How to Write Good Survey Questions? (Examples & Tips)

How to Write Good Survey Questions?

Are you looking to create surveys for your research project? Or are you curious about how to craft good questions for surveys for effective market research?

In either case, this blog post is for you! We will review the basics of question writing and walk through some examples to see what makes a good survey question.

By the end, you’ll be able to write the types of surveys questions you need to get a high response rate.

Let’s get started!

Table of contents
The importance of survey questions
Different types of Survey Questions
What makes a good survey question?
Tips for writing great survey questions

The importance of survey questions

A survey question is a prompt used to collect information from survey respondents. Survey questions can be used to collect quantitative data (i.e. data that can be measured or counted) or qualitative data (i.e. descriptive data that cannot be easily measured).

Also, survey questions can be both open-ended and closed-ended. Where open-ended questions give respondents the opportunity to answer in their own words, while closed-ended questions give respondents a limited number of responses to choose from.

Both types of questions have their own advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to choose the right type of question depending on your goals.

Ultimately, using the right survey questions is essential because they help researchers gather the data they need to answer their research question(s).

Furthermore, well-written survey questions can help ensure that the data collected is accurate and useful.

rating scale questions, types of survey questions, customer satisfaction

Different types of Survey Questions

There are four main types of survey questions:

1. Open-ended questions

These questions allow respondents to answer in their own words. They are often used to collect qualitative data.

Tip: Ask for simple information in separate questions so it’s easier to review and analyse the results.

2. Closed-ended questions

These questions provide respondents with a list of answers to choose from. They can be used to collect both quantitative and qualitative data.

Tip: These are great for web surveys to gather data fast from users across the customer journey.

3. Multiple choice

This is where you give more than one choice, and allow the respondent to select multiple answers. These are absolutely a great way to get a high response rate as these types of survey questions are easy and quick to answer.

Tip: Write great surveys questions and avoid asking multiple questions that contain similar choices.

4. Likert scale questions

These questions ask respondents to rate their level of agreement or disagreement with a statement on a scale (usually from 1 to 5 or 1 – 10). They are typically used to collect quantitative data.

Tip: Use the same rating scales over time to gather feedback which can be easily compared when analysing.

5. Rating scale questions

These questions ask respondents to rate their level of agreement or disagreement with a statement on a scale (usually from 1 to 7) using semantic terms (e.g., good-bad, easy-difficult). They are typically used to collect quantitative data.

Tip: Follow up with respondents answers to collect data with actionable insights. The numeric results of rating scales only give a snapshot.

Now that we’ve reviewed the different questions let’s look at what makes a good survey question.

customer satisfaction, written answers, open ended survey questions

What makes a good survey question?

Now that we know what survey questions are and why they’re essential let’s talk about what makes a good survey question. There are four main qualities of a good survey question:

  1. Clarity
  2. Conciseness
  3. Specificity
  4. neutrality

Let’s take a closer look at each of these qualities.

1. Clarity

A survey question should be straightforward so that respondents understand what they are being asked and can provide an accurate answer. A question is considered clear if it uses language that is easy to understand and free of jargon.

For example, the following survey question is clear:

“How often do you check your email?”

This survey question is clear because it uses concise and straightforward language. The respondent knows precisely what they are asked and can quickly provide an answer.

2. Conciseness

Keep your questions short and sweet, so respondents don’t get discouraged or bogged down. A concise question gets straight to the point without using unnecessary words.

For example, the following survey question is brief:

“How many hours per week do you spend working?”

This survey question is concise because it is direct and to the point. The respondent knows precisely what they are asked and can quickly provide an answer.

3. Specificity

A survey question should be clear and concise so that respondents can quickly answer it. A specific question asks about a particular topic or issue.

For example, the following survey question is straightforward:

“What factors do you consider when choosing a new car?”

This survey question is specific because it asks about a particular topic (choosing a new car). The respondent knows precisely what they are asked and can quickly provide an answer.

4. Neutrality

A survey question should not reflect the writers’ opinions to ensure that respondents can answer without bias. A neutral question is one void of the writer’s influence so that anyone could answer it objectively.

For example, the following survey question is neutral:

“What is your favorite color?”

This survey question is neutral because it does not lead respondents to a particular answer. The respondent can answer without bias.

Now that we know what qualities make a good survey question let’s look at some sample survey questions.

Example 1:

“How often do you check your email?”

