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Smiley Terminal: How to Use It to Gain Customer Insights Onsite

Parvathi Vijayamohan

Last Updated:  

2 July 2024

8 min read

Customer feedback is the holy grail of customer experience. The challenge? Feedback comes from perceptions, and perceptions can change or set over time.

So any delays in asking for feedback will lessen its accuracy. And, it will become much harder to change your customer’s minds if they had a bad experience.

In this case, a real-time feedback tool can tell in a split-second if your customer is happy or not – enabling you to fix a bad customer experience as quickly as possible. The smiley terminal is one such feedback tool.

How does a smiley terminal work?


Let’s start with an overview of the terminal hardware, using the SurveySparrow Smiley Terminal as an example. A smiley feedback terminal has two types of hardware.

  1. Handheld terminal: A handheld device that you can plugin and use to collect countertop feedback. It has a simple UI of smiley buttons arranged in a rating scale.
  2. Freestanding terminal: A self-service customer feedback machine. This terminal has two features:
  • A rating scale to collect feedback
  • A number pad to input the customer’s contact number.
Smiley terminal
Smiley terminal device


You’ll lose out on the smiley terminal’s time advantage if you can’t act on it at the right time.

To help you turn your customer reactions into action, the SurveySparrow Smiley Terminal is linked with SurveySparrow’s software. This software will help you instantly capture customer feedback, flag unhappy comments, assign them to the right person for action, and present the data for easy analysis.

You can sign up below for a free trial of the software.

Types of smiley terminals

Touch Terminal

With the smiley touch terminal, the customer can share their reaction onsite with the press of a button.

Sensor Terminal

This terminal creates a no-contact feedback experience. Your customer needs to come to the terminal and point their finger at the appropriate smiley feedback button. This movement will activate the sensor, and the response will be captured.

Kiosk Terminal

This customer feedback device can be on a stand or kiosk in a prominent position. It is ideal for locations that get a lot of footfalls (like malls, airports, banks, etc.).

Leveraging the Power of a Smiley Terminal: Examples from 8 Industries

1. Retail

Don’t you hate it when you scoop up a nice outfit at an online sale – only to realize it looked better in the picture? E-commerce is booming, but it lacks the gratification of in-person shopping for many.

For this reason, analysts predict that 75% of retail therapy will happen in offline stores. In addition, many brands that started online, like Amazon, Birchbox, and Zappos, have opened their offline locations.

A retailing survey on a smiley terminal is the perfect opportunity to:

  • Get onsite retail feedback from your customers during an ongoing purchase.
  • Set up real-time alerts for negative comments.
  • Compare the retail customer experience across store locations and set benchmarks.
  • Analyze customer sentiment at various points in time. E.g., Christmas shoppers tend to be “grumpier” than the average shoppers.
  • Spot trends and make the required changes at your store.

2. Automobile

If the product is the driver, the service is the co-driver. It is now the new key to automobile success, according to Gartner.

In other words, a great car can lead to a one-off sale. But fantastic service leads to recurring sales throughout the car’s lifespan. A real-time customer feedback tool can help dealerships understand what they need to change for achieving this.

From closing the deal after a test drive to accessories, bodywork, and maintenance, smiley feedback terminals connect the customer experience from end to end.

  • Get buyer reactions to prototype vehicles.
  • Get customer feedback on vehicles after test drives.
  • Map the customer experience across showrooms with post-purchase surveys.
  • Monitor customer satisfaction with service quality.
  • Identify the top-performing services.
  • Trigger alerts from responses by dissatisfied customers.
Smiley feedback button
Smiley button terminal

3. Healthcare

A word about inadequate healthcare spreads quicker than a virus nowadays. So if you are a healthcare provider, you want your patients to be telling you about their experience.

This feedback will help you understand how your customers perceive you and take action to improve the quality of care. The result? Higher patient satisfaction levels, faster acquisition, and long-term loyalty.

Few patients have the patience to wait around after an appointment. Smiley terminals, located in the lobby area or near waiting rooms, provide a quick, no-pressure way of collecting patient feedback.

  • Enable contactless, paperless feedback with smiley sensor terminals.
  • Gauge patient satisfaction with the services.
  • Identify and fix patient challenges.
  • Set measurable goals for your staff.
  • Advertise additional services on your kiosk panels.

4. Public Transport (trains, metro stations, buses, rental bikes, ferries, airports)

We are running out of space for cars. So, why don’t more people use public transport?

One reason is that the end-to-end customer experience is not viewed as a priority yet. For example, feedback options for the Prague Metro, one of the world’s best public transit systems, are limited to phone numbers.

As transit feedback systems, smiley terminals are both accurate and cost-effective.

  • Enable fast, contactless feedback at high footfall areas – like airport lounges, metro stations, and bus stops.
  • Get onsite information from passengers about the quality of the services.
  • Trigger alerts for passenger complaints and follow-ups.
  • Measure and benchmark the drivers of customer satisfaction: on-time arrival, service frequency, vehicle condition, driver behavior, etc.
  • Plan the incentives and contracts of PT (public transport) operators as per these metrics.
  • Map passenger touchpoints to increase service frequency and the number of vehicles.

5. Education Institutes

There’s more to higher education than, well, education.

Colleges and universities also support the basic life necessities of students. So their responsibilities include organizing student events, housing, food services, transport, parking, classes, personal development, and every aspect of student life.

Placing smiley terminals throughout the campus can allow the administration to:

  • Collect feedback about all things college-related – from the quality of the cafeteria food to the efficiency of the campus offices.
  • Analyze student feedback about the professors and coaches.
  • Get insights on the effectiveness of their lectures and the current courses.
  • Filter the data by date to compare student satisfaction levels over time.

6. Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG)

Another important sector is FMCG, am sure we have to speak about, right?

In the FMCG industry, smiley feedback button are a game-changer at point-of-sale locations. Imagine a customer trying a new flavor of a popular snack. Right there, a smiley terminal can ask for their immediate reaction: “Did you like our new flavor?” Customers can quickly tap a smiley or sad face, giving instant feedback. This data is a goldmine for FMCG companies. It helps them understand what works and what doesn’t, directly from their target audience.

  • Moreover, during promotional events, these terminals can engage customers more interactively.
  • For instance, after a product demo, the terminal could ask, “Would you recommend this product to a friend?” Such questions not only gather feedback but also subtly encourage customers to think about the product more deeply.
  • The real-time nature of this feedback allows FMCG companies to be agile. They can quickly tweak marketing strategies or even modify product formulations based on consumer sentiments.
  • Additionally, this direct consumer interaction builds a relationship; customers feel their opinions are valued, increasing brand loyalty.

7. E-Commerce

Branding yourself online and collecting feedback will turn your business upside down. Let’s dive in to learn how it works in the E-Commerce sector.

E-commerce platforms have a unique advantage in using virtual smiley terminals. These can be integrated seamlessly into the online shopping experience. For example, after completing a purchase, a pop-up could appear asking, “How easy was it to find your product?” with smiley feedback buttons as response options. This simple interaction can provide deep insights into user experience and website navigation.

  • Customer service interactions, often a critical part of e-commerce, can also benefit.
  • After a chat with a customer service representative, a quick question like “Was your issue resolved satisfactorily?” can be asked. This immediate feedback is invaluable for e-commerce platforms to continually refine their customer support.
  • Moreover, these terminals can gather data on customer preferences and shopping habits. E-commerce sites can use this information to personalize shopping experiences, recommend products, and even optimize website layouts.
  • It’s not just about improving user experience; it’s also about strategically using data to drive sales and customer engagement.

8. Banking

In the banking sector, smiley terminals at branches can significantly enhance customer experience. Positioned at exits or beside tellers, they can ask customers about their visit. Simple questions like “How long did you wait today?” or “Was our staff helpful?” can be answered with a quick tap on a smiley face.

This instant feedback helps banks identify pain points like long wait times or unhelpful staff interactions. Banks can then take targeted actions to address these issues, improving overall customer satisfaction. It’s also a great way to measure the effectiveness of new policies or services introduced by the bank.

Moreover, these terminals can make the feedback process less intimidating for customers.

  • Unlike lengthy surveys, a one-question interface is user-friendly and more likely to be used. This leads to higher response rates and more reliable data.
  • Incorporating this technology shows customers that the bank values their time and opinions, fostering a more customer-centric banking experience.
  • Over time, this can lead to increased customer loyalty and a stronger reputation for the bank in a competitive market.

How to use smiley terminals with SurveySparrow?

Survey creation is made easy and effective with SurveySparrow. Our engaging surveys can be quickly created and easily shared through mobile, link, SMS, QR, etc. We have features that make the survey collection and analyzing task process simpler.

Offline Survey App:

An offline survey app helps you to collect data, internet-free. Once the respondent completes the survey, the offline app captures & stores the data in real time and syncs it when an active connection is established.

The software helps you to gather data anytime, anywhere, at your convenience, and that of your users as well.

Offline surveys provide the opportunity to grasp customer reactions to a product/service they just experienced. This not only helps you get accurate data but validate the responses based on their reactions! Craft The Best Offline Surveys With SurveySparrow. Our surveys are entitled to

  • Visually-striking Surveys
  • Short & Crisp
  • Smart Surveys
  • Efficient follow-up

Smiley Terminal (Kiosk Surveys):

Sync your smiley terminal (kiosk devices) with SurveySparrow for streamlined feedback management. Gather all the real-time feedback from customers and employees, fresh out of an experience. Analyze the responses to best comprehend the feedback and make well-informed decisions. Get started with SurveySparrow for amazing results. Sign up today!

Wrapping Up

That’s all, folks. In this article, we’ve covered all you need to know about the SurveySparrow smiley button terminal, from the types of hardware available to the powerful software behind them.

We have also talked about how you can successfully deploy it in your business to collect ‘at-the-moment’ feedback, based on our use cases for five sectors. We’re sure you can think of even more!

Happy surveying!


How does a Smiley Terminal improve customer feedback collection?

It simplifies the feedback process. Instead of filling out lengthy surveys, customers can quickly tap a smiley feedback button that corresponds to their experience, making it more likely they’ll provide feedback.

Can Smiley Terminals measure more specific feedback than just general satisfaction?

Yes, they can be programmed to ask specific questions about different aspects of the customer experience, such as cleanliness, staff friendliness, or service speed.

How do customers generally respond to using Smiley Terminals?

Customers often appreciate the ease and speed of using Smiley Terminals, as they offer a non-intrusive and quick way to express their opinions.

What are the limitations of using a Smiley Terminal for feedback?

Smiley Terminals provide limited qualitative data and may not capture detailed feedback about specific issues. They are best used for general satisfaction levels.

Can these terminals replace traditional customer feedback methods?

While they offer a quick and efficient way to gauge customer sentiment, they should complement, rather than replace, more detailed feedback methods like surveys or focus groups.

Parvathi Vijayamohan

Growth Marketer at SurveySparrow

Fledgling growth marketer. Cloud watcher. Aunty to a naughty beagle.

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