When Smiley Face Surveys and Feedback Really Works

When smiley face surveys really work

It’s a busy world and time is precious. We guard ourselves against anything that might add more to the workload and that includes giving feedback.

That’s one reason why using smiley faces in feedback is effective – it’s just so quick and easy for anyone to respond.

At ViewPoint we have a range of feedback and survey tools, and that means we are able to compare the effectiveness of each mode or channel. And what we are finding is that different feedback channels work best in different situations.

This blog will show you how in the moment feedback can be up substantially more effective than online reflective feedback and how the use of smiley faces as a first screen can equally multiply response rates by up to 500%.

Smiley Surveys through Different Modes

For example, with a retailer we provided both feedback cards for an online survey and also feedback touch screens – both were accessible in store. We wanted to give choice for those who would like to respond in the moment and those who wanted to give their views later on, reflectively. Both the cards and the touchscreens were provided at the same touchpoint, over a 2 month period, and in the same stores. The surveys were short and easy to complete.

There was little comparison between the 2 modes. The touch screen survey gained on average a 5% of footfall completion, but the online survey gained only 0.1% of footfall.

This does not mean that online surveys have no place in your customer experience strategy! This was simply a small pilot comparing in-store survey promotion at the same touchpoint.

However, shoppers were providing over 100 responses per day per store on the customer feedback touch screens and less than 2 via online surveys.

Make it Really Easy to Respond with a Smiley Face

We have also compared different ways of inviting respondents to give their feedback.

Firstly we showed a screen which used a brand image and a simple request: ‘Please touch the screen to share your views – it will only take 30 seconds’

Secondly we showed a Screen with 5 smiley face buttons and a simple question: ‘Overall, how satisfied were you with your visit today?’

Smiley face Pulse survey device

This simple change increased response rates in retail, health, HR and other settings with more than double the responses. (We’ve seen between 100% and over 500% increase in survey responses.)

There was more survey attrition with the smiley face icons, however, with the significantly higher response rates, together with 100% response rate for the first question, this was not detrimental to insight.

We believe this smiley icon effectiveness to be due to a combination of factors including:

  • No need to ‘think’, just touch the screen (engagement is high)
  • Respondents feeling that it’s simply a rating question (not feeling committed to a longer survey)
  • No need to speak English, just touch the screen (for generic ratings)
  • No need to type a URL, take something home, get out your mobile phone etc (really simple and fast)

We all get more and more requests for feedback, so in this environment the opportunity to offer your views in the moment, without delay or hassle, at any touchpoint – work, shop, hospital, university, airport, cinema – really works.


Do you need a smart way to collect feedback?


Welcome to ViewPoint, the world’s leading provider of touchless feedback kiosks.

ViewPoint’s feedback solutions are the smart way to collect customer and employee feedback.

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