A Complete Guide to Likert Scale Survey Questions

Customer feedback is an integral part of shaping an experience that customers want to keep coming back to. When it comes to analysing the feedback of your valued customers, determining their attitudes is one of the most valuable. As the old adage goes, attitudes are infectious, and they apply directly to the way your brand is perceived and accepted. Out of the many psychological evaluations developed to measure satisfaction, the Likert scale for survey questions is the most widely used. We’ll be showing you exactly what this research scale is, why it works so well, and how to use it.

Likert-Scale-Survey-Questions-and-Guide

What is the Likert scale?

The Likert scale rates questionnaire responses reflecting how strongly customers feel towards aspects of your business. Attitude intensity and the degree of satisfaction or dissatisfaction or another opinion are reflected through a multiple-point scale. The original rating format was invented in 1932 by University of Michigan psychologist Rensis Likert and was based on a spectrum of seven integers assigned to attitude values.

The Likert rating format for surveys poses a statement that the customer then has to agree or disagree with, called a Likert item. How much they agree or disagree is then selected from a range of options, which has a preassigned numeric value.

Each customer feedback survey prompt and its responses classify as a Likert item, otherwise known as a Likert-type question or statement. Multiple Likert items make up a Likert scale, aggregating customer attitudes, and opinions across your survey.

Here’s an example of the most popular, five-point Likert scale:

Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree Nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree

Once feedback has been obtained on a Likert item, the scores of multiple surveys are aggregated to determine a satisfaction range. A five-point Likert scale thus puts the attitude, opinion, or satisfaction range at:

  • Strongly Disagree: 1 – 1.8
  • Disagree – 1.9 – 2.6
  • Neutral – 2.7 – 3.4
  • Agree – 3.4 – 4.2
  • Strongly Agree – 4.3 – 5

A seven-point Likert scale is as follows:

Strongly Agree Agree Somewhat Agree Neither Agree Nor Disagree Somewhat Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree

The greater the scale, the more potential it has to reveal and explain your customers’ point of view. As the scope of understanding broadens, the risk of error rises too. Another drawback is how customers are typically deterred from longer scales, finding them confusing or perceiving them as time-consuming. 

As you may notice, Likert scales are almost always odd with a midway point. Without providing one, truly neutral customers are forced to take a side recording an erroneous opinion that leads to inaccurately biased attitude results unless the Likert item is correctly formulated for the scale.

What is the optimal Liker scale to use?

In most cases, using a Likert scale larger than seven or lower than five leads to inaccuracy. A Likert scale of five is optimal for most items and businesses, providing the highest accuracy. Five-point scales are unobtrusive, taking little time and attention for customers to welcome giving out their feedback. The results are unambiguous, reflecting a definite strength of opinion expressed adequately without frustration. There’s not much room to deviate towards something incorrectly expressed nor risk misreading attitudes.

The best customer response rating items to use on your scale depend on the opinion you’re trying to determine. It ultimately comes down to what data you’re collecting. Some customer attitudes can be as simple as ‘Agree’ and ‘Disagree.’ Whereas, complex statements pooling responses concerning a large set of objects may need something as long as eleven points ranging from ‘Very Strongly Disagree’ to ‘Very Strongly Agree.’ Most companies find that they only ever need to increase their scale when variance needs to be determined on hard-to-decide evenly-spread feedback.

How to design questions suited to the Likert scale

Likert-type questions are any questions suited to collecting a customer’s opinion. There are many different approaches to formulating functional, useful Likert scales. Follow our selection of upcoming tips, and you’ll have well-structured Likert items and scales ready to be tested and improved upon in no time.

  1. Associate attitudes with questions or statements: Start by determining which words are associated with expressing your customers’ feelings when interacting with your brand, shopping online, or visiting your store. Think of all of the words that could be used to express an attitude towards the focus of your survey and list them down.

  2. Decide between questions and statements: Both questions and statements are suitable Likert items. Decide which you intend to use, perhaps modelling both a question and statement for each item in the scale to derive the opinion or attitude you’re looking for—having both options before you makes it easier to see which will work best for your survey intent.

  3. Formulate your Likert-type questions and statements: List all of the possible Likert items that you can come up with for determining opinions and attitudes towards your brand, product, service, or general customer experience. Correlate your Likert-type questions and statements with the attitudes you listed earlier and formulate fitting responses to use on your multiple-choice scales.

  4. Write crystal clear Likert-type questions: Leave no room for misunderstanding. Pose your questions clearly and make sure that the response options offer definite criteria. ‘Sometimes’ doesn’t tell you anything, whereas ‘Once Weekly’ does. If you’ve done all you can to clarify your Likert items but are still wary of miscommunication, introduce the question or statement, giving a brief explanation of what the responses mean.

  5. Write Likert items suited to your audience: Write Likert items using language and in a style that your demographic will be familiar with. If your survey is not relatable and easy to understand at a glance, it’ll deter respondents. Stay away from jargon. Use conversational speech instead of complicated or confusing technical copy.