This survey question is clear, concise, specific, and neutral. Respondents will be able to understand the question and provide an accurate answer.

Example 2:

“How many hours per week do you spend working?”

This survey question is clear, concise, and specific. Respondents will be able to understand the question and provide an accurate answer.

Example 3:

“What factors do you consider when choosing a new car?”

This survey question is clear, specific, and neutral. Respondents will be able to understand the question and provide an accurate answer.

Now that you know what qualities make a good survey question try writing some of your own! Remember to keep your questions clear, concise, specific, and neutral.

answer options, multiple answers, market research

Tips for writing great survey questions

In addition to the qualities of a good survey question, you can follow some general tips to write practical survey questions. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Make sure your question is relevant to the survey’s purpose.

1. Avoid yes/no questions.

It is essential to avoid yes/no questions when writing survey questions. Yes/no questions are not practical because they do not provide enough information for respondents.

For example, the following survey question is a yes/no question:

“Do you like blue cars?”

This survey question is a yes/no question because it asks respondents if they like blue cars. The respondent can only answer “yes” or “no” and does not provide any additional information.

Instead of using yes/no questions, try using qustions that allow you to gather more actionable insights. Using open-ended is a great way of doing this and to get more valuable information.

For example, the following survey question is open-ended:

“Why do you like blue cars?”

This survey question is open-ended because it asks respondents why they like blue cars. The respondent can provide a detailed answer and more information about their opinion.

2. Ask one question at a time.

When writing survey questions, ask one question at a time to maintain respondent focus and accuracy.

For example, the following survey question asks two questions at once:

“Do you like blue cars? And why?”

This survey asks two questions at once because it asks respondents if they like blue cars and why. The respondent can only answer “yes” or “no” for the first question and “why” for the second question.

When writing survey questions, ask one question at a time so that respondents can provide accurate answers.

3. Keep your survey questions short.

Keep your survey questions short to avoid overwhelming respondents.

For example, the following survey question is too long:

“How often do you check your email, and how many hours per day do you spend working?”

This survey question is too long because it asks respondents two questions. The respondent can only answer “often” or “hours per day” for the first question and “per day” for the second question.

As a result, the respondent cannot provide a detailed answer to either question.

4. Use simple language

Use comprehensible language when writing survey questions to ensure the respondents can correctly answer the question.

For example, the following survey question uses complex language:

“What are some of the reasons why you might not purchase a product?”

This survey question uses complex language because it asks respondents to list “reasons.” The respondent might not be able to understand the question and provide an accurate answer.

Instead of using complex language, try using more straightforward language. For example, the following survey question uses more straightforward language:

“Why wouldn’t you purchase a product?”

This survey question uses more straightforward language, asking respondents to list “reasons.” The respondent can understand the question and provide an accurate answer.

5. Avoid leading or loaded questions.

It is essential to avoid leading or loaded questions when writing survey questions. Leading questions ask respondents for their opinion in a way that influences their answers.

For example, the following survey question is a leading question:

“Do you think blue cars are better than red cars?”

This survey question is a leading question because it asks respondents if they think blue cars are better than red cars. The respondent might not be able to provide an accurate answer if they do not have an opinion on the subject.

Leading questions can also be loaded questions. Loaded questions ask respondents for their opinion in a way that is emotional or controversial.

For example, the following survey question is a loaded question:

“Do you think it’s acceptable to hit your child if they disobey you?”

This survey question is loaded because it asks respondents for their opinion on child discipline. The respondent might be unable to provide an accurate answer if they do not have an idea of the subject.

Avoid leading or loaded questions while drafting survey questions to obtain reliable feedback from respondents.

6. Avoid double-barreled questions.

You should always avoid asking double-barreled questions in surveys. Double-barreled questions are when you simultaneously ask the respondent for their opinion on two different subjects.

For example, the following survey question is double-barreled:

“Do you think that blue cars are better than red cars, and why?”

This survey question is double-barreled because it asks respondents for their opinions on two subjects simultaneously. The respondent might be unable to provide an accurate answer if they do not have an idea on either subject.

When writing survey questions, avoid double-barreled questions to get accurate feedback from respondents.

7. Use closed-ended questions.

When writing survey questions, it is essential to use closed-ended questions. Closed-ended questions allow for easier analysis of results by only allowing respondents to choose from a list of options.

