What is the best rating scale for a customer survey?

The best rating scale for a customer survey provides the respondent with six possible responses. The scale should include three positive points and three negative points as possible responses. This solution enables the customer to select from high, medium, or low on each end of the scale and does not allow a neutral response. This scale is balanced, neutral, and forces an opinion.

This is a much better scale than the typical scale in customer surveys that ranges from Excellent to Poor (Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor). Since most of the possible responses in this rating system are on the positive end of the scale, the results will skew toward the positive. In addition, if customers are offered a neutral response, the information you receive from those responses will most likely not be actionable. In fact, when offered, respondents will choose the neutral option about 20 percent of the time, which means that you wasted 20 percent of your responses and your survey investment.

Psychologists have used the balanced 6-point scale in millions of surveys over more than a hundred years, and it has proven to be extremely effective in gathering actionable, useful information from a customer survey.