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90 Survey Question Examples + Best Practices Checklist

What makes a good survey question, what is the importance of asking the right questions, 9 types of survey questions + examples, how to conduct surveys effectively, make surveys easier with fullsession, fullsession pricing plans, install your first website survey today, faqs about survey questions.

An effective survey is the best way to collect customer feedback. It will serve as your basis for multiple functions, such as improving your product, supplementing market research, creating new marketing strategies, and much more. But what makes an effective survey?

The answer is simple–you have to ask the right questions. Good survey questions gather concrete information from your audience and give you a solid idea of what you need to do next. However, the process of creating a survey is not that easy–you want to make every question count.

In this article we’ll cover everything you need to know about survey questions, with 90 examples and use cases.

Understanding the anatomy of a good survey question can transform your approach to data collection, ensuring you gather information that’s both actionable and insightful. Let’s dive deeper into the elements that make a survey question effective:

  • Clarity is Key:  Questions should be straightforward and leave no room for interpretation, ensuring uniform understanding across all respondents.
  • Conciseness Matters:  Keep questions short and to the point. Avoid unnecessary wording that could confuse or disengage your audience.
  • Bias-Free Questions:  Ensure questions are neutral and do not lead respondents toward a particular answer. This maintains the integrity of your data.
  • Avoiding Ambiguity:  Specify the context clearly and ask questions in a way that allows for direct and clear answers, eliminating confusion.
  • Ensuring Relevance:  Each question should have a clear purpose and be directly related to your survey’s objectives, avoiding any irrelevant inquiries.
  • Easy to Answer:  Design questions in a format that is straightforward for respondents to understand and respond to, whether open-ended, multiple-choice, or using a rating scale.

Keep these points in mind as you prepare to write your survey questions. It also helps to refer back to these goals after drafting your survey so you can see if you hit each mark.

The primary goal of a survey is to collect information that would help meet a specific goal, whether that be gauging customer satisfaction or getting to know your target audience more. Asking the right survey questions is the best way to achieve that goal. More specifically, a good survey can help you with:

Informed Decision-Making

A solid foundation of data is essential for any business decision, and the right survey questions point you in the direction of the most valuable information.

Survey responses serve as a basis for the strategic decisions that can propel a business forward or redirect its course to avoid potential pitfalls. By understanding what your audience truly wants or needs, you can tailor your products or services to meet those demands more effectively.

Uncovering Customer Preferences

Today’s consumers have more options than ever before, and their preferences can shift with the wind. Asking the right survey questions helps you tap into the current desires of their target market, uncovering trends and preferences that may not be immediately obvious.

This insight allows you to adapt your products, services, and marketing messages to resonate more deeply with the target audience, fostering loyalty and encouraging engagement.

Identifying Areas for Improvement

No product, service, or customer experience is perfect, but the path to improvement lies in understanding where the gaps are. The right survey questions can shine a light on these areas, offering a clear view of what’s working and what’s not.

This feedback is invaluable for continuous improvement, helping you refine your products and enhance the customer experience. In turn, this can lead to increased satisfaction, loyalty, and positive word-of-mouth.

Reducing Churn Rate

Churn rate is the percentage of customers who stop using your service or product over a given period. High churn rates can be a symptom of deeper issues, such as dissatisfaction with the product or service, poor customer experience, or unmet needs. Including good survey questions can help you identify the reasons behind customer departure and take proactive steps to address them.

For example, survey questions that explore customer satisfaction levels, reasons for discontinuation, or the likelihood of recommending the service to others can pinpoint specific factors contributing to churn.

Minimizing Website Bounce Rate

Bounce rate  is the percentage of visitors leaving a website after viewing just one page. High bounce rates may signal issues with a site’s content, layout, or user experience not meeting visitor expectations.

Utilizing surveys to ask about visitors’ web experiences can provide valuable insights into website usability, content relevance, and navigation ease. Effectively, well-crafted survey questions aimed at understanding the user experience can lead to strategic adjustments, improving overall website performance, and fostering a more engaged audience.

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A good survey consists of two or more types of survey questions. However, all questions must serve a purpose. In this section, we divide survey questions into nine categories and include the best survey question examples for each type:

1. Open Ended Questions

Open-ended questions  allow respondents to answer in their own words instead of selecting from pre-selected answers.

“What features would you like to see added to our product?”

“How did you hear about our service?”

“What was your reason for choosing our product over competitors?”

“Can you describe your experience with our customer service?”

“What improvements can we make to enhance your user experience?”

“Why did you cancel your subscription?”

“What challenges are you facing with our software?”

“How can we better support your goals?”

“What do you like most about our website?”

“Can you provide feedback on our new product launch?”

When to use open-ended questions: Using these survey questions is a good idea when you don’t have a solid grasp of customer satisfaction yet. Customers will have the freedom to express all their thoughts and opinions, which, in turn, will let you have an accurate feel of how customers perceive your brand.

2. Multiple Choice Questions

Multiple-choice questions offer a set of predefined answers, usually three to four. Businesses usually use multiple-choice survey questions to gather information on participants’ attitudes, behaviors, and preferences.

“Which of the following age groups do you fall into? (Under 18, 19-25, 26-35, 36-45, 46-55, 56+)”

“What is your primary use of our product? (Personal, Business, Educational)”

“How often do you use our service? (Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Rarely)”

“Which of our products do you use? (Product A, Product B, Product C, All of the above)”

“What type of content do you prefer? (Blogs, Videos, Podcasts, eBooks)”

“Where do you usually shop for our products? (Online, In-store, Both)”

“What is your preferred payment method? (Credit Card, PayPal, Bank Transfer, Cash)”

“Which social media platforms do you use regularly? (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn)”

“What is your employment status? (Employed, Self-Employed, Unemployed, Student)”

“Which of the following best describes your fitness level? (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert)”

When to use multiple-choice questions: Asking multiple-choice questions can help with market research and segmentation. You can easily divide respondents depending on what pre-determined answer they choose. However, if this is the purpose of your survey, each question must be based on behavioral types or customer personas.

3. Yes or No Questions

Yes or no questions are straightforward, offering a binary choice.

“Have you used our product before?”

“Would you recommend our service to a friend?”

“Are you satisfied with your purchase?”

“Do you understand the terms and conditions?”

“Was our website easy to navigate?”

“Did you find what you were looking for?”

“Are you interested in receiving our newsletter?”

“Have you attended one of our events?”

“Do you agree with our privacy policy?”

“Have you experienced any issues with our service?”

When to use yes/no questions: These survey questions are very helpful in market screening and filtering out certain people for targeted surveys. For example, asking “Have you used our product before?” helps you separate the people who have tried out your product, a.k.a. the people who qualify for your survey.

4. Rating Scale Questions

Rating scale questions ask respondents to rate their experience or satisfaction on a numerical scale.

“On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate our customer service?”

“How satisfied are you with the product quality? (1-5)”

“Rate your overall experience with our website. (1-5)”

“How likely are you to purchase again? (1-10)”

“On a scale of 1-10, how easy was it to find what you needed?”

“Rate the value for money of your purchase. (1-5)”

“How would you rate the speed of our service? (1-10)”

“Rate your satisfaction with our return policy. (1-5)”

“How comfortable was the product? (1-10)”

“Rate the accuracy of our product description. (1-5)”

When to use rating scale questions: As you can see from the survey question examples above, rating scale questions give you excellent  quantitative data  on customer satisfaction.

5. Checkbox Questions

Checkbox questions allow respondents to select multiple answers from a list. You can also include an “Others” option, where the respondent can answer in their own words.

“Which of the following features do you value the most? (Select all that apply)”

“What topics are you interested in? (Select all that apply)”

“Which days are you available? (Select all that apply)”

“Select the services you have used. (Select all that apply)”

“What types of notifications would you like to receive? (Select all that apply)”

“Which of the following devices do you own? (Select all that apply)”

“Select any dietary restrictions you have. (Select all that apply)”

“Which of the following brands have you heard of? (Select all that apply)”

“What languages do you speak? (Select all that apply)”

“Select the social media platforms you use regularly. (Select all that apply)”

When to use checkbox questions: Checkbox questions are an excellent tool for collecting  psychographic data , including information about customers’ lifestyles, behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, etc. Moreover, survey responses will help you correlate certain characteristics to specific market segments.

6. Rank Order Questions

Rank order questions ask respondents to prioritize options according to their preference or importance.

“Rank the following features in order of importance to you. (Highest to Lowest)”

“Please rank these product options based on your preference. (1 being the most preferred)”

“Rank these factors by how much they influence your purchase decision. (Most to Least)”

“Order these services by how frequently you use them. (Most frequent to Least frequent)”

“Rank these issues by how urgently you think they need to be addressed. (Most urgent to Least urgent)”

“Please prioritize these company values according to what matters most to you. (Top to Bottom)”

“Rank these potential improvements by how beneficial they would be for you. (Most beneficial to Least beneficial)”

“Order these content types by your interest level. (Most interested to Least interested)”

“Rank these brands by your preference. (Favorite to Least favorite)”

“Prioritize these activities by how enjoyable you find them. (Most enjoyable to Least enjoyable)”

When to use rank order questions: Respondents must already be familiar with your brand or products to answer these questions, which is why we recommend using these for customers in the middle or bottom of your  conversion funnel .

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7. Likert Scale Questions

Likert scale questions measure the intensity of feelings towards a statement on a scale of agreement or satisfaction. Usually, these survey questions use a 5 to 7-point scale, ranging from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree” or something similar.

  • “I am satisfied with the quality of customer service. (Strongly Agree, Agree, Neutral, Disagree, Strongly Disagree)”
  • “The product meets my needs. (Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree)”
  • “I find the website easy to navigate. (Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree)”
  • “I feel that the pricing is fair for the value I receive. (Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree)”
  • “I would recommend this product/service to others. (Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree)”
  • “I am likely to purchase from this company again. (Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree)”
  • “The company values customer feedback. (Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree)”
  • “I am confident in the security of my personal information. (Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree)”
  • “The product features meet my expectations. (Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree)”
  • “Customer service resolved my issue promptly. (Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree)”

When to use Likert scale questions: You can use these survey question examples in different types of surveys, such as customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys. Likert scale questions give you precise measurements of how satisfied respondents are with a specific aspect of your product or service.

8. Matrix Survey Questions

Matrix survey questions allow respondents to evaluate multiple items using the same set of response options. Many companies combine matrix survey questions with Likert scales to make the survey easier to do.

  • “Please rate the following aspects of our service. (Customer support, Product quality, Delivery speed)”
  • “Evaluate your level of satisfaction with these website features. (Search functionality, Content relevance, User interface)”
  • “Rate the importance of the following factors in your purchasing decision. (Price, Brand, Reviews)”
  • “Assess your agreement with these statements about our company. (Innovative, Ethical, Customer-focused)”
  • “Rate your satisfaction with these aspects of our product. (Ease of use, Durability, Design)”
  • “Evaluate these aspects of our mobile app. (Performance, Security, Features)”
  • “Rate how well each of the following describes our brand. (Trustworthy, Innovative, Responsive)”
  • “Assess your satisfaction with these elements of our service. (Responsiveness, Accuracy, Friendliness)”
  • “Rate the effectiveness of these marketing channels for you. (Email, Social Media, Print Ads)”
  • “Evaluate your agreement with these workplace policies. (Flexibility, Diversity, Wellness initiatives)”

When to use matrix survey questions: Ask matrix survey questions when you want to make your survey more convenient to answer, as they allow multiple questions on various topics without repeating options. This is particularly helpful when you want to cover many points of interest in one survey.

9. Demographic Questions

Lastly, demographic questions collect basic information about respondents, aiding in data segmentation and analysis.

  • “What is your age?”
  • “What is your gender? (Male, Female, Prefer not to say, Other)”
  • “What is your highest level of education completed?”
  • “What is your employment status? (Employed, Self-employed, Unemployed, Student)”
  • “What is your household income range?”
  • “What is your marital status? (Single, Married, Divorced, Widowed)”
  • “How many people live in your household?”
  • “What is your ethnicity?”
  • “In which city and country do you currently reside?”
  • “What is your occupation?”

When to use demographic questions: From the survey question examples, you can easily tell that these questions aim to collect information on your respondents’ backgrounds, which will be helpful in creating buyer personas and improving market segmentation.

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Surveys can help you accomplish many things for your business, but only if you do it right. Creating the perfect survey isn’t just about crafting the best survey questions, you also have to:

1. Define Your Objectives

Before crafting your survey, be clear about what you want to achieve. Whether it’s understanding customer satisfaction, gauging interest in a new product, or collecting feedback on services, having specific objectives will guide your survey design and ensure you ask the right questions.

2. Know Your Audience

Understanding who your respondents are will help tailor the survey to their interests and needs, increasing the likelihood of participation. Consider demographics, behaviors, and preferences to make your survey relevant and engaging to your target audience.

3. Choose the Right Type of Survey Questions

Utilize a mix of the nine types of survey questions to gather a wide range of data. Balance open-ended questions for qualitative insights with closed-ended questions for easy-to-analyze quantitative data. Ensure each question aligns with your objectives and is clear and concise.

4. Keep It Short and Simple (KISS)

Respondents are more likely to complete shorter surveys. Aim for a survey that takes 5-10 minutes to complete, focusing on essential questions only. A straightforward and intuitive survey design encourages higher response rates.

5. Use Simple Language

Avoid technical jargon, complex words, or ambiguous terms. The language should be accessible to all respondents, ensuring that questions are understood as intended.

6. Ensure Anonymity and Confidentiality

Assure respondents that their answers are anonymous and their data will be kept confidential. This assurance can increase the honesty and accuracy of the responses you receive.

7. Test Your Survey

Pilot your survey with a small group before full deployment. This testing phase can help identify confusing questions, technical issues, or any other aspects of the survey that might hinder response quality or quantity.

8. Choose the Right Distribution Channels

Select the most effective channels to reach your target audience. This could be via email, social media, your website, or in-app notifications, depending on where your audience is most active and engaged.

9. Offer Incentives

Consider offering incentives to increase participation rates. Incentives can range from discounts, entry into a prize draw, or access to exclusive content. Ensure the incentive is relevant and appealing to your target audience.

10. Analyze and Act on the Data

After collecting the responses, analyze the data to extract meaningful insights. Use these insights to make informed decisions, implement changes, or develop strategies that align with your objectives. Sharing key findings and subsequent actions with respondents can also demonstrate the value of their feedback and encourage future participation.

11. Follow Up

Consider following up with respondents after the survey, especially if you promised to share results or if you’re conducting longitudinal studies. A follow-up can reinforce their importance to your research and maintain engagement over time.

12. Iterate and Improve

Surveys are not a one-time activity. Regularly conducting surveys and iterating based on previous feedback and results can help you stay aligned with your audience’s changing needs and preferences.

Checklist of items animated

These survey question examples are a great place to start in creating efficient and effective surveys. Why not take it a step further by integrating a  customer feedback tool  on your website?

FullSession  lets you collect instant visual feedback with an intuitive in-app survey. With this tool, you can:

  • Build unique surveys
  • Target feedback based on users’ devices or specific pages
  • Measure survey responses

Aside from FullSession’s customer feedback tool, you also gain access to:

  • Interactive heat maps: A  website heat map  shows you which items are gaining the most attention and which ones are not, helping you optimize UI and UX.
  • Session recordings: Watch  replays  or live sessions to see how users are navigating your website and pinpoint areas for improvement.
  • Funnels and conversions: Analyze funnel data to figure out what’s causing  funnel drops  and what contributes to successful conversions.

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The FullSession platform offers a  14-day free trial.  It provides two paid plans—Basic and Business. Here are more details on each plan.

  • The Basic plan costs $39/month and allows you to monitor up to 5,000 monthly sessions.
  • The Business plan costs $149/month and helps you to track and analyze up to 25,000 monthly sessions.
  • The Enterprise plan starts from 100,000 monthly sessions and has custom pricing.

If you need more information, you can  get a demo.

It takes less than 5 minutes to set up your first website or app survey form, with  FullSession , and it’s completely free!

How many questions should I include in my survey?

Aim for 10-15 questions to keep surveys short and engaging, ideally taking 5-10 minutes to complete. Focus on questions that directly support your objectives.

How can I ensure my survey questions are not biased?

Use neutral language, avoid assumptions, balance answer choices, and pre-test your survey with a diverse group to identify and correct biases.

How do I increase my survey response rate?

To boost response rates, ensure your survey is concise and relevant to the audience. Use engaging questions, offer incentives where appropriate, and communicate the value of respondents’ feedback. Choose the right distribution channels to reach your target audience effectively.

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Survey questions 101: 70+ survey question examples, types of surveys, and FAQs

How well do you understand your prospects and customers—who they are, what keeps them awake at night, and what brought them to your business in search of a solution? Asking the right survey questions at the right point in their customer journey is the most effective way to put yourself in your customers’ shoes.

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This comprehensive intro to survey questions contains over 70 examples of effective questions, an overview of different types of survey questions, and advice on how to word them for maximum effect. Plus, we’ll toss in our pre-built survey templates, expert survey insights, and tips to make the most of AI for Surveys in Hotjar. ✨

Surveying your users is the simplest way to understand their pain points, needs, and motivations. But first, you need to know how to set up surveys that give you the answers you—and your business—truly need. Impactful surveys start here:

❓ The main types of survey questions : most survey questions are classified as open-ended, closed-ended, nominal, Likert scale, rating scale, and yes/no. The best surveys often use a combination of questions.

💡 70+ good survey question examples : our top 70+ survey questions, categorized across ecommerce, SaaS, and publishing, will help you find answers to your business’s most burning questions

✅ What makes a survey question ‘good’ : a good survey question is anything that helps you get clear insights and business-critical information about your customers 

❌ The dos and don’ts of writing good survey questions : remember to be concise and polite, use the foot-in-door principle, alternate questions, and test your surveys. But don’t ask leading or loaded questions, overwhelm respondents with too many questions, or neglect other tools that can get you the answers you need.

👍 How to run your surveys the right way : use a versatile survey tool like Hotjar Surveys that allows you to create on-site surveys at specific points in the customer journey or send surveys via a link

🛠️ 10 use cases for good survey questions : use your survey insights to create user personas, understand pain points, measure product-market fit, get valuable testimonials, measure customer satisfaction, and more

Use Hotjar to build your survey and get the customer insight you need to grow your business.