For example, the following survey question is closed-ended:

“Which type of car do you prefer?”

This survey is a closed-ended question because it asks respondents to choose from a list of options. The respondent can answer with “blue,” “red,” or “other.”

Using closed-ended questions allows you to get specific information from respondents. This question is beneficial when you want to know how many people feel a certain way about a subject.

Use closed-ended questions when writing survey questions to gain specific information from respondents.

8. Use open-ended questions.

It’s vital to use open-ended questions when writing survey questions. Open-ended questions ask respondents to provide their answers.

For example, the following survey question is open-ended:

“What are your thoughts on child discipline?”

This survey question is open-ended because it asks respondents to provide their answers. The respondent can answer with their opinion on child discipline.

Using an open-ended question allows you to get detailed information from respondents. This question is beneficial when you want to know why people feel a certain way about a subject.

When writing survey questions, use open-ended questions to get detailed information from respondents.

9. Use Likert scale questions.

When writing survey questions, it is essential to use Likert scale questions. Likert scale questions ask respondents to rate their level of agreement with a statement on a scale of 1 to 5.

For example, the following survey question is a Likert scale question:

“Do you think that blue cars are better than red cars?”

This survey question is a Likert scale because it asks respondents to rate their level of agreement with the statement on a scale of 1 to 5. The respondent can answer with:

  • 1 – Strongly Disagree
  • 2 – Disagree
  • 3 – Neutral
  • 4 – Agree
  • 5 – Strongly Agree

Using Likert scale questions allows you to get detailed information from respondents. This question is beneficial when you want to know how strongly people feel about a subject.

Use Likert scale questions when constructing survey questions to elicit rich information from respondents.

Conclusion

Now that you know the basics of question writing, it’s time to put your skills to the test! Try crafting a few survey questions of your own. Once you have some practice, you’ll be able to write surveys quickly.

And who knows? You might learn something new about yourself in the process!

Want To Know More? Check Our FAQ Below!

Why do we ask demographic questions?

Demographic questions are asked to understand the characteristics of a population.

This information is used to help plan and allocate resources and understand trends and patterns.

How do you write a rating scale question?

For example, a rating scale question is a question where respondents are asked to rate something on a scale from 1-5.

  • 1 – Very unsatisfied
  • 5 – Very satisfied.

When creating the rating scale questions, it’s essential to make sure that the ratings are evenly spaced and that there is a midpoint (3 in this example).

It’s also essential to choose appropriate words for the endpoints of the scale. “Very unsatisfied” and “very satisfied” are good options, but you could also use “extremely dissatisfied” and “extremely satisfied”.

What questions should you ask potential customers?

You should ask potential customers about their needs and what they want in a product or service.

It would help if you also asked them about their experience with your competition and how they compare.

Existing and potential customers can be asked about their satisfaction with your product or service and what they would like to see improved.

Finally, you can ask both groups for feedback on the overall customer experience from start to finish.

How to write great questions for online surveys?

When designing a survey questionnaire, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Sensitive questions should be placed towards the end of the survey after all other questions have been answered. This will ensure that respondents are more likely to answer all questions honestly.
  2. Questions about market research and customer feedback should be included early in the survey to capture as much information as possible.
  3. The order of the questions should be logical and easy to follow.
  4. Questions should be concise and easy to understand.
  5. Double-check the wording of each question to make sure it is unambiguous.

Why are multiple-choice questions good in a survey?

There are a few reasons why multiple-choice questions can be good in a survey.

  • First, they allow respondents to select from a range of options, making it easier to find the answer they are looking for.
  • Second, multiple-choice questions allow for multiple solutions, giving you a complete picture of what your respondents are thinking.

How do you increase survey responses?

There are a few things you can do to increase survey responses.

First, ensure that your target audience is aware of the survey and incentive participation by offering something to complete the survey.

Secondly, you can promote your survey through social media, email marketing, or even directly reaching out to your target audience.

Why is the survey important for business?

A survey can be an essential tool for businesses to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty and collect customer feedback.

Additionally, surveys can help companies identify potential improvement areas and understand what customers want from their products or services.

What are the NPS questions in the survey?

The NPS questions in the survey are used to determine the Net Promoter Score of a business.

The score is calculated starting with the percentage of respondents that answered 9 or 10 on the survey (promoters) and then taking away the percentage of respondents who answer 0 to 6 (detractors).

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