  6. Use neutral language in your Likert items: Unless you’re gauging agreement, keep Likert-type questions and statements neutral. Presenting Likert items inclusive of a bias will most likely lead to inaccurate results due to leading the respondent towards a choice, confusion, or, at times, a complete disregard for the manner of phrasing.

  7. Judge and rate the items you’ve devised: Get an outside opinion on the items you’ve come up with. Allow several people to judge and rate your Likert items and adjust according to the findings of your feedback.

Examples of Likert scale survey questions

The feedback collected by various Likert scales can be classified into four main response styles – Agreement, Feasibility, Satisfaction & Urgency. Keep in mind, these four categories serve as guidance for creating your own Likert items, which can be any neutral statement or question as long as it correlates opinions or attitudes. Let’s take a closer look at our examples.

Agreement
The most fundamental Likert scale items are Agreement statements. Respondents will simply agree or disagree with whatever you are putting forth. Agreement Likert items are easy to write, but we recommend adding a second Likert item confirming the same information. If you present ‘The checkout was easy to navigate,’ confirm your findings later in the survey with another question such as ‘How happy are you with our checkout system?’ or ‘How happy are you with the ease-of-use of our checkout?’.

Here are a few common examples of Agreement Likert scale questions/items:

  • The checkout was easy to navigate
  • I received the product I expected
  • The store layout is easy to navigate
  • Customer service was quick to respond
  • Sales answered all my questions

Here’s an example of an Agreement Likert Scale:

Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree Nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree
The online store is easy to navigate
Customer service is quick to respond and resolve queries
I received my product as it was advertised

Feasibility
Feasibility Likert scale questions, statements, and responses determine the likelihood of an event such as a customer buying a particular product, recommending your brand or service, or subscribing to a rewards program. Likert scales measuring feasibility are one of the few that can be even-numbered without a middle point—determining the probability of opting for or against leaves no room for measuring neutral opinions, forcing everyone to answer.

Here are a few common examples of Feasibility Likert scale questions/items:

  • I would recommend this store/service/product to my friends and family
  • I will buy this product here again
  • I would use a coupon if one were sent to my phone
  • I would subscribe to a newsletter if one were offered via email
  • I would opt into a membership card program

Here’s an example of a Feasibility/Probability Likert Scale:

Highly Likely Likely Neutral Unlikely Highly Unlikely
I would recommend this store
I would opt into a membership rewards program

Satisfaction
Satisfaction Likert scale items, questions, and responses capture subjective views granting the attitude of your customers towards an area of business. Both the satisfaction of products and services and the customer experience can be gauged using the right questions or items.

Here are a few common examples of Satisfaction Likert scale questions/items:

  • How happy are you with how fast customer service attended to your query
  • How happy are you with how your questions were answered?
  • How happy are you with our variety?
  • How happy are you with our affordability?
  • How happy are you with checkout times?

Here’s an example of a Satisfaction Likert Scale:

Very Happy Happy Neutral Not Very Happy Not At All Happy
How happy are you with customer service speed?
How happy are you with the pricing of our products?
How happy are you with our discounts offered?

Urgency

Urgency or Importance Likert scale items, questions, and their responses are best used as an accompaniment to more definite questions and statements. Items concerning importance will determine how strongly customers feel about an aspect of your business, a product, service, or general experience.

Here are a few common examples of Importance Likert scale questions/items:

  • How important is 24/7 customer service to you
  • How important is a loyalty program to making a purchase?
  • How important are quick returns for faulty goods
  • How important are extended warranty periods
  • How important is center security to your shopping experience?

Here’s an example of an Urgency Likert Scale:

High Urgency Urgent Neutral Low Urgency Not At All Urgent
How important is 24/7/365 customer service to you?
How important are promotions and discount coupons to you?
How important is product quality to you?

Why use Likert scales?

Likert scales are indispensable and have countless potential applications in business. There’s no more straightforward nor more accurate way to assess customer attitudes towards any given subject. Whether you’re shaping a better customer experience or refining your product line, the sooner you learn to harness the power of attitude scales, the better. Here at ViewPoint, we help you tap into the full power of customer opinions.

Get in touch to let us help you devise the optimal approach for intelligent feedback gathering including Likert scales and much, much more. Find out more today about how real-time surveys can help you assess customer and staffing issues, monitor improvements, and compare departments to deliver the best service possible.

About ViewPoint survey solutions

ViewPoint helps organisations to radically improve the quality of their services. Our interactive feedback technology engages with customers, employees and stakeholders to understand their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the experience they encountered.

Our unique smiley face surveys attract, engage, and encourage users to leave their thoughts. Four reasons feedback kiosks are the preferred feedback collection method:

  • Lower cost customer survey solution
  • Suitable for all environments
  • Reliable and always on
  • Highly accurate insights

 

Find out more about how real-time surveys can help you assess customer and staffing issues, monitor improvements, and compare departments to deliver the best service possible.

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