Likert Scale Surveys: What They Are and How To Use Them

|by Demi-Leigh Donohoe

No matter how confident you feel about your customer retention rate, it’s important that you measure people’s opinions and attitudes towards your brand.

Customer surveys enable you to collect customer feedback so you can pinpoint what you’re doing well and where you need to improve. To create a successful survey, you should include different types of questions to gain a holistic view of customer satisfaction.

An important type of question that you should include in your customer surveys is a Likert scale.

In this post, we’ll cover what a Likert scale is and how you can use it to optimise your surveys.

What is a Likert Scale?

The Likert scale was developed in 1932 and is named after its inventor, social psychologist Rensis Likert.

Likert scale surveys can be used to gauge customer attitudes and opinions towards a specific subject, product, or company. 

A Likert scale isn’t a ‘yes/no’ question – it’s a rating scale. Respondents can indicate the extent to which they agree or disagree with a particular statement.

Likert scale questions usually have 5 or 7 response options that can range from ‘Strongly agree’ to ‘Strongly disagree’, with a mid-point for respondents who feel neutral. 

The response options can also range from 'Very important' to 'Not important at all', 'Extremely satisfied' to 'Extremely dissatisfied', 'Very frequently' to 'Never', and more.

Here’s an example of a Likert scale question:

Why use a Likert scale?

A Likert scale has several advantages, here are the main reasons why you should use it:

  • Easy to use – Creating Likert scale questions is simple and fuss-free.
  • Easy for survey respondents to understand – You don’t need to give further guidance or explain each question in detail.
  • User-friendly – Respondents simply have to select a single option for each question, rather than having to type something out or think too much, which can result in inaccurate data.
  • Easy to analyse the responses – Likert scales collect quantitative data which means it’s easier to understand and analyse the results.
  • Well-rounded view - Likert scales provide the ability to record varied opinions on matters that would usually be hard to measure, such as feelings and customer perceptions.

When should I use a Likert scale question?

Likert scale surveys are great for collecting more granular feedback. 

Here are some things you could better understand with Likert scale questions:

  • Responses to new products
  • Staff satisfaction
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Event feedback

Whenever you want to measure opinions or attitudes towards a certain subject, you should use a Likert scale.

Top tips for creating Likert scale questions

  • Be specific – To avoid any confusion, your Likert scale questions should be clear and easy to understand. The more specific you are, the better. For example, rather than asking ‘Do you like our products?’, it’s better to ask more specific questions such as ‘Are you happy with the quality of our products?’ or ‘Do you think our products are good value for money?’. The more specific you are, the more valuable the data will be.
  • Don’t have too many options – If you have too many options on your Likert scale (we recommend using less than 7), respondents are more likely to choose an option at random, resulting in inaccurate data. 
  • Cover all bases – Your Likert scale should cover the entire range of responses, as well as a midpoint. If your answers only range from ‘Extremely satisfied’ to ‘Somewhat satisfied’, for example, respondents who weren’t satisfied won’t know which answer to choose. 
  • Use words rather than numbers – Numbered scales, such as 1-5, can be confusing and result in inaccurate data. Your survey respondents might not know which end of the scale is positive and which is negative. It’s best practice to label your scale options using words.

Create your own Likert scale survey

Hopefully, you’ll now have a good understanding of Likert scale surveys and how to use them effectively. 

Wired Plus enables you to create surveys with multiple question types, including Likert scale, so you can capture people’s attitudes and opinions with ease, giving you deeper insights into what people are thinking and feeling.

Ready to get started? Book a demo.

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