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Start collecting customer feedback with the Smiley face rating system

The smiley face rating system is a simple and straightforward way of collecting information about how your customers feel and how satisfied they are. The HappyOrNot smiley face rating system contains four different colored smileys in the form of a button. This way, customers can let you know what they think anonymously and with the press of a single button.

Although it might not seem like a big deal, what you use to capture people’s feedback and the elements used in a survey scale do matter. For example, numerical values are a very common way of collecting customer feedback. However, you may end up with very different results if you decide to use numerical values as opposed to words that describe the customer’s experience. The problem is that people interpret things differently due to many different factors.

For example, culture plays a big role in what someone might consider being a number 4 on a 1 to 10 scale. Similarly, when describing something with words, what is ‘quite good’ for one person can be ‘great’ for someone else. Here’s where smiley faces come in.


Why use smiley faces?

The smiley face makes for an excellent tool to be used in a rating system. In most countries and cultures, people tend to interpret facial expressions in similar ways. A smiling face is almost universally seen as a sign of happiness and approval, whereas a sad or angry face expresses disapproval.

As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. This is definitely true in the case of smiley faces as well. The smiley face rating system compresses a large amount of information into just a few simple icons and perhaps a sentence-long question. It is much easier and faster to click an easily recognizable face than decide between multiple numeric values or words. By boiling down the option to a simple icon, the person answering a question does not get confused about what the different options actually mean.

The use of colors in smiley face surveys

While the smiley face rating system with black and white smileys alone would be enough to help people express their opinions, the use of color can help a lot. When adding colors into the mix to further enhance the smiley face rating system, we should think about the colors that are being used and what effect they have. 

Although different colors have different associations across cultures and nations, most, if not all, are familiar with traffic lights. Ask anyone what the colors green, yellow and red stand for in traffic lights and they’re sure to know the answer. The weight of the colors and how dark the color is can be used as well. This is why smiley faces and the familiar traffic lights make a great combination for a rating system. 

When you use colors in a rating system, such as the colors in traffic lights, answering the questions becomes easier. By choosing the right colors for a rating system, you can enhance comprehension. When the colors are ones that intuitively make sense, the person answering a question does not need to think too hard about what the different options mean. The colors alone are enough to get an idea of the meaning of different options.

Where can smiley faces be used?

Smiley faces are a great way to gather information about customers’ level of satisfaction and improve the experience to get them coming back. Getting the right type of feedback on customer experience can help employees improve as well.

The smiley face rating system can be used to gather information about the user experience in different contexts.


A positive user experience is crucial for retail companies. Happy customers will come back and are ready to pay more for a good experience at a retail location. On the other hand, this is true for other retail stores as well: customers who are not satisfied with their experience can choose your competitor instead. Retail services can use the smiley rating both in their physical location as well as online.


The importance of trust between a patient and their healthcare provider cannot be understated. No matter the kind of healthcare provider, knowing what clients think and feel about the service they get has great value.


Good service and customer experience equal loyal and happy customers. Customer feedback is at the heart of improving service. Whether it’s a restaurant serving food, a cleaning service, hairdresser or any other service, keeping customers happy keeps them coming back. By rating a service, customers can provide valuable information that can then be used to improve the service.

Simplify rating scales with the smiley face rating system

How does HappyOrNot help you and your business to improve and measure customer satisfaction? Collecting reliable feedback might seem like a hard task, so it can be tempting to continue doing things the usual way or just guess what the customers think. However, HappyOrNot helps customers rate their service in a way that’s fast, easy, and most importantly, fun.

With the help of HappyOrNot and our smiley face rating system, the feedback you get from customers is reliable and trustworthy. Because HappyOrNot allows customers to give feedback anonymously, you can be sure that your customers are being honest. In addition, your customers are able to share their feelings as they experience them, and not days or weeks later. 

HappyOrNot covers all touchpoints, both online and offline. That way you can identify places that need improvement, but also where you are doing well. The ratings help you see improvement in customer satisfaction over time in a reliable way. You can also see how you and your business or organization are standing in comparison to your competitors.

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