6 main types of survey questions

Let’s dive into our list of survey question examples, starting with a breakdown of the six main categories your questions will fall into:

Open-ended questions

Closed-ended questions

Nominal questions

Likert scale questions

Rating scale questions

'Yes' or 'no' questions

1. Open-ended survey questions

Open-ended questions  give your respondents the freedom to  answer in their own words , instead of limiting their response to a set of pre-selected choices (such as multiple-choice answers, yes/no answers, 0–10 ratings, etc.). 

Examples of open-ended questions:

What other products would you like to see us offer?

If you could change just one thing about our product, what would it be?

When to use open-ended questions in a survey

The majority of example questions included in this post are open-ended, and there are some good reasons for that:

Open-ended questions help you learn about customer needs you didn’t know existed , and they shine a light on areas for improvement that you may not have considered before. If you limit your respondents’ answers, you risk cutting yourself off from key insights.

Open-ended questions are very useful when you first begin surveying your customers and collecting their feedback. If you don't yet have a good amount of insight, answers to open-ended questions will go a long way toward educating you about who your customers are and what they're looking for.

There are, however, a few downsides to open-ended questions:

First, people tend to be less likely to respond to open-ended questions in general because they take comparatively more effort to answer than, say, a yes/no one

Second, but connected: if you ask consecutive open-ended questions during your survey, people will get tired of answering them, and their answers might become less helpful the more you ask

Finally, the data you receive from open-ended questions will take longer to analyze compared to easy 1-5 or yes/no answers—but don’t let that stop you. There are plenty of shortcuts that make it easier than it looks (we explain it all in our post about how to analyze open-ended questions , which includes a free analysis template.)

💡 Pro tip: if you’re using Hotjar Surveys, let our AI for Surveys feature analyze your open-ended survey responses for you. Hotjar AI reviews all your survey responses and provides an automated summary report of key findings, including supporting quotes and actionable recommendations for next steps.

2. Closed-ended survey questions

Closed-end questions limit a user’s response options to a set of pre-selected choices. This broad category of questions includes

‘Yes’ or ‘no’ questions

When to use closed-ended questions

Closed-ended questions work brilliantly in two scenarios:

To open a survey, because they require little time and effort and are therefore easy for people to answer. This is called the foot-in-the-door principle: once someone commits to answering the first question, they may be more likely to answer the open-ended questions that follow.

When you need to create graphs and trends based on people’s answers. Responses to closed-ended questions are easy to measure and use as benchmarks. Rating scale questions, in particular (e.g. where people rate customer service or on a scale of 1-10), allow you to gather customer sentiment and compare your progress over time.

3. Nominal questions

A nominal question is a type of survey question that presents people with multiple answer choices; the answers are  non-numerical in nature and don't overlap  (unless you include an ‘all of the above’ option).

Example of nominal question:

What are you using [product name] for?

Personal use

Both business and personal use

When to use nominal questions

Nominal questions work well when there is a limited number of categories for a given question (see the example above). They’re easy to create graphs and trends from, but the downside is that you may not be offering enough categories for people to reply.

For example, if you ask people what type of browser they’re using and only give them three options to choose from, you may inadvertently alienate everybody who uses a fourth type and now can’t tell you about it.

That said, you can add an open-ended component to a nominal question with an expandable ’other’ category, where respondents can write in an answer that isn’t on the list. This way, you essentially ask an open-ended question that doesn’t limit them to the options you’ve picked.

4. Likert scale questions

The Likert scale is typically a 5- or 7-point scale that evaluates a respondent’s level of agreement with a statement or the intensity of their reaction toward something.

The scale develops symmetrically: the median number (e.g. a 3 on a 5-point scale) indicates a point of neutrality, the lowest number (always 1) indicates an extreme view, and the highest number (e.g. a 5 on a 5-point scale) indicates the opposite extreme view.

Example of a Likert scale question:

#The British Museum uses a Likert scale Hotjar survey to gauge visitors’ reactions to their website optimizations

When to use Likert scale questions

Likert-type questions are also known as ordinal questions because the answers are presented in a specific order. Like other multiple-choice questions, Likert scale questions come in handy when you already have some sense of what your customers are thinking. For example, if your open-ended questions uncover a complaint about a recent change to your ordering process, you could use a Likert scale question to determine how the average user felt about the change.

A series of Likert scale questions can also be turned into a matrix question. Since they have identical response options, they are easily combined into a single matrix and break down the pattern of single questions for users.

5. Rating scale questions

Rating scale questions are questions where the answers map onto a numeric scale (such as rating customer support on a scale of 1-5, or likelihood to recommend a product from 0-10).

Examples of rating questions:

How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague on a scale of 0-10?

How would you rate our customer service on a scale of 1-5?

When to use rating questions

Whenever you want to assign a numerical value to your survey or visualize and compare trends , a rating question is the way to go.

A typical rating question is used to determine Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) : the question asks customers to rate their likelihood of recommending products or services to their friends or colleagues, and allows you to look at the results historically and see if you're improving or getting worse. Rating questions are also used for customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys and product reviews.

When you use a rating question in a survey, be sure to explain what the scale means (e.g. 1 for ‘Poor’, 5 for ‘Amazing’). And consider adding a follow-up open-ended question to understand why the user left that score.

Example of a rating question (NPS):

#Hotjar's Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) survey template lets you add open-ended follow-up questions so you can understand the reasons behind users' ratings

6. ‘Yes’ or ‘no’ questions

These dichotomous questions are super straightforward, requiring a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ reply.

Examples of yes/no questions:

Was this article useful? (Yes/No)

Did you find what you were looking for today? (Yes/No)

When to use ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions

‘Yes’ and ‘no’ questions are a good way to quickly segment your respondents . For example, say you’re trying to understand what obstacles or objections prevent people from trying your product. You can place a survey on your pricing page asking people if something is stopping them, and follow up with the segment who replied ‘yes’ by asking them to elaborate further.

These questions are also effective for getting your foot in the door: a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question requires very little effort to answer. Once a user commits to answering the first question, they tend to become more willing to answer the questions that follow, or even leave you their contact information.

#Web design agency NerdCow used Hotjar Surveys to add a yes/no survey on The Transport Library’s website, and followed it up with an open-ended question for more insights

70+ more survey question examples

Below is a list of good survey questions, categorized across ecommerce, software as a service (SaaS), and publishing. You don't have to use them word-for-word, but hopefully, this list will spark some extra-good ideas for the surveys you’ll run immediately after reading this article. (Plus, you can create all of them with Hotjar Surveys—stick with us a little longer to find out how. 😉)

📊 9 basic demographic survey questions

Ask these questions when you want context about your respondents and target audience, so you can segment them later. Consider including demographic information questions in your survey when conducting user or market research as well. 

But don’t ask demographic questions just for the sake of it—if you're not going to use some of the data points from these sometimes sensitive questions (e.g. if gender is irrelevant to the result of your survey), move on to the ones that are truly useful for you, business-wise. 

Take a look at the selection of examples below, and keep in mind that you can convert most of them to multiple choice questions:

What is your name?

What is your age?

What is your gender?

What company do you work for?

What vertical/industry best describes your company?

What best describes your role?

In which department do you work?

What is the total number of employees in your company (including all locations where your employer operates)?

What is your company's annual revenue?

🚀 Get started: gather more info about your users with our product-market fit survey template .

👥 20+ effective customer questions

These questions are particularly recommended for ecommerce companies:

Before purchase

What information is missing or would make your decision to buy easier?

What is your biggest fear or concern about purchasing this item?

Were you able to complete the purpose of your visit today?

If you did not make a purchase today, what stopped you?

After purchase

Was there anything about this checkout process we could improve?

What was your biggest fear or concern about purchasing from us?

What persuaded you to complete the purchase of the item(s) in your cart today?

If you could no longer use [product name], what’s the one thing you would miss the most?

What’s the one thing that nearly stopped you from buying from us?

👉 Check out our 7-step guide to setting up an ecommerce post-purchase survey .

Other useful customer questions

Do you have any questions before you complete your purchase?

What other information would you like to see on this page?

What were the three main things that persuaded you to create an account today?

What nearly stopped you from creating an account today?

Which other options did you consider before choosing [product name]?

What would persuade you to use us more often?

What was your biggest challenge, frustration, or problem in finding the right [product type] online?

Please list the top three things that persuaded you to use us rather than a competitor.

Were you able to find the information you were looking for?

How satisfied are you with our support?

How would you rate our service/support on a scale of 0-10? (0 = terrible, 10 = stellar)

How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague? ( NPS question )

Is there anything preventing you from purchasing at this point?

🚀 Get started: learn how satisfied customers are with our expert-built customer satisfaction and NPS survey templates .

Set up a survey in seconds

Use Hotjar's free survey templates to build virtually any type of survey, and start gathering valuable insights in moments.

🛍 30+ product survey questions

These questions are particularly recommended for SaaS companies:

Questions for new or trial users

What nearly stopped you from signing up today?

How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague on a scale of 0-10? (NPS question)

Is our pricing clear? If not, what would you change?

Questions for paying customers

What convinced you to pay for this service?

What’s the one thing we are missing in [product type]?

What's one feature we can add that would make our product indispensable for you?

If you could no longer use [name of product], what’s the one thing you would miss the most?

🚀 Get started: find out what your buyers really think with our pricing plan feedback survey template .

Questions for former/churned customers

What is the main reason you're canceling your account? Please be blunt and direct.

If you could have changed one thing in [product name], what would it have been?

If you had a magic wand and could change anything in [product name], what would it be?

🚀 Get started: find out why customers churn with our free-to-use churn analysis survey template .

Other useful product questions

What were the three main things that persuaded you to sign up today?

Do you have any questions before starting a free trial?

What persuaded you to start a trial?

Was this help section useful?

Was this article useful?

How would you rate our service/support on a scale of 1-10? (0 = terrible, 10 = stellar)

Is there anything preventing you from upgrading at this point?

Is there anything on this page that doesn't work the way you expected it to?

What could we change to make you want to continue using us?

If you did not upgrade today, what stopped you?

What's the next thing you think we should build?

How would you feel if we discontinued this feature?

What's the next feature or functionality we should build?

🚀 Get started: gather feedback on your product with our free-to-use product feedback survey template .

🖋 20+ effective questions for publishers and bloggers

Questions to help improve content.

If you could change just one thing in [publication name], what would it be?

What other content would you like to see us offer?

How would you rate this article on a scale of 1–10?

If you could change anything on this page, what would you have us do?

If you did not subscribe to [publication name] today, what was it that stopped you?

🚀 Get started: find ways to improve your website copy and messaging with our content feedback survey template .

New subscriptions

What convinced you to subscribe to [publication] today?

What almost stopped you from subscribing?

What were the three main things that persuaded you to join our list today?

Cancellations

What is the main reason you're unsubscribing? Please be specific.

Other useful content-related questions

What’s the one thing we are missing in [publication name]?

What would persuade you to visit us more often?

How likely are you to recommend us to someone with similar interests? (NPS question)

What’s missing on this page?

What topics would you like to see us write about next?

How useful was this article?

What could we do to make this page more useful?

Is there anything on this site that doesn't work the way you expected it to?

What's one thing we can add that would make [publication name] indispensable for you?

If you could no longer read [publication name], what’s the one thing you would miss the most?

💡 Pro tip: do you have a general survey goal in mind, but are struggling to pin down the right questions to ask? Give Hotjar’s AI for Surveys a go and watch as it generates a survey for you in seconds with questions tailored to the exact purpose of the survey you want to run.

What makes a good survey question?

We’ve run through more than 70 of our favorite survey questions—but what is it that makes a good survey question, well, good ? An effective question is anything that helps you get clear insights and business-critical information about your customers , including

Who your target market is

How you should price your products

What’s stopping people from buying from you

Why visitors leave your website

With this information, you can tailor your website, products, landing pages, and messaging to improve the user experience and, ultimately, maximize conversions .

How to write good survey questions: the DOs and DON’Ts

To help you understand the basics and avoid some rookie mistakes, we asked a few experts to give us their thoughts on what makes a good and effective survey question.

Survey question DOs

✅ do focus your questions on the customer.

It may be tempting to focus on your company or products, but it’s usually more effective to put the focus back on the customer. Get to know their needs, drivers, pain points, and barriers to purchase by asking about their experience. That’s what you’re after: you want to know what it’s like inside their heads and how they feel when they use your website and products.

Rather than asking, “Why did you buy our product?” ask, “What was happening in your life that led you to search for this solution?” Instead of asking, “What's the one feature you love about [product],” ask, “If our company were to close tomorrow, what would be the one thing you’d miss the most?” These types of surveys have helped me double and triple my clients.

✅ DO be polite and concise (without skimping on micro-copy)

Put time into your micro-copy—those tiny bits of written content that go into surveys. Explain why you’re asking the questions, and when people reach the end of the survey, remember to thank them for their time. After all, they’re giving you free labor!

✅ DO consider the foot-in-the-door principle

One way to increase your response rate is to ask an easy question upfront, such as a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question, because once people commit to taking a survey—even just the first question—they’re more likely to finish it.

✅ DO consider asking your questions from the first-person perspective

Disclaimer: we don’t do this here at Hotjar. You’ll notice all our sample questions are listed in second-person (i.e. ‘you’ format), but it’s worth testing to determine which approach gives you better answers. Some experts prefer the first-person approach (i.e. ‘I’ format) because they believe it encourages users to talk about themselves—but only you can decide which approach works best for your business.

I strongly recommend that the questions be worded in the first person. This helps create a more visceral reaction from people and encourages them to tell stories from their actual experiences, rather than making up hypothetical scenarios. For example, here’s a similar question, asked two ways: “What do you think is the hardest thing about creating a UX portfolio?” versus “My biggest problem with creating my UX portfolio is…” 

The second version helps get people thinking about their experiences. The best survey responses come from respondents who provide personal accounts of past events that give us specific and real insight into their lives.

✅ DO alternate your questions often

Shake up the questions you ask on a regular basis. Asking a wide variety of questions will help you and your team get a complete view of what your customers are thinking.

✅ DO test your surveys before sending them out

A few years ago, Hotjar created a survey we sent to 2,000 CX professionals via email. Before officially sending it out, we wanted to make sure the questions really worked. 

We decided to test them out on internal staff and external people by sending out three rounds of test surveys to 100 respondents each time. Their feedback helped us perfect the questions and clear up any confusing language.

Survey question DON’Ts

❌ don’t ask closed-ended questions if you’ve never done research before.

If you’ve just begun asking questions, make them open-ended questions since you have no idea what your customers think about you at this stage. When you limit their answers, you just reinforce your own assumptions.

There are two exceptions to this rule:

Using a closed-ended question to get your foot in the door at the beginning of a survey

Using rating scale questions to gather customer sentiment (like an NPS survey)

❌ DON’T ask a lot of questions if you’re just getting started

Having to answer too many questions can overwhelm your users. Stick with the most important points and discard the rest.

Try starting off with a single question to see how your audience responds, then move on to two questions once you feel like you know what you’re doing.

How many questions should you ask? There’s really no perfect answer, but we recommend asking as few as you need to ask to get the information you want. In the beginning, focus on the big things:

Who are your users?

What do potential customers want?

How are they using your product?

What would win their loyalty?

❌ DON’T just ask a question when you can combine it with other tools

Don’t just use surveys to answer questions that other tools (such as analytics) can also answer. If you want to learn about whether people find a new website feature helpful, you can also observe how they’re using it through traditional analytics, session recordings , and other user testing tools for a more complete picture.

Don’t use surveys to ask people questions that other tools are better equipped to answer. I’m thinking of questions like “What do you think of the search feature?” with pre-set answer options like ‘Very easy to use,’ ‘Easy to use,’ etc. That’s not a good question to ask. 

Why should you care about what people ‘think’ about the search feature? You should find out whether it helps people find what they need and whether it helps drive conversions for you. Analytics, user session recordings, and user testing can tell you whether it does that or not.

❌ DON’T ask leading questions

A leading question is one that prompts a specific answer. Avoid asking leading questions because they’ll give you bad data. For example, asking, “What makes our product better than our competitors’ products?” might boost your self-esteem, but it won’t get you good information. Why? You’re effectively planting the idea that your own product is the best on the market.

❌ DON’T ask loaded questions

A loaded question is similar to a leading question, but it does more than just push a bias—it phrases the question such that it’s impossible to answer without confirming an underlying assumption.

A common (and subtle) form of loaded survey question would be, “What do you find useful about this article?” If we haven’t first asked you whether you found the article useful at all, then we’re asking a loaded question.

❌ DON’T ask about more than one topic at once

For example, “Do you believe our product can help you increase sales and improve cross-collaboration?”

This complex question, also known as a ‘double-barreled question’, requires a very complex answer as it begs the respondent to address two separate questions at once:

Do you believe our product can help you increase sales?

Do you believe our product can help you improve cross-collaboration?

Respondents may very well answer 'yes', but actually mean it for the first part of the question, and not the other. The result? Your survey data is inaccurate, and you’ve missed out on actionable insights.

Instead, ask two specific questions to gather customer feedback on each concept.

How to run your surveys

The format you pick for your survey depends on what you want to achieve and also on how much budget or resources you have. You can

Use an on-site survey tool , like Hotjar Surveys , to set up a website survey that pops up whenever people visit a specific page: this is useful when you want to investigate website- and product-specific topics quickly. This format is relatively inexpensive—with Hotjar’s free forever plan, you can even run up to 3 surveys with unlimited questions for free.

research question survey

Use Hotjar Surveys to embed a survey as an element directly on a page: this is useful when you want to grab your audience’s attention and connect with customers at relevant moments, without interrupting their browsing. (Scroll to the bottom of this page to see an embedded survey in action!) This format is included on Hotjar’s Business and Scale plans—try it out for 15 days with a free Ask Business trial .

Use a survey builder and create a survey people can access in their own time: this is useful when you want to reach out to your mailing list or a wider audience with an email survey (you just need to share the URL the survey lives at). Sending in-depth questionnaires this way allows for more space for people to elaborate on their answers. This format is also relatively inexpensive, depending on the tool you use.

Place survey kiosks in a physical location where people can give their feedback by pressing a button: this is useful for quick feedback on specific aspects of a customer's experience (there’s usually plenty of these in airports and waiting rooms). This format is relatively expensive to maintain due to the material upkeep.

