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Will the new Star Rating question type affect your survey completion rates?

Will the new Star Rating question type affect your survey completion rates?

Ever tire of asking your customers how satisfied they are using a regular old numerical satisfaction scale? No worries. You can now use stars, smiley faces, hearts and thumbs up or down with our brand new Star Rating question type!

And because we’re your resident survey scientists here at SurveyMonkey, we always test our features out before we recommend them to all of you. So let’s jump right in to testing Star Rating, shall we?

Words vs. Non-words

We asked 12 questions using a satisfaction scale with five response options (Very satisfied, Somewhat satisfied, Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, Somewhat dissatisfied, Very dissatisfied). In addition to these, we asked the same questions using stars, smiley faces, hearts and thumbs.


We also tested adding the verbal labels to the scales as seen in the screenshot below. Then we randomly assigned the respondents to one of the nine question types from earlier and tested to see whether their answers changed, based on the type of questions presented.


What we discovered

In the chart seen below, we’re showing the mean score for each of the 12 questions we asked by the question type. There are nine mean scores, one for each question type.

The blue line is for the regular satisfaction scale. The other eight lines are for the star, smiley face, heart, and thumb scales. For each question, the mean scores for the nine question types are very similar to each other, suggesting that the answers we received didn’t change based on the type of questions we used.

We did the same analysis for people who took our survey on mobile and on PCs separately. The same conclusion was reached on both occasions. Also, answers among the different questions were very similar regardless of the question type.


For the most part, survey completion rates were above 90% and they also didn’t change by question type. Meaning? Respondents are definitely not less likely to answer new question types than they are older, more traditional radio button rating scales.

Based off of our experiments, it’s safe to say using the Star Rating question type won’t hurt your survey completion rates and they won’t change your results either. We also think your survey takers will love the new design of the Star Rating icons. Expect tons of smiley faces in your next survey!

Questions, comments for us? Let us know, we’re here to help. 

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