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How To Use Likert Scale in Online Surveys: Ultimate Guide

Kate Williams

Last Updated:  

7 June 2024

13 min read

Let’s assume you have launched a new application, and you need to market it well. You have two options to build a positive brand image-

  1. Invest in ads and marketing
  2. Gather feedback from your customers

What are you going to choose?

If you want to go with the second option, we must admit you know how to run a growing business. In the era of online reviews and surveys, customer feedback is the king and queen of every organization. These days, you can’t just invest millions in ads and paint a great picture for your brand.

So, how will you ensure your customers and employees are satisfied with your business, products, or services? Well, one of the most popular ways is by using the Likert scale.

What is a Likert scale? How to use it? Keep some patience, as in this article, we will cover both these questions while giving a few examples, and some extra tips to make your survey-taking experience worthwhile. Ready to start, then?

The Definition: What Is A Likert Scale Survey?

To understand the Likert scale definition, we first have to learn what a survey scale is.

A survey scale is an orderly arrangement that represents different sets of verbal and nonverbal responses. You can use a survey scale to understand your respondents’ opinions about a product or business service.

A Likert scale is a popular psychometric survey scale that helps measure people’s opinions, attitudes, and behaviors about a subject or context. The name was inspired by psychologist and educator Rensis Likert in 1932.

Technically speaking, a Likert scale is a rating scale that allows you to understand the respondents’ personality traits. Unlike yes or no survey questions, the Likert scale lets us gauge the degree of agreement of the survey respondents.

With Likert scale surveys, you can find out about your employees’ engagement and satisfaction levels. You can even learn what your customers feel about a specific product of the company. While the options may vary for different surveys, like this on here..

likert scale in restaurant feedback survey

A typical Likert scale includes one or more questions with five or seven response options. The options may vary from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree,” so you can collect respondents’ opinions effectively.

Also, this survey scale can include a middle point, which is known as a neutral opinion. You can use this scale in different types of online surveys such as employee engagement, event surveys, employee satisfaction, and product feedback.

Most people get confused between matrix questions and Likert scales. They believe both are the same concept. But, the fact is that the Likert scale is a certain type of matrix question, while a matrix question is a format for the Likert question.

The Likert scale is meant to measure people’s opinions linearly. On the other hand, matrix questions are presented in a matrix or grid.

You can take this restaurant customer satisfaction survey to understand how the Likert scale works in online surveys.

Restaurant Customer Satisfaction Survey Template

The template and the 1000+ others available on SurveySparrow are free. Sign up and use this template!

Here Are a Few Likert Scale Examples to See How a Works

You already know how employee engagement is one of the most vital components of an organization. By using Likert scale surveys, you can keep an eye on employee engagement and sentiment.

You can find out how satisfied your employees are with the resources you provide, how familiar they are with the employee appraisal system, or what they feel about the company culture. Also, you can understand the average levels of agreement about an organizational issue.

Likert Scale Example 1:

Let’s say your company has come up with a new training program. You want to know what your employees think about the program, and if they’re satisfied with it or not. And the best way to know their minds is the Likert scale survey on your new employee training program; here’s how you can do it-

Statement 1: Satisfied with the new employee training program.

Statement 2: Dissatisfied with the new employee training program.

Here are the options your employees can choose from –

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Neither agree nor disagree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree

Likert scale to increase survey response rates.

Let us give you another example of a customer engagement survey using the Likert scale.

Likert Scale Example 2:

Imagine you run a hotel, and you are interested to know what the customers feel about your hotel staff’s performances. So, you craft an online customer feedback survey that includes a Likert type question on the hotel staff’s performance-

Statement 1: Satisfied with our staff’s performance.

Statement 2: Dissatisfied with our staff’s performance.

The options your customers can choose from;

  • Extremely satisfied
  • Somewhat satisfied
  • Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
  • Somewhat dissatisfied
  • Extremely dissatisfied

how to use likert scale in online surveys

Why Does Your Business Need To Use Likert Scale Surveys?

This is the era of customers. They have an enormous power to talk about your services and products to an audience worldwide. With a single negative or positive feedback, they can damage or highlight your brand’s reputation.

8 key benefits of using likert scale

And it’s not just customers; your employees also hold the power to draw an image about your brand. Today’s employees expect higher work satisfaction and an excellent employee experience. You have to keep both the customers and employees happy to spread positive conversations about your company.

