7 Qualities of a Good Survey Question

7 Qualities of a Good Survey Question

You’re up for a ride? You have decided to take your customers onboard and write outstanding survey question?

You’re in the right place.

A survey is defined as a collection of questions asked from a given population to mathematically derive and relate the individual characteristics of the surveyed population.

Each individual client has distinct requirements. This is the root cause of the survey.

The companies gather the information from their users, customers and find out the individual ideas, thoughts, and feedback of their clients.

Surveys are the easiest mediums of direct communication with the public.

It is very essential for a smart progressing company to regularly organize a survey and collect data from the public, which is directly related to their daily work, products, and services.

Every company big or small has invested money and time for gaining profits. Surveys provide the finest means of input from existing or potential future customers.

Reasons behind the motivation to collect feedback can be many like:

  1. Expansion of business
  2. Comparison with the rivals
  3. Determining customer satisfaction (use this customer satisfaction template)
  4. Gauging market interest

Talking about motivations.

The objective is the core of the whole feedback program, it is very important to determine the main objective of the survey.

It determines the general end result of the survey, what the collected data would answer at the end of the survey. An efficient objective assists in acumen the research design.

An objective of the survey consists of any of these 3 individual components: statement, question, and hypothesis.

But what makes up a good survey question?

Here is the question.

And we have the answer for you.

1. Provides Adequate Information in Your Survey Question

To obtain an efficient response from the customer – and to obtain a relevant answer – it is necessary to provide enough information to the customer.

Why?

So he can easily interpret the asked question and can easily respond accordingly.

If less information is provided, it may lead to the customer getting a wrong perception and result in an incorrect response —  thus failing the main objective of the survey.

This information provided must also be relevant to the survey and must be as simple as possible so that it is easy for a common person to understand and reply.

In the example below, we emphasize on the description. A question is not only made up of the question title itself, but also the description. Make sure to provide all the context using the description.

Survey Question Description

You can also be a little bit more creative and use Giph or image in your description. This is made possible using Feedier.

Attractive Questionnaire on Feedier

2. Organize Your Survey Questions Properly

Organization determines the success of the survey.

A well-organized survey is able to fulfill the root cause of the survey.

The organization here means organizing not only the survey as a whole but also individual components of the survey like questions (their form and arrangement).

Survey question design is a key component of survey research. Even if the correct questions are asked but their arrangement is not correct, the feedback obtained becomes prone to error.

Your decision may be based on bad questions.

The transition from one question to another must be smooth.

3. Don’t Overkill Your Question

The survey questions must be framed sincerely.

You shouldn’t include a question just to ask a question.

These questions have an impact on the mind of the reader or client.

Some customers start predicting the credibility of the company from these questions. Never insert questions provided by peers or staff members which relate their problems.

A thorough examination and further cross verification of these questions must be done.

A systematic process must be followed, which determines which questions to include and which not to in the survey.

Precautions while selecting questions are:

  1. Never include personally sensitive questions in the survey.
  2. Questions must have mutually exclusive answers to them. This means that there must be one single correct answer to the question.
  3. Never do guesswork in a survey by pre-assuming the condition of the participant.
  4. Does not make erroneous assumptions.
The basics of survey questions

4. Strive for Question Clarity

The language used in the questions must be simple and easy to interpret.

They must not contain complex, technical words, which your audience may not understand.

Additionally, the questions must not be emotionally loaded. The most important aspect is to use the correct language to ask questions.

Framing of questions is a very important parameter in a survey.

Presence of acronyms, ambiguous language, technical terms all degrades the quality of data collected, as these perplex the customer.

5. Focus on The Questionnaire Design

Breaking down the questions into various sub-divisions increases the answering capability of the customer.

This subcategorization can be based on various parameters like the division on the basis of content, matter, area of focus, answer type (numerical, verbal, etc).

This policy of “divide and rule” makes it easy for the customer to reply without confusion.

Interrelating the questions also provides the advantage of detailed response to them, covering individual aspects of the questions.

Sub-categorisation of lengthy, multi-functioning questions increases the amount of data collected through them.

Use Branching Logic Properly

There must be a logical reason behind the asked question which the client must be able to understand without difficulty.

In addition to the content, if the questions are in sequence and related to each other, they must also be related to each other genuinely and must have a logical relationship with each other.

6. Use Multiple Choice Survey Question Properly, Using Alternate Response

The responsibility for the customer is determined from this parameter.

The alternate response is the customer feasible feedback, which is determined by the customer himself.

This is used when the customer is not satisfied with the options provided with the questions, and he wants to provide his own answer instead of selecting the pre-defined answers provided by the company.  

Example multiple choice survey question alternate response
Example of multiple choice survey question with alternate response

This option provides full freedom to the user to independently design the answer for the required question.

There can be word limit restrictions for this, but this provides the customer to clarify his point of view and represent his opinion. If possible, provide the choice to the participant to skip the question, without answering.

Based on the above-mentioned characteristics of the survey, the questions of a survey are framed.

Choice count plays a significant role here. This is the category in which the customer provides answer single or multiple answers to the asked question.

The client must be informed about these choices.

By standard use, circular options represent single answers while square boxes represent multiple answer selection.  

If the customer is not satisfied with the provided options, he must have the choice to provide his own answer (with options like other or comment field). These parameters help in determining the questions for a survey. They act as a base or platform for the questions.

7. Watch Out For Survey Question Demographics and Privacy

The most important aspect of receiving quality feedback is privacy.

The customer must have faith in you and he must not be hesitant while answering.  It must be informed to the customer whether his identity will be disclosed or not. This provides clarity to the customer to freely state his opinion without any fear and bias.

Customer Feedback In Compliance With GDPR
You can read more about privacy in this article

Provide the output results of your survey as you indicated before taking it.

Never disclose the identity of the participants, as this may degrade the company reputation and loss in faith in the company by the customers.

Use the data provided for completing the desired task.

On a final note, make sure to. always thank the participants.

Thank you for the feedback by Feedier
Thank you for your feedback

Wrap Up

This skeletal framework for designing a survey must be considered prior to start a survey.

Some of the examples of basic survey questions are:

  1. Why are we organizing the survey?
  2. What is the incentive behind this survey?
  3. What data are we collecting?
  4. Is our brand reliable or able to satisfy your needs?
  5. Product survey question, like will our product be bought if we alter some of its characteristics, design or application use?
  6. What changes would you like us to bring in our work?
  7. You can ask about rating your services.
  8. Unique survey questions, which include picture based, humor based questions.

The main task of a survey is a higher response rate and obtaining the required information. Work does not get completed by providing the questions but getting the response back is essential.

Periodic communication with the customers is necessary to run a successful business and constant improvement in the services provided.

A well-organised survey requires deep understanding, experience and collecting the data requires patience. Analyzing the information and implementing the results of the survey must be done in a timely manner.

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About the Author

This post was written by Robert Smith. Following the cultural footsteps of George W. Jenkins, the late founder of our company Publix, we treat our associates with dignity and respect. These associates help us in building a positive relationship between our customers and suppliers who assist us in the development of the company. Our company is mainly focused on customer value and associate employment security.

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