Run in-person surveys with your existing or prospective customers: in-person questionnaires help you dig deep into your interviewees’ answers. This format is relatively cheap if you do it online with a user interview tool or over the phone, but it’s more expensive and time-consuming if done in a physical location.

💡 Pro tip: looking for an easy, cost-efficient way to connect with your users? Run effortless, automated user interviews with Engage , Hotjar’s user interview tool. Get instant access to a pool of 200,000+ participants (or invite your own), and take notes while Engage records and transcribes your interview.

10 survey use cases: what you can do with good survey questions

Effective survey questions can help improve your business in many different ways. We’ve written in detail about most of these ideas in other blog posts, so we’ve rounded them up for you below.

1. Create user personas

A user persona is a character based on the people who currently use your website or product. A persona combines psychographics and demographics and reflects who they are, what they need, and what may stop them from getting it.

Examples of questions to ask:

Describe yourself in one sentence, e.g. “I am a 30-year-old marketer based in Dublin who enjoys writing articles about user personas.”

What is your main goal for using this website/product?

What, if anything, is preventing you from doing it?

👉 Our post about creating simple and effective user personas in four steps highlights some great survey questions to ask when creating a user persona.

🚀 Get started: use our user persona survey template or AI for Surveys to inform your user persona.

2. Understand why your product is not selling

Few things are more frightening than stagnant sales. When the pressure is mounting, you’ve got to get to the bottom of it, and good survey questions can help you do just that.

What made you buy the product? What challenges are you trying to solve?

What did you like most about the product? What did you dislike the most?

What nearly stopped you from buying?

👉 Here’s a detailed piece about the best survey questions to ask your customers when your product isn’t selling , and why they work so well.

🚀 Get started: our product feedback survey template helps you find out whether your product satisfies your users. Or build your surveys in the blink of an eye with Hotjar AI.

3. Understand why people leave your website

If you want to figure out why people are leaving your website , you’ll have to ask questions.

A good format for that is an exit-intent pop-up survey, which appears when a user clicks to leave the page, giving them the chance to leave website feedback before they go.

Another way is to focus on the people who did convert, but just barely—something Hotjar founder David Darmanin considers essential for taking conversions to the next level. By focusing on customers who bought your product (but almost didn’t), you can learn how to win over another set of users who are similar to them: those who almost bought your products, but backed out in the end.

Example of questions to ask:

Not for you? Tell us why. ( Exit-intent pop-up —ask this when a user leaves without buying.)

What almost stopped you from buying? (Ask this post-conversion .)

👉 Find out how HubSpot Academy increased its conversion rate by adding an exit-intent survey that asked one simple question when users left their website: “Not for you? Tell us why.”

🚀 Get started: place an exit-intent survey on your site. Let Hotjar AI draft the survey questions by telling it what you want to learn.

I spent the better half of my career focusing on the 95% who don’t convert, but it’s better to focus on the 5% who do. Get to know them really well, deliver value to them, and really wow them. That’s how you’re going to take that 5% to 10%.

4. Understand your customers’ fears and concerns

Buying a new product can be scary: nobody wants to make a bad purchase. Your job is to address your prospective customers’ concerns, counter their objections, and calm their fears, which should lead to more conversions.

👉 Take a look at our no-nonsense guide to increasing conversions for a comprehensive write-up about discovering the drivers, barriers, and hooks that lead people to converting on your website.

🚀 Get started: understand why your users are tempted to leave and discover potential barriers with a customer retention survey .

5. Drive your pricing strategy

Are your products overpriced and scaring away potential buyers? Or are you underpricing and leaving money on the table?

Asking the right questions will help you develop a pricing structure that maximizes profit, but you have to be delicate about how you ask. Don’t ask directly about price, or you’ll seem unsure of the value you offer. Instead, ask questions that uncover how your products serve your customers and what would inspire them to buy more.

How do you use our product/service?

What would persuade you to use our product more often?

What’s the one thing our product is missing?

👉 We wrote a series of blog posts about managing the early stage of a SaaS startup, which included a post about developing the right pricing strategy —something businesses in all sectors could benefit from.

🚀 Get started: find the sweet spot in how to price your product or service with a Van Westendorp price sensitivity survey or get feedback on your pricing plan .

6. Measure and understand product-market fit

Product-market fit (PMF) is about understanding demand and creating a product that your customers want, need, and will actually pay money for. A combination of online survey questions and one-on-one interviews can help you figure this out.

What's one thing we can add that would make [product name] indispensable for you?

If you could change just one thing in [product name], what would it be?

👉 In our series of blog posts about managing the early stage of a SaaS startup, we covered a section on product-market fit , which has relevant information for all industries.

🚀 Get started: discover if you’re delivering the best products to your market with our product-market fit survey .

7. Choose effective testimonials

Human beings are social creatures—we’re influenced by people who are similar to us. Testimonials that explain how your product solved a problem for someone are the ultimate form of social proof. The following survey questions can help you get some great testimonials.

What changed for you after you got our product?

How does our product help you get your job done?

How would you feel if you couldn’t use our product anymore?

👉 In our post about positioning and branding your products , we cover the type of questions that help you get effective testimonials.

🚀 Get started: add a question asking respondents whether you can use their answers as testimonials in your surveys, or conduct user interviews to gather quotes from your users.

8. Measure customer satisfaction

It’s important to continually track your overall customer satisfaction so you can address any issues before they start to impact your brand’s reputation. You can do this with rating scale questions.

For example, at Hotjar, we ask for feedback after each customer support interaction (which is one important measure of customer satisfaction). We begin with a simple, foot-in-the-door question to encourage a response, and use the information to improve our customer support, which is strongly tied to overall customer satisfaction.

How would you rate the support you received? (1-5 scale)

If 1-3: How could we improve?

If 4-5: What did you love about the experience?

👉 Our beginner’s guide to website feedback goes into great detail about how to measure customer service, NPS , and other important success metrics.

🚀 Get started: gauge short-term satisfaction level with a CSAT survey .

9. Measure word-of-mouth recommendations

Net Promoter Score is a measure of how likely your customers are to recommend your products or services to their friends or colleagues. NPS is a higher bar than customer satisfaction because customers have to be really impressed with your product to recommend you.

Example of NPS questions (to be asked in the same survey):

How likely are you to recommend this company to a friend or colleague? (0-10 scale)

What’s the main reason for your score?

What should we do to WOW you?

👉 We created an NPS guide with ecommerce companies in mind, but it has plenty of information that will help companies in other industries as well.

🚀 Get started: measure whether your users would refer you to a friend or colleague with an NPS survey . Then, use our free NPS calculator to crunch the numbers.

10. Redefine your messaging

How effective is your messaging? Does it speak to your clients' needs, drives, and fears? Does it speak to your strongest selling points?

Asking the right survey questions can help you figure out what marketing messages work best, so you can double down on them.

What attracted you to [brand or product name]?

Did you have any concerns before buying [product name]?

Since you purchased [product name], what has been the biggest benefit to you?

If you could describe [brand or product name] in one sentence, what would you say?

What is your favorite thing about [brand or product name]?

How likely are you to recommend this product to a friend or colleague? (NPS question)

👉 We talk about positioning and branding your products in a post that’s part of a series written for SaaS startups, but even if you’re not in SaaS (or you’re not a startup), you’ll still find it helpful.

Have a question for your customers? Ask!

Feedback is at the heart of deeper empathy for your customers and a more holistic understanding of their behaviors and motivations. And luckily, people are more than ready to share their thoughts about your business— they're just waiting for you to ask them. Deeper customer insights start right here, with a simple tool like Hotjar Surveys.

Build surveys faster with AI🔥

Use AI in Hotjar Surveys to build your survey, place it on your website or send it via email, and get the customer insight you need to grow your business.

FAQs about survey questions

How many people should i survey/what should my sample size be.

A good rule of thumb is to aim for at least 100 replies that you can work with.

You can use our  sample size calculator  to get a more precise answer, but understand that collecting feedback is research, not experimentation. Unlike experimentation (such as A/B testing ), all is not lost if you can’t get a statistically significant sample size. In fact, as little as ten replies can give you actionable information about what your users want.

How many questions should my survey have?

There’s no perfect answer to this question, but we recommend asking as few as you need to ask in order to get the information you want. Remember, you’re essentially asking someone to work for free, so be respectful of their time.

Why is it important to ask good survey questions?

A good survey question is asked in a precise way at the right stage in the customer journey to give you insight into your customers’ needs and drives. The qualitative data you get from survey responses can supplement the insight you can capture through other traditional analytics tools (think Google Analytics) and behavior analytics tools (think heatmaps and session recordings , which visualize user behavior on specific pages or across an entire website).

The format you choose for your survey—in-person, email, on-page, etc.—is important, but if the questions themselves are poorly worded you could waste hours trying to fix minimal problems while ignoring major ones a different question could have uncovered. 

How do I analyze open-ended survey questions?

A big pile of  qualitative data  can seem intimidating, but there are some shortcuts that make it much easier to analyze. We put together a guide for  analyzing open-ended questions in 5 simple steps , which should answer all your questions.

But the fastest way to analyze open questions is to use the automated summary report with Hotjar AI in Surveys . AI turns the complex survey data into:

Key findings

Actionable insights

Will sending a survey annoy my customers?

Honestly, the real danger is  not  collecting feedback. Without knowing what users think about your page and  why  they do what they do, you’ll never create a user experience that maximizes conversions. The truth is, you’re probably already doing something that bugs them more than any survey or feedback button would.

If you’re worried that adding an on-page survey might hurt your conversion rate, start small and survey just 10% of your visitors. You can stop surveying once you have enough replies.

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  • Make a Survey

Opinion Stage » survey » Survey Questions

16 Types of Survey Questions, with 100 Examples

Good survey questions will help your business acquire the right information to drive growth. Surveys can be made up of different types of questions. Each type has a unique approach to gathering data. The questions you choose and the way you use them in your survey will affect its results.

These are the types of survey questions we will cover:

  • Open-Ended Questions
  • Closed-Ended Questions
  • Multiple Choice Questions
  • Dichotomous Questions
  • Rating Scale Questions
  • Likert Scale Questions
  • Nominal Questions
  • Demographic Questions
  • Matrix Table Questions
  • Side-by-Side Matrix Questions
  • Data Reference Questions
  • Choice Model Questions
  • Net Promoter Score Questions
  • Picture Choice Questions
  • Image Rating Questions
  • Visual Analog Scale Questions

But before we go into the actual question types, let’s talk a little about how you should use them.

Try this survey

Ready to create your own?  Make a survey .

How to Use Survey Questions in Market Research

First, you need to make sure it’s a survey you’re after. In some cases, you may find that it’s actually a questionnaire that you need (read more here to learn the difference:  Survey Vs. Questionnaire ), or a research quiz. In any case, though, you will need to use the right type of questions.

To determine the right type of questions for your survey, consider these factors:

  • The kind of data you want to gather
  • The depth of the information you require
  • How long it takes to answer the survey

Regardless of the size of your business, you can use surveys to learn about potential customers, research your product market fit, collect customer feedback or employee feedback, get new registrations, and improve retention.

Surveys can help you gather valuable insights into critical aspects of your business. From brand awareness to customer satisfaction, effective surveys give you the data you need to stay ahead of the competition.

So, how should you use surveys for your market research?

Try this market research survey

Ready to create your own?  Make a research survey .

Identify Customer Needs and Expectations

Perhaps the idea of using customer surveys in this advanced era of data analytics seems quaint. But one of the best ways to find out what consumers need and expect is to go directly to the source and ask. That’s why surveys still matter. All companies and online businesses can benefit from using market research surveys to determine the needs of their clients.

Determine Brand Attributes

A market research survey can also help your company identify the attributes that consumers associate with your brand. These could be tangible or intangible features that they think of when they see your brand. By determining your brand attributes, you can identify other brands in the same niche. Additionally, you can gain a clear understanding of what your audience values.

Understand Your Market’s Supply and Demand Chain

Surveying existing and potential customers enables you to understand the language of supply and demand. You can understand the measure of customer satisfaction and identify opportunities for the market to absorb new products. At the same time, you can use the data you collect to build customer-centric products or services. By understanding your target market, you can minimize the risks involved in important business ventures and develop an amazing customer experience.

Acquire Customer Demographic Information

Before any campaign or product launch, every company needs to determine its key demographic. Online surveys make it so much easier for marketers to get to know their audience and build effective user personas. With a market research survey, you can ask demographic survey questions to collect details such as family income, education, professional background, and ethnicity. It’s important to be careful and considerate in this area since questions that seem matter-of-fact to you may be experienced as loaded questions or sensitive questions by your audience.

Strategize for New Product Launches

Businesses of all sizes can use customer surveys to fine-tune products and improve services. Let’s say there’s a product you want to launch. But you’re hesitant to do so without ensuring that it will be well-received by your target audience. Why not send out a survey? With the data you gather from the survey responses, you can identify issues that may have been overlooked in the development process and make the necessary changes to improve your product’s success.

Develop a Strategic Marketing Plan

Surveys can be used in the initial phases of a campaign to help shape your marketing plan. Thanks to in-depth analytics, a quick and easy survey that respondents can finish within minutes can give you a clear idea of what potential consumers need and expect.

Create beautiful online surveys in minutes

Types of Survey Questions

No matter the purpose of your survey, the questions you ask will be crucial to its success. For this reason, it’s best to set the goal of your survey and define the information you want to gather before writing the questions.

Ask yourself: What do I want to know? Why do I want to know this? Can direct questions help me get the information I need? How am I going to use the data I gather?

Once you have a clear goal in mind, you can choose the best questions to elicit the right kind of information. We’ve made a list of the most common types of survey questions to help you get started.

1. Open-Ended Questions

If you prefer to gather qualitative insights from your respondents, the best way to do so is through an open-ended question. That’s because this survey question type gives respondents more opportunity to say what’s on their minds. After all, an open question doesn’t come with pre-set answer choices that respondents can select. Instead, it uses a text box where respondents can leave more detailed responses.

Ideally, you should ask such questions when you’re doing expert interviews or preliminary research. You may also opt to end surveys with this type of question. This is to give respondents a chance to share additional concerns with you. By letting respondents give answers in their own words, even to a single question, you can identify opportunities you might have overlooked. At the same time, it shows that you appreciate their effort to answer all your questions.

Since quantifying written answers isn’t easy to do, opt to use these questions sparingly, especially if you’re dealing with a large population.

Examples of open-ended questions:

  • What can you tell us about yourself? (Your age, gender, hobbies, interests, and anything else you’re willing to share)
  • How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with our service?
  • What has kept you from signing up for our newsletter?

2. Closed-Ended Questions

Consumers want surveys they can answer in a jiffy. Closed-ended questions are ideal for market research for that reason. They come with a limited number of options, often one-word responses such as yes or no, multiple-choice, or a rating scale. Compared to open-ended questions, these drive limited insights because respondents only have to choose from pre-selected choices.

Ask closed-ended questions if you need to gather quantifiable data or to categorize your respondents. Furthermore, you can use such questions to drive higher response rates. Let’s say your audience isn’t particularly interested in the topic you intend to ask them about. You can use closed-ended questions to make it easier for them to complete the survey in minutes.

Close-ended question examples:

  • Which of the following are you most likely to read? (a) a series of blog posts (b) a novel (c) the daily news (d) I don’t read on a regular basis
  • How would you rate our service on a 5-point scale, with 1 representing bad service, and 5 representing great service?
  • How likely are you to recommend us on a scale of 0 to 10?

3. Multiple Choice Questions

Multiple-choice questions are a basic type of closed-ended survey question that give respondents multiple answers to choose from. These questions can be broken down into two main categories:

  • Single-answer questions – respondents are directed to choose one, and only one answer from a list of answer options.
  • Multiple answer questions – where respondents can select a number of answers in a single question.

When designed correctly they can be very effective survey questions since they’re relatively simple questions to answer, and the data is easy to analyze.

Multiple-choice sample questions:

  • It’s exceptional
  • Could be better
  • It’s terrible
  • Whole-grain rice
  • Gluten-free noodles
  • Suger-free soft drinks
  • Lactose-free ice cream

Try this product survey

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4. Dichotomous Questions

Dichotomous questions are a type of close-ended questions with only two answer options that represent the opposite of each other. In other words, yes/no questions, or true/false questions. They’re often used as screening questions to identify potential customers since they’re so quick and easy to answer and require no extra effort.

They’re also good for splitting your audience into two groups, enabling you to direct each group to a different series of questions. This can be done quite easily using skip logic which sends people on different survey paths based on their answers to previous questions.

Examples of questions:

Do you have experience working with Google Analytics? Yes/no Google Analytics is used for tracking user behavior. True/false Google Analytics has a steep learning curve for the average user. Agree/disagree

5. Rating Scale Questions

Also called ordinal questions, these questions help researchers measure customer sentiment in a quantitative way. This type of question comes with a range of response options. It could be from 1 to 5 or 1 to 10.

In a survey, a respondent selects the number that accurately represents their response. Of course, you have to establish the value of the numbers on your scale for it to be effective.

Rating scales can be very effective survey questions, however, the lack of proper survey scaling could lead to bad survey questions that respondents Don’t know how to answer. And even if they think you do, the results won’t be reliable because every respondent could interpret the scale differently. So, it’s important to be clear.

If you want to know how respondents experienced your customer service, you can establish a scale from 1 to 10 to measure customer sentiment. Then, assign the value of 1 and 10. The lowest number on the scale could, for instance, mean “very disappointed” while the highest value could represent “very satisfied”.

Examples of rating scale questions:

  • On a scale of 0 to 10, how would you rate your last customer support interaction with us? (0=terrible, 10=amazing)
  • How likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague on a scale of 1 to 5? 1=very unlikely, 5=very likely
  • How would you rate your shopping experience at our online business on a scale of 1 to 7? 1=bad, 4=ok, 7=amazing

6. Likert Scale Questions

These questions can either be unipolar or bipolar. Unipolar scales center on the presence or absence of quality. Moreover, they don’t have a natural midpoint. For example, a unipolar satisfaction scale may have the following options: extremely satisfied, very satisfied, moderately satisfied, slightly satisfied, and not satisfied.

