Collecting feedback using 1 to 5 rating scale surveys


Ever wondered why the humble 1 to 5 rating point scale is the secret weapon of Product Managers (PMs)?

Marty Cagan, in his book “Inspired: How To Create Products Customers Love”, mentions the use of customer surveys as a tool for understanding customer needs and preferences.

Its beauty lies in its universal appeal—whether you’re navigating the digital realm or the tangible world, the 1 to 5 scale speaks a language everyone understands.


The article underscores the importance of 1 to 5 rating scale surveys & how it has helped me in my PM journey, exploring their simplicity, versatility, and impact on user-centric product development.

It covers various survey types, practical implementation strategies, crafting trigger questions, and selecting effective feedback channels. Feedback integration catalyzes continuous improvement, data-driven decisions, and the creation of exceptional user experiences.

Definition of 1-to-5 Rating Scales Surveys

At its core, the 1-to-5 scale is elegantly straightforward.

Users are presented with a question or statement and asked to rate their response or satisfaction level on a scale from 1  (signifying the lowest satisfaction or agreement) to 5 (the highest). 

Each scale point signifies a nuanced range of sentiment, where a rating of 1 may indicate a distress call, and a survey rating of 3 suggests neutrality or untapped potential.

And a 5? It’s the golden badge of user delight, a signal that your product meets and exceeds expectations.

What sets this scale apart is its universal applicability & ease of understanding.

This widespread accessibility results in higher response rates and more reliable data. For PMs, this is crucial.

More responses equate to a richer, more diverse pool of feedback, providing a comprehensive view of how a product resonates with its audience.

But here’s the real magic: the data isn’t just numbers. It’s a Swiss Army knife capable of revealing trends, patterns, and user insights.

Let’s dive into the art of effective survey crafting and discover how this unassuming scale can be the key to transforming your product’s trajectory.

5 Types of 1 to 5 Rating Surveys

Let’s explore the various types of 1 to 5 rating surveys, each with its distinct flavor and purpose, along with illustrative examples to bring these concepts to life.

1. Satisfaction Scale

Imagine a survey popping up after a customer service call, asking, “How satisfied were you with the service you received?” with answer options ranging from 1 (Not at all satisfied) to 5 (Extremely satisfied).

This scale is straightforward and highly effective in capturing immediate user sentiments.

Satisfaction survey

2. Likert Scale

Named after psychologist Rensis Likert, this type of survey excels at gauging user perceptions and beliefs about specific aspects of a product. It often presents a statement and asks respondents to rate their level of agreement

For instance, PFB, the snapshot of the Likert Scale being deployed for employee satisfaction by my previous employer – Flipkart.

3. Star Rating

Ubiquitous in e-commerce and review sites, the star rating system is a visually engaging way to capture user opinions.

A user might rate a product they purchased online with 1 (very poor) to 5 (excellent) stars.

The visual nature of stars makes this format particularly user-friendly and engaging, encouraging higher participation rates.

For example, here is a snapshot of questions asked by Amazon for my recent delivery experience. 

4. Semantic Differential Scale

This scale contrasts two opposite positive adjectives, and users rate where their opinion falls between them.

For instance, here is a snapshot sent by Nike after my conversation with them about a recent order.

This same survey scale is excellent for understanding user perceptions in a more nuanced way.

5. Frequency Scale

This variant asks users to rate the frequency of their experiences or behaviors.

For instance, PFB,a question asked by an e-commerce website with options from 1 (Never) to 5 (Always).

It’s particularly useful for understanding user interaction patterns or satisfaction over time.

Practical Implementation for PMs

Leveraging pre-designed templates can be a game-changer. These templates, such as those available on Usersnap, provide a solid foundation, saving time and ensuring survey consistency.

For instance, a PM at a SaaS company might use a customer satisfaction template post-interaction to gauge user experience quickly.

Crafting Context-Specific Rating Scale Questions

A PM for a mobile gaming app, for example, could use a star rating  survey to ask, “ How satisfied are you with the price of the app?” This targeted question is more likely to elicit useful responses than a generic satisfaction query. 

Incorporating Storytelling

Consider a fitness app that uses a semantic differential scale to ask, “Do you find the app’s workout recommendations: 1 (Ineffective) to 5 (Highly Effective)?” This question not only seeks feedback but also subtly communicates the app’s goal of effective workout planning.

Optimizing Timing and Frequency

For instance, an e-commerce PM might set up a star rating survey to appear immediately after a customer completes a purchase. This timely approach captures the customer’s experience while it’s still fresh, leading to more accurate and insightful feedback.

Analyzing and Acting on Feedback

Imagine a project management tool PM analyzing Likert scale responses to improve software usability. By identifying trends and areas for improvement, the PM can prioritize development efforts where they matter most.

PM joke

Versatility in Product Management

The beauty of the 1 to 5 rating scale survey lies in its chameleon-like ability to adapt to various facets of product management.

Let’s explore how PMs can leverage these surveys to gain a panoramic view of user experience, preferences, and behaviors.

Understanding User Satisfaction

A PM for an OTT app (for example Netflix, Amazon Prime ) could use a satisfaction rating scale question to ask customers to rate their membership renewal experience.

Assessing Usability

A PM for a mobile app, for instance, might use a Semantic Differential Survey post-update to ask, “How easy is it to navigate the new interface?” The responses can guide the team in making interface adjustments that align with user preferences.

Determining Feature Preferences

Imagine a fitness app that uses a frequency scale to ask users how often they use certain features, like tracking workouts versus dietary plans. Such insights can direct focus and resources to enhance popular features or improve underutilized ones.

A star rating survey could be used to gauge users’ reactions to a new feature or product line, helping the team to understand how well they are keeping pace with market expectations and emerging needs.

