Survey Rating Scales – Good to Bad

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Survey Rating Scales: Good to Bad or Bad to Good?

We often get asked the pros and cons of having good to bad vs bad to good survey scales. SurveyStance has received millions points of feedback and the impact of the survey response scale has on the feedback rate is shocking.

First off, there are no rules you are required to follow when crafting surveys.  There are so many factors that impact the feedback survey results, the input answer scale is just one of many. We’ll share some tips for crafting effective questions and provide a few examples to help get you started.

Spoiler Alert: The average human is more likely to select survey responses toward the left side of the scale. This means, if you have a survey scale that starts with something like Excellent or Strongly Agree then the user is more likely to select those as their survey response.

In some cases we even found that happy customers who gave negative feedback admitted to doing so for reasons like “..answering quickly and just selected the first response I saw”. This is compounded for surveys that have survey questions in the double digits. Survey respondents get in the mode of ‘get this survey over with’ and often will keep clicking away until the survey is over. This is something we can totally relate with and have been guilty of doing this on long surveys as well.

Survey scales that are horizontal likart based where the survey responses read from left to right tend to have the biggest effect in the Good to Bad survey scale.

Using emoji responses can help survey respondents quickly associate their feedback with one of the question answers. We have also found that using colors to associate good vs bad can help this even further. For example, using bright red to indicate bad or poor responses and using greens to indicate excellent or positive feedback.

What is a survey rating scale?

A survey rating scale is a set of defined survey responses that can be used to quickly answer a survey question. The survey rating scale can be numeric (example: 1-10) or qualitative (example: Always – Never). Survey scales can also be picture or emoji based, for example very mad emoji – very happy emoji.

Survey rating scales can be used to collect feedback on anything from customer satisfaction to employee engagement. The survey rating scale is very simple to use in all types of surveys. Ask your respondents to rate a particular topic on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. You can then use the numeric score in various calculations, reports and dashboards to summarize the feedback about the topic in question.

Examples of popular 1-5 rating scale for survey

Excellent, Good, Average, Bad Terrible

Examples of popular 1-4 rating scale for survey

Excellent, Good, Bad, Terrible
Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree, Strongly Disagree

Let’s face it, the hard part of creating a survey is crafting the questions. We find a lot of people asking for ideas around questions to include in a survey rating scale survey. Whether you are launching a satisfaction survey or an internal employee feedback survey, rating scale questions are an absolute must and by far the most efficient way to get feedback.

So there you have it, a quick overview of what a survey rating scale is and how it can be used. Now go out there and start collecting some feedback

Learn more about SurveyStance and the range of feedback survey tools

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