Asking Effective Questions in a Survey

Be Specific 

When creating a survey questionnaire, asking effective questions is crucial. The quality of responses that you will get from your participants will depend on the effectiveness of your questions. Hence, to get direct responses, you should ask direct questions. You need to be specific when asking questions. You should not use words that are big, complicated and words that could have several meanings. Always keep in mind that some of the concepts that we are using may have different meanings to other people. So you must be a specific as possible. 

Break Down Ideas

Another way to ask questions effectively is to break down big ideas into more tangible and multiple questions. For example, if you use the term customer satisfaction, the common topic that businesses would like to explore is a general one. So instead of asking questions like ‘How satisfied are you with this product? you could instead ask people to provide their insights and opinion about the product which are sperate from their statements. You could use a scale of 1-7 to measure customer satisfaction and at the same time, you can get great ideas from them. 

Refrain from asking leading questions

When creating a research instrument or a survey, you should avoid leading questions. There are some cases where the opinions and beliefs of the researcher are incorporated in the survey questions which could encourage the respondents to answer in a certain way and compromise the reliability of the survey results. To avoid this, you may ask your colleague or friend to review the questionnaire you created to review any questions in the instrument that seem like to have a right or wrong answer. If someone can guess the kind of answer you want to find out, then it is better to rewrite the questions.

Use Interval Questions

When writing a survey instrument, it is advisable to change questions that are answerable by Yes or No and multiple-choice questions to interval questions. You may make a statement as ask the respondents to answer it on a 1-5 or 1-7 scale like ‘Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Neither Disagree nor Agree, Agree, strongly agree. With this, it will be easier for you to measure to measure the answers of your respondents. This is more applicable if you want to determine or measure the degree of the perception of the customers pertaining to a particular subject matter. For more ideas, you can check reality check insights.

Avoid Pitfalls

There are several pitfalls when creating a survey that you need to avoid. Some of these include bias, framing, incomplete options, and others. Bias is considered as a sad but crucial reality included in survey questions. Asking people about their race, gender, income, employment status, and even educational attainment can influence how they will respond to every question in the survey. The framing refers to the structure of the questions in the survey and it could also affect how the respondent’s answer. Thus, you have to make sure that these things are carefully considered. 

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