Bipolar scales, on the other hand, are based on either side of neutrality. That means they have a midpoint. A common bipolar scale, for instance, may have the following options: extremely unsatisfied, very unsatisfied, somewhat unsatisfied, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, somewhat satisfied, very satisfied, or extremely satisfied.

Likert scale questions can be used for a wide variety of objectives. They are great for collecting initial feedback. They can also help you gauge customer sentiment, among other things.

Likert scale sample questions:

  • How important is it that you can access customer support 24/7? (Choices: Very Important, Important, Neutral, Low Importance, and Not Important At All)
  • How satisfied are you after using our products? (Choices: Very Satisfied, Moderately Satisfied, Neutral, Slightly Unsatisfied, and Very Unsatisfied)
  • How would you rate our customer care representative’s knowledge of our products? (Choices: Not at All Satisfactory, Low Satisfactory, Somewhat Satisfactory, Satisfactory, and Very Satisfactory)

Try this Likert scale survey

Ready to create your own?  Make a Likert scale survey .

7. Nominal Questions

Also a type of measurement scale, nominal questions come with tags or labels for identifying or classifying items. For these questions, you can use non-numeric variables. You can also assign numbers to each response option, but they won’t actually have value.

On a nominal scale, you assign each number to a unique label. Especially if the goal is identification, you have to stick to a one-to-one correlation between the numeric value and the label. Much like cars on a race track, numbers are assigned to identify the driver associated with the car. It doesn’t represent the characteristics of the vehicle.

However, when a nominal scale is used for classification, the numerical values assigned to each descriptor serve as a tag. This is for categorizing or arranging the objects in a class. For example, you want to know your respondents’ gender. You can assign the letter M for males and F for females in the survey question.

Examples of nominal questions:

  • What is your hair color? (Choices: 1 – Black, 2 – Blonde, 3 – Brown, 4 – Red, 5 – Other)
  • How old are you? (Choices: 1 – Under 25, 2 – 25-35, 3 – Over 35)
  • How do you commute to work? (Choices: 1- Car, 2 – Bus, 3 – Train, 4 – Walk, 5 – Other)

8. Demographic Questions

As its name suggests, this question type is used for gathering information about a consumer. From their background to income level, these simple questions can provide you with deeper insights into your target market. They’re also used as screening questions since they can help you to identify the population segments you’re targeting.

Demographic questions  help you understand your target market. By collecting customer data, you can identify similarities and differences between different demographics. Then, you can make buyer personas and classify them based on who they are or what they do.

Some demographic topics can lead to quite loaded survey questions. When writing your demographic survey, try to identify the loaded questions and ask yourself if someone could find the question, the answer choices, or the lack of a certain answer choice offensive. Do your best to phrase them sensitively and respectfully, and if you can’t consider leaving them out.

With every single question that you write, it’s important to place yourself in the shoes of your respondents. If you want to ask students about their income, your response options should range below $20,000 per year, because most of them are probably not making more than that. But if your respondents are affluent, your choices should have a range higher than $100,000.

Examples of demographic questions:

  • How old are you?
  • What is your level of education?
  • What is your marital status?
  • What’s your current employment status?

Try this demographic survey

Ready to create your own?  Make a demographic survey .

9. Matrix Table Questions

If you need to ask a series of questions that require the same response options, you can group them together in a matrix table instead of breaking them into separate questions.

While these bundled questions are convenient, you have to use them carefully. Visually, large matrix tables can seem overwhelming. In addition, online survey questions of this sort aren’t always mobile-friendly. Having too many questions or choices may even trigger undesirable survey-taking behavior such as straight-lining. This is when respondents select the same options without carefully considering each one. Sometimes, they do that because the actual experience feels like a complicated matrix and they just want to finish it.

Example of a matrix table:

How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the following?

Interaction with sales staff

Product selection

Marketing messages

Pricing structure

Then, you can make a brief list of response options. There should be no more than five options.

10. Side-by-Side Matrix Questions

A side-by-side matrix is similar to your regular matrix table in that it allows you to group together questions that require simple response options. However, a matrix table only lets you collect data from a single variable. A side-by-side matrix, on the other hand, enables you to gather data on two or more dimensions.

For example, let’s say you want to ask respondents about the importance of different services and their satisfaction with each. You can group them together in a side-by-side matrix. By organizing questions in tables, your respondents can easily fill out the survey in minutes.

Much like a regular matrix table, you shouldn’t overwhelm consumers. Avoid adding too many variables to your table. Moreover, you should keep the response options short.

Examples of side-by-side matrix questions:

Example of side-by-side matrix:

How would you rate our shopping services?

Identify the variables. They can be customer support, packaging, and punctuality. Next, you should add different dimensions such as importance and satisfaction level. On each table, you should add a similar scale. You can start with 1, which could mean Not Important and Not Satisfied.

11. Data Reference Questions

Use data reference questions to gather validated data against standardized databases. For example, direct respondents to enter their postal code or zip code in a small text box. The value entered will then be cross-referenced with the database. If it is correct, their city or state will be displayed, and they can proceed with the survey. And if it is incorrect, they’ll be asked to enter a valid postal code or zip code.

Examples of data reference questions:

  • What is your five-digit zip code?
  • What is your postal code?

12. Choice Model Questions

Choice model questions enable you to understand the essential aspects of consumers’ decision-making process. This involves a quantitative method called Conjoint Analysis. It helps you grasp your users’ preferences, the features they like, and the right price range your target market can afford. More importantly, it enables you to understand if your new products will be accepted by your target market.

These questions also involve Maximum Difference Scaling, a method that allows the ranking of up to 30 elements. This can include product features, benefits, opportunities for potential investment, and possible marketing messages for an upcoming product.

Example of a choice model question:

  • If you were to buy a sandwich, which ingredient combination would you choose?

Let’s say you want to know about consumers’ bread, filling, and sauce preferences. In your survey, you can give them three sandwich options. You can, for instance, offer three kinds of bread: grain wheat, parmesan oregano, and Italian. As for the sauces, you can make them choose between ranch, blue cheese, and mustard. Finally, you need to suggest three types of filling, for example, chicken, veggies, and meatballs.

Respondents will see unique combinations of these ingredients in your survey. Then, they will have to choose the one that they like best.

13. Net Promoter Score Questions

A net promoter score (NPS) survey question measures brand shareability, as well as customer satisfaction levels. It helps you get reliable customer insights and gauge the likelihood of respondents recommending your company to friends or colleagues (i.e. prospective customers). The scoring model involves a scale of 0 to 10, which is divided into three sections. Respondents who give a 9 to 10 score are considered Promoters. Passives give a 7 to 8 score, while the rest are considered Detractors.

Once you’ve gathered all the data, the responses per section are calculated. Then, the net value of promoters is shown. This type of survey question offers a useful form of initial feedback. It helps you understand why promoters are leaving high ratings so you can work on enhancing those strengths. At the same time, it enables you to determine weaknesses. It illustrates why detractors are leaving such low ratings.

Examples of net promoter score questions:

  • On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our brand to a friend or colleague? (0 = Not at all Likely and 10 = Very Likely)
  • Would you encourage friends to work at our company?
  • How likely are you to recommend (specific name of the product) to friends?

Try this NPS survey

Ready to create your own?  Make an NPS survey .

14. Picture Choice Questions

It’s no secret that people respond to visual content more than plain text. This applies to surveys as well – visual content can boost user experience.

Think of these as alternate questions to multiple-choice questions. Users can pick one or many from a visual list of options. You can use picture choice questions to make your survey more engaging.

Keep in mind, that it’s very easy to unintentionally create a leading question by using images that get a specific reaction from people. For example, if you’re asking about food preferences and one of the images is more attractive than others, people may see it as the perfect answer even if it doesn’t represent their favorite dish because it looks most attractive. So when you’re illustrating a variety of answers with images make sure their quality and attractiveness is similar.

Picture choice examples:

  • What is your favorite pizza topping?
  • Which color should we choose for our logo?
  • What other products would you like to see in our online store?

Opinion Stage has an online  survey maker  tool that can help you design image-based survey questions in minutes. Choose from hundreds of professionally-designed templates, and tailor them to fit your needs, or design them from scratch.

Try this visual survey

Ready to create your own?  Make a visual survey .

15. Image Rating Questions

Another way to incorporate images in questions is through image ratings. Let’s say you want to know how satisfied consumers are with your products. You can display all of the items you want respondents to rate. Under each item, provide a shortlist of options (e.g. very unsatisfied, unsatisfied, neutral, satisfied, very unsatisfied).

You could also use a rank order question to let your respondents rank their favorite products. Simply give them multiple options, and then, ask them for their top three or five favorites. Or you could ask them to organize a series of answers by ranking.

For example, if it’s an employee engagement survey question you could ask your employees to rank a series of office activities from their least favorite to their most favorite. There are many ways to do this visually. Some tools use dropdown menus, and others let you move the answer options around, but the simplest way is to use numbers like in the example below.

Rank order questions should work well on mobile devices. After all, respondents only have to tap on their favorite items to participate.

Example of image rating questions:

  • What are your 5 favorite desserts?

16. Visual Analog Scale Questions

Another type of scale you can use in a survey is the visual analog scale, which displays your questions in a more engaging manner. For instance, you can use text sliders or numeric sliders to ask respondents to rate the service they’ve received from your company and let them select an image line that best illustrates their answer.

You can also use pictures to depict each option. Smiley ratings are commonly used in surveys nowadays because they’re simple questions, easy on the eyes, and quite fun. Star ratings are also effective survey questions that require no extra effort.

Examples of visual analog scale questions:

  • How would you rate the overall quality of our customer service?
  • What do you think of our website’s interface?
  • How satisfied are you with the way our service works in offline mode?

Create engaging image-based surveys in minutes

The Fundamentals of Good Survey Questions

There is an art to writing effective questions for your survey. Regardless of the kind of survey you plan to deploy, there are a few practices that you should adhere to.

Use Clear and Simple Language

Always choose clear and simple words when writing your online survey questions. In doing so, you can keep the questions short yet specific.

Complex phrasing, too many words, acronyms, and specialized jargon require extra effort and could cause confusion. Make it easy for your respondents to help you. Keep it simple.

Moreover, avoid  double-barreled questions , they will frustrate your respondents and skew your customer insights.  Here’s an example of a double-barreled question: “Did you find our new search feature helpful and easy to use? yes/no” Such a question might be simple to understand, but it isn’t easy to answer because it covers two issues. How could someone respond if they found the search feature helpful but difficult to understand? It would make more sense to separate it into two questions, i.e. did you find the new search feature helpful? Was the new search feature easy for you to use?

Focus on the Consumer

Make the survey engaging. Use the second-person (i.e., ‘you’ format) to address your respondents directly, and use the first-person (i.e., ‘we’ format) to refer to your company. This makes the survey more personal and helps respondents recall prior experiences with your company. In turn, it leads to quicker and more accurate answers.

Ask for Feedback

Get initial feedback from external people that fit the profile of your average user before sending your survey out. It’s like a user testing tool, you need someone who isn’t you to take a look and tell you if your survey is clear and friendly.

Require Minimal Effort to Answer

There’s no reason to ask people questions that aren’t essential to you. Ask people questions that really matter to you, and try to keep it down to the minimum number, so as not to waste their time. The more succinct a survey is, the more likely a respondent is to complete it. So, let them know that you value their time by designing a survey they can finish within minutes.

Stay Free From Bias

Survey question mistake #1 is to ask leading or biased questions. Don’t plant opinions in your respondents’ heads before they can formulate their own. Don’t ask people questions like “How good was your in-store experience today?” Phrase it in a neutral way like “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your in-store experience?”

Keep the Purpose of the Survey Vague

Sometimes, respondents have a tendency to give you the answers you want to hear. One of the simplest ways to prevent that is by keeping the purpose of your survey vague. Instead, you should give a general description of your survey.

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Sample Survey Questions

Below are sample questions for different market research needs. You can use many of them as close-ended questions as well as open questions, depending on your need and preference.

Brand Awareness Questions

  • When was the last time you used (a type of product)?
  • What brands come to mind as your top choice when you think of buying this product type?
  • What factors do you consider when selecting a vendor? (rank by importance)
  • Which of the following brands have you heard of? (please select all that apply)
  • Where have you seen or heard of our brand in the last three months? (please select all that apply)
  • How often have you heard people talking about our brand in the past three months?
  • How familiar are you with our company?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our brand to a friend?

Customer Demographic Questions

  • What gender do you identify as?
  • Where were you born?
  • Are you married?
  • What is your annual household income?
  • Do you support children under the age of 18?
  • How many children under the age of 18 reside in your household?
  • What category best describes your employment status?
  • Which general geographic area of the state do you reside in?
  • What is your current employment status?
  • Which of the following languages can you speak fluently?

Brand & Marketing Feedback Questions

  • Have you purchased from our company before?
  • How long have you been a customer?
  • Which best describes your latest experience with our brand? (please select all that apply)
  • Which of the following attributes do you associate with our brand? (please select all that apply)
  • What kind of feelings do you associate with our brand?
  • Which of these marketing messages represents us best in your opinion?
  • How would you rate your level of emotional attachment to our brand?
  • What five words would you use to describe our brand to a friend or colleague?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our brand to a friend or colleague? (1 being Not at All Likely at 10 being Extremely Likely)

Product & Package Testing Questions

  • What is your first impression of the product?
  • How important are the following features to you?
  • How would you rate the product’s quality?
  • If the product was already available, how likely are you to purchase it?
  • How likely are you to replace an old product with this one?
  • How likely would you recommend this product to a friend or colleague?
  • What did you like best about this product?
  • What are the features that you want to see improved?
  • Based on the value for money, how would you rate this product compared to the competition?
  • What is your first impression of the product packaging?
  • How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the following features? (Visual appeal, Quality, and Price)
  • How similar or different is the packaging from the competition?
  • Does the packaging have too little or too much information?
  • How likely are you to purchase the product based on its packaging?
  • What did you like best about the packaging?
  • What did you dislike about the packaging?
  • How would you like the packaging to be improved?

Pricing Strategy Testing Questions

  • How often do you purchase this type of product?
  • What brands do you usually purchase? (Please select all that apply).
  • On a scale of 1 to 5, how satisfied are you with the pricing of this type of product? (1 being Not at All Satisfied at 5 being Extremely Satisfied)
  • What is the ideal price for this type of product?
  • What price range would make you consider that the product is too expensive?
  • At what price is the product too cheap that its quality is questionable?
  • How much does the price for our product compare to other products on the market?
  • If the product was available, how likely would you be to purchase it?

Customer Satisfaction Questions

  • How would you rate the following products/services at (name of company)?
  • Which of the following attributes would you use to describe our product/service? Please select all that apply.
  • Would you recommend our company to a friend or colleague? (1 being Very Unlikely and 10 being Very Likely)
  • How responsive has our support team been to your questions and concerns?
  • How likely are you to purchase from our company again?
  • What other comments, concerns, or questions do you have for us?

Brand Performance Questions

  • When was the last time you used this type of product?
  • When you think of our brand, what words come to mind?
  • Which of the following are important to your decision-making process?
  • How well do our products perform based on the following categories? (Price, Quality, Design, etc.)
  • How well does our product meet your needs?
  • What was missing or disappointing about your experience with our brand?
  • What did you like most about your experience with our brand?
  • How can we improve your experience?

Customer Behavior Questions

  • In the household, are you the primary decision maker when it comes to purchasing this type of product?
  • When was the last time you purchased this product type?
  • How do you find out about brands offering this product type? Please select all that apply.
  • When you think of this product type, which of the following are the top three brands that come to mind?
  • How much of your purchasing decisions are influenced by social media?

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How to Improve Survey Response Rates

Every market research survey needs to be designed carefully in order to drive higher response rates. As a result, you can acquire the right data to inform the decision-making process.

Here are a few survey ideas to boost response rates:

Make It Personal

Write a survey as if it’s a conversation between you and your respondents. For example, use first-person pronouns to make your surveys feel more personal and customer-centric. In addition, stick with simple and specific language to better connect with respondents. Simply put, write your questions as you’d use them in a conversation with consumers.

Make It Engaging

Gathering data from consumers is essential to any business, but market research surveys don’t have to be dull. You can engage and connect with respondents on a human level through an interactive survey. As a result, you can obtain thorough responses and maximize the number of respondents that complete the entire survey.

Don’t Waste Their Time

No one wants to answer a survey with 50 questions because it takes too long to complete. Hence, you should narrow down your list to the most important ones. Only ask questions that will lead to actionable insights. As for the rest, you can get rid of them.

Offer Incentives

There are two types of incentives you can offer: monetary or non-monetary. Either way, you need to make sure that the incentive provides value to your target audience. In addition, you must choose between promised or prepaid incentives. In other words, you have to decide if you want to offer everyone or a small group of people some incentives.

Providing respondents with incentives to finish the survey can increase response rates—but not always. Customer satisfaction surveys, for example, won’t always need incentives because it might affect the quality of the results.

Make It Responsive

Perhaps the easiest way to gain respondents is to make your surveys responsive and mobile-optimized. In doing so, it will perform well and look amazing on all devices. It should also enable you to reach consumers during their daily commute or lunch break. Thus, make sure your survey is optimized for different kinds of devices, especially for mobile.

Offer Surveys in Multiple Channels

If a survey is optimized for all device types, it should be easily accessed on social media. So, take advantage of your platforms and share your survey on different social media channels to increase participation rates.

Designing surveys doesn’t have to be challenging. On the contrary, you can easily create interactive surveys with Opinion Stage. Create a survey from scratch, or choose one of our many professionally-made templates to complete it within minutes. Through Opinion Stage, you can drive higher response rates and evaluate results from a powerful analytics dashboard.

It’s important to be familiar with the different types of survey questions and when to use them. Getting to know each survey question type will help you improve your research. Not to mention, you can gain high-quality data when you design a survey with the right types of questions .

In addition, you should leverage the right tool to create engaging surveys in minutes. With an online survey maker like Opinion Stage, you can customize your surveys to fit your brand image. Or, you can choose from professionally-made templates. Either way, it can help boost response rates.

Last but not least, check your survey design before deploying it. Make sure to see what your survey will look like to your respondents. See opportunities for improvement, then apply the necessary changes.

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  • Doing Survey Research | A Step-by-Step Guide & Examples

Doing Survey Research | A Step-by-Step Guide & Examples

Published on 6 May 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on 10 October 2022.

