Thingsquare-based IoT Case Study: Measuring Customer Satisfaction at Scale

TryLikes' wireless smiley buttons provide unique insights into customers' shopping behavior

Adam Dunkels, Thingsquare CEOBy Adam Dunkels, Thingsquare CEO – November 01, 2018

TryLikes makes wireless smiley buttons that you can press to let stores know how you feel about them. If you have been to a McDonald’s or a Media Markt in Amsterdam recently, you may already have seen them. These buttons are built with the Thingsquare IoT platform.

Retail stores traditionally have very limited ways to gain insights into how their customers feel like shopping in their stores. This makes shops miss opportunities to cater better for their customers, thus losing out on business opportunities.

TryLikes provide wireless buttons that allow stores to ask questions to their customers and get immediate feedback. This means that businesses can tailor their shop for what their customers really want, ultimately making better business – and more money.

“The fact that the buttons are truly wireless makes us unique,” explains Janneke van den Heuvel, TryLikes co-founder. “Existing customer feedback solutions require rigid planning and costly installation. Our buttons can be quickly put in place, and placed on places like windows, panels, and other places where a large button installation would not work.”

The fact that the buttons are truly wireless makes us unique
Startup co-founder and CEO Janneke van den Heuvel

Janneke van den Heuvel

TryLikes co-founder

Each button has a smiley face that conveys the feel of that particular button. The face of each button can easily be swapped, depending on what purpose they are being used for.

Every button press is collected and analyzed. The store owner both gets a periodic report and can see the data being collected in real time.

“We need truly wireless, battery-powered buttons with real-time data. Thanks to Thingsquare, we don’t have to worry about the wireless range or about switching batteries,” says Steven Kroon, TryLikes co-founder. “Our customers can start to collect answers to their customer questions in just a few minutes.”

Thanks to Thingsquare, we don’t have to worry about the wireless range or about switching batteries
Startup TryLikes co-founder Steven Kroon

Steven Kroon

TryLikes co-founder

The Challenge

Customer satisfaction buttons must be reliable and sturdy, yet quick and easy to install. They must be possible to install in large-scale facilities where there may be people moving at any time of the day.

The requirement for truly wireless buttons means that each button must be battery-powered. And since the buttons are deployed at large scales, it is not feasible to swap batteries more than once per year. This rules out wireless technologies such as WiFi, which both have problems with range and power consumption.

Depending on where a button is installed, it may generate a significant amount of traffic. The timing and duration of each button press must be reliably reported, as it contributes to the final quality of the data reported to the customer. This makes long-range, low-data rate technologies a bad fit.

The Solution

The TryLikes buttons use a wireless chip in each button, running the Thingsquare wireless mesh system. The buttons are securely connected to the Internet through a wireless access point. Each access point can support many hundreds of buttons per installation.

To easily extend the range of the wireless network, wireless repeaters can be installed throughout the store at which the buttons are installed. The system will automatically find the best repeaters to use, and no manual configuration is necessary.

The button presses that the buttons report are immediately transported to the TryLikes database backend, at which they are fed into the customer analytics solution.

Thingsquare provide exceptionally low power consumption for the devices in the network. This allow the TryLikes buttons to operate with only two AAA batteries in each button.

The two AAA batteries give each button a lifetime of years. And when the batteries are low, the system automatically indicates which buttons that need fresh batteries.

Technical Details

Software The Thingsquare platform
Thingsquare mobile app for installation
Custom backend Node.js integration with existing data analytics solutions
Hardware Custom button hardware, custom extender and access point hardware
Wireless technology 868 / 915 MHz
Network size 100+ buttons
Wireless range 100+ meters
Deployment type Indoor
Device power Battery powered

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