How does one measure something intangible? How do we find out how our customers feel and quantify it in the least intrusive way possible? These are some of the questions that drove us to creating our own way of measuring happiness. This is the story of how we did it.

Hap·pi·ness (hapēnəs) is a noun defined as the state of being happy. It has synonyms like pleasure, contentment, satisfaction, cheerfulness, merriment, gaiety, joy, joyfulness, joviality, jollity, glee, delight, good spirits, lightheartedness, well-being, enjoyment; exuberance, exhilaration, elation, ecstasy, jubilation, rapture, bliss, blissfulness and euphoria.

All these words describe a state of being, when dealing with people and as a business we want the people we interact with to feel all of these things every time. Now, I know that sometimes its not possible to deposit joy in some circumstances such as tragedy, but more on that later.


Scouring the internet we found there had been attempts to achieve this feat, in fact the closest to success were Customer Thermometer and  Smiley. They also used email signatures to gather customer feedback. We decided that to build our own solution and we needed it to be even simpler than the existing ones.

We needed to know if customers were very happy, happy, neutral, sad or very sad after interacting with us. So we set up an email signature with five faces, one for each emotion and linked the faces to a thank you page that tallied the emotion and asked for detailed feedback.


Clicking a face sends your feedback in a few seconds

The response was immediate and we felt we had something going from the very beginning. Before we added the instruction to “Click on a face to give us your feedback”, the first few respondents just replied to the email saying they felt good, so we enhanced it further by adding descriptions below each face.

When a customer clicks on a face they’re taken to this page which thanks them for their feedback and asks if they would like to provide a more detailed response.

Thank you message after clicking on a face.

Thank you message after clicking on a face.

If they want to provide more information they do so though this form.


The form for more details with optional contact fields


After we rolled out the email signatures to various departments we started to get increased feedback and as click rates went up a new idea was born. We needed to have an index that showed on a scale of 0 to 10 how much happiness had actually been generated.

Immediately we begun working on various formulae for a Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) by assigning a weight to each emotion to measure how happy our customers were. A CSI is a number between 0 and 10 with 10 being extremely happy and 0 being extremely depressed.

We decided to reward extreme happiness with a ‘pie’ (π) and penalize extreme sorrow by taking away a pie. Making a customer merely happy earned you half a pie and making a customer a little sad meant you lost half a pie. This left us with the neutral emotion which meant you did your job and that earned you 1 point for trying.


Our mathematical formula for happiness

The formula worked extremely well as we could now tell exactly which departments made customers extremely happy and compare them to each other. We shared it the results with the departments at the end of every month. This birthed a spirit of competitiveness in making customers happy.

Departments can compete for the top spot in happiness generation..

Here are the results from the first month of feedback gathering…

Sometimes the customers we deal with have gone through serious distress. Our role is to help them in the best way possible by delivering our best care with understanding.

Now that happiness is measured all that is left to do is to make a lot more of it. And that’s the story of how we measured happiness.


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