Likert scales are extremely useful here. If you want to know what people think in a specific area, this scale is extremely helpful. Especially, when you want to learn-

  • What do the customers think about your newly launched product?
  • How do your employees feel about the supervisor/manager?
  • How successful was your training program with the employees?
  • When you want to get others’ opinions on an organizational issue.

In short, Likert scale questions can measure your audience’s sentiments on a specific subject.

Another great reason why your business needs a Likert scale is its ability to measure the intensity of respondents’ opinions. Several organizations come up with new products and services frequently.

Sometimes, they bring new features to existing products to stay relevant in the market. That’s why businesses must know whether these services and products are useful for their audiences or not.

If you ask your audience whether they like a new feature or product, maybe they’ll answer you with a straight yes or no.

With a binary answer like this, you can never measure how much the audience likes a product. It stops you from getting real insights. This is where the Likert scale comes into the picture; with response options like “extremely satisfied” and “not at all satisfied,” you can find out what the audience actually thinks about your product.

Here are 7 crucial reasons why you should consider Likert scale.

Types of Likert Scales

Now that we have understood the benefits of the Likert scale, let’s discuss the two main types of Likert scale surveys. Understanding each will give you a better idea of which to choose and when. Doing so can help you accurately capture the nuances of the respondent’s feelings and thoughts.

1. Odd Likert Scales

As the name indicates, this type of Likert scale deals with an odd number of scales for respondents to answer. It includes a middle or neutral option, allowing the respondents to neither agree nor disagree with the statement. This type of scale is beneficial when it’s essential to capture the neutrality of the respondents’ opinions.

  • 5-Point Likert Scale:

The most common and widely used, this scale typically ranges from “Strongly Disagree” to “Strongly Agree,” with a neutral option like “Neither Agree nor Disagree” in the middle. It’s used to measure satisfaction, agreement, frequency, and likelihood, among others.

  • 7-Point Likert Scale:

This scale adds more granularity by including additional levels of agreement or satisfaction on either side of the neutral option. It’s useful for topics requiring more nuanced responses.

  • 9-Point Likert Scale:

Less common, the 9-point scale offers even more detailed options, allowing for a very fine analysis of attitudes or opinions. However, its complexity can sometimes be overwhelming for respondents.

2. Even Likert Scales

Even Likert scales do not include a neutral option, forcing respondents to make a decision even if they are somewhat indifferent. This approach is useful for eliciting a clear stance on issues where neutrality is less informative.

  • 4-Point Likert Scale:

Without a neutral middle option, respondents must choose a side, which can be particularly useful in situations where a decision or a clear preference is necessary.

  • 6-Point Likert Scale:

Adding another layer to the 4-point scale, the 6-point scale forces a more nuanced choice by providing three levels of agreement or disagreement but still no neutral option.

Selecting the right type of Likert scale depends on the research objectives and the kind of data needed:

  • For General Inquiry: A 5-point scale is often sufficient for general surveys where a broad understanding of attitudes or opinions is needed.
  • For Detailed Analysis: When a more detailed analysis of responses is required, a 7-point or even a 9-point scale can provide deeper insights.
  • For Decision-making: In scenarios where it’s crucial to push respondents towards a decision, an even-numbered scale like the 4-point or 6-point can be more appropriate.

Different Types Of Likert Scale Survey Questions You Can Use

A perfect way to ask for people’s opinions is to tell them to respond to a Likert survey. In fact, there are four different styles of Likert scale survey questions available to measure your respondents’ opinions. These are-

$ main likert scale examples

1. Agreement

These types of Likert scale questions are the most popular, as you can use them for any purpose. You can simply learn how much people agree or disagree with your products or services. On a traditional five-point Likert scale, you can include the following responses.

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Neither Agree Nor Disagree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

2. Likelihood (or Frequency)

This type of Likert scale question is meant to determine your customers’ behavior. Whether they’d like to continue their purchasing journey in the future or recommend your organization to others, you can get all the answers using likelihood Likert scale questions.

For instance, let’s assume you run an online clothing store. And you want to know whether online customers recommend your brand to their friends or family. You can create a Likert scale with a question like-

Example: Based on your recent online shopping experience, how likely or unlikely are you to recommend our clothing brand to your close ones?

The likely and unlikely parts becomes your statements. And these are the different options.