Survey research means collecting information about a group of people by asking them questions and analysing the results. To conduct an effective survey, follow these six steps:

  • Determine who will participate in the survey
  • Decide the type of survey (mail, online, or in-person)
  • Design the survey questions and layout
  • Distribute the survey
  • Analyse the responses
  • Write up the results

Surveys are a flexible method of data collection that can be used in many different types of research .

Table of contents

What are surveys used for, step 1: define the population and sample, step 2: decide on the type of survey, step 3: design the survey questions, step 4: distribute the survey and collect responses, step 5: analyse the survey results, step 6: write up the survey results, frequently asked questions about surveys.

Surveys are used as a method of gathering data in many different fields. They are a good choice when you want to find out about the characteristics, preferences, opinions, or beliefs of a group of people.

Common uses of survey research include:

  • Social research: Investigating the experiences and characteristics of different social groups
  • Market research: Finding out what customers think about products, services, and companies
  • Health research: Collecting data from patients about symptoms and treatments
  • Politics: Measuring public opinion about parties and policies
  • Psychology: Researching personality traits, preferences, and behaviours

Surveys can be used in both cross-sectional studies , where you collect data just once, and longitudinal studies , where you survey the same sample several times over an extended period.

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Before you start conducting survey research, you should already have a clear research question that defines what you want to find out. Based on this question, you need to determine exactly who you will target to participate in the survey.

Populations

The target population is the specific group of people that you want to find out about. This group can be very broad or relatively narrow. For example:

  • The population of Brazil
  • University students in the UK
  • Second-generation immigrants in the Netherlands
  • Customers of a specific company aged 18 to 24
  • British transgender women over the age of 50

Your survey should aim to produce results that can be generalised to the whole population. That means you need to carefully define exactly who you want to draw conclusions about.

It’s rarely possible to survey the entire population of your research – it would be very difficult to get a response from every person in Brazil or every university student in the UK. Instead, you will usually survey a sample from the population.

The sample size depends on how big the population is. You can use an online sample calculator to work out how many responses you need.

There are many sampling methods that allow you to generalise to broad populations. In general, though, the sample should aim to be representative of the population as a whole. The larger and more representative your sample, the more valid your conclusions.

There are two main types of survey:

  • A questionnaire , where a list of questions is distributed by post, online, or in person, and respondents fill it out themselves
  • An interview , where the researcher asks a set of questions by phone or in person and records the responses

Which type you choose depends on the sample size and location, as well as the focus of the research.

Questionnaires

Sending out a paper survey by post is a common method of gathering demographic information (for example, in a government census of the population).

  • You can easily access a large sample.
  • You have some control over who is included in the sample (e.g., residents of a specific region).
  • The response rate is often low.

Online surveys are a popular choice for students doing dissertation research , due to the low cost and flexibility of this method. There are many online tools available for constructing surveys, such as SurveyMonkey and Google Forms .

  • You can quickly access a large sample without constraints on time or location.
  • The data is easy to process and analyse.
  • The anonymity and accessibility of online surveys mean you have less control over who responds.

If your research focuses on a specific location, you can distribute a written questionnaire to be completed by respondents on the spot. For example, you could approach the customers of a shopping centre or ask all students to complete a questionnaire at the end of a class.

  • You can screen respondents to make sure only people in the target population are included in the sample.
  • You can collect time- and location-specific data (e.g., the opinions of a shop’s weekday customers).
  • The sample size will be smaller, so this method is less suitable for collecting data on broad populations.

Oral interviews are a useful method for smaller sample sizes. They allow you to gather more in-depth information on people’s opinions and preferences. You can conduct interviews by phone or in person.

  • You have personal contact with respondents, so you know exactly who will be included in the sample in advance.
  • You can clarify questions and ask for follow-up information when necessary.
  • The lack of anonymity may cause respondents to answer less honestly, and there is more risk of researcher bias.

Like questionnaires, interviews can be used to collect quantitative data : the researcher records each response as a category or rating and statistically analyses the results. But they are more commonly used to collect qualitative data : the interviewees’ full responses are transcribed and analysed individually to gain a richer understanding of their opinions and feelings.

Next, you need to decide which questions you will ask and how you will ask them. It’s important to consider:

  • The type of questions
  • The content of the questions
  • The phrasing of the questions
  • The ordering and layout of the survey

Open-ended vs closed-ended questions

There are two main forms of survey questions: open-ended and closed-ended. Many surveys use a combination of both.

Closed-ended questions give the respondent a predetermined set of answers to choose from. A closed-ended question can include:

  • A binary answer (e.g., yes/no or agree/disagree )
  • A scale (e.g., a Likert scale with five points ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree )
  • A list of options with a single answer possible (e.g., age categories)
  • A list of options with multiple answers possible (e.g., leisure interests)

Closed-ended questions are best for quantitative research . They provide you with numerical data that can be statistically analysed to find patterns, trends, and correlations .

Open-ended questions are best for qualitative research. This type of question has no predetermined answers to choose from. Instead, the respondent answers in their own words.

Open questions are most common in interviews, but you can also use them in questionnaires. They are often useful as follow-up questions to ask for more detailed explanations of responses to the closed questions.

The content of the survey questions

To ensure the validity and reliability of your results, you need to carefully consider each question in the survey. All questions should be narrowly focused with enough context for the respondent to answer accurately. Avoid questions that are not directly relevant to the survey’s purpose.

When constructing closed-ended questions, ensure that the options cover all possibilities. If you include a list of options that isn’t exhaustive, you can add an ‘other’ field.

Phrasing the survey questions

In terms of language, the survey questions should be as clear and precise as possible. Tailor the questions to your target population, keeping in mind their level of knowledge of the topic.

Use language that respondents will easily understand, and avoid words with vague or ambiguous meanings. Make sure your questions are phrased neutrally, with no bias towards one answer or another.

Ordering the survey questions

The questions should be arranged in a logical order. Start with easy, non-sensitive, closed-ended questions that will encourage the respondent to continue.

If the survey covers several different topics or themes, group together related questions. You can divide a questionnaire into sections to help respondents understand what is being asked in each part.

If a question refers back to or depends on the answer to a previous question, they should be placed directly next to one another.

Before you start, create a clear plan for where, when, how, and with whom you will conduct the survey. Determine in advance how many responses you require and how you will gain access to the sample.

When you are satisfied that you have created a strong research design suitable for answering your research questions, you can conduct the survey through your method of choice – by post, online, or in person.

There are many methods of analysing the results of your survey. First you have to process the data, usually with the help of a computer program to sort all the responses. You should also cleanse the data by removing incomplete or incorrectly completed responses.

If you asked open-ended questions, you will have to code the responses by assigning labels to each response and organising them into categories or themes. You can also use more qualitative methods, such as thematic analysis , which is especially suitable for analysing interviews.

Statistical analysis is usually conducted using programs like SPSS or Stata. The same set of survey data can be subject to many analyses.

Finally, when you have collected and analysed all the necessary data, you will write it up as part of your thesis, dissertation , or research paper .

In the methodology section, you describe exactly how you conducted the survey. You should explain the types of questions you used, the sampling method, when and where the survey took place, and the response rate. You can include the full questionnaire as an appendix and refer to it in the text if relevant.

Then introduce the analysis by describing how you prepared the data and the statistical methods you used to analyse it. In the results section, you summarise the key results from your analysis.

A Likert scale is a rating scale that quantitatively assesses opinions, attitudes, or behaviours. It is made up of four or more questions that measure a single attitude or trait when response scores are combined.

To use a Likert scale in a survey , you present participants with Likert-type questions or statements, and a continuum of items, usually with five or seven possible responses, to capture their degree of agreement.

Individual Likert-type questions are generally considered ordinal data , because the items have clear rank order, but don’t have an even distribution.

Overall Likert scale scores are sometimes treated as interval data. These scores are considered to have directionality and even spacing between them.

The type of data determines what statistical tests you should use to analyse your data.

A questionnaire is a data collection tool or instrument, while a survey is an overarching research method that involves collecting and analysing data from people using questionnaires.

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How to write survey questions for research – with examples

You are currently viewing How to write survey questions for research – with examples

  • Post author: Marta Costa
  • Post published: April 5, 2023
  • Post category: Data Collection & Data Quality

A good survey can make or break your research. Learn how to write strong survey questions, learn what not to do, and see a range of practical examples.

The accuracy and relevance of the data you collect depend largely on the quality of your survey questions . In other words, good questions make for good research outcomes.  It makes sense then, that you should put considerable thought and planning into writing your survey or questionnaire.

In this article, we’ll go through what a good survey question looks like, talk about the different kinds of survey questions that exist, give you some tips for writing a good survey question, and finally, we’ll take a look at some examples. 

What is a good survey question?

A good survey question should contain simple and clear language. It should elicit responses that are accurate and that help you learn more about your target audience and their experiences. It should also fit in with the overall design of your survey project and connect with your research objective. There are many different types of survey questions. Let’s take a look at some of them now. 

New to survey data collection? Explore SurveyCTO for free with a 15-day trial.

Types of survey questions

Different types of questions are used for different purposes. Often questionnaires or surveys will combine several types of questions. The types you choose will depend on the overall design of your survey and your aims.  Here is a list of the most popular kinds of survey questions:  

Example of an open-ended question which reads Please list the names and ages of members of your household in the text box below

These questions can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. They require the respondent to use more descriptive language to share their thoughts and answer the question. These types of questions result in qualitative data.

Closed-ended

A closed-ended question is the opposite of an open-ended question. Here the respondent’s answers are normally restricted to a yes or no, true or false, or multiple-choice answer. This results in quantitative data.

research question survey

Dichotomous

This is a type of closed-ended question. The defining characteristic of these questions is that they have two opposing fields. For example, a question that can only be answered with a yes/no answer is a dichotomous question. 

research question survey

Multiple choice

research question survey

These are another type of closed-ended question. Here you give the respondent several possible ways, or options, in which they can respond. It’s also common to have an “other” section with a text box where the respondent can provide an unlisted answer.

Rating scale

This is again another type of close-ended question. Here you would normally present two extremes and the respondent has to choose between these extremes or an option placed along the scale.

Likert scale

A Likert scale is a form of a rating scale. These are generally used to measure attitudes towards something by asking the respondent to agree or disagree with a statement. They are commonly used to measure satisfaction. 

research question survey

Ranking scale 

Here the respondents are given a few options and they need to order these different options in terms of importance, relevance, or according to the instructions.  

Demographic questions

These are often personal questions that allow you to better understand your respondents and their backgrounds. They normally cover questions related to age, race, marital status, education level, etc.

Public transport vehicles with colorful roofs in Kampala, Uganda

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7 Tips for writing a good survey question

The following 7 tips will help you to write a good survey question: 

1. Use clear, simple language

Your survey questions must be easy to understand. When they’re straight to the point, it’s more likely that your respondent will understand what you are asking of them and be able to respond accurately, giving you the data you need. 

2. Keep your questions (and answers) concise

When sentences or questions are convoluted or confusing, respondents might misunderstand the question. If your questions are too long, they may also get bored by the questions. And in your lists of answers for multiple choice questions, make sure your choice lists are concise as well.  If your questions are too long, or if you’ve provided too many options, you may receive responses that are inaccurate or that are not a true representation of how the respondent feels. To limit the number of options a respondent sees, you can use a survey platform like SurveyCTO to filter choice lists and make it easy for respondents to answer quickly. If you have an exceptionally long list of possible responses, like countries, implement search functionality in your list of choices so your respondents can quickly search for their selection.

3. Don’t add bias to your question

You should avoid leading your respondent in any particular direction with your questions, you want their response to be 100% their thoughts without being unduly influenced.  An example of a question that could lead the respondent in a particular direction would be:  How happy are you to live in this amazing area?  By adding the adjective amazing before area, you are putting the idea in the respondent’s head that the area is amazing. This could cloud their judgment and influence the way they answer the question. The word happy together with amazing may also be problematic. A better, less loaded way to ask this question might be something like this:  How satisfied are you living in this area?

4. Ask one question at a time

Asking multiple things in one question is confusing and will lead to inaccuracies in the answer. When you write your question you should know exactly what you want to achieve. This will help you to avoid combining two questions in one. Here is an example of a double-barrelled question that would be difficult for a respondent to answer: Please answer yes or no to the following question: Do you drive to work and do you carry any passengers? In this question, the respondent is being asked two things, yet they only have the opportunity to respond to one. Even then, they don’t know which one they should respond to. Avoid this kind of questioning to get clearer, more accurate data.

5. Account for all possible answer choices

You should give your respondent the ability to answer a question accurately. For instance, if you are asking a demographic question you’ll need to provide options that accurately reflect their experience. Below, you can see there is an “other” option with space where the respondent can answer how they see fit, in the case that they don’t fit into any of the other options. Which gender do you most identify with:

  • Prefer not to say
  • Other [specify]

6. Plan the question flow and choose your questions carefully

Question writing goes hand-in-hand with questionnaire design. So, when writing survey questions, you should consider the survey as a whole. For example, if you write a close-ended question like:  Were you satisfied with the customer service you received when you bought x product? You might want to follow it up with an open-ended question such as:   Please explain the reason for your answer: This will help you draw out more information from your respondent that can help you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your customer service team.  Making sure your questions flow in a logical order is also important. 

For instance, if you ask a question regarding the total cost of a person’s childcare arrangements, but you’re unaware if they have children, you should first ask if they have children and how many.  It’s also a good idea to start your survey with short, easy-to-answer, non-sensitive questions before moving on to something more complex. This way there is more chance you’ll engage your audience early on and make it more likely that they’ll continue with the survey. You should also consider whether you need qualitative or quantitative data for your research outcomes or a mix of the two. This will help you decide the balance of closed-ended and open-ended questions you use.   With close-ended questions, you get quantitative data. This data will be fairly conclusive and simple to analyze. It can be useful when you need to measure specific variables or metrics like population sizes, education levels, literacy levels, etc. 

An enumerator conducting a phone interview using a tablet connected with headsets. The tablet is on a table

On the other hand, qualitative data gained by open-ended questions can be full of insights. However, these questions can be more laborious for the respondent to complete making it more likely for them to skip through or give a token answer. They’re also more complex to analyze.

7. Test your surveys

Before a questionnaire goes anywhere near a respondent, it needs to be checked over. Mistakes in your survey questions can give inaccurate results. They can also waste time and resources.  Having an impartial person check your questions can also help prevent bias. So, not only should you check your work, but you should also share it with colleagues for them to check.  After checking your survey questions, make sure to check the functionality and flow of your survey. If you’re building your form in SurveyCTO, you can use our form testing interface to catch errors, make quick fixes, and test your workflows with real data.

IFPRI agricultural field project with people seating in pairs under some trees during survey interviews

Examples of good survey questions

Now that we’ve gone through some dos and don’ts for writing survey questions, we can move on to more practical examples of how a good survey question should look. To keep these specific to the research world we’ll look at three categories of questions. 

  • Household survey questions 
  • Monitoring and evaluation survey questions 
  • Impact evaluation survey questions

1. Household Survey Questions

2. monitoring and evaluation survey questions , 3. impact evaluation questions .

Skip-logic-and-choice-filters

Strong survey questions lead to better research outcomes

Writing good survey questions is essential if you want to achieve your research aims.  A good survey question should be clear, concise, and contain simple language. They should be free of bias and not lead the respondent in any direction. Your survey questions need to complement each other, engage your audience and connect back to the overall objectives of your research.  Creating survey questions and survey designs is a large part of your research, however, is just a part of the puzzle. When your questions are ready, you’ll need to conduct your survey and then find a way to manage your data and workflow. Take a look at this post to see more ways SurveyCTO can help you beyond writing your research survey questions. 

Your next steps: Explore more resources

To keep reading about how SurveyCTO can help you design better surveys, take a look at these resources:  

  • Sign up here to get notified about our monthly webinars, where organizations like IDinsight  share best practices for effective surveys.
  • Check out previous webinars from SurveyCTO about survey forms, like this one on high-frequency checks for monitoring surveys. 
  • Sign up for a free trial of SurveyCTO for your next survey project.

To see how SurveyCTO can help you with your survey needs, start a free 15-day trial today. No credit card required. 

Post author avatar

Marta Costa

Senior Product Specialist

Marta is a member of the Customer Success team for Dobility. She helps users working at NGOs, nonprofits, survey firms, universities and research institutes achieve their objectives using SurveyCTO, and works on new ways to help users get the most out of the platform.

Marta has worked in international development consultancy and research, supporting and coordinating impact evaluations, monitoring and evaluation projects, and data collection processes at the national level in areas such as education, energy access, and financial inclusion.

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Research Question Examples 🧑🏻‍🏫

25+ Practical Examples & Ideas To Help You Get Started 

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) | October 2023

A well-crafted research question (or set of questions) sets the stage for a robust study and meaningful insights.  But, if you’re new to research, it’s not always clear what exactly constitutes a good research question. In this post, we’ll provide you with clear examples of quality research questions across various disciplines, so that you can approach your research project with confidence!

Research Question Examples

  • Psychology research questions
  • Business research questions
  • Education research questions
  • Healthcare research questions
  • Computer science research questions

Examples: Psychology

Let’s start by looking at some examples of research questions that you might encounter within the discipline of psychology.

How does sleep quality affect academic performance in university students?

This question is specific to a population (university students) and looks at a direct relationship between sleep and academic performance, both of which are quantifiable and measurable variables.

What factors contribute to the onset of anxiety disorders in adolescents?

The question narrows down the age group and focuses on identifying multiple contributing factors. There are various ways in which it could be approached from a methodological standpoint, including both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Do mindfulness techniques improve emotional well-being?

This is a focused research question aiming to evaluate the effectiveness of a specific intervention.

How does early childhood trauma impact adult relationships?

This research question targets a clear cause-and-effect relationship over a long timescale, making it focused but comprehensive.

Is there a correlation between screen time and depression in teenagers?

This research question focuses on an in-demand current issue and a specific demographic, allowing for a focused investigation. The key variables are clearly stated within the question and can be measured and analysed (i.e., high feasibility).

Free Webinar: How To Find A Dissertation Research Topic

Examples: Business/Management

Next, let’s look at some examples of well-articulated research questions within the business and management realm.

How do leadership styles impact employee retention?

This is an example of a strong research question because it directly looks at the effect of one variable (leadership styles) on another (employee retention), allowing from a strongly aligned methodological approach.

