Happy Or Not Machines and similar feedback terminals may spread COVID-19

Contactless Alternatives to Happy or Not Kiosks and Similar Terminals

If you’ve been relying on kiosks like Happy or Not machines to capture customer feedback you have a problem. World leaders and health experts are pleading with the public to avoid touching each other, practice proper hand hygiene and basically try not to become a vehicle for COVID-19 transmission. It would, therefore, be counterintuitive for you to be asking all your customers to touch the same device as they leave your premises. That leaves you with the option to stop collecting feedback or to seek a contactless alternative to feedback kiosks. Stopping the collection of feedback completely might seem like a good idea at the moment, as it would help reduce costs. But now might be the most important time ever to be capturing feedback in your stores or restaurants. You need to know what customers think about your social distancing measures and how staff are following guidelines because you don’t want to be the headline in a story about a COVID-19 cluster. That would be catastrophic.

It’s Not Just Happy or Not Type Kiosks that Are Problematical

Some other common feedback channels are also problematical during the COVID-19 emergency because they’re not contactless feedback solutions.  

1. Paper-Based Feedback

Even the original paper-based option runs into problems in the context of COVID-19. People don’t carry pens anymore and leaving a pen out for people to use means your solution is no longer contactless.

2. Chip-and-Pin Keypad-Based Feedback

Solutions that involve customers entering a number on a chip-and-pin pad are not contactless. The raising of limits on contactless payment and rapid adoption of tap to pay means much fewer customers will touch the pad at all. And those that do will be much less likely to be touching it more than required. Instead, they’ll be looking for the hand sanitizer (which should be right beside the pad).

3. Tablet-Based Feedback

As well as using tablets in place of Happy or Not terminals, it has also become popular to use a tablet in place of a paper bill in restaurants and capture feedback during the payment process. Customers are likely to feel uncomfortable with such interactions for the foreseeable future so it may be wise to revert to a paper bill.

What Are the Best Alternatives to Happy or Not Terminals and Similar Customer Feedback Kiosks?

Happy or Not kiosks are used in physical locations where it can be difficult to capture feedback. In most cases, you don’t have access to customer details like emails and phone numbers, so you can’t send the customer a survey digitally. So what are the best contactless feedback channels you can use to monitor customer experience in your stores and restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic?

1. Mystery Shoppers

Mystery shoppers are a tried and tested way to capture data around the customer experience in retail stores and restaurants. However, there are many reasons why they are no longer as effective as they were twenty years ago (I’ve covered those previously). In the context of COVID-19, the biggest problem is that you’re only allowed a certain number of customers in your store at any one time. Hence the massive queues we’re seeing outside stores etc. Do you really want to pay someone to stand in a queue and take up one of those spots?

2. Web-Based Surveys

Again, web-based surveys have been around a long time and are widely used to capture feedback in physical locations. Survey Monkey is probably the most well-known brand but there are dozens of solutions targeted at chain stores.

3. Messaging-Based Surveys

Messaging-based surveys are a new innovation in the customer experience monitoring space. Customers respond to questions delivered by a survey bot over popular messaging apps like Facebook Messenger. ServiceDock brought the first messaging-based survey solution to market back in 2018 and it has become an increasingly popular channel since. The main reasons are the ease with which customers can engage on mobile devices, which boosts engagement, and the way the messaging channel makes closing the feedback loop effortless for the business. Try a messaging-based survey by clicking here.

4. Video-Based Surveys

Capturing customer feedback via video has become increasingly popular and it’s contactless. However, video-based feedback is generally captured within the context of a web or messaging interaction so it’s really a medium rather than a separate channel.

How to Prompt Customers to Complete Your Contactless Survey

Mystery shoppers negate the need for customer engagement because you’re paying someone to pretend to be a shopper and tell you all about the experience. So if you’re looking to capture genuine customer feedback in a contactless channel, you’re left with options 2 and 3. The key challenge with these options is the initial friction of getting customers to take their phones out of their pockets to do the survey. We’ve covered how to improve the user experience of your survey and increase response rates in detail here. That post will give you lots of ideas and tips about incentives and signage etc. Ultimately, I think QR codes and NFC tags may finally get their moments in the sun. You can add beacons to that list if you have your own branded app and it’s been downloaded by a meaningful proportion of your customers.

Get Started with Contactless Feedback Channels Today

As I said at the start of this blog post, capturing customer feedback in physical locations may never have been more important. It can directly impact on the health and well-being of both your customers and staff. You could be using it to ask customers for suggestions on how you can improve your way of working during the pandemic. Happy or Not kiosks and similar solutions get good engagement and can add value in the right context (ServiceDock offers a tablet-based solution), but in the current context they potentially create more problems than they solve. No business wants to feature in any headlines about a COVID-19 cluster. Times will be tough enough for the next 12 months without adding that burden to your brand. Staying on top of what’s going on your stores and restaurants with an effective contactless customer feedback solution is a key tactic that will help you prevent that from happening.
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Contactless Alternatives to Happy or Not Kiosks and Similar Feedback Terminals

by Oisin Ryan time to read: 4 min