Whenever I am given a customer comment card by a business staffer, I have to remind myself that this is still year 2015 and I haven't fallen into a wormhole headed back in time to circa 1986.

Despite the outdated state of today's feedback processes, however, small businesses have experienced significant technological advancements in recent years as evident in intuitive point-of-sale terminals, streamlined online ordering systems, convenient mobile payments, and much more. Yet, comment cards remain in its most antiquated form, paper. As customers, while we may consider the usage of paper as a form of communication and/or discovery fairly egregious nowadays, as I cannot recall my last hand written letter and I believe the last time I saw a yellow pages directory was at a campfire--try to imagine the more pervasive imposition that this paper prompt creates for business operators. Let's visit a few of the less evolved aspects of the comment card feedback process and their impact:

Feedback questions remain stale and unable to change without incurring additional printing costs

Unless an email address is provided by the customer upon submission, business owners cannot respond directly to this form of feedback, losing valuable touch points

Despite the fundamental need for feedback, the time consuming nature required to support the process leaves merchants frustrated

If you don't believe me, just take a look! Below is the customer comment card used in 1986 at The Village Way, 3-months after opening, and still used at the establishment today:


Pretty scary, right?

Now, slip back into your business operator shoes quickly. Imagine if you had collected 150 of these comment cards and were responsible for manually tabulating and analyzing the 1,800 answers comprised in this feedback. Furthermore, imagine you were caught in a bind, like most business operators are; managing your employees, ensuring billing was completed for the month, and accounting for new inventory delivery. What happens to all the new menu items that customers have indicated they wish to see next season? What about all the employees you will fail to recognize for a job well done or an incident that needs to be addressed? What about the new conjoined table seating arrangements no one likes or the loud music playing near the balcony? Ultimately, how will you be able to make better decisions to build a more profitable business without the useful data from your customers to guide you? Luckily, for business operators, technology has finally made its way into the feedback process.

Tattle is the new customer comment card for small businesses where feedback is collected privately and in real-time for easy analysis, questions can be changed dynamically without incurring additional printing costs, relationships are built more seamlessly through feedback with direct communication, and better decisions can be made to ensure an optimal customer experience. Fret no more, business owners. Tattle has reimagined the customer comment card in the age of the smart phone. RIP, paper customer comment card. Finally.

Alex Beltrani