommend no more than 8 questions and rotated often –remember, with OPINIATOR you can change them at any time – via the web.
- Stuffed with Poor Content – Even if the customer has taken the trouble to fill out the small novel of a survey, most questions are poorly worded, ambiguous or too open ended so that you, the desperate business owner, can’t make improvements. OPINIATOR provides both the technology and the expertise in guest feedback construction to ensure the questions are understandable and the answers are actionable
- Demand Too Much Personal Info – this is the kryptonite of feedback. Businesses don’t realize that anonymity is precious. Name, address, dog’s maiden name – will be useless to the business and a guaranteed turn off for many customers. The result – low response rates. Get customer feedback first and use this to improve the business or better still, use a technology that asks if they want to be contacted as part of the survey.
- Easily Tampered With – I once was a waiter, a bad waiter… needless to say, any comment card left on the table or in the comment box was read, and only the best were kept. Don’t think it doesn’t happen in your business. Mobile phone survey data goes straight to management.
- Error Prone – The data from cards is entered manually into a spreadsheet, and as such is prone to typos or missed columns. Likely the analysis will be missing or poor, incurring a delay in getting it to the right staff to do something about it! A mobile survey does all the work for you, in real time, with inclusive analysis, even while the customer is still experiencing the service.
- Without Integration – Many businesses use comment cards as one of a number of methods to get feedback (others might include web, annual email, mystery shopping). So now the business not only has issues 1-7, but now 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, all campaigns all the time.
- Way Too Costly – a customer experience survey via comment card is more expensive than you think. Add up the following: designing, printing, distribution, postage, re-printing, collection, inputting, analyzing, correcting, communicating and delay. Mobile phone survey technology is more cost effective since it does all this for you and with no delay.
- Without Social Media Connection – Even if a customer wanted to share something nice about your business with their friends, they can’t! Guest feedback on comment cards is not connected to social media, and that’s a wasted opportunity! OPINIATOR connects only happy customers to the social media site of choice – generating awareness and interest in your business.
- No Alerts to the Business– Low scores mean unhappy customers and a reason to defect to a competitor. Comment cards provide too little, too late – and are not 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. A mobile phone survey like OPINIATOR delivers alerts to the right staff in real-time, so they can take action and recover the customer.
- Way Too Late – The worst part about all of this is a customer who complains, and then tweets, posts to Facebook/Yelp/Google Places that they had a bad time – all before you know it has even happened . No chance to fix the issue, no chance to salvage the customer, and no chance to save your reputation.
- Not Actionable – All businesses lose customers through defection. Feedback will help, but only if the feedback is convenient for the customer and actionable for the business. Comment cards are neither – but mobile surveys like OPINIATOR provide both and help stop customer defection
So ditch the comment card now and embrace real-time mobile surveys and improve customer experience management through an saas system. A questionnaire on mobile phones is the only way to get feedback that is actionable.