The Likert scale can be used in almost any situation where you want to use a rating scale to obtain information about the behaviour and feelings of clients.
There is no rule of thumb when choosing which scale to use, although you should ensure that your choices are comprehensive and provide sufficient detail to respondents.
Apart from that, the important thing to keep in mind is that there are different ways of presenting the Likert scale (through emojis, text options, ratings) and different point systems.
The points on the Likert Scale
There are no appropriate requirements when it comes to choosing the number of options, or “points” that a Likert question should contain.
As a general rule, it is best to be extensive and provide a sufficient number of options for respondents to give an accurate answer, but not so many that they feel overwhelmed.
5-point Likert scale
The first and most famous option is to go with a 5-point Likert scale questionnaire.
A 5-point questionnaire could be as follows:
7-point Likert scale
If you want to be more thorough and precise, the 7-point Likert scale would be your choice. But keep in mind that it can be very distracting and less comprehensive for the respondent.
Note that, in the 5-point example, the most negative response means that the customer says there is a 0% chance that he will recommend the product.
But that does not necessarily mean that they do not recommend the product. In other words, the extremely negative response is not a pole opposite to the extreme positive response; it is simply a null set.
On the other hand, this type of question deals with the opposite poles.
Instead of the extreme negative answer being translated into “zero”, as in the 5-point scale question, the central answer represents “no satisfaction”. The extreme negative response, then, represents the opposite of the extreme positive: not only is a person who responds in this way dissatisfied with the service, but they are completely dissatisfied with it.
4-point Likert scale (odd and even)
Questions on this type of Likert scale can provide an odd or even number of answer options.
Neither way is necessarily “better” than the other: it simply has to do with your preferences and goals.
An odd number of options, as illustrated above, allow respondents to report their neutrality.
On the one hand, there is the possibility that some clients use the “neutral” option as a way of skipping the question completely, which means that they do not provide any valuable information on the question in question.
On the other hand, neutral responses can be valuable, in the sense that they translate into the fact that your service did not do enough to give your client an opinion on the subject in question.
By providing an even number of options, neutrality is not allowed.
Respondents must choose a positive or negative response. While this may lead clients to think a little more deeply about a particular question, some may simply skip the question altogether.
There is also a very real possibility that a client may not really have an opinion on a certain question. If these individuals are forced to choose a side, your response could bias the overall results of the survey.
In any case, there is a possibility that your clients will respond in an ambiguous manner.
In these cases, your best bet may be to provide space for your customers to expand your answers to avoid discrepancies and unusable data.
What is the best Likert scale to use?
It depends on exactly what you want to measure and what type of survey it is.
First, there are different types of Likert scales that are developed to measure attitudes, emotions and frequency. Therefore, the best scale will be the one that measures what you want to measure.
Secondly, a good scale will have understandable questions and clear instructions for answering (for respondents) and scoring (for analysis). And it will also be properly developed to suit the characteristics of the sample.
For example, if you use a scale to measure your client’s satisfaction, (a) the language will be simple and (b) you can opt for a smiley face scale as it may be easier for them to relate to the expressions and therefore mark how they feel.
Thirdly, you can consider the use or omission of a neutral category (e.g. “sometimes”, “I don’t know”, “neither agree nor disagree”, “something important”) as it may alter the results.
Ultimately, the best scale to use is the one that captures what you are trying to measure and its properties are appropriate to your type of sample.
At every stopover in every negotiation, it is important to write down everything we learn. Don’t do it in a Word or a notebook, do it in a CRM.
This tool can help you a lot, since you can automatically create a file with all the information of your prospect, take notes that help all your sales team and especially create notifications to follow up to the infinite and effective.
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