How likely are you to recommend this survey?


I got another of these increasingly popular feedback emails that ask you to rate a product or experience on an integer scale, this time from a prominent server hardware manufacturer.

These are problematic for many reasons, especially when you spam a page directly with them when you’re trying to work. I empathise companies need a lower-friction feedback mechanism that more of their clients will use, but these feedback scales feel like a blunt instrument.

Today I learned another, perhaps far more counterproductive reason they have problems. Companies understandably not only use different scales, they order them differently. Take the example I got this morning:

How likely are you to recommend $VENDOR $DEVICE?
Extremely Likely 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 Not Likely

And then another one I got last week for a website:

How likely are you to use $WEBSITE for new projects?
Not likely 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very Likely

If you weren’t paying too close attention and thought you hit the number in the same vague position, you could be saying one company is great, and another sucks! I wonder how many of their metrics are skewed because of this?

Author bio and support


Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person in bios. Hi!

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