At Scoutbase we are working hard to build a digital platform for the maritime and offshore industries which helps you identify safety-related challenges in everyday work — before they turn into accidents.
Probably the most crucial part of this is getting seafarers to share their experiences on board.
Next to doing our own research and testing prototypes we are always on the lookout for how companies in other industries solved similar challenges.
Learning about the Finnish company HappyOrNot and how they found a way to get people to give them colossal amounts of feedback data was both insightful and inspiring.
Why feedback is important
In recent years more and more companies have started to realise that they need to learn more about their customers, users, and frontline staff. They are keen to learn how they can offer a better experience to their customers, optimise productivity or, engage their staff better.
This growing interest in learning directly from customers and staff is why these days it is hard to escape the flood of feedback forms, requests to rate, give stars and write reviews.
This, of course, makes a lot of sense because in a world with ever-growing competition it is essential to identify what creates a good or bad experience for the customer. The goal here is first of all, of course, to make the customer come back and stand out from the competition, but there is more to it: Happy patients are more receptive to treatments, satisfied customers buy more and engaged employees get more done.
Unfortunately, it is extremely hard to get people to do something they don’t already want to do. For most filling out feedback forms falls into that category.
But somehow the Finnish company “HappyOrNot” found a unique and tremendously successful way of gathering tons of feedback data for their clients. Let’s have a look at how they do it.
The creation of a new channel
HappyOrNot is a Finnish company that provides its customers with kiosks like the one in the picture above.
Using them to give feedback is as simple as you would think it is. You see one of these in an airport, shop or somewhere else, often close to the spot where you end a certain experience, say finishing going through security at the airport. You press the button and voila you are done.
That’s it. No having to add email addresses, phone numbers or anything else.
The company (e.g. airport) then gets your feedback, and that of hundreds of others visualized on a dashboard where they can follow the development and change in feedback live.
Depending on where the terminal is positioned the airport get thousands of data points each day.
Of course, making the use of the terminal this quick and easy has a flipside: The data itself does not tell you what actually caused people to be frustrated at the security check — No cause or deeper context is being collected.
The reason why it is still tremendously valuable information is because, for most companies, this is an entirely new set of data. This data makes it now possible to start investigations into what is causing problems, that are more targeted and supported by evidence.
Why do people press buttons?
Getting feedback from people is something a lot of companies are struggling with. Their approaches generally range from simple star-type rating all the way to multi-page survey or feedback form.
But there are a few things that this Finnish company is doing differently:
- First off, and most obviously, giving your data is literally as easy as pressing a button. It’s almost insultingly easy. Also, there is extremely little cognitive effort needed. There is not even a split second needed to understand what’s what — You brain immediately knows what button to press.
- You know what is going to happen. You know that it will only be one press of a button. It is very clear that your button press will not be followed up by, say, you having to input your email address or even another question.
- Let’s be honest it looks fun. The overall look of it is less serious and professional and more playful, non-threatening and plain fun.
- Also, the bright colors make the buttons great triggers for our attention. They are, to use a terms from the field of behavioural design, nudges for behaviour.
- The positioning is key. They are positioned right where your experience happens. They are a trigger for behavior at the exact right place. If I was asked about my experience at airport security later in the day, when I already arrived back home, I don’t think I would press any buttons or give any feedback. The HappyOrNot terminals ask the right question at the right time.
- Lastly, it is completely anonymous. In contrast to our digital lives, where every click can trigger targeted ads for a lifetime a press of a button will be without any further consequences.
What I learned from the success of HappyOrNot
There are are lot of interesting points to HappyOrNot and their terminals but, to me, three key learnings stand out:
- First off there is a growing demand for technology solutions that help us understand people better. There is a large consensus by now, that people act irrationally and that their actions are notoriously hard to understand or predict. So anything that helps organisations get a better understanding of what works or doesn’t can be highly valuable.
- They don’t ask people to do something most people wouldn’t want to: filling out a form. Quite the opposite: they designed their tool around the needs of the people they want to learn from. By making it stupidly easy and fast give your data and by asking you at the perfect time and location they designed a way of gathering data that does not bother or annoy people.
- They also did not create a tool that claims to have all the answers, but rather they created a set of data that can be used further. This data can be at the start of a process of continuous improvement and help make better decisions based on customer feedback.
Personally, what I found inspiring about HappyOrNot is how they found a great way of getting users to engage – one that works very well for the data and insights they are trying to get.
This is what we at Scoutbase have been working on in the past few months: finding the right way of getting seafarers to share their experiences on board.
We will share more about our journey to finding the right way to engage seafarers shortly.
Pressing the right buttons — How feedback terminals capture experiences was originally published in Scoutbase — Realtime Leading Safety Indicators on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.