Survey Examples, Survey Questions

How to Write Survey Questions Like an Expert

Surveys are everywhere today. You’ll find them on your favorite website, in your email or mailbox, on the back of your receipts—you’ll even be hit up for your opinion on the phone after completing a simple bank transaction! So what’s with all the surveying, anyhow?

Who’s Conducting Surveys—and Why?

Surveys offer a wealth of benefits for the survey taker. There are in-person interviews, phone surveys, mail-in surveys, online surveys, and kiosk surveys, and they may be conducted by corporations, governments, employers, schools, and individuals… just about anyone or any entity that can benefit from understanding the opinions of others.

The main reasons for conducting a survey are:

  1. Finding answers. Surveys allow the researcher to learn about what motivates respondents and what’s important to them. They also can provide opinions, commentary, and feedback. 
  2. Starting a conversation. A survey can be the first part of an initiative. Simple survey questions may eventually grow into something larger, often involving follow-up conversations with the respondents. 
  3. Making decisions. Rather than relying on “gut feelings,” good survey questions provide an unbiased approach to decision-making. A thorough analysis of results also allows decision-makers to prioritize things by importance based on respondents’ concerns.
  4. Comparing results. Surveys offer a snapshot in time of the thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors of the target survey population. This can be used to establish a benchmark from which to compare results over time.

Boost Response Rates with Good Survey Questions 

Regardless of a researcher’s reason for conducting a survey, a survey is usually only as good as its questions. Poorly worded or constructed surveys often turn people off; they’ll simply ignore the survey altogether, or begin it and then drop out from frustration. 

Genroe, a B2B marketing consultancy company, reports that the average response rate for online surveys is approximately 20%. This number can be higher when a survey is conducted internally (for example, an employer surveying employees) or when there is an incentive involved; it can also be a lot lower when the survey design, survey structure, or types of survey questions are done poorly.

How to Write Survey Questions Like an Expert

Have you put together a survey in the past without having a clear survey structure? Perhaps the length was too long or the questions too confusing; maybe the flow was off, or there were too many loaded questions. 

Genroe also recently published a list of some of the real-life, bad survey questions (check it out here). If these mistakes can be made by tier-one airline companies, major supermarkets, and five-star resorts—all of which probably have their own research departments to specifically work on survey design—what hope is there for the rest of us? 

Worry not! Writing good survey questions is not as difficult as it may seem. You simply need to consider the types of survey questions you’ll ask, your survey structure, and your survey design. In our free ebook, Your Guide to Writing Online Survey Questions Like an Expert, we’ll show you how to create a survey that gets results! We’ll cover:

  • Choosing Your Survey Question Type, from multiple choice to image choice and slider questions.
  • Question Do’s, such as being clear and providing an out.
  • Questions Don’ts, such as asking leading questions and or tarnishing someone’s self-concept.

Plus, you won’t have to spend hours pouring over this ebook to become a pro; we use simple, color-coded examples of good survey questions and bad survey questions.

So, stop wondering how to make a good survey, and start creating one! Download SurveyLegend’s free guide today.

About the Author
Born entrepreneur, passionate leader, motivator, great love for UI & UX design, strong believer in "less is more”. Big advocate of bootstrapping. BS in Logistics Service Management. I don't create company environments, I create family and team environments.