How do you get the most out of your customer feedback surveys? Often the way you formulate your questions or the scales you use can have a direct impact on the answers you collect! Continue reading to find out what a Likert scale is and how to use it for your benefit:
1. What is a Likert Scale?
Never heard of a Likert scale? That’s alright, you have probably seen it a million times when filling in surveys! It is a type of a rating scale where the answers range from the one extremity to the other. The most commonly seen example is: “strongly agree”- “strongly disagree”.
The scale is named after its creator, the American psychologist Rensis Likert. He created the 5-point scale to be used to judge user experience, customer satisfaction, etc. Today, a 5-point scale is most commonly used, even though some prefer a 7-point scale which gives more options.
The most important part of a Likert scale is to give a range of answers which is wide enough so that the customer can express precisely how they feel. In addition, the odd number of responses means that there will be a middle, neutral answer for those customers who are not sure. However, if you want to force your customer to make a decision, you can always use an even number of answers.
2. Examples of a Likert Scale
There are 4 main types of a Likert scale, namely: agreement, importance, likelihood and satisfaction. Often they will be used to see how the customer feels about a number of statements. However, a Likert scale can be used to answer individual questions as well.
Example of an agreement Likert scale:
Choose the option that most closely identifies with how you feel about the following statement:
The website was easy to use and navigate and I had no issues finding and purchasing the product I needed.
Strongly agree – Agree – Slightly agree – Not sure – Slightly disagree – Disagree – Strongly disagree
An importance question looks like:
Rank the points below on how important they are to you:
Speed of delivery: Very important – Important – Neutral – Unimportant – Not at all important
Delivery costs: Very important – Important – Neutral – Unimportant – Not at all important
A likelihood question looks like:
How likely are you to refer our company to a friend or a colleague?
Very likely – Likely – Uncertain – Unlikely – Very unlikely
A satisfaction question looks like:
How satisfied are you with our service so far?
Very satisfied – Satisfied – Somewhat satisfied – Undecided – Somewhat unsatisfied – Unsatisfied – Very unsatisfied
3. Why should you use a Likert Scale?
A Likert scale has a lot of advantages over other types of scales. Firstly, it gives you a better understanding of your customers. Instead of a simple yes/no answer, you can give your customers a wider range of answers.
Secondly, a Likert scale gives you the possibility to quantify your customers’ answers, something which would be impossible with a simple text box question. You can easily find the mean and median of your data and create charts and graphs. Thus, you can track your improvements over time. Having a reputation management tool can be of great assistance when creating reports about your customer satisfaction.
Thirdly, with a Likert scale, you can get objective and truthful answers. Based on the data you need, you can decide whether you provide your customer with a neutral answer option or make them choose a side. As we mentioned earlier, an odd number of answer options will allow them to sit on the fence, while an even number will force them to make up their mind. However, have in mind that neutral answers can be valuable as they won’t skew your data with answers where the customer randomly choose an option.
In conclusion, a Likert scale can be extremely valuable to gather information about your customers’ behaviour and preferences. It is also the best way to gather quantifiable data to complex questions.