4 Tips in Crafting Effective Likert Scale Survey Questions

SurveyPluto 03/30/2024 1313 words

Likert Scale Survey Questions

Do you want to know what your customers think of your latest products or services? Likert scale surveys are the answer! These surveys are super easy to set up and let your customers tell you exactly how satisfied they are with your products, services, or your business overall.

The process involves asking a set of questions to respondents, e.g., customers. After that, they select one of five or seven options, determined by the degree to which they agree or disagree with the statement. Beginning with "completely agree" and ending with "completely disagree,” the responses range from one extreme to the other, with a neutral option somewhere in the middle.

Businesses frequently conduct customer satisfaction surveys using Likert scales. Think of it like this: those surveys with the little 'agree-disagree' scales let customers tell a business exactly what they love and what they wish was different, helping them to improve what they offer.

But do you want your surveys to get insightful results? Here's how to write top-notch Likert scale questions.

How to Craft Effective Likert Scale Questions

In crafting a result-driven survey, it is essential that you also make the right questions. And, if you are thinking of gathering customer feedback in minutes it is vital that you gather it effectively using Likert scale. But, having a valuable results depends on how you craft your set of Likert scale questions. And, here are the tips on how you can effectively gather.

1. Make your questions clear and concise.

The most important principle in writing strong Likert scale questions is absolute clarity. Your respondents should understand exactly what you're asking without any room for misinterpretation.

Here's how to achieve that:

● Specific Language: Focus on a single, clear aspect of the topic you're investigating. If you ask about too many things in a single question, respondents won't be able to give accurate responses. For example, instead of "How satisfied are you with the product's features and price?” break this into two questions.

● Avoid Jargon and Unfamiliar Terms: Your questions should be accessible to all participants. If industry-specific terms or complex words are used, many respondents might either guess at the meaning or skip the question altogether. Choose simpler equivalents that will be widely understood.

● Eliminate Double Meanings: A word or phrase can have different interpretations. This ambiguity can completely skew your results. Before launching the survey, read every question carefully and ask yourself if there are any alternative ways to understand it.

● Timeframes Matter: Often, being precise means specifying a timeframe. Rather than asking "How often do you exercise?” it's better to ask, "How often did you exercise in the last week?". This gives respondents a clear point of reference.

2. Making use of Unipolar and Bipolar Scales in Likert Surveys

While Likert scales always measure a single concept, they can be designed using either a unipolar or a bipolar structure. Choosing the right one is key to getting meaningful results:

Bipolar Scales

Offer a range of responses with a neutral midpoint. They're ideal when you want to gauge sentiment in both positive and negative directions.

For Example:

How likely are you to purchase this product?
- Extremely Unlikely

- Somewhat Unlikely

- Neither Likely nor Unlikely

- Somewhat Likely

- Extremely Likely

This is best for measuring agreement/disagreement, satisfaction/dissatisfaction, or likelihood/unlikelihood.

Unipolar Scales

Measure the intensity of a feeling or opinion. They start at zero and increase towards a maximum point.

For Example:

How appealing does this product look to you?
- Not at all appealing

- Slightly appealing

- Moderately appealing

- Very appealing

- Extremely appealing

This is best for evaluating the degree to which someone possesses a trait or finds something desirable.

Unipolar scales often lead to simpler responses because participants don't need to consider a negative side. On the other hand, bipolar scales allow you to see how people feel on both sides of an issue.

Choosing the Right Scale

Want to know if what scale is better for your survey, you may need to ask these questions:

● Am I interested in both positive and negative sentiment, and just how strong a single feeling is?
● Will respondents struggle to find a neutral point if it's not explicitly offered?

3. Prioritize Consistency for Accurate Results

Consistency in wording, structure, and the types of questions you ask is crucial to getting valid data. Inconsistent language can confuse respondents and lead to them misinterpreting your questions.

Here's why this matters:

● Clear Respondent Experience: Changes in phrasing can make participants think you're asking about something different, even if you're focused on the same topic. This leads to inaccurate answers.
● Reliable Analysis: If your questions lack consistency, analyzing the results will be challenging. You might be unable to confidently compare answers or draw meaningful conclusions.

Here are some tips on how you can maintain consistency:

● Establish a Style Guide: Decide upfront how you'll handle things like verb tenses, the use of active vs. passive voice, and any specialized terms relevant to your research.
● Careful Proofreading: Review your questionnaire multiple times, specifically looking for inconsistencies. It might be helpful to have someone else do this as well for a fresh perspective.
● Pre-Testing: Give your questionnaire to a small group before full launch. Their feedback can highlight areas where the wording feels inconsistent or causes confusion.

4. Turn Statements into Questions for Better Data

Surveys often rely on statements, asking respondents to agree or disagree. While convenient, statements can introduce bias. People tend to agree with things presented to them, rather than thinking critically. This can skew your results.


● Instead of: "I am satisfied with the quality of this product." Ask: "How satisfied are you with the quality of this product?"

● Instead of: "The organization invests time and money to keep employees updated with technology.” Ask: “Are you satisfied with the amount of time and money the organization invests in keeping employees updated with technology?"

● Instead of: “I am likely to recommend X brand’s products to my family members.” Ask: “How likely are you to recommend X brand’s products to your family members?”

By using well-crafted questions over statements, you'll collect more meaningful and unbiased survey responses.

The Bottom Line

Likert scale surveys are like a quick conversation with your customers, only way more organized. They let you hear directly how people feel about what you do.

The key to getting the most out of them is to ask your questions in a way that's super clear. Think of it like avoiding those awkward misunderstandings in real life – use simple words, say exactly what you mean or make it concise.

Choosing between those scales with positive/negative sides or just one direction is tricky. It depends on what you want to know. Do you need the whole range of feelings, or just how strongly people feel about one thing?

Also, instead of using statements make use of questions. This helps people really think about their answers instead of just nodding along. With a little effort, your Likert scale surveys will give you the kind of feedback that helps your business shine.

Find the perfect survey for your needs. Explore SurveyPluto's free templates.

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