Providing a world class service for students and recognising staff efforts.

”Receiving this feedback, immediately after an interaction, allows us to acknowledge staff who are delivering exceptional service to our student community and take instant action if improvements are needed.” Joanna Scarbrough Group Director Student Services & Administration Auckland University of Technology.

A focus on how satisfied students are with the services offered

Auckland University of Technology (AUT) is New Zealand’s second largest and fastest growing university.  In times gone by, AUT had always proactively surveyed students, but the traditional methods were costly, time consuming, and results were not available in a timely manner.
AUT implemented HappyOrNot’s Smiley Terminals in the student hubs and student support services throughout their campuses in 2016. Using 10 of the Smiley face devices in the Student Services and Administration (SS&A) area to measure student satisfaction with the services provided.

Originally AUT used some of the terminals at events across the university to gauge responses on speakers, workshops, orientation etc. as well as dedicated spaces in a few of the larger service area location. While this provided a good way to collect feedback at the end of 2016, they wanted to refocus the use of the devices to support the vision of ‘understanding how satisfied our students were with the services that we provided’. At this point, they redeployed the terminals to the SS&A service areas asking a similar question “please rate our service today?” across all areas to provide comparisons.
By the end of 2017, AUT received over 10,000 responses from students, with a satisfaction rating of 95%. This score validated the service level, but also allowed them to make changes to the service offering.

Improve service levels by adjusting staff lunch breaks

One location was receiving several unhappy responses during the lunch period. Although a roster was in place, further investigation identified that staff weren’t taking their breaks at the agreed time, leaving the location short staffed. After addressing this with staff and adjusting the staff lunch breaks, there was a noticeable decline in the unhappy responses for the lunch period.
we have been surprised and pleased to see the quantity of positive comments
While happy with the results from HappyOrNot, Shelley Tasele, Portfolio Manager SS&A, really wanted to understand why the students were happy or not.
They wanted more in-depth feedback to better understand and accommodate issues or positive initiatives.
In 2018, AUT implemented HappyOrNot’s new ’Smiley Touch’ tablet solution. While still focusing on a single question, with the familiar Smiley Faces, students were also able to provide reasons for their response and comments to provide further jusification. The additional feedback has
provided the additional level of feedback AUT was looking for.

Joanna Scarbrough, says since deploying the upgraded HappyorNot devices, AUT has been pleased to see the number of positive comments about their services and their staff.
”Our student’s feedback allows us to gauge the quality of the support services which can contribute to their academic success.”

About the customer

AUT is a contemporary New Zealand university, focusing on student success, research and industry connectivity. AUT is the second largest university in New Zealand and has established itself as an institution of global standing and impact.


  • HappyOrNot has helped AUT to:
    ○ Give their students a voice
    ○ Provide a simple, cost effective solution to collect timely feedback
    ○ Improve service levels by adjusting rosters
    ○ Provide a mechanism for recognising the great efforts that staff undertake in delivering a great student experience.
  • Offering a world class service. AUT has received over 15,000 feedback, since 2016, from students at a satisfaction rating of 95% putting them in the top 20% of education organisations, using HappyOrNot, around the world.
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