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Customer feedback tips

How to get your customers to return: measuring peak-end experiences 

Part two: When, where and how to measure peak-end experiences. And what do you ask? 

In part one we discussed the peak-end rule and the importance of triggering positive emotions to drive customer satisfaction and loyalty. We also shared a few examples of how companies create positive peak and end experiences. In this second part, we’ll discuss when, where, how and what to measure, so that you get meaningful insights to improve customer satisfaction. 

When – ask for feedback at the right time

For the peak-end rule, your intent is to find out what people feel at the start and end of an experience, and you should aim to measure your customer satisfaction as close to the peak and the end as possible. This is because it captures the customer’s emotions (a.k.a. emotional data) in real-time. It gives you the benefit of knowing exactly what your customer felt at that exact moment, while also pinpoints where and when they felt it.  

Having an easy-to-understand and data-driven solution readily at hand will help you to focus on what matters the most: improving customer experiences. For example, our clients enjoy on average around 30% less unhappy customers after their first 12 months using the HappyOrNot solution.  

Where – ask for feedback in the right place(s)

In eCommerce, you want to ask customers what they feel at the end of the experience, but where that is depends on what they are doing. For many businesses, the end of the experience is considered at the purchase confirmation page. Ending the experience tracking here, however, means that you will only reach those who completed a transaction. You should not only offer a customer survey on the checkout page, but also along other important stages of the customer journey so that you don’t miss out on critical non-buyer feedback.  

Also, remember that that the customer’s journey continues post-purchase It can be a good idea to measure satisfaction for customer support chats and delivery emails. Post-purchase follow-up surveys can also be a great way to collect targeted feedback at the time when you’re asking them for a review. 

For in-person experiences it’s often more straightforward. Measuring customer satisfaction at the end experience is arguably most important. The exit near the main doors, the curb side pickup area or separate product pickup point (sometimes self-service automates) and home delivery. These are common options for many types of retail, like home appliances & electronics, grocery, and even the emerging pharmaceutical retail, just to mention a few. 

Of course, for in-person experiences, the journey is likely to have started earlier (e.g. online) continue afterwards (return or exchange, customer support). In all cases, it’s crucial to map your customer journey, and based on the findings, decide where the key moments are when peak or end experiences can occur. 

How – ask for feedback in the right way

How to ask for customer feedback in the right way with the right method is an incredibly important part of moving towards being able to improve customer satisfaction and experiences. Here are a few key things that should be considered:  

  • Asking the customer too many questions, even when they’re fast and easy, is likely to cause survey fatigue, leading to data reliability issues  
  • Presenting the survey question(s) in an uninviting way will reduce response rates, meaning you’re not get enough data to make informed decisions. 
  • Attempting to capture people’s contact information up-front may cause them to alter their responses and not answer as honestly as they would do if the surveys were fully anonymous.   

To capture relevant and reliable customer feedback, follow these rules of thumb: 

  • Ask fewer questions and in a way that is engaging and takes seconds to respond 
  • Ask only where it matters the most, and on questions that you can do something about 
  • Finally, strongly consider informing respondents that the surveys are anonymous (if they are). 

The team at HappyOrNot is committed to providing the most frictionless surveys in the world, now and in the future. This informs our roadmap: When we develop new solution components, it’s always with simplicity in mind. 

What – ask for feedback that can be acted on

We already established that less is more, and simple is better than complex.  Our solution works in a way that you don’t necessarily need to identify the peak moment, meaning capturing customer feedback at the end moment of the experience will deliver feedback insights you can use to make informed, data-driven decisions that have meaningful impact on your business. Here’s how to get actionable feedback data. 

Start by asking how the person feels. We do this with the four Smileys. One simple button press, frictionless, anonymous, yet subtly asking customers to choose if they’re Happy or Not. The Smileys are designed in a way that engages and attracts users to respond. Friendly, inviting, and feedback in a one simple touch.

HappyOrNot 4 Smileys

Example: HappyOrNot survey question

Follow up with asking why the person feels that way. Remember: the peak and the end experiences can be either positive or negative, and so having two flows for each emotion is crucial.  If a customer had a positive experience and chose one of the green Smileys, follow up to ask what was good (the “why” of the positive feedback). The “why” can be 2-6 options that are specific to your services, and the customer selects the one most relevant to them.  If a customer had a negative experience and chose one of the red Smileys, follow up to ask what can be improved.  

HappyOrNot follow up feedback pain points

Example: HappyOrNot follow up feedback pain points

The follow up is the step where you learn about the peak experience. For example, most of our retail clients have trained their staff on how to serve customers best, such as greeting the customer as they arrive, asking if they need help, providing additional information about products, etc.. Any of those moments of staff interaction could be a (positive or negative) peak experience for a customer.  By following up to ask the “why”, you learn the key drivers behind customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

Allow customers to tell you more. Especially in digital surveys, typing in additional text is easy, so offering the opportunity to leave an open comment is a great way to get golden nuggets of feedback insights, especially when mapped to the follow up options and initial survey response This gives you more qualitative information which can help you to deep-dive into the reasons for good or poor feedback. 

HappyOrNot open feedback

Example: HappyOrNot open feedback

As discussed at the outro of part 1, it might feel overwhelming to create the customer journey map with those ‘episodes’, but it is an important exercise that will deliver benefits, instantly and over time. It will reveal when, where, and how you should check in with your customers, and help you to continuously create better experiences.


Björn Wigforss 
Customer Success Director EMEA at HappyOrNot  

  • Customer experience
  • Customer feedback tips