1. Both are after the fact
You don't give out comment cards during someone's meal, you give it to them with their check. The same is true with reviews. Filter systems on sites such as Yelp only allow customers to give feedback once they've left. They do this to try to reduce fraudulent reviews. This way managers cannot offer free meals or deals in exchange for positive reviews.
2. Neither fixes the problem for the customer
When your customers have a less-than-expected experience (and you better believe they ALL come into your business with some type of expectations), the only way for them to get it fixed is to tell the manager. But are we really doing this anymore? The answer is, not as often as we used to. Customers are becoming more and more passive aggressive, which means their feedback is only being shared on your comment card or online. Neither of these things fix the issue, so there's a good chance they're not coming back. Online reviews, like comment cards, are only good for correcting problems for new customers, not retaining current ones.
3. Both don't always make it to the "fixer"
Comment cards often get lost in transition, especially if the first person to see it is the one that caused the problem. The same is true for online reviews. There just isn't enough time in the day for the "problem fixer" to check every review site, and often times they don't even know about many of the websites out there that customers are using. If the fixer doesn't know about the problem, they can't fix it.
4. Both are difficult to respond to
You have to hope that customers leave their contact information on the comment card. And even then there's a good chance they've left their email address that they only use for spam. Online reviews are also not always easy to respond to. As mentioned above, you have to know where these reviews are being left, and if you find them, you have to create an online profile to respond. And there's no guarantee that the customer is coming back to that review to see if you have responded.
*The BIG Difference - Online reviews are not "your eyes only." *
So make sure you're nipping issues in the bud. TalkToTheManager is a great tool that makes connecting to you much more convenient for your customers. It's private and it gives you the ability to respond in real time. Millions of online reviews are being written every day, so there's no time like the present to join the conversation. Try TalkToTheManager today and connect with your customers, before you have to seek out their feedback.
photo credit: Dee Speed via photopin cc