Earl Able’s Restaurant is legendary around San Antonio and one of my stores is nearby, so anytime I am doing a store visit there, I leave early and stop at Earl’s for one of the best breakfasts around. Yesterday however, the info-babe on WOAI foretold of impending doom on IH-35, so my commute did not go as planned. Rather than wasting time in traffic, I decided to opt for breakfast a national chain restaurant.
It wasn’t bad, although a far cry from Earl’s, but what struck me as I attempted to finish my cup of slightly bitter coffee, was how badly worded their comment card was. It reminded me of my own company and how bad our customer comment card is. One of those projects I have long wanted to address but have never pushed up high enough on the priority list as to warrant adequate focus.
The card I held in my hands asked me a short list of closed ended questions. Was my meal satisfactory; Yes or No. Was my service satisfactory; Yes or No. Was the restaurant clean; Yes or No. As I read over the comment card, I realized how utterly useless so many comment cards really are. I think most comment cards want to do a good job, they just haven’t been given the proper tools and training and don’t know how to ask the right questions. It’s time to retrain our comment cards.
Our comment cards shouldn’t be asking customers, “Yes or No”, they should be asking our customers “How”! How can we serve you better? What can we do to improve?
Seriously, if we’re going to ask our customers for their feedback, don’t we want to ask them questions that will actually help us improve our business and our service? If a customer is going to sacrifice their time to fill the card out, should it be something constructive? Maybe we ask ourselves if we really care what our customers think. If the answer is a resounding, ‘YES!”, then let’s take the time to ask them useful questions and not mindless rhetoric that is meaningless and will not us improve our business.
So here’s my challenge to you, dear reader. You’ve been tasked with creating the perfect customer comment card. What question simply must be included?
Monty Rainey is a District Manager with over 14 years in the self storage industry currently overseeing 21 stores in the Austin & San Antonio, TX area. He is also a leadership coach and public speaker. For a free consultation, please contact Monty at 830-743-2139 or visit his website at http://www.montyrainey.com .