Rating Scale customer loyalty survey

Using Rating Scales in Your Surveys

Transform your insight generation process

Use our in-depth online survey guide to create an actionable feedback collection survey process.


Table of Contents

Rating scales have been popularly used by brands to collect customer feedback on product or service reviews. These questions are easy to recognize and understand that sometimes respondents don’t even need to read the question. We see smiley ratings or star ratings and know what we have to do. 

In this blog, we will discuss in detail the different types and how you can use them in your surveys to collect customer feedback. 

What is a Rating Scale?

This type of scale is one of the most commonly used questionnaire types for online as well as offline surveys. It consists of close-ended questions along with a set of categories as options for respondents. It helps gain information on the qualitative and quantitative attributes.

The most common example is the Likert scale, star rating, and slider. For instance, when you visit an online shopping site and it asks you to rate your shopping experience. 

It is a popular choice for conducting market research. It can serve the purpose of gathering more relative information about a product or certain aspects of the product. The scale is commonly used to gain feedback or to evaluate. It can be used to gain insight into the performance of a product, employee satisfaction or skill, customer service performance, etc.

Rating Scale customer loyalty survey

What are the two categories of rating scale data?

It is divided into two categories: ordinal scale and interval scale. Some data are measured at the ordinal level and some at the interval level.

Ordinal Scale: An ordinal scale gathers data by putting them in a rank but without a degree of difference.

Interval Scale:  An interval scale measures data with equal distance between two adjacent attributes.

Now that we have learned what it is and the two categories of the collected data, let’s look into the different types.

Create your own scale with Voxco Online.

What are the types of rating scales?

There are six different ways you can use this type of scale in your survey. These six scales gather data based on the categories we have mentioned above. 

  1. Numeric scale. 
  2. Verbal scale. 
  3. Slider scale. 
  4. Likert scale.
  5. Graphic scale. 
  6. Descriptive scale. 

We have explained these six types in detail to help you determine the right time to use the right question. 

1. Numeric rating scale or NRS

  • A numeric scale uses numbers to identify the items in a scale. However, not all numbers need to have an attribute attached to them.
  • For example, you can ask your target audience to rate your product from 1 to 5 on a scale. You can put 1 as totally dissatisfied and 5 as totally satisfied.

2. Verbal rating scale or VRS:

  • Verbal scales are used for pain assessment. Also known as verbal pain scores and verbal descriptor scale compiles a number of statements that describe the intensity of pain and duration.
  • For instance, when you go to a dentist and you are asked to rate the intensity of your tooth pain. At that time, you receive a scale with items like, “none”, “mild”, “moderate”, “severe”, and “very severe”.

3. Visual analog scale or Slider scale:

  • The idea behind VAS is to let the audience select any value from the scale, between two endpoints. In the scale, only the endpoints have attributes allotted to numbers and the rest of the scale is empty. 
  • Often just called a slider scale this allows the audience to rate whatever they want without being restricted to particular characteristics or rank.
  • For example, a scale rating from extremely easy to extremely difficult, with no other value allotted in the scale.

Transform your insight generation process

Create an actionable feedback collection process.

Rating Scale customer loyalty survey

4. Likert scale:

  • A Likert scale is a useful tool for effective market research to receive feedback on a wide range of psychometric attributes. The agree-disagree scale is particularly useful when your intention is to gather information on frequency, experience, quality, likelihood, etc.
  • For example, to evaluate employee satisfaction with company policies, a Likert scale is a good tool to use.

5. Graphic rating scale:

  • Instead of numbers imagine using pictures, such as stars or smiley faces to ask your customers and audience to rate. 
  • The stars and smiley faces can generate the same value as a number.

6. Descriptive scale:

  • In certain surveys or research, a numeric scale may not be of much help. A descriptive scale, explains each option for the respondent. 
  • It contains a thorough explanation for the purpose of gathering information with deep insights.

These are the six types that you can use in your surveys to make it an engaging and fun experience for the survey takers.

What are the advantages of using rating scales in surveys?

We have discussed the factors that contribute to the popularity of this question type among others. 

  • It is a simple and easy-to-understand question type for both the researcher and the audience. 
  • It doesn’t take too much of the respondents’ time. 
  • There are various types of scales that help you make an engaging survey. 
  • In terms of marketing surveys, this scale is a valuable tool for data analysis. It can gain product review for evaluation and further improvement in marketing strategy.

What are the disadvantages of rating scales?

Now, let’s also see the disadvantages of using this scale in surveys. 

  • It does not help collect the reason behind a customer review. 
  • It gets access to the overall experience but not the reason behind the perception of the audience.
  • In the case of VRS, the scale may oftentimes overestimate the patient’s pain experience. In addition to that, patients with limited vocabulary may not understand the statements in a verbal descriptor scale.

Explore all the survey question types
possible on Voxco

When to use the rating scale in your survey questionnaire?

The scale allows you to gather a large volume of quantifiable responses. The data you gather can help you identify patterns in feedback and determine what needs a priority. 

You can use it to gather information on a particular topic. For example, you can use it in market research surveys to collect the following data:

  • Customer review about an app they are using.
  • Customer satisfaction with the delivery service of a courier company.
  • Likelihood of recommending a café to a friend.
  • Rate a list of brands from least to most favorite.

You can use it to gather information about a service or product from the target audience for the purpose of comparison and analysis.

  • For instance, if you are planning to start a business, this type of scale will provide you with awareness of the current market demand. With the information gained, you can strategize your scheme.

Wrapping up;

This sums up all you need to know about rating scales. However, here are some tips to ensure that your scale questions are easy to understand for the audience. 

  1. Assign clear and precise labels to the endpoints of your scale. 
  2. Avoid response bias by including both endpoints in your question ( satisfied/dissatisfied, easy/not easy, likely/not likely, etc).
  3. It’s better to make 1 the negative and the other end 5 or 10 as the positive point. 
  4. Use odd scales to offer a neutral point for the audience. 

There are various types of rating scale question types available in Voxco’s market research software, each of which serves a different purpose. Hence, before selecting a scale it is important to figure out the purpose of the survey and also the kind of information you wish to gain.

Read more