Stop asking stupid questions...on surveys
There is no such thing as a stupid question. But what about a stupid question choice? That, unfortunately, is problematic.
I understand your quest for customer feedback -- it’s crucial to the life of your company. But surveys must be crafted carefully; every question deliberately considered. Only the right questions bring the kind of data that leads to an analytic treasure trove.
Here's a breakdown of the two types of questions you might use on your surveys and why they matter.
Open Ended Questions vs. Closed Ended Questions
Open ended or “fill in the blank” questions are your best source of unidentified issues. No restrictions or predetermined answer options are provided, leaving respondents to answer as they like. Open ended questions get to the root of the issue, and in the process build connections.
Some business owners are afraid to hear what their customers would say in an open ended question; but the information you obtain from them is solid gold. Take it from Bill Gates, “Your unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
|Open Ended Question Pros||Open Ended Question Cons|
Open Ended Questions work well for preliminary research, pilot studies and smaller survey sample numbers.
Closed Ended Questions
A closed ended question refers to any question for which the participants are provided with options from which to choose a response. The goal of closed ended questions is to elicit clear, quantifiable data; but before you even start to craft your closed ended survey questions, you must take the time to educate yourself on all possible answer choices. Only after you have exhausted all possible answer choices can you begin to craft a well-written closed ended question.
|Closed Ended Question Pros||Closed Ended Question Cons|
These questions are well suited for: Demographics, conducting a study to quantify and evaluate data, recurring surveys to track, measuring and comparing data over time, and when there are only a certain number of answers that are possible.
Types of Closed Ended Questions
Multiple Choice Single Answer
These questions are simply questions with a list of supplied answers from which you may only choose one. Use multiple choice single answer questions when only one answer choice would be appropriate like demographic questions on age, gender, income and ethnicity.
Multiple Choice Multiple Answer
These questions are multiple choice questions with a list of supplied answers from which you may choose more than one.
These questions come in 2 main types:
- The Likert rating scale is a 5 - 7 point scale method in which each point is assigned the same amount of weight, giving the respondent a spectrum of equal positive and negative choices. This gives a balanced scale in which respondents can answer in a way that reflects their feelings.
- The Semantic Differential Scale method was designed to identify the connotative meaning of objects, words, and concepts. The technique was created in the 1950s by psychologist Charles E. Osgood. The semantic differential technique measures an individual's unique, perceived meaning of an object, a word, or an individual.The semantic differential can be thought of as a sequence of attitude scales.
Open ended questions are a priceless cache of insight. Your customers may share things that shock and surprise you, prompting you to make changes you never anticipated. Meanwhile, closed ended questions garner tighter data which can be easily analyzed. Choosing the appropriate question type on each survey topic will help you to obtain the feedback your company needs.
Writing thoughtful, unbiased survey questions is the first step to engaging with your customers -- using the feedback you receive to make appropriate changes creates loyalty and trust.
Keep getting lost along the way to gathering feedback? Call the CX team at SurveyMe. We know the path to the feedback you need. Let us create a custom survey just for you.
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