  • Very likely
  • Likely
  • Unlikely
  • Very unlikely

Likelihood Likert questions don’t necessarily need a mid-point neutral option. That means you can skip neutral options and opt for an even number with the responses.

3. Satisfaction (or Interest)

Do you know how satisfied your customers are with your business services or products? Do you measure your employee satisfaction regularly?

If your response is negative, do stress on the below statistics:

You’ve probably guessed by now that keeping your customers and employees satisfied will result in high profits and low turnover rates.

But, how can you measure their satisfaction with an experience they had with your brand? If you want a subjective opinion from people about your brand, products, or services, satisfaction Likert scale questions are the best option.

Here’s an example of satisfaction Likert scale questions for your next survey:

Example: Based on your recent interaction with our customer support team, how satisfied or dissatisfied are you?

The satisfied and dissatisfied parts can form two statements, just like in the previous examples. And your customers can choose from these options.

  • Extremely satisfied
  • Not satisfied
  • Somewhat satisfied
  • Dissatisfied
  • Extremely dissatisfied

4. Importance

With importance Likert scale question types, you can gauge how strongly customers feel about a certain product or product’s features. This type of scale can help you understand customers’ expectations and requirements.

For example, let’s say you’ve launched a new survey software in the market. Now, you want to know what people think about the features of your newly launched software. So, you can ask them an important Likert question like this:

Example: Hope you had an amazing experience with our survey software; now it’s time to rate the below features based on how important they are for you.

Software FeaturesExtremely importantNeutralLow importanceNot at all important
The user-friendliness
The UI
The design
Data security
Software pricing

Here’s what it’ll look like in an actual survey.

likert scale

Here’s something to help you determine the Likert scale questions you should ask and when.

How To Create A Likert Scale Survey With SurveySparrow?

Here are some basic steps you can follow to create a Likert scale survey that converts like crazy!

Step 1: Determine What You Want To Measure

What do you want to find out? Do you want to know about your products, customer satisfaction, or your brand design?

It’s crucial to answer these questions as determining what to measure is the first thing you need to do before framing Likert scale questions.

Here’s a heads up: remember, you can decide what you want to measure based on opinion, experience, behavior, or feeling. You can apply different measurements like agreement, likelihood, frequency, and importance to decide what to measure.

Step 2: Sign up on SurveySparrow for Free

Well, duh right? If you want to create a Likert scale survey on SurveySparrow, you have to log in or sign in/up to the software. those who are new, use the following link to sign up.

Once signed in, name your project and create a sample one for you to try out the software. Your sample SurveySparrow account link would look something like this – “

You will also notice that you can access all of the premium features for a 14-day trial.

Step 3: Create Indicator Statements List

If you can’t measure your audience’s opinion or feelings with a single question, the Likert scale works best.

For instance, if you want to measure your customer’s experience, multiple factors can influence it: quality of service, customer support, pricing, customer expectations, delivery and service speed, etc. With each of these customer engagement indicators, you can find out how engaged your customers are.

Step 4: Decide The Responses Scale

Now that you’ve already decided what to measure with the Likert scale, it’s time to determine which responses you can use.

For the response scale, you have to choose simple options like- Agree-Disagree, Satisfied-Dissatisfied, Helpful-Not Helpful, Always- Never, etc. Also, make sure to use odd numbers like five or seven in responses.

likert scale questions on surveysparrow

If you provide more than seven options, your respondents will feel overwhelmed. While an even number like four or two won’t give them much opportunity to express their feelings clearly.

Step 5: Test, Test, And Test Some More

The key to getting a highly converting survey is frequent testing.

Test your Likert surveys frequently to understand your audience better, improve the data collection process, and provide an excellent survey experience. You can even use survey software to automate the surveys at any frequency.

Start Creating Likert Scale Survey With SurveySparrow

And there you go! You know everything about the Likert scale questions. You can start creating Likert surveys immediately using SurveySparrow’s online survey software. It is one of the most popular tools that help you craft effective surveys.

Even if you’re a beginner, with SurveySparrow, you can create surveys from scratch.

It comes with various templates to choose from and some tangible features that craft converting surveys efficiently.

1. 40% Higher Response Rates

SurveySparrow lets you create conversational surveys that can bring 40% higher response rates. You can design the Likert scale survey with attractive themes and design using SurveySparrow’s survey builder. And with conversational forms, you can keep your audience engaged in the survey.

