# Survey questions with many different response formats: Is it a problem?

A co-worker has asked me to help setup a spreadsheet that is used in the analysis of customer care emails. In particular, we are looking at three categories - the assignment of meta-data, content and communication skills.

A typical example question may be:

"How well is the email tailored towards the customers questions?" "How well did the employee answer the customers questions?"

I'm not a statistician but have conducted a few surveys in the past. After seeing the initial survey, which was basically an ad-hoc collection of questions combined with varying scaling mechanisms for each question. I figured the first step would be to iterate the goals and work back from there; otherwise I'd be basically devising my own methods from scratch, which feels a little flakey. All this led me to re-design the survey using the Likert scale due to it's simplicity in implementation and analysis.

However, without a deep statistical background I'm finding it hard to validate why it is better to use a proven methodology than a collection of different scales and measurements aggregated into a single number.

How can I convince them of the benefits if using a 'methodology'/scale such as Likert rather than various choice of measurements?

• Do you mean using a standard questionnaire? Or an ad hoc Likert scale (i.e. several Likert-type items) to measure a given outcome as opposed to single items? Or using the same rating format throughout?
– Gala
Jul 18, 2013 at 21:11
• I would be using three categories, with multiple questions contained within each. In each category I placed questions that relate to each other and then used a lickert type items throughout with the intention of aggregating the sum. The original survey used different scales for different questions, for example integer rankings, 0 - 1 and 1- 10. Jul 18, 2013 at 21:25
• Strictly speaking, a Likert (no c) “scale” is a set of items (questions or statements). The distinction matters. Are you planning to analyze the results item-by-item or somehow average several ratings?
– Gala
Jul 18, 2013 at 21:35
• Both. I'd like to drill down to each question, aggregate questions by category and provide an overall average. Jul 18, 2013 at 21:39