What role does corporate social responsibility play in consumer choice?

Current and precise, this research question can reveal how social concerns are influencing buying behaviour by way of a qualitative exploration.

Does remote work increase or decrease productivity in tech companies?

Focused on a particular industry and a hot topic, this research question could yield timely, actionable insights that would have high practical value in the real world.

How do economic downturns affect small businesses in the homebuilding industry?

Vital for policy-making, this highly specific research question aims to uncover the challenges faced by small businesses within a certain industry.

Which employee benefits have the greatest impact on job satisfaction?

By being straightforward and specific, answering this research question could provide tangible insights to employers.

Examples: Education

Next, let’s look at some potential research questions within the education, training and development domain.

How does class size affect students’ academic performance in primary schools?

This example research question targets two clearly defined variables, which can be measured and analysed relatively easily.

Do online courses result in better retention of material than traditional courses?

Timely, specific and focused, answering this research question can help inform educational policy and personal choices about learning formats.

What impact do US public school lunches have on student health?

Targeting a specific, well-defined context, the research could lead to direct changes in public health policies.

To what degree does parental involvement improve academic outcomes in secondary education in the Midwest?

This research question focuses on a specific context (secondary education in the Midwest) and has clearly defined constructs.

What are the negative effects of standardised tests on student learning within Oklahoma primary schools?

This research question has a clear focus (negative outcomes) and is narrowed into a very specific context.

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Examples: Healthcare

Shifting to a different field, let’s look at some examples of research questions within the healthcare space.

What are the most effective treatments for chronic back pain amongst UK senior males?

Specific and solution-oriented, this research question focuses on clear variables and a well-defined context (senior males within the UK).

How do different healthcare policies affect patient satisfaction in public hospitals in South Africa?

This question is has clearly defined variables and is narrowly focused in terms of context.

Which factors contribute to obesity rates in urban areas within California?

This question is focused yet broad, aiming to reveal several contributing factors for targeted interventions.

Does telemedicine provide the same perceived quality of care as in-person visits for diabetes patients?

Ideal for a qualitative study, this research question explores a single construct (perceived quality of care) within a well-defined sample (diabetes patients).

Which lifestyle factors have the greatest affect on the risk of heart disease?

This research question aims to uncover modifiable factors, offering preventive health recommendations.

Research topic evaluator

Examples: Computer Science

Last but certainly not least, let’s look at a few examples of research questions within the computer science world.

What are the perceived risks of cloud-based storage systems?

Highly relevant in our digital age, this research question would align well with a qualitative interview approach to better understand what users feel the key risks of cloud storage are.

Which factors affect the energy efficiency of data centres in Ohio?

With a clear focus, this research question lays a firm foundation for a quantitative study.

How do TikTok algorithms impact user behaviour amongst new graduates?

While this research question is more open-ended, it could form the basis for a qualitative investigation.

What are the perceived risk and benefits of open-source software software within the web design industry?

Practical and straightforward, the results could guide both developers and end-users in their choices.

Remember, these are just examples…

In this post, we’ve tried to provide a wide range of research question examples to help you get a feel for what research questions look like in practice. That said, it’s important to remember that these are just examples and don’t necessarily equate to good research topics . If you’re still trying to find a topic, check out our topic megalist for inspiration.

research question survey

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Survey Research — Types, Methods and Example Questions

Survey research The world of research is vast and complex, but with the right tools and understanding, it's an open field of discovery. Welcome to a journey into the heart of survey research. What is survey research? Survey research is the lens through which we view the opinions, behaviors, and experiences of a population. Think of it as the research world's detective, cleverly sleuthing out the truths hidden beneath layers of human complexity. Why is survey research important? Survey research is a Swiss Army Knife in a researcher's toolbox. It’s adaptable, reliable, and incredibly versatile, but its real power? It gives voice to the silent majority. Whether it's understanding customer preferences or assessing the impact of a social policy, survey research is the bridge between unanswered questions and insightful data. Let's embark on this exploration, armed with the spirit of openness, a sprinkle of curiosity, and the thirst for making knowledge accessible. As we journey further into the realm of survey research, we'll delve deeper into the diverse types of surveys, innovative data collection methods, and the rewards and challenges that come with them. Types of survey research Survey research is like an artist's palette, offering a variety of types to suit your unique research needs. Each type paints a different picture, giving us fascinating insights into the world around us. Cross-Sectional Surveys: Capture a snapshot of a population at a specific moment in time. They're your trusty Polaroid camera, freezing a moment for analysis and understanding. Longitudinal Surveys: Track changes over time, much like a time-lapse video. They help to identify trends and patterns, offering a dynamic perspective of your subject. Descriptive Surveys: Draw a detailed picture of the current state of affairs. They're your magnifying glass, examining the prevalence of a phenomenon or attitudes within a group. Analytical Surveys: Deep dive into the reasons behind certain outcomes. They're the research world's version of Sherlock Holmes, unraveling the complex web of cause and effect. But, what method should you choose for data collection? The plot thickens, doesn't it? Let's unravel this mystery in our next section. Survey research and data collection methods Data collection in survey research is an art form, and there's no one-size-fits-all method. Think of it as your paintbrush, each stroke represents a different way of capturing data. Online Surveys: In the digital age, online surveys have surged in popularity. They're fast, cost-effective, and can reach a global audience. But like a mysterious online acquaintance, respondents may not always be who they say they are. Mail Surveys: Like a postcard from a distant friend, mail surveys have a certain charm. They're great for reaching respondents without internet access. However, they’re slower and have lower response rates. They’re a test of patience and persistence. Telephone Surveys: With the sound of a ringing phone, the human element enters the picture. Great for reaching a diverse audience, they bring a touch of personal connection. But, remember, not all are fans of unsolicited calls. Face-to-Face Surveys: These are the heart-to-heart conversations of the survey world. While they require more resources, they're the gold standard for in-depth, high-quality data. As we journey further, let’s weigh the pros and cons of survey research. Advantages and disadvantages of survey research Every hero has its strengths and weaknesses, and survey research is no exception. Let's unwrap the gift box of survey research to see what lies inside. Advantages: Versatility: Like a superhero with multiple powers, surveys can be adapted to different topics, audiences, and research needs. Accessibility: With online surveys, geographical boundaries dissolve. We can reach out to the world from our living room. Anonymity: Like a confessional booth, surveys allow respondents to share their views without fear of judgment. Disadvantages: Response Bias: Ever met someone who says what you want to hear? Survey respondents can be like that too. Limited Depth: Like a puddle after a rainstorm, some surveys only skim the surface of complex issues. Nonresponse: Sometimes, potential respondents play hard to get, skewing the data. Survey research may have its challenges, but it also presents opportunities to learn and grow. As we forge ahead on our journey, we dive into the design process of survey research. Limitations of survey research Every research method has its limitations, like bumps on the road to discovery. But don't worry, with the right approach, these challenges become opportunities for growth. Misinterpretation: Sometimes, respondents might misunderstand your questions, like a badly translated novel. To overcome this, keep your questions simple and clear. Social Desirability Bias: People often want to present themselves in the best light. They might answer questions in a way that portrays them positively, even if it's not entirely accurate. Overcome this by ensuring anonymity and emphasizing honesty. Sample Representation: If your survey sample isn't representative of the population you're studying, it can skew your results. Aiming for a diverse sample can mitigate this. Now that we're aware of the limitations let's delve into the world of survey design. {loadmoduleid 430} Survey research design Designing a survey is like crafting a roadmap to discovery. It's an intricate process that involves careful planning, innovative strategies, and a deep understanding of your research goals. Let's get started. Approach and Strategy Your approach and strategy are the compasses guiding your survey research. Clear objectives, defined research questions, and an understanding of your target audience lay the foundation for a successful survey. Panel The panel is the heartbeat of your survey, the respondents who breathe life into your research. Selecting a representative panel ensures your research is accurate and inclusive. 9 Tips on Building the Perfect Survey Research Questionnaire Keep It Simple: Clear and straightforward questions lead to accurate responses. Make It Relevant: Ensure every question ties back to your research objectives. Order Matters: Start with easy questions to build rapport and save sensitive ones for later. Avoid Double-Barreled Questions: Stick to one idea per question. Offer a Balanced Scale: For rating scales, provide an equal number of positive and negative options. Provide a ‘Don't Know’ Option: This prevents guessing and keeps your data accurate. Pretest Your Survey: A pilot run helps you spot any issues before the final launch. Keep It Short: Respect your respondents' time. Make It Engaging: Keep your respondents interested with a mix of question types. Survey research examples and questions Examples serve as a bridge connecting theoretical concepts to real-world scenarios. Let's consider a few practical examples of survey research across various domains. User Experience (UX) Imagine being a UX designer at a budding tech start-up. Your app is gaining traction, but to keep your user base growing and engaged, you must ensure that your app's UX is top-notch. In this case, a well-designed survey could be a beacon, guiding you toward understanding user behavior, preferences, and pain points. Here's an example of how such a survey could look: "On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the ease of navigating our app?" "How often do you encounter difficulties while using our app?" "What features do you use most frequently in our app?" "What improvements would you suggest for our app?" "What features would you like to see in future updates?" This line of questioning, while straightforward, provides invaluable insights. It enables the UX designer to identify strengths to capitalize on and weaknesses to improve, ultimately leading to a product that resonates with users. Psychology and Ethics in survey research The realm of survey research is not just about data and numbers, but it's also about understanding human behavior and treating respondents ethically. Psychology: In-depth understanding of cognitive biases and social dynamics can profoundly influence survey design. Let's take the 'Recency Effect,' a psychological principle stating that people tend to remember recent events more vividly than those in the past. While framing questions about user experiences, this insight could be invaluable. For example, a question like "Can you recall an instance in the past week when our customer service exceeded your expectations?" is likely to fetch more accurate responses than asking about an event several months ago. Ethics: On the other hand, maintaining privacy, confidentiality, and informed consent is more than ethical - it's fundamental to the integrity of the research process. Imagine conducting a sensitive survey about workplace culture. Ensuring respondents that their responses will remain confidential and anonymous can encourage more honest responses. An introductory note stating these assurances, along with a clear outline of the survey's purpose, can help build trust with your respondents. Survey research software In the age of digital information, survey research software has become a trusted ally for researchers. It simplifies complex processes like data collection, analysis, and visualization, democratizing research and making it more accessible to a broad audience. LimeSurvey, our innovative, user-friendly tool, brings this vision to life. It stands at the crossroads of simplicity and power, embodying the essence of accessible survey research. Whether you're a freelancer exploring new market trends, a psychology student curious about human behavior, or an HR officer aiming to improve company culture, LimeSurvey empowers you to conduct efficient, effective research. Its suite of features and intuitive design matches your research pace, allowing your curiosity to take the front seat. For instance, consider you're a researcher studying consumer behavior across different demographics. With LimeSurvey, you can easily design demographic-specific questions, distribute your survey across various channels, collect responses in real-time, and visualize your data through intuitive dashboards. This synergy of tools and functionalities makes LimeSurvey a perfect ally in your quest for knowledge. Conclusion If you've come this far, we can sense your spark of curiosity. Are you eager to take the reins and conduct your own survey research? Are you ready to embrace the simple yet powerful tool that LimeSurvey offers? If so, we can't wait to see where your journey takes you next! In the world of survey research, there's always more to explore, more to learn and more to discover. So, keep your curiosity alive, stay open to new ideas, and remember, your exploration is just beginning! We hope that our exploration has been as enlightening for you as it was exciting for us. Remember, the journey doesn't end here. With the power of knowledge and the right tools in your hands, there's no limit to what you can achieve. So, let your curiosity be your guide and dive into the fascinating world of survey research with LimeSurvey! Try it out for free now! Happy surveying! {loadmoduleid 429}

research question survey

Table Content

Survey research.

The world of research is vast and complex, but with the right tools and understanding, it's an open field of discovery. Welcome to a journey into the heart of survey research.

What is survey research?

Survey research is the lens through which we view the opinions, behaviors, and experiences of a population. Think of it as the research world's detective, cleverly sleuthing out the truths hidden beneath layers of human complexity.

Why is survey research important?

Survey research is a Swiss Army Knife in a researcher's toolbox. It’s adaptable, reliable, and incredibly versatile, but its real power? It gives voice to the silent majority. Whether it's understanding customer preferences or assessing the impact of a social policy, survey research is the bridge between unanswered questions and insightful data.

Let's embark on this exploration, armed with the spirit of openness, a sprinkle of curiosity, and the thirst for making knowledge accessible. As we journey further into the realm of survey research, we'll delve deeper into the diverse types of surveys, innovative data collection methods, and the rewards and challenges that come with them.

Types of survey research

Survey research is like an artist's palette, offering a variety of types to suit your unique research needs. Each type paints a different picture, giving us fascinating insights into the world around us.

  • Cross-Sectional Surveys: Capture a snapshot of a population at a specific moment in time. They're your trusty Polaroid camera, freezing a moment for analysis and understanding.
  • Longitudinal Surveys: Track changes over time, much like a time-lapse video. They help to identify trends and patterns, offering a dynamic perspective of your subject.
  • Descriptive Surveys: Draw a detailed picture of the current state of affairs. They're your magnifying glass, examining the prevalence of a phenomenon or attitudes within a group.
  • Analytical Surveys: Deep dive into the reasons behind certain outcomes. They're the research world's version of Sherlock Holmes, unraveling the complex web of cause and effect.

But, what method should you choose for data collection? The plot thickens, doesn't it? Let's unravel this mystery in our next section.

Survey research and data collection methods

Data collection in survey research is an art form, and there's no one-size-fits-all method. Think of it as your paintbrush, each stroke represents a different way of capturing data.

  • Online Surveys: In the digital age, online surveys have surged in popularity. They're fast, cost-effective, and can reach a global audience. But like a mysterious online acquaintance, respondents may not always be who they say they are.
  • Mail Surveys: Like a postcard from a distant friend, mail surveys have a certain charm. They're great for reaching respondents without internet access. However, they’re slower and have lower response rates. They’re a test of patience and persistence.
  • Telephone Surveys: With the sound of a ringing phone, the human element enters the picture. Great for reaching a diverse audience, they bring a touch of personal connection. But, remember, not all are fans of unsolicited calls.
  • Face-to-Face Surveys: These are the heart-to-heart conversations of the survey world. While they require more resources, they're the gold standard for in-depth, high-quality data.

As we journey further, let’s weigh the pros and cons of survey research.

Advantages and disadvantages of survey research

Every hero has its strengths and weaknesses, and survey research is no exception. Let's unwrap the gift box of survey research to see what lies inside.

Advantages:

  • Versatility: Like a superhero with multiple powers, surveys can be adapted to different topics, audiences, and research needs.
  • Accessibility: With online surveys, geographical boundaries dissolve. We can reach out to the world from our living room.
  • Anonymity: Like a confessional booth, surveys allow respondents to share their views without fear of judgment.

Disadvantages:

  • Response Bias: Ever met someone who says what you want to hear? Survey respondents can be like that too.
  • Limited Depth: Like a puddle after a rainstorm, some surveys only skim the surface of complex issues.
  • Nonresponse: Sometimes, potential respondents play hard to get, skewing the data.

Survey research may have its challenges, but it also presents opportunities to learn and grow. As we forge ahead on our journey, we dive into the design process of survey research.

Limitations of survey research

Every research method has its limitations, like bumps on the road to discovery. But don't worry, with the right approach, these challenges become opportunities for growth.

Misinterpretation: Sometimes, respondents might misunderstand your questions, like a badly translated novel. To overcome this, keep your questions simple and clear.

Social Desirability Bias: People often want to present themselves in the best light. They might answer questions in a way that portrays them positively, even if it's not entirely accurate. Overcome this by ensuring anonymity and emphasizing honesty.

Sample Representation: If your survey sample isn't representative of the population you're studying, it can skew your results. Aiming for a diverse sample can mitigate this.

Now that we're aware of the limitations let's delve into the world of survey design.

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Survey research design

Designing a survey is like crafting a roadmap to discovery. It's an intricate process that involves careful planning, innovative strategies, and a deep understanding of your research goals. Let's get started.

Approach and Strategy

Your approach and strategy are the compasses guiding your survey research. Clear objectives, defined research questions, and an understanding of your target audience lay the foundation for a successful survey.

The panel is the heartbeat of your survey, the respondents who breathe life into your research. Selecting a representative panel ensures your research is accurate and inclusive.

9 Tips on Building the Perfect Survey Research Questionnaire

  • Keep It Simple: Clear and straightforward questions lead to accurate responses.
  • Make It Relevant: Ensure every question ties back to your research objectives.
  • Order Matters: Start with easy questions to build rapport and save sensitive ones for later.
  • Avoid Double-Barreled Questions: Stick to one idea per question.
  • Offer a Balanced Scale: For rating scales, provide an equal number of positive and negative options.
  • Provide a ‘Don't Know’ Option: This prevents guessing and keeps your data accurate.
  • Pretest Your Survey: A pilot run helps you spot any issues before the final launch.
  • Keep It Short: Respect your respondents' time.
  • Make It Engaging: Keep your respondents interested with a mix of question types.

Survey research examples and questions

Examples serve as a bridge connecting theoretical concepts to real-world scenarios. Let's consider a few practical examples of survey research across various domains.

User Experience (UX)

Imagine being a UX designer at a budding tech start-up. Your app is gaining traction, but to keep your user base growing and engaged, you must ensure that your app's UX is top-notch. In this case, a well-designed survey could be a beacon, guiding you toward understanding user behavior, preferences, and pain points.

Here's an example of how such a survey could look:

  • "On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the ease of navigating our app?"
  • "How often do you encounter difficulties while using our app?"
  • "What features do you use most frequently in our app?"
  • "What improvements would you suggest for our app?"
  • "What features would you like to see in future updates?"

This line of questioning, while straightforward, provides invaluable insights. It enables the UX designer to identify strengths to capitalize on and weaknesses to improve, ultimately leading to a product that resonates with users.

Psychology and Ethics in survey research

The realm of survey research is not just about data and numbers, but it's also about understanding human behavior and treating respondents ethically.

Psychology: In-depth understanding of cognitive biases and social dynamics can profoundly influence survey design. Let's take the 'Recency Effect,' a psychological principle stating that people tend to remember recent events more vividly than those in the past. While framing questions about user experiences, this insight could be invaluable.

