Likert scales are rating scales often used in customer surveys. This form of rating scale is named after its inventor, psychologist Rensis Likert. A Likert scale is a psychometric scale that’s effectively used to assess the opinions, attitudes and experiences of customers regarding brands, products and services.

What is a Likert Scale?

Likert scale questions enable customers to indicate the extent to which they agree or disagree with a given statement, or express a neutral response. Respondents are not forced to make a binary choice between ‘agree’ and ‘disagree’. These are used in Likert scale surveys to produce quantitative data for analysis.

However, questions persist over whether this is the best way to get usable customer feedback (as opposed to do market research) and rightly so.

5 Point Likert Scale Questions

Looking at a typical Likert scale question and answer example is the best way to appreciate how Likert scales work.

Here is a typical Likert scale question and answer example:

How satisfied are you with the service you have received from [brand, department, service agent]?

The respondent might be offered this 5-point Likert scale from which to select a response.

  1. Very satisfied.
  2. Moderately satisfied.
  3. Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
  4. Moderately dissatisfied.
  5. Very dissatisfied.

This form of Likert scale questions first appeared in 1932 and remains probably the most common format. Note the middle, neutral response option enabling respondents to register an answer. This technique prevents survey respondents from being forced to make a binary choice.

When more granular survey responses are needed, a 7-point or even 9-point Likert scale question can be used. Just remember that the more multiple choice options available, the greater the likelihood of potential confusion and survey abandonment. On a 9-point scale, you also have to wonder what differences in response someone can reliably and consistently be expected to make.

The best practice is to offer fewer choices. You can then probe deeper with a follow-up question to uncover the reasons why.

Even Likert Scale Questions

An ‘even’ Likert scale question has an even (i.e. 2, 4, 6, etc.) number of multiple-choice responses. In other words, without the middle ‘neutral’ option. Since Likert scales were first introduced, there has been a lot of research into the optimal number of multiple choice answers. Scales from just two choices up to more than 100 have been used in various circumstances.  It has been argued (Garner (1960)) that the more response options offered maximises the amount of information gathered but others (Green and Rao (1970)) have indicated that 7 response options was optimal. You tend to find that, while 5 options is the most common, most academics advocate 7 options.

The simplest ‘even’ Likert scale question is of course 2. This compels respondents to either agree or disagree, or perhaps express satisfaction or dissatisfaction. These ultra-simple binary choices may, in some circumstances, provide what’s required. But it has been found (Jones (1968)) that the 2-option scale was seen as less accurate, reliable and interesting than 7-point Likert scales. And more ambiguous too. Survey response reliability increased when using a 7 point scale compared with a 2 point scale, according to (Cicchetti, Showalter and Tyrer (1985)). Beyond 7 points no further reliability improvement was found.

A 4-point Likert scale prompts respondents to ‘get off the fence’. To make a choice that’s either positive or negative without a middle or neutral option. This technique, combined with a follow up question, will often elicit the best response rates and actionable insight.

Likert Scale Surveys


Likert scale based survey questions provide a number of clear advantages, here are a few of them.

  • Easy to understand and implement.
  • Quantifiable answers support statistical analysis, reporting and representation.
  • Respondents find Likert answer scales easy to understand and use.
  • Likert scales provide the facility to record varied opinions.


While there are some clear advantages in using Likert scale based questions there are some disadvantages which should be noted.

  • Due to the limited number of answer options, Likert scales cannot, therefore, measure the true attitudes of respondents.
  • Respondent’s answers are likely to be influenced by previous survey questions they have been presented with.
  • Some people frequently avoid choosing extreme options such as ‘totally agree’ or ‘totally disagree’ even if these are the most accurate.


Countering the advantages above are a number of disadvantages with using Likert scale questions.

  • Due to the limited number of answer options, Likert scales cannot, therefore, measure the true attitudes of respondents.
  • Respondent’s answers are likely to be influenced by previous survey questions they have been presented with.
  • Some people frequently avoid choosing extreme options like ‘totally agree’ or ‘totally disagree’ even if these are the most accurate.

Assessing Likert scale questions

When devising a customer survey you need to consider exactly what you want to assess and measure. Applying Likert survey questions means allocating a scale that indicates the customer’s experience, opinion or attitude. The answers must include two clear extremes along with an appropriate number of ‘middle’ options allowing customers to quantify their responses.