2. Clutter-Free Surveys

With conditional logic branching, you can keep the Likert scale surveys clutter-free. Using skip-logic, your audience can avoid answering irrelevant questions. And question piping, contact params, and variables let you personalize the Likert surveys.

3. Analyze in Real-Time

With SurveySparrow, you can analyze the Likert survey responses in real-time. You can even filter the responses based on the degree of completeness, questions, answers, and share method. Also, you can keep an offline copy of your survey responses by exporting them in PDF or SPSS format.

4. Enterprise-grade Security

As more and more organizations experience data breaches, data security is becoming a top demand. In 2020, because of data breaches, 235 million Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube user profiles were exposed online.

With SurveySparrow, you can securely create encrypted online surveys. With IP whitelisting, you can only allow trusted sources to access your Likert scale survey.

5 Bonus Tips On How To Write Likert Scale Questions

Here, we’ve shared some of the most common tips and tricks on how to write Likert scale surveys more effectively. Following this will surely help you get higher responses and insightful data:

1. When you are using the Likert scale, make sure to keep the questions accurate to avoid all the confusion.

For example, suppose you want to know what people think about your product. So, you have to be specific with the question. Are you asking whether the people were satisfied with the user-friendliness, the data security, or the sleek interface of the product? In short, the more specific you get, the better your chances of getting insightful responses.

2. Make sure to keep the responses unipolar.

That means, rather than using a scale that ranges from “extremely satisfied” to “extremely frustrated,” it’s best to use “extremely satisfied” to “not at all satisfied.” Unipolar questions are easier to read. Your respondents don’t have to brainstorm to understand the response, making the Likert scale more engaging.

3. No one likes to read long surveys.

So, never provide more than seven response options. When you offer them multiple responses, they will answer randomly, resulting in flawed data collection. And, try to keep your Likert scale responses in odd numbers as odd numbers will give you a chance to include a neutral response option.

4. Instead of using statements, try to use more questions in Likert scales.

People are more likely to agree (maybe people are too nice or shy to disagree!) with statements, which can create a response bias. So, it’s better to ask more questions than to make statements.

5. Write the adjectives clearly and consistently.

Always arrange the questions on the highest to lowest scale. Use “extremely” in both the highest and lowest response scales and use mid-points in adjectives like “somewhat agree/disagree.”

Let’s Start Surveying!

Likert scale surveys are familiar, easy to create, and simple to use. Also, with SurveySparrow, you can analyze its results easily through graphs, charts, and bars. It’s up to you how, where, why, and when to implement the Likert scale in your online survey. The bottom line is you must determine an objective first and later measure the results based on the responses.

There you go! Now you know the nitty-gritty of these surveys. Also, you now know how to craft engaging surveys that can bring better results and more responses. So, are ready to send your first Likert scale survey? Let us know how it went in the comments.

FAQs on Likert Scale Surveys

1. Should I use a 5 or 7 point Likert scale?

Use a 5-point scale for simplicity and ease of analysis. Choose a 7-point scale for more nuanced responses and detailed analysis, but consider the potential for increased complexity and respondent fatigue.

5-point Likert scale vs. 7-point Likert scale

  • 5-point scale: Easier for respondents and analysis, suitable for broader inquiries.
  • 7-point scale: Captures finer gradations in opinions, better for detailed analysis but potentially more complex.

2. What are the categories of the 5-point Likert scale?

The 5-point Likert scale typically includes the following categories: Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Neutral, Agree, and Strongly Agree.

3. What is the 7-point Likert scale?

The 7-point Likert scale expands on the 5-point scale by adding one additional level of agreement and disagreement on each side, resulting in one of the following-

  • Strongly Disagree
  • Disagree
  • Somewhat Disagree
  • Neutral
  • Somewhat Agree
  • Agree
  • Strongly Agree.

4. Is a 7-point Likert scale the best?

No single scale is best for all situations. A 7-point scale offers more detail but can be more complex to analyze. The choice depends on your research needs and the importance of capturing subtle differences in responses.

5. Why use a Likert scale in quantitative research?

Likert scales convert qualitative opinions into quantitative data, making it easier to analyze subjective attitudes, perceptions, and behaviors statistically.

Kate Williams

Product Marketing Manager at SurveySparrow

Excels in empowering visionary companies through storytelling and strategic go-to-market planning. With extensive experience in product marketing and customer experience management, she is an accomplished author, podcast host, and mentor, sharing her expertise across diverse platforms and audiences.

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