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    3 reasons why Smiley Face Surveys don't always work

    I'm sure you've seen a smiley face survey, but do they always work?


    I'm sure you've seen smiley faces in surveys. They're clever for many reasons, not least because:

    • they are effectively multi-lingual
    • remove the need for text to be read
    • enable many different abilities to respond
    • are quick and simple for gaining a response
    • ...and are suitable for most age groups.

    Great, so we should all use smiley faces for feedback right? Well no, it's not quite that simple.


    ViewPoint Smiley Devices: a simple 2 or 3 question survey device to understand 'the pulse' & the reasons why. Read more here>>


    Let's start with 3 examples of when smiley faces DON'T work in customer experience feedback:

    1. When it's the only question asked and it's the wrong question.
     Using an example I've seen in some airports: I might be 'happy' with my travel experience overall, but 'unhappy' with the food, or something else. Another example would be where I'm 'happy' with the store brand (ASDA, Waitrose, Tesco etc) but unhappy that day because there was none of my favourite bread. Therefore, what is this actually telling you about the rating given?

    2. When it's the only question asked but you're interested in deeper knowledge.
     Customer experience is rarely wrapped up in a single question. Can you follow up your question with one that can enable you to actually do something with the intelligence gleaned?

    3. When a significant proportion of the feedback is from kids or people messing around.
    Kids love smiley faces - so how can you be sure your results aren't just from kids hitting smiley buttons for fun?

    Now let's have a look at how best to use them...


    Read more about our smiley feedback survey technology here


    Where Smiley Faces are Great

    To capture a response quickly and easily from a customer or non-buyer at their point of experience, offering a range of smiley face options is great. We use smiley faces a lot in our surveys, especially in the new and growing use of touch screen surveys.

    Recent surveys have shown that people love to give their feedback when it's quick and immediate, with response rates increasing by over 1000% over traditional online survey rates. This is great news, as once a smiley face is selected, offering a small number of routed questions gains further insight from the majority. Then finally asking for an open ended comment gains informative 'voice of the customer' feedback.

    Sifting out the legitimate responses from those left by kids hitting random buttons is essential - and this is where our ViewPoint survey software comes in, by assessing every response to ensure that data is genuine.

    A Survey Example

    Qu 1: "Please tell us how you feel about [our brand] today"... (Choice of 5 smiley faces)

    If a happy face is selected...

    Qu 2: "That's great. Please tell us where we've done well" ... (Choice of different areas such as staff service, product selection, queuing times etc)

    If a sad face is selected...

    Qu 2: "We're sorry to hear that. Please tell us where we need to improve" ... (Choice of different areas again)

    And then a final question...

    Qu 3: Is there anything you would like to tell us today? ... Text response.

    The Point of Truth

    Interestingly, despite having hit a ‘happy’ smiley face on the first screen, a recent survey has shown that over 8% of respondents then gave constructive feedback on a particular aspect of a service. We call that the 'point of truth' - it's where a customer or non-buyer is happy with an overall brand or experience, but if there’s opportunity they still share something of their experience that you really need to hear about.

    Therefore, in just 3 questions (more if you wish) you can gain insightful, actionable, real time feedback that can be acted on quickly to improve service or fix other aspects of your operation such as stock levels, staffing levels, queuing systems or marketing programmes.

    Smiley face surveys can be of real benefit, but maybe not when used as a single question. How are you engaging with your customers, non-buyers and visitors?


    • If you would like a friendly chat about your requirements call 02476 608830 or click here
    • To read more about using graphics such as Smiley Faces in Surveys click here

     

    About author

    Written by Simon Rowland

    Simon is the CEO of ViewPoint. Find out more about Simon Rowland.

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