Likert scale-based customer survey questions are typically used to assess the following:

  • Satisfaction
    • From ‘delighted’ to ‘frustrated’ with options in between
  • Importance
    • From ‘essential’ to ‘unimportant’
  • Quality
    • From ‘extremely high’ to ‘very poor’
  • Frequency
    • From ‘often’ to ‘never’
  • Likelihood
    • From ‘definitely’ to ‘never’

The options offered to respondents in between these extremes should allow customers to represent their views and experiences as accurately as possible.

20 Likert Scale Questions

Likert scale questions can offer almost any number of multiple-choice response options. When devising survey questions, remember the less thinking required from respondents the better the response rate. Present questions with only a few answer options and then follow up negative respondents with a further question. This will generally provide beneficial, actionable feedback. Here are some Likert scale examples for surveys.


How satisfied were you with your in-store experience?

  • Delighted
  • Satisfied
  • Not satisfied at all / frustrated

[Brand / organization] invests time and money to keep employees updated with technology.

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree

What was your level of satisfaction with our product(s) (or service)?

  • Extremely satisfied
  • Very satisfied
  • Slightly dissatisfied
  • Not satisfied at all

The online store checkout process was straightforward.

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree

How likely are you to recommend this product / service to friends and family?

  • Very likely
  • Likely
  • Not likely
  • Very unlikely

Please tell us how important it is for us to provide 24/7 customer service.

  • Essential
  • Important
  • Low importance
  • Not important

The user-manual provided clear guidance in how to install and setup the application.

  • Completely agree
  • Mostly agree
  • Slightly disagree
  • Completely disagree

It was easy to navigate the website to find what I was looking for.

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree.

Please tell us how important the new features added to [product] are to you.

  • Highly important.
  • Moderately important
  • Low importance
  • Not important at all

How helpful are the instruction videos provided from our website?

  • Extremely helpful
  • Somewhat helpful
  • Not very helpful
  • Not helpful at all

How satisfied were you with our new menu?

  • Very satisfied
  • Reasonably satisfied
  • Slightly dissatisfied
  • Very dissatisfied.

To what extent did our customer service team meet your expectations?

  • Significantly exceeded expectations
  • Met expectations
  • Did not meet expectations

How would you rate your recent customer service call?

  • Exceptional
  • Good
  • Fair
  • Poor

The conference speakers were knowledgeable and informative.

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Slightly disagree
  • Totally disagree

How often do you seek assistance from customer support?

  • Very frequently
  • Occasionally
  • Rarely
  • Never

The product is manufactured from high quality components and materials.

  • Strongly agree
  • Agree
  • Partially disagree
  • Totally disagree

I will buy this product (use this service) again in the future.

  • Very likely
  • Likely
  • Unlikely
  • Very unlikely

What do you think about our online prices?

  • Very happy
  • Happy
  • Not very happy
  • Not happy at all

How important are the prices of our products to you?

  • Very important
  • Important
  • Low importance
  • Not important at all

How important is the product warranty to you?

  • Very important
  • Important
  • Low importance
  • Not important at all

How to Analyse Likert Scale Surveys

Likert scale survey data is ‘ordinal’, which means you can only determine that one score is higher or lower than another. You can’t quantify the difference or the distance between the answer options.

While you can allocate numeric tags to each optional answer, these are never representative scores that can be applied for analysis purposes. When analyzing Likert scale survey data, you can’t use the mean or average as it has no meaning in this context. What is the ‘average’ or ‘mean’ of the range from ‘extremely satisfied’ to ‘extremely dissatisfied’?

The most appropriate, basic measure is to examine the ‘mode’, which indicates the most frequently provided responses. A practical way to visualize survey data is to use bar charts. These will highlight the ‘mode’ (the most frequently provided answer) alongside bars showing the numbers of respondents choosing other options.

When analyzing Likert scale survey data, it’s important to interpret the information in a meaningful way. Bar charts are very effective. Tabulating the data is another simple but highly effective technique.

Start Sending Likert Scale Surveys Today

Customer Thermometer enables you to create Likert scale surveys any way you want. Crucially, so they can be answered quickly and easily without burdening your survey respondents. This is key to achieving great response rates. Adding a follow-up second question will provide deeper insight into why people gave certain answers.

You’re welcome to give Customer Thermometer a try for your customer surveys with our free account. Just complete the form below (no payment details necessary) to get started in seconds!