For example, a question like "Can you recall an instance in the past week when our customer service exceeded your expectations?" is likely to fetch more accurate responses than asking about an event several months ago.

Ethics: On the other hand, maintaining privacy, confidentiality, and informed consent is more than ethical - it's fundamental to the integrity of the research process.

Imagine conducting a sensitive survey about workplace culture. Ensuring respondents that their responses will remain confidential and anonymous can encourage more honest responses. An introductory note stating these assurances, along with a clear outline of the survey's purpose, can help build trust with your respondents.

Survey research software

In the age of digital information, survey research software has become a trusted ally for researchers. It simplifies complex processes like data collection, analysis, and visualization, democratizing research and making it more accessible to a broad audience.

LimeSurvey, our innovative, user-friendly tool, brings this vision to life. It stands at the crossroads of simplicity and power, embodying the essence of accessible survey research.

Whether you're a freelancer exploring new market trends, a psychology student curious about human behavior, or an HR officer aiming to improve company culture, LimeSurvey empowers you to conduct efficient, effective research. Its suite of features and intuitive design matches your research pace, allowing your curiosity to take the front seat.

For instance, consider you're a researcher studying consumer behavior across different demographics. With LimeSurvey, you can easily design demographic-specific questions, distribute your survey across various channels, collect responses in real-time, and visualize your data through intuitive dashboards. This synergy of tools and functionalities makes LimeSurvey a perfect ally in your quest for knowledge.

If you've come this far, we can sense your spark of curiosity. Are you eager to take the reins and conduct your own survey research? Are you ready to embrace the simple yet powerful tool that LimeSurvey offers? If so, we can't wait to see where your journey takes you next!

In the world of survey research, there's always more to explore, more to learn and more to discover. So, keep your curiosity alive, stay open to new ideas, and remember, your exploration is just beginning!

We hope that our exploration has been as enlightening for you as it was exciting for us. Remember, the journey doesn't end here. With the power of knowledge and the right tools in your hands, there's no limit to what you can achieve. So, let your curiosity be your guide and dive into the fascinating world of survey research with LimeSurvey! Try it out for free now!

Happy surveying!

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Home Market Research

20 Market Research Questions To Ask In Your Customer Survey

Market Research Questions

The primary reason you conduct any customer survey with market research questions is to make effective decisions that grow your business by selling more to both existing customers, as well as by acquiring new customers by increasing the effectiveness of your product/service to suit their needs better. But when you take even a closer look, we’re making these decisions because the main objective is to become the obvious choice for that ideal customer. For that to happen and to reach market research goals, you need to ask:

What are Market Research Questions?

Market research questions is a questionnaire that is answered by customers or potential consumers, to understand their perception and opinion on a given subject, typically pertaining to product or service feasibility, understanding consumer needs and interests, and pricing concepts.

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For example: A customer survey on market research of an existing product line that focuses on the usefulness of specific features in a product line. Based on the feedback received from this survey, a business can now decide which features to invest and enhance/improve, and which features to relatively defocus/discontinue. This market research , therefore, enables a business to efficiently allocate resources based on real, data-oriented insights from their own customers.

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A similar set of market research questions can also be sent to potential consumers of a product, to understand market absorption capability.

LEARN ABOUT: Consumer Surveys

What Market Research Questions should I ask in my Customer Survey?

  • Who is our ideal customer? These are typically demographic market research questions such as gender survey questions , education level, income level or location.  You can expand these questions to find out your customer’s occupation or if your ideal customer is a parent, pet owner. Don’t skimp on demographics or psychographics .  If anything, get really creative with them. You might consider conducting a survey with nothing but profiling questions that include where your customers shop, or where they prefer to eat. It’s critical to know as much as possible about your ideal customer so that you can begin focusing your marketing decisions around their preferences.
  • What do they struggle with? Another root set of data that market researchers are searching for within their ideal customer is “what they struggle with.”  What are the 5 to 7 frustrations that they are dealing with when it comes to interacting with our product or service? Suppose you are a golf accessories company and you ask your ideal customer what frustrates them about their golfing experience. In that case, you might get responses such as “expensive golf clubs getting wet during a rainstorm.”  If you get enough of those responses, you may consider developing a golf accessory that protects golf clubs in the rain.
  • What does your ideal customer really WANT? No matter how you phrase the market research questions (and there are countless creative formats) all we really want to know is what our customer will actually purchase as a solution.  What is it that they WANT? Of course, they’re NOT going to say that they want something that doesn’t exist yet — in the 1960’s the average person would NOT have known that they wanted a microwave. They wanted hot food fast. One good way to get at these wants is to give your respondents some examples of product offerings and combinations and see how they rate them.
  • What sets you apart from your competition? Competitive analysis and bench-marking are critical if you want to increase the profitability of your product and build your brand. An effective way to measure or identify differentiators or competitive advantage is to ask Customer Satisfaction questions . The key to asking these market research questions is getting the attributes right.  For example “How important is it that your tires have a run-flat safety feature?” instead of asking “How important is it that your car has tires.”For example, A survey can be conducted by either Apple or Samsung to find out how satisfied are the customers with their products and what are the other features that the consumer prefers from the competitive brand. Using such data a company can incorporate features based on the demand and can also benchmark their features that the customers prefer. A Apple vs Samsung Survey Questions template can help to achieve the data required to compare their products with the competition and strategize accordingly .
  • What benefits do your customers perceive? Because we all choose and purchase based on emotion — it’s important to understand specifically what emotional benefits our customers receive from our products and services. The more we connect with our customers on an emotional level and provide that benefit — the more likely they are to choose us. This is an ideal place to use matrix questions that rate the degree to which customers agree or disagree with a variety of “benefit” statements.  Here is an example “I can count on Service X to pull me out of a bind.”
  • Who is currently buying from us? A very important research metric to track is the “who” is currently buying a product or a service from you. Deriving a pattern from the current purchasing population, helps you target and market to a similar potential demographic. This also is an ideal place to use demographic questions extensively but it also helps if other factors like geographical metrics are tracked. You don’t want to be ignoring your existing customer base and also be smart and agile in attracting new business to your brand.
  • Why are other people not buying from us? While it is imperative to know who is your potential customer or map your existing customer base, you need to find out who is not buying from you. This information is essential to understand if there are shortcomings in a product or service and at what milestone customers drop out of the purchasing process . This also helps to identify the way your business is conducted, if additional training is required to make a sale or if your product or service lacks in quality. Understanding why people are not buying from you also helps monitor if there is something fundamentally wrong with what you are offering to the masses.
  • Who can buy from us in the future? It is a known fact that is about 10x more expensive to create a new customer rather than to maintain the one you currently have. That, however, is no reason not to aim for new business. It is therefore important to have a clear picture of your potential future business. Targeting potential customers, is a mix of customer demographics that have purchased from you in the past and a mix of demographics you advertise and market to. It is therefore important to have a well-rounded product or solution. For example, since your barbecue sauces and rubs are famous and widely used in the midwest does not mean they cannot be bought in the southern states.
  • Why do people buy from you? What value or need does it fulfill? Customers only buy from you because of a perceived value . This value is either what you depict to potential customers or repeat customers have been privy to the value of your product or service. Customers also make a purchase because of the trust they have either in the product or service or the brand or sometimes even certain individuals. It is therefore important that you understand the value of your brand and stick to the morals and ethics of delivering high quality to ensure that the perceived and actual brand quotient is very high. The other reason why customers purchase from you is if their need is fulfilled by what you have on offer. This could either be a direct or an indirect need.
  • What would make you a perfect brand? No brand can be perfect! But you can surely be close to perfect. What this means is everything about your product or service is easy to use, intuitive, is value for money, scalable and ancillary support is impeccable. All of this is obviously immaterial if the product does not solve a real problem or make life easier for the customer. Having a very high customer oriented focus gives your brand a positive ring and becomes increasingly the go-to brand. You can use a simple Net Promoter Score question to understand how referrable is your brand and who are the promoters and detractors of your brand.
  • What single aspect about your brand makes it stand out and makes clients trust you? People buy from you or transact with you mostly when there is a high trust factor. Very rarely is the purchasing decision purely based on need or ease of access. To identify and build on that one factor that makes you a preferred buying choice over your competitors is very important. You can map preferred aspects of your brand to age, sex, geographical location , financial limitations etc. because each of those factors can appeal to your brand differently. It is important that you identify and fortify those aspects of your business. Your brand can also be preferred because of other factors like personnel, customer service , ethos and perception amongst peers, consumers and the society alike. Abercrombie & Fitch was a respected brand but lost a lot of market share and goodwill due to CEO’s words in one isolated incident. It takes lots of work and time to build trust but takes none to lose all of it!
  • What is the best way to communicate with the kind of people you are trying to reach out to? What’s caused the downfall for a lot of brands is the inability to reach out to target customers despite their product or service being impeccable. Not knowing how to reach your target audience or potential customer makes all your hardwork go down the drain. For example, if a new life saving drug is making its way to the market, but medical professionals and doctors don’t know about it or how to administer it and its benefits, about 20 years of work goes down the drain. You need to identify the right channels and avenues to reach out to the people that will consume your product or service.
  • What do customers make of your product and/or service line? There are a few brands that have one product or service and that rakes in the customers and money for them because of the nature of the product or service. But most brands aren’t this way! They would need to branch out into multiple products or services or very often, a mix of both. It is, therefore important to understand the value of your products and/or services. It is imperative to know if they solve a problem a customer has or make life easier for the customer or any other such reason. This helps in consolidating the customer base.
  • What improvements could be made to your products or services to have a wider reach? A product or a service has never achieved the maximum number of customers it can get. There always is someone who could use your product or service; maybe not in the form that it currently is but there is scope to scale. This makes it so much more important to collect periodic feedback on what additions your current customer base would like to see in your brand and what can bring in new customers from your competitors. Chipping away at deadwood features and making increased usability tweaks increases the adoption and use of your product and service. For example, a retail store wants to promote the use of its self-service checkout systems. However, a lot of customers still are not opting for the system. There can be many reasons to why the customer is choosing not to use the system, like complex operation, no readability, or even slow speed of the system. To understand the reason, a Usability survey for self-service checkouts can be conducted. This will enable the store to gather first-hand information from the customers and make improvements in the system accordingly.

Learn More: User Interface Survey Template

  • What is the right price to charge? Pricing a product or service is one of the most important aspects of your business. Pricing right can decide the revenue, brand perception, profitability and adoption of the product or service. Pricing too slow has a negative connotation and may increase in bringing in lower revenue. Pricing high gives the feeling of being elite and then the profitability and revenue hinge on the factors of per unit adoption rather than a very high adoption. Pricing just right is a myth – what someone finds cheap, someone else could find expensive. Where someone finds your product or service value for money, others may find it exorbitant. Hence, it is important to collect extensive feedback from your existing and potential customers about what they think is an ideal price to play. It is also important to conduct due diligence on competitors to map how they price versus the service and product features they provide. These factors will help you come close to an “ideal price” to charge.
  • What is the vision for the brand? A vision for a brand dictates the level the brand aspires to be and wants to scale up to be. Apple is now a preferred phone because the vision was to be an experience, not a device. The device is the means to ensuring that vision. They wanted to make the ecosystem so robust that any device you use, that familiarity and ease of use is standardized but also stonewall easy. Despite being expensive and facing ridicule during early days due to the ecosystem being different, they are now a one trillion behemoth, more than the GDP of some countries, due to having a vision for the brand.
  • What is the way to ensure you reach that vision? A vision is easy to have but tough to follow through on. This is because your vision may see many roadblocks and may not be the current flavor of the market, but it is the right thing to stick with it. Innovate in your product and service lines by taking into consideration what your customers want and need and items they themselves don’t know that they need. Despite enduring hardships, if you stick to your vision, it is easier to use that as a launchpad for being an immaculate and preferred brand.
  • What should the brand branch out into to avoid stagnation or imitation? While launching a product or service, it’s essential to understand where your competitors stand on the same product type or service line. How soon can they catch up to you and imitate your service or product? On the other hand, stagnation brings the ultimate demise of a brand, product, or service line. With little innovation and competitors saturating the market by imitating your product or service line, you’ll soon see your customer base dwindle. To ensure your customers don’t drop out, the key question to ask is, “What next?”. The best way to innovate or bundle your product or service is to understand what your customers struggle with and what value they are looking for. For example, Sony is known for its PlayStations, but competitors like Xbox don’t take long to catch up to their new products. How Sony does manage to stay ahead of the market is by constantly branching into new products and services.
  • What bundled service or product you can offer in conjunction with yours? Good partnerships are hard to come by, strategic ones are even harder. This question tackles two of your problems, how to offer  something new to your customers and how to reduce competitors in market. Your bundled service or product though has to make sense to the use, should complement your brand and cannot be an operational and logistical nightmare for your brand which then makes it counter-productive. Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram to consolidate on social images and short content rich video, is a strategic initiative to increase customer base as well as reduce competition at the same time. The key to building strong brand partnerships is to ensure your vision and product values align. Summing up, offering a bundled service or product in partnership will not only retain the existing customer base but also attract and increase new customers.

No matter why you are conducting a survey, you’ll find these 20 research questions at the core of “WHY” you want to know. Remember, your respondents will read or spend time with absolutely ANYTHING as long as they are at the center.  Be sure to keep these 20 questions in mind when creating your survey and everyone involved will save time, aggravation and money. You can use single ease questions . A single-ease question is a straightforward query that elicits a concise and uncomplicated response.

LEARN ABOUT: Marketing Insight

Beyond these 20 market research questions, here are 350+ Market Research Templates for you to use completely free!

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Research Method

Home » Survey Research – Types, Methods, Examples

Survey Research – Types, Methods, Examples

Table of Contents

Survey Research

Survey Research

Definition:

Survey Research is a quantitative research method that involves collecting standardized data from a sample of individuals or groups through the use of structured questionnaires or interviews. The data collected is then analyzed statistically to identify patterns and relationships between variables, and to draw conclusions about the population being studied.

Survey research can be used to answer a variety of questions, including:

  • What are people’s opinions about a certain topic?
  • What are people’s experiences with a certain product or service?
  • What are people’s beliefs about a certain issue?

Survey Research Methods

Survey Research Methods are as follows:

  • Telephone surveys: A survey research method where questions are administered to respondents over the phone, often used in market research or political polling.
  • Face-to-face surveys: A survey research method where questions are administered to respondents in person, often used in social or health research.
  • Mail surveys: A survey research method where questionnaires are sent to respondents through mail, often used in customer satisfaction or opinion surveys.
  • Online surveys: A survey research method where questions are administered to respondents through online platforms, often used in market research or customer feedback.
  • Email surveys: A survey research method where questionnaires are sent to respondents through email, often used in customer satisfaction or opinion surveys.
  • Mixed-mode surveys: A survey research method that combines two or more survey modes, often used to increase response rates or reach diverse populations.
  • Computer-assisted surveys: A survey research method that uses computer technology to administer or collect survey data, often used in large-scale surveys or data collection.
  • Interactive voice response surveys: A survey research method where respondents answer questions through a touch-tone telephone system, often used in automated customer satisfaction or opinion surveys.
  • Mobile surveys: A survey research method where questions are administered to respondents through mobile devices, often used in market research or customer feedback.
  • Group-administered surveys: A survey research method where questions are administered to a group of respondents simultaneously, often used in education or training evaluation.
  • Web-intercept surveys: A survey research method where questions are administered to website visitors, often used in website or user experience research.
  • In-app surveys: A survey research method where questions are administered to users of a mobile application, often used in mobile app or user experience research.
  • Social media surveys: A survey research method where questions are administered to respondents through social media platforms, often used in social media or brand awareness research.
  • SMS surveys: A survey research method where questions are administered to respondents through text messaging, often used in customer feedback or opinion surveys.
  • IVR surveys: A survey research method where questions are administered to respondents through an interactive voice response system, often used in automated customer feedback or opinion surveys.
  • Mixed-method surveys: A survey research method that combines both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods, often used in exploratory or mixed-method research.
  • Drop-off surveys: A survey research method where respondents are provided with a survey questionnaire and asked to return it at a later time or through a designated drop-off location.
  • Intercept surveys: A survey research method where respondents are approached in public places and asked to participate in a survey, often used in market research or customer feedback.
  • Hybrid surveys: A survey research method that combines two or more survey modes, data sources, or research methods, often used in complex or multi-dimensional research questions.

Types of Survey Research

There are several types of survey research that can be used to collect data from a sample of individuals or groups. following are Types of Survey Research:

  • Cross-sectional survey: A type of survey research that gathers data from a sample of individuals at a specific point in time, providing a snapshot of the population being studied.
  • Longitudinal survey: A type of survey research that gathers data from the same sample of individuals over an extended period of time, allowing researchers to track changes or trends in the population being studied.
  • Panel survey: A type of longitudinal survey research that tracks the same sample of individuals over time, typically collecting data at multiple points in time.
  • Epidemiological survey: A type of survey research that studies the distribution and determinants of health and disease in a population, often used to identify risk factors and inform public health interventions.
  • Observational survey: A type of survey research that collects data through direct observation of individuals or groups, often used in behavioral or social research.
  • Correlational survey: A type of survey research that measures the degree of association or relationship between two or more variables, often used to identify patterns or trends in data.
  • Experimental survey: A type of survey research that involves manipulating one or more variables to observe the effect on an outcome, often used to test causal hypotheses.
  • Descriptive survey: A type of survey research that describes the characteristics or attributes of a population or phenomenon, often used in exploratory research or to summarize existing data.
  • Diagnostic survey: A type of survey research that assesses the current state or condition of an individual or system, often used in health or organizational research.
  • Explanatory survey: A type of survey research that seeks to explain or understand the causes or mechanisms behind a phenomenon, often used in social or psychological research.
  • Process evaluation survey: A type of survey research that measures the implementation and outcomes of a program or intervention, often used in program evaluation or quality improvement.
  • Impact evaluation survey: A type of survey research that assesses the effectiveness or impact of a program or intervention, often used to inform policy or decision-making.
  • Customer satisfaction survey: A type of survey research that measures the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of customers with a product, service, or experience, often used in marketing or customer service research.
  • Market research survey: A type of survey research that collects data on consumer preferences, behaviors, or attitudes, often used in market research or product development.
  • Public opinion survey: A type of survey research that measures the attitudes, beliefs, or opinions of a population on a specific issue or topic, often used in political or social research.
  • Behavioral survey: A type of survey research that measures actual behavior or actions of individuals, often used in health or social research.
  • Attitude survey: A type of survey research that measures the attitudes, beliefs, or opinions of individuals, often used in social or psychological research.
  • Opinion poll: A type of survey research that measures the opinions or preferences of a population on a specific issue or topic, often used in political or media research.
  • Ad hoc survey: A type of survey research that is conducted for a specific purpose or research question, often used in exploratory research or to answer a specific research question.

