When words speak louder: Comment Cards and Word-of-Mouth Advertising

When words speak louder:  Comment Cards and Word-of-Mouth Advertising


The creation of a feedback program is beneficial to any business.  It allows the business to increase productivity and better serve the customer by learning what is or isn’t working.  One of the most common forms of feedback is the use of comment card. It provides a quick snapshot of a customers experience and when designed properly can provide useful information to improve success.  When developing a comment card program it is important to consider the needs of the business, client and employee as well as incorporate the most effective advertising strategies to ensure its success. 


Comment Card programs are vital to business productivity in the hospitality industry. They provide a subjective view of customer experience and reveal actual impact that a manager can’t always see (ICC). Combining subjective data with objective experience, businesses can view the larger picture of what is and isn’t working and can take the appropriate steps to improve relations and increase success. An appropriate comment card will be “designed to measure overall satisfaction and relate to each applicable department providing support” (UniFocus). It is important when designing and implementing a comment card program to focus on your most effective forms of advertising. In this way, you can not only obtain feedback to improve customer service and relations, but also better advocate your product. The most valuable and often most effective form of advertising is word-of-mouth. Word-of-mouth advertising is “an unpaid form of promotion in which satisfied customers tell other people how much they like a business, product or service” (Entrepreneur). It is so important because it comes in second only to personal experience as the most influential source to perception and likelihood to use a product or business (Allsop et al. 407). Even more astounding is the impact of negative word-of mouth on a business. “More than 50 percent of Americans report that a negative shopping experience by a friend or colleague will prevent them from setting foot in a store all together” (Gale Group). Additionally, “a study conducted in Texas revealed that the average dissatisfied customer gripes to 11 people about his experience, and these 11 in turn each tell five others”, though you may have hundreds of satisfied customers those with a bad experience are more likely to talk about it (Misner). Word-of-mouth is difficult to directly influence and isn’t always triggered by exceptional customer service, but can be triggered by non-verbal architectural, kinetic or generous statements whose value can be measured and reinforced through the use of comment cards (Entrepreneur).

In developing a comment card program you first need to assess the needs of your business. What message are you trying to get across in the promotion of your product? In the hotel industry for example maybe you want to be known for being the cleanest and most detail oriented hotel chain. You may or may not directly advertise that to your customers, but it is the area you will focus on in daily operations and in your comment cards, so you can obtain the feedback to see if you are meeting and exceeding that goal. Second you need to “qualify or assess the needs of your demographic client, so you can tailor make each experience and ideally exceed their expectations which will increase their likelihood to recommend your goods or services to others” (Chenoweth). In assessing your client’s needs, you must also consider time and accessibility in their likeliness to complete a comment card for you.  Cards should be brief and questions should be chosen to maximize usable feedback.  Subjective questions should be used to create a baseline for future comparison and to develop quantitative results.  Objective questions should be used to allow for a more personalized response from the customer and are vitally important in improving word-of-mouth influence. Accessibility is of higher consideration now with technological developments. Where the paper comment card has long been the standard, surveys are now being conducted via phone, internet or portable electronic device.  In the hotel industry many people now avoid the checkout counter entirely having already utilized the in-room television checkout, rendering front desk comment cards virtually useless when bypassed. In this instance developing a survey built into the in-room checkout system is necessary. An alternative could also be an employee stationed at the exit doors specifically to obtain visitor feedback. Many museums now utilize this technique with paper or electronic surveys and where time is an issue they offer incentives such as future museum discounts, a museum store postcard or gift, etc. as a ‘thank you’ for sharing their comments (Chenoweth). Even when a guest may be too busy to fill out a survey on the spot they offer a postage-paid version or direct them to a way to complete a phone or online version (Chenoweth). Ultimately having alternate forms of the same card is important to cater to the needs of any customer if you can make it work with your budget.