Gathering Targeted Feedback for Iterations

A PM for a software tool might use semantic differential scale surveys to understand user perceptions before and after specific updates, like “Before the update, I found the tool’s speed: 1 (Very Slow) to 5 (Very Fast).” This before-and-after snapshot is invaluable for gauging the impact of changes.

1 to 5 rating scale survey adaptability allows PMs to explore different dimensions of the user experience, turning each survey into a goldmine of insights

Trigger Rating Scale Questions and Use Cases in Product Management

Trigger questions are the heartbeat of any survey, designed to elicit precise and meaningful feedback

Let’s explore deeper meaning of this in detail!

Market Research

For example, a PM at a tech company might ask potential users, “How important is battery life in your decision to purchase a laptop?” the answer is rated from 1 (Not important) to 5 (Extremely important).

This question helps gauge market priorities, guiding product specifications and marketing strategies.

Feature Satisfaction

PMs often grapple with understanding which features resonate most with their users. A streaming service, for instance, could ask, “How satisfied are you with the variety of shows available?” Here, a 1 might indicate a need for more diverse content, while a middle or neutral point of 5 suggests content satisfaction.

feature satisfaction survey

Usability Assessment

A PM for a mobile app could use a Likert scale question like, “How easy is it to navigate our app?” A low rating here signals a need for a more intuitive design, while high scores affirm the effectiveness of the current layout.

Customer Service Feedback

A retail company might ask, “How would you rate the helpfulness of our customer service team?” from comparative scale of 1 (Not helpful) to 5 (Very helpful).

This feedback is vital for training and improving customer service quality.

Product Improvement

Continuous improvement is key in product management.

A kitchen appliance manufacturer might ask, “How would you rate the ease of cleaning our blender?

Such specific questions collect feedback and can lead to design tweaks that significantly enhance user experience.

Moreover, Product managers must ethically collect survey data by ensuring legal compliance, transparent disclosure, and securing informed consent next survey by, emphasizing privacy to build user trust.

Choosing the Right & Effective Channels for PMs

The choice of survey method depends on the specific goals and context, but for PMs starting out, In-App Product Surveys can be a recommended starting point.

Let’s dive deep.

Website Surveys

Embedding website surveys here can capture real-time, context-rich feedback.

For example, a PM for an e-commerce website might integrate a pop-up survey asking, “What is your first reaction to this feature?” rated on a 1 to 5 scale.

This immediate feedback is invaluable for optimizing website navigation and user experience. To make it even more convenient for users, PMs should ensure that surveys are mobile-friendly, considering the adoption of smartphones.

Ask concise questions, and clear response options, and keep simple navigation for both desktop & mobile platforms.

Additionally, consider incentivizing participation allowing respondents to enhance survey engagement and data quality.

Examples of surveys

Email Surveys

Email remains a powerful tool for reaching out to users, especially for more detailed feedback collection.

A SaaS company could send an email survey post-purchase, asking, “On a scale of 1 to 5, how satisfied are you with our software’s performance?”.

The personal nature of email can encourage more thoughtful responses, providing deeper insights into user satisfaction.

In-Product Surveys

Embedding surveys directly in your product or service allows for feedback at the point of interaction.

For instance, a mobile app PM might include a quick survey after a new feature is used, asking, “How would you rate this new feature?”

This method yields highly relevant feedback on specific aspects of the product, enabling targeted improvements.

in-product surveys

Why Choose Rating Scale 1-5 Rating Surveys for Product Enhancement?

I own the KYC (Know Your Customer) onboarding journey for my organization & I have embedded 1 to 5 rating surveys in the onboarding journey to gather quick and actionable feedback from users regarding the onboarding process. Users were asked to rate their experience on a scale of 1 to 5, helping us understand pain points and satisfaction levels.

For instance, after implementing a new document upload feature, we embedded a 1 to 5 rating scale survey within the onboarding flow. This enabled users to express the ease or challenges they encountered during the document submission process. A rating of 1 indicated potential issues, prompting us to investigate and refine the feature promptly.

The granularity of the scale allowed us to distinguish between subtle user sentiments emotional attitudes. A score of 3, for instance, indicated areas of indifference or untapped potential that might have otherwise gone unnoticed. By using 5 point scale and carefully analyzing the survey data, we identified bottlenecks, clarified confusing instructions, updated the design and streamlined the overall UX of the KYC User journey.

In 6 months, this iterative process of collecting feedback through 1 to 5-rating surveys resulted in a significantly improved onboarding experience.

The simplicity of the scale encouraged higher user participation, providing us with quantitative and qualitative data, and a robust dataset to make informed decisions.

As a result, the overall conversion rate of respondents for KYC onboarding witnessed a notable increase, underscoring the effectiveness of these surveys in driving tangible product enhancements.

Also Read:

A comprehensive list of customer feedback tools

Collection of hand-picked customer feedback forms with examples


In conclusion, mastering feedback integration through 1 to 5 rating scale surveys is pivotal for astute PMs committed to a dynamic and user-centric approach in modern product management.

This practice not only elevates the product but also fortifies the bond between product teams and users. The essence of achieving product excellence lies in embracing continuous learning and improvement.

PMs are encouraged to consistently review and update survey methods, aligning them with evolving user needs and industry trends. This fosters a positive feedback and-driven journey, ensuring the creation of experiences that profoundly resonate with users.

Capture user feedback easily. Get more insights and make confident product decisions.

Microsurveys by Usersnap

Getting feedback has never been easier and we hope you’ve realized that after reading this article. Let us know what you think, your feedback is important.

And if you’re ready to try out a customer feedback software, Usersnap offers a free trial. Sign up today or book a demo with our feedback specialists.