Survey questions are a powerful tool for getting feedback from customers and employees. The key to getting the most out of surveys is crafting effective questions that yield meaningful results.
1. Thou shalt not ask loaded questions.
Asking loaded questions in a survey is a surefire way to get skewed results. A loaded question is one that assumes something about the respondent, often something that the respondent may disagree with.
For example, a loaded question might be, “Do you think people who commit crimes should be punished harshly?” This question doesn’t take into account the seriousness of different crimes, and may imply that even those who commit minor crimes should be treated the same as those who commit serious crimes.
2. Thou shalt not ask too many questions at once.
If you’re conducting a survey, it’s important to not ask too many questions at once. This can overwhelm respondents and make them less likely to complete the survey. Instead, break up your questions into manageable chunks and ask one question at a time.
This will make it more likely to get useful information from your respondents. It’s also important to make sure that your questions are clear and concise. If respondents are confused about what you’re asking, they’re less likely to provide useful information.
3. Thou shalt not make assumptions in thy questions.
It is important to remember that not everyone will share your assumptions about what is common knowledge. It is important to be as clear as possible in your questions to get the most accurate responses possible.
It is also important to look at the results of your survey and not be too quick to make assumptions based on a few responses.
4. Thou shalt not use leading questions.
Leading questions are those that suggest a particular answer or response. They can be very effective in influencing someone’s answer to a question, and as such, they have no place in surveys.
More subtle leading questions may be phrased as follow-up questions. For example, after asking a customer how satisfied they are with a product, a follow-up question such as “What specifically didn’t you like about it?” can be leading, suggesting that the customer didn’t like something about the product.
5. Thou shalt not use ambiguous language.
Ambiguous language can lead to confusion and inaccurate results. Be sure to avoid using words with multiple meanings or that can be interpreted in different ways.
Additionally, try to use simple language that can be understood by everyone. Avoid using jargon or slang. This will help ensure that your survey questions are clear and that the results are accurate.
6. Thou shalt not ask personal questions.
It is considered rude to ask personal questions in a survey. This includes age, income, religion, political affiliation, and other sensitive topics.
Asking these questions can make respondents feel uncomfortable and may lead them to withhold important information from the survey. Additionally, personal questions can bias the survey results if the responses are not representative of the population being surveyed.
7. Thou shalt ask questions that are relevant to the survey’s topic.
Surveys are a great way to gather information from many people. However, it is important to make sure that the questions you ask are relevant to the topic of the survey. This will help ensure that you get accurate and helpful responses from respondents.
If your survey has too many questions, try to cull any questions that don’t relate to the topic and may be better off in a separate survey.
8. Thou shalt make your question easy to understand.
Survey questions should be short and direct to encourage survey respondents to answer them accurately. If you have long questions, break them up into smaller sections that are easier to understand and less intimidating for the respondent.
Consistent formatting in your survey will help ensure that respondents complete all of the questions correctly and provide accurate answers. Try to use the same question format for all questions in your survey.
9. Thou shalt not use boring, stale language in thy questions.
It’s important to make sure that your survey questions are interesting and engaging in order to encourage a high response rate. Otherwise, you may end up with unfinished surveys.
Avoid using overly technical language, and try to keep your questions short and to the point. Additionally, avoid asking controversial or sensitive questions that could elicit harsh or negative responses.
10. Thou shalt use a neutral tone and gentle phrasing when asking questions.
When writing the content for your survey, it is important to keep a neutral tone and use gentle phrasing when asking questions. This is because using aggressive language or framing can cause some respondents to feel uncomfortable or defensive, impacting the quality of their responses.
There are several ways to ensure that you remain neutral in your writing and phrasing. First, try to avoid using aggressive language such as “you must do this” or using loaded words like “always” or “never”.
Asking the right survey questions
There are certainly some best practices when it comes to writing survey questions. Survey questions should be clear and direct. They should not contain any ambiguous language that could lead to misinterpretation by the respondent.
This can be ensured by taking care in how you word your questions and by testing them with a small group of people before sending them out to a larger audience. Survey questions should be unbiased and relevant to the survey topic to ensure you get the information you need.