In developing a comment card program for a hotel it is important to include hotel management and staff. Consulting the management about hotel goals will assist in developing the right questions to ask guests, they also may be looking to improve the service of specific departments and may want to include questions that will give them feedback on particular employees. They may even be considering a system of department specific feedback such as a separate card delivered with a room service order to rate that one area. Often times, guests are quite amenable to very brief (3-5 question) cards and would be more likely to fill them throughout their stay rather than one longer guest survey at the end. In this ‘along the way’ approach, time spent seems negligible to the guest and you are getting more specific department results that aren’t tainted by their overall feel of their stay positive or negative. In developing a comment card program it is equally important to include staff in the process. Dealing one-on-one with clients, they will have the best insight into consumer needs and immediate business improvements. Staff involvement also provides a sense of teamwork that will make employees more likely to gather feedback from visitors. Management may also want to provide an incentive program for improved performance, so it is important to consult employees on their motivators and to then develop the correct survey questions to measure improvements. Finally staff is the best resource for influencing word-of-mouth advertising by providing the best service possible and by observing and even alluding to those triggers that elicit recommendations.


Comment card programs are vital to maintaining business success. No matter how good your product or service is if you can’t fulfill the customer’s needs regarding its use than your business wont be around very long. Due to the importance and strength of word-of-mouth advertising it is also important to incorporate its focus into your program to further business growth. To create a successful card you must first consider your business objective by asking yourself . Next you must assess the needs of your target audience or the demographic of people utilizing your goods or service. While making your assessment you also need to consider the most appropriate technology to gather feedback.  Offering multiple formats can be beneficial to reach different groups if it is within your working budget. Remember to get management and staff involved in its creation and implementation. They will supply the necessary emphasis and focus for your questions and have direct one-on-one contact with the client to gather feedback and implement improvements. Finally remember one of the strongest and most cost effective tools you have is word-of-mouth advertising, so be sure to incorporate questions that will draw out what draws people in and find out if they really would recommend your product or service and why.

Works Cited

Allsop, Dee T., Bryce R. Bassett, and James A. Hoskins. “Word-of-Mouth Research: Principles

and Applications.” Journal of Advertising Research 47.4 (Dec. 2007): 398-411. Communication & Mass Media Complete. EBSCO. SJSU King Library, San Jose, CA. 08 March 2009 <http://www.ebscohost.com>.

Chenoweth, Brandy. Workshop Notes. HEART Series: Workshop I – Customer Service.

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA, 2007

Entrepreneur. Word-of-Mouth Advertising. 2009. Entrepreneur Media Inc. 08 March 2009

< http://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/term/82660.html>

Gale Group. “Negative word-of-mouth advertising really gets around”. Do-it-yourself Retailing

(May 2006).  National Retail Hardware Association. 08 March 2009


ICC/ Decision Services. Comment Cards. 2007. ICC Decision Services. 08 March 2009


Misner, Ivan. “Watch your Word-of-Mouth”. 2007.  Entrepreneur. Entrepreneur Media Inc.

08 March 2009 <http://www.entrepreneur.com/marketing/marketingideas/networking


UniFocus. Best Western International Partners with UniFocus for Member Feedback to Enhance

Service. 14 January 2009. HospitalityNet. 08 March 2009 <http://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/154000397/4039441>.



Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with MyStudyWriters
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
I just need some minor alterations. Thanks.
Customer 452547, February 10th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
excellent work
Customer 452773, March 9th, 2023
Social Work and Human Services
Great work I would love to continue working with this writer thought out the 11 week course.
Customer 452667, May 30th, 2021
Human Resources Management (HRM)
excellent job
Customer 452773, June 25th, 2023
Leadership Studies
excellent job
Customer 452773, August 3rd, 2023
Business and administrative studies
Thank you
Customer 452773, March 19th, 2023
Impressive writing
Customer 452547, February 6th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
Thank you for your hard work
Customer 452773, October 19th, 2023
excellent work
Customer 452773, October 6th, 2023
Business and administrative studies
Thank you for your hard work and effort. Made a 96 out of 125 points Lacked information from the rubic
Customer 452773, October 27th, 2023
Leadership Studies
excellent job as always
Customer 452773, September 2nd, 2023
Business and administrative studies
Customer 452773, March 3rd, 2023
Customer reviews in total
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
Customers referred by a friend
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat

Sometimes it is hard to do all the work on your own

Let us help you get a good grade on your paper. Get professional help and free up your time for more important courses. Let us handle your;

  • Dissertations and Thesis
  • Essays
  • All Assignments

  • Research papers
  • Terms Papers
  • Online Classes
Live ChatWhatsApp