Instant Feedback ‘Smiley’ Buttons Go Touchless in Pandemic

A key Certified Partner of The BCJ Group, HappyOrNot®️, was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal for their brilliant response to their well known Smiley feedback terminals. The co-founder and Executive VP of Strategic Alliances, Ville Levaniemi, provided insights to their swift adjustments in the article “Instant Feedback ‘Smiley’ Buttons Go Touchless in Pandemic”. The article highlights how HappyOrNot®️, despite the challenges which the pandemic has brought, has successfully responded to the need to ensure that its customers, and the general public, feel safe and confident when they interact with the machines; preventing Covid-19 from spreading through surfaces by developing touchless enhancements to the instant feedback terminals. It is not unexpected that people were expressing concerns over the use of the machines due to hesitance over touching public surfaces. Ville noted that “It’s all about the perception… We need to make sure even the most hesitant customers don’t have a reason not to communicate with the business.” Their recognition that people were hesitant to continue using the touch systems, led to swift action in finding safe alternatives for clients.

HappyOrNot®️ and other companies have worked hard to make meaningful adjustments as a result of the precautions faced with this unforeseen challenge. HappyOrNot®️, for example, was the first feedback company in the world to coat its Smiley machines with antimicrobial film in order to prevent them from spreading the virus, as well as introducing a brand new offering which involved adding QR codes and URLs to the machines and signage, allowing customers to submit their feedback on a smartphone, thus completely removing the need for physical interaction.

Ville explains that, while QR codes are one alternative, the additional steps required means that it adds an extra layer of friction for the customers. As a result, HappyOrNot®️ went a step further, looking for a better, more efficient alternative to QR codes.

The article goes on to discuss their ongoing experimentation with motion sensor cameras that they are using to create a touchless version of the HappyOrNot®️ Smiley machines. Ville emphasized HappyOrNot®️’s commitment to ensure that we only release well-tested products, stating, “we have certain standards on usability and it’s really important for us that the data is accurate before we put it on the market”.
Following on from the Wall Street Journal article, Ville shares additional context:
There isn’t an industry or business, especially relating to the travel or aviation sector, which hasn’t been affected by the pandemic and we are no different. However, over the past year, we have remained positive about the return of customers and have actively looked for solutions which would encourage and instill confidence in businesses and people who still wish to collect and give feedback, respectively.

The additional technological advances we are seeing, which have been accelerated further by the pandemic, has also allowed us to explore ‘touch-free’ expansions to our Smiley Touch™️ touchscreen terminals, like the purely digital survey solution enabling seamless feedback for virtually any physical or digital touchpoint via QR code and/or URL. Further developments to our Smiley Touch™️ terminals, such as gesture-based feedback and the future of providing our customers with more options to capture the maximum amount of feedback, is on the imminent horizon of HappyOrNot®️. Our customers will be able to collect even more in-depth data insights in the most frictionless way possible.

This is a vital step forward for us as we are fully aware that people still actively want to give feedback, especially when they are provided with safe options to do so. We have seen this with our customer, the sporting goods retailer XXL. During the pandemic, the company assumed that people would be adverse to the terminals being present, but a resounding customer demand for their return disproved this and showed that within three months, the company had already gathered over 600,000 responses; justifying their necessity.
It’s going to be a slow return to normality for a lot of industries, but we are confident that the combination of what we’ve seen from our customers, and the general public, is an indicator of the trust and confidence we have built over the past 11 years. We will continue to innovate around user safety and offer the most frictionless omnichannel solution that is possible.

Read the full article on the Wall Street Journal here: Instant Feedback ‘Smiley’ Buttons Go Touchless in Pandemic

Additional Information

To learn how other organizations are using feedback insights to increase their customer satisfaction and results during the pandemic or for inquiries specific to your business, email us at

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