Types Based on Methodology

Based on Methodology Survey are divided into two Types:

Quantitative Survey Research

Qualitative survey research.

Quantitative survey research is a method of collecting numerical data from a sample of participants through the use of standardized surveys or questionnaires. The purpose of quantitative survey research is to gather empirical evidence that can be analyzed statistically to draw conclusions about a particular population or phenomenon.

In quantitative survey research, the questions are structured and pre-determined, often utilizing closed-ended questions, where participants are given a limited set of response options to choose from. This approach allows for efficient data collection and analysis, as well as the ability to generalize the findings to a larger population.

Quantitative survey research is often used in market research, social sciences, public health, and other fields where numerical data is needed to make informed decisions and recommendations.

Qualitative survey research is a method of collecting non-numerical data from a sample of participants through the use of open-ended questions or semi-structured interviews. The purpose of qualitative survey research is to gain a deeper understanding of the experiences, perceptions, and attitudes of participants towards a particular phenomenon or topic.

In qualitative survey research, the questions are open-ended, allowing participants to share their thoughts and experiences in their own words. This approach allows for a rich and nuanced understanding of the topic being studied, and can provide insights that are difficult to capture through quantitative methods alone.

Qualitative survey research is often used in social sciences, education, psychology, and other fields where a deeper understanding of human experiences and perceptions is needed to inform policy, practice, or theory.

Data Analysis Methods

There are several Survey Research Data Analysis Methods that researchers may use, including:

  • Descriptive statistics: This method is used to summarize and describe the basic features of the survey data, such as the mean, median, mode, and standard deviation. These statistics can help researchers understand the distribution of responses and identify any trends or patterns.
  • Inferential statistics: This method is used to make inferences about the larger population based on the data collected in the survey. Common inferential statistical methods include hypothesis testing, regression analysis, and correlation analysis.
  • Factor analysis: This method is used to identify underlying factors or dimensions in the survey data. This can help researchers simplify the data and identify patterns and relationships that may not be immediately apparent.
  • Cluster analysis: This method is used to group similar respondents together based on their survey responses. This can help researchers identify subgroups within the larger population and understand how different groups may differ in their attitudes, behaviors, or preferences.
  • Structural equation modeling: This method is used to test complex relationships between variables in the survey data. It can help researchers understand how different variables may be related to one another and how they may influence one another.
  • Content analysis: This method is used to analyze open-ended responses in the survey data. Researchers may use software to identify themes or categories in the responses, or they may manually review and code the responses.
  • Text mining: This method is used to analyze text-based survey data, such as responses to open-ended questions. Researchers may use software to identify patterns and themes in the text, or they may manually review and code the text.

Applications of Survey Research

Here are some common applications of survey research:

  • Market Research: Companies use survey research to gather insights about customer needs, preferences, and behavior. These insights are used to create marketing strategies and develop new products.
  • Public Opinion Research: Governments and political parties use survey research to understand public opinion on various issues. This information is used to develop policies and make decisions.
  • Social Research: Survey research is used in social research to study social trends, attitudes, and behavior. Researchers use survey data to explore topics such as education, health, and social inequality.
  • Academic Research: Survey research is used in academic research to study various phenomena. Researchers use survey data to test theories, explore relationships between variables, and draw conclusions.
  • Customer Satisfaction Research: Companies use survey research to gather information about customer satisfaction with their products and services. This information is used to improve customer experience and retention.
  • Employee Surveys: Employers use survey research to gather feedback from employees about their job satisfaction, working conditions, and organizational culture. This information is used to improve employee retention and productivity.
  • Health Research: Survey research is used in health research to study topics such as disease prevalence, health behaviors, and healthcare access. Researchers use survey data to develop interventions and improve healthcare outcomes.

Examples of Survey Research

Here are some real-time examples of survey research:

  • COVID-19 Pandemic Surveys: Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, surveys have been conducted to gather information about public attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions related to the pandemic. Governments and healthcare organizations have used this data to develop public health strategies and messaging.
  • Political Polls During Elections: During election seasons, surveys are used to measure public opinion on political candidates, policies, and issues in real-time. This information is used by political parties to develop campaign strategies and make decisions.
  • Customer Feedback Surveys: Companies often use real-time customer feedback surveys to gather insights about customer experience and satisfaction. This information is used to improve products and services quickly.
  • Event Surveys: Organizers of events such as conferences and trade shows often use surveys to gather feedback from attendees in real-time. This information can be used to improve future events and make adjustments during the current event.
  • Website and App Surveys: Website and app owners use surveys to gather real-time feedback from users about the functionality, user experience, and overall satisfaction with their platforms. This feedback can be used to improve the user experience and retain customers.
  • Employee Pulse Surveys: Employers use real-time pulse surveys to gather feedback from employees about their work experience and overall job satisfaction. This feedback is used to make changes in real-time to improve employee retention and productivity.

Survey Sample

Purpose of survey research.

The purpose of survey research is to gather data and insights from a representative sample of individuals. Survey research allows researchers to collect data quickly and efficiently from a large number of people, making it a valuable tool for understanding attitudes, behaviors, and preferences.

Here are some common purposes of survey research:

  • Descriptive Research: Survey research is often used to describe characteristics of a population or a phenomenon. For example, a survey could be used to describe the characteristics of a particular demographic group, such as age, gender, or income.
  • Exploratory Research: Survey research can be used to explore new topics or areas of research. Exploratory surveys are often used to generate hypotheses or identify potential relationships between variables.
  • Explanatory Research: Survey research can be used to explain relationships between variables. For example, a survey could be used to determine whether there is a relationship between educational attainment and income.
  • Evaluation Research: Survey research can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of a program or intervention. For example, a survey could be used to evaluate the impact of a health education program on behavior change.
  • Monitoring Research: Survey research can be used to monitor trends or changes over time. For example, a survey could be used to monitor changes in attitudes towards climate change or political candidates over time.

When to use Survey Research

there are certain circumstances where survey research is particularly appropriate. Here are some situations where survey research may be useful:

  • When the research question involves attitudes, beliefs, or opinions: Survey research is particularly useful for understanding attitudes, beliefs, and opinions on a particular topic. For example, a survey could be used to understand public opinion on a political issue.
  • When the research question involves behaviors or experiences: Survey research can also be useful for understanding behaviors and experiences. For example, a survey could be used to understand the prevalence of a particular health behavior.
  • When a large sample size is needed: Survey research allows researchers to collect data from a large number of people quickly and efficiently. This makes it a useful method when a large sample size is needed to ensure statistical validity.
  • When the research question is time-sensitive: Survey research can be conducted quickly, which makes it a useful method when the research question is time-sensitive. For example, a survey could be used to understand public opinion on a breaking news story.
  • When the research question involves a geographically dispersed population: Survey research can be conducted online, which makes it a useful method when the population of interest is geographically dispersed.

How to Conduct Survey Research

Conducting survey research involves several steps that need to be carefully planned and executed. Here is a general overview of the process:

  • Define the research question: The first step in conducting survey research is to clearly define the research question. The research question should be specific, measurable, and relevant to the population of interest.
  • Develop a survey instrument : The next step is to develop a survey instrument. This can be done using various methods, such as online survey tools or paper surveys. The survey instrument should be designed to elicit the information needed to answer the research question, and should be pre-tested with a small sample of individuals.
  • Select a sample : The sample is the group of individuals who will be invited to participate in the survey. The sample should be representative of the population of interest, and the size of the sample should be sufficient to ensure statistical validity.
  • Administer the survey: The survey can be administered in various ways, such as online, by mail, or in person. The method of administration should be chosen based on the population of interest and the research question.
  • Analyze the data: Once the survey data is collected, it needs to be analyzed. This involves summarizing the data using statistical methods, such as frequency distributions or regression analysis.
  • Draw conclusions: The final step is to draw conclusions based on the data analysis. This involves interpreting the results and answering the research question.

Advantages of Survey Research

There are several advantages to using survey research, including:

  • Efficient data collection: Survey research allows researchers to collect data quickly and efficiently from a large number of people. This makes it a useful method for gathering information on a wide range of topics.
  • Standardized data collection: Surveys are typically standardized, which means that all participants receive the same questions in the same order. This ensures that the data collected is consistent and reliable.
  • Cost-effective: Surveys can be conducted online, by mail, or in person, which makes them a cost-effective method of data collection.
  • Anonymity: Participants can remain anonymous when responding to a survey. This can encourage participants to be more honest and open in their responses.
  • Easy comparison: Surveys allow for easy comparison of data between different groups or over time. This makes it possible to identify trends and patterns in the data.
  • Versatility: Surveys can be used to collect data on a wide range of topics, including attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and preferences.

Limitations of Survey Research

Here are some of the main limitations of survey research:

  • Limited depth: Surveys are typically designed to collect quantitative data, which means that they do not provide much depth or detail about people’s experiences or opinions. This can limit the insights that can be gained from the data.
  • Potential for bias: Surveys can be affected by various biases, including selection bias, response bias, and social desirability bias. These biases can distort the results and make them less accurate.
  • L imited validity: Surveys are only as valid as the questions they ask. If the questions are poorly designed or ambiguous, the results may not accurately reflect the respondents’ attitudes or behaviors.
  • Limited generalizability : Survey results are only generalizable to the population from which the sample was drawn. If the sample is not representative of the population, the results may not be generalizable to the larger population.
  • Limited ability to capture context: Surveys typically do not capture the context in which attitudes or behaviors occur. This can make it difficult to understand the reasons behind the responses.
  • Limited ability to capture complex phenomena: Surveys are not well-suited to capture complex phenomena, such as emotions or the dynamics of interpersonal relationships.

Following is an example of a Survey Sample:

Welcome to our Survey Research Page! We value your opinions and appreciate your participation in this survey. Please answer the questions below as honestly and thoroughly as possible.

1. What is your age?

  • A) Under 18
  • G) 65 or older

2. What is your highest level of education completed?

  • A) Less than high school
  • B) High school or equivalent
  • C) Some college or technical school
  • D) Bachelor’s degree
  • E) Graduate or professional degree

3. What is your current employment status?

  • A) Employed full-time
  • B) Employed part-time
  • C) Self-employed
  • D) Unemployed

4. How often do you use the internet per day?

  •  A) Less than 1 hour
  • B) 1-3 hours
  • C) 3-5 hours
  • D) 5-7 hours
  • E) More than 7 hours

5. How often do you engage in social media per day?

6. Have you ever participated in a survey research study before?

7. If you have participated in a survey research study before, how was your experience?

  • A) Excellent
  • E) Very poor

8. What are some of the topics that you would be interested in participating in a survey research study about?

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

9. How often would you be willing to participate in survey research studies?

  • A) Once a week
  • B) Once a month
  • C) Once every 6 months
  • D) Once a year

10. Any additional comments or suggestions?

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. Your feedback is important to us and will help us improve our survey research efforts.

About the author

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Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer

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Understanding and Evaluating Survey Research

A variety of methodologic approaches exist for individuals interested in conducting research. Selection of a research approach depends on a number of factors, including the purpose of the research, the type of research questions to be answered, and the availability of resources. The purpose of this article is to describe survey research as one approach to the conduct of research so that the reader can critically evaluate the appropriateness of the conclusions from studies employing survey research.

SURVEY RESEARCH

Survey research is defined as "the collection of information from a sample of individuals through their responses to questions" ( Check & Schutt, 2012, p. 160 ). This type of research allows for a variety of methods to recruit participants, collect data, and utilize various methods of instrumentation. Survey research can use quantitative research strategies (e.g., using questionnaires with numerically rated items), qualitative research strategies (e.g., using open-ended questions), or both strategies (i.e., mixed methods). As it is often used to describe and explore human behavior, surveys are therefore frequently used in social and psychological research ( Singleton & Straits, 2009 ).

Information has been obtained from individuals and groups through the use of survey research for decades. It can range from asking a few targeted questions of individuals on a street corner to obtain information related to behaviors and preferences, to a more rigorous study using multiple valid and reliable instruments. Common examples of less rigorous surveys include marketing or political surveys of consumer patterns and public opinion polls.

Survey research has historically included large population-based data collection. The primary purpose of this type of survey research was to obtain information describing characteristics of a large sample of individuals of interest relatively quickly. Large census surveys obtaining information reflecting demographic and personal characteristics and consumer feedback surveys are prime examples. These surveys were often provided through the mail and were intended to describe demographic characteristics of individuals or obtain opinions on which to base programs or products for a population or group.

More recently, survey research has developed into a rigorous approach to research, with scientifically tested strategies detailing who to include (representative sample), what and how to distribute (survey method), and when to initiate the survey and follow up with nonresponders (reducing nonresponse error), in order to ensure a high-quality research process and outcome. Currently, the term "survey" can reflect a range of research aims, sampling and recruitment strategies, data collection instruments, and methods of survey administration.

Given this range of options in the conduct of survey research, it is imperative for the consumer/reader of survey research to understand the potential for bias in survey research as well as the tested techniques for reducing bias, in order to draw appropriate conclusions about the information reported in this manner. Common types of error in research, along with the sources of error and strategies for reducing error as described throughout this article, are summarized in the Table .

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Sources of Error in Survey Research and Strategies to Reduce Error

The goal of sampling strategies in survey research is to obtain a sufficient sample that is representative of the population of interest. It is often not feasible to collect data from an entire population of interest (e.g., all individuals with lung cancer); therefore, a subset of the population or sample is used to estimate the population responses (e.g., individuals with lung cancer currently receiving treatment). A large random sample increases the likelihood that the responses from the sample will accurately reflect the entire population. In order to accurately draw conclusions about the population, the sample must include individuals with characteristics similar to the population.

It is therefore necessary to correctly identify the population of interest (e.g., individuals with lung cancer currently receiving treatment vs. all individuals with lung cancer). The sample will ideally include individuals who reflect the intended population in terms of all characteristics of the population (e.g., sex, socioeconomic characteristics, symptom experience) and contain a similar distribution of individuals with those characteristics. As discussed by Mady Stovall beginning on page 162, Fujimori et al. ( 2014 ), for example, were interested in the population of oncologists. The authors obtained a sample of oncologists from two hospitals in Japan. These participants may or may not have similar characteristics to all oncologists in Japan.

Participant recruitment strategies can affect the adequacy and representativeness of the sample obtained. Using diverse recruitment strategies can help improve the size of the sample and help ensure adequate coverage of the intended population. For example, if a survey researcher intends to obtain a sample of individuals with breast cancer representative of all individuals with breast cancer in the United States, the researcher would want to use recruitment strategies that would recruit both women and men, individuals from rural and urban settings, individuals receiving and not receiving active treatment, and so on. Because of the difficulty in obtaining samples representative of a large population, researchers may focus the population of interest to a subset of individuals (e.g., women with stage III or IV breast cancer). Large census surveys require extremely large samples to adequately represent the characteristics of the population because they are intended to represent the entire population.

DATA COLLECTION METHODS

Survey research may use a variety of data collection methods with the most common being questionnaires and interviews. Questionnaires may be self-administered or administered by a professional, may be administered individually or in a group, and typically include a series of items reflecting the research aims. Questionnaires may include demographic questions in addition to valid and reliable research instruments ( Costanzo, Stawski, Ryff, Coe, & Almeida, 2012 ; DuBenske et al., 2014 ; Ponto, Ellington, Mellon, & Beck, 2010 ). It is helpful to the reader when authors describe the contents of the survey questionnaire so that the reader can interpret and evaluate the potential for errors of validity (e.g., items or instruments that do not measure what they are intended to measure) and reliability (e.g., items or instruments that do not measure a construct consistently). Helpful examples of articles that describe the survey instruments exist in the literature ( Buerhaus et al., 2012 ).

Questionnaires may be in paper form and mailed to participants, delivered in an electronic format via email or an Internet-based program such as SurveyMonkey, or a combination of both, giving the participant the option to choose which method is preferred ( Ponto et al., 2010 ). Using a combination of methods of survey administration can help to ensure better sample coverage (i.e., all individuals in the population having a chance of inclusion in the sample) therefore reducing coverage error ( Dillman, Smyth, & Christian, 2014 ; Singleton & Straits, 2009 ). For example, if a researcher were to only use an Internet-delivered questionnaire, individuals without access to a computer would be excluded from participation. Self-administered mailed, group, or Internet-based questionnaires are relatively low cost and practical for a large sample ( Check & Schutt, 2012 ).

Dillman et al. ( 2014 ) have described and tested a tailored design method for survey research. Improving the visual appeal and graphics of surveys by using a font size appropriate for the respondents, ordering items logically without creating unintended response bias, and arranging items clearly on each page can increase the response rate to electronic questionnaires. Attending to these and other issues in electronic questionnaires can help reduce measurement error (i.e., lack of validity or reliability) and help ensure a better response rate.

Conducting interviews is another approach to data collection used in survey research. Interviews may be conducted by phone, computer, or in person and have the benefit of visually identifying the nonverbal response(s) of the interviewee and subsequently being able to clarify the intended question. An interviewer can use probing comments to obtain more information about a question or topic and can request clarification of an unclear response ( Singleton & Straits, 2009 ). Interviews can be costly and time intensive, and therefore are relatively impractical for large samples.

Some authors advocate for using mixed methods for survey research when no one method is adequate to address the planned research aims, to reduce the potential for measurement and non-response error, and to better tailor the study methods to the intended sample ( Dillman et al., 2014 ; Singleton & Straits, 2009 ). For example, a mixed methods survey research approach may begin with distributing a questionnaire and following up with telephone interviews to clarify unclear survey responses ( Singleton & Straits, 2009 ). Mixed methods might also be used when visual or auditory deficits preclude an individual from completing a questionnaire or participating in an interview.

FUJIMORI ET AL.: SURVEY RESEARCH

Fujimori et al. ( 2014 ) described the use of survey research in a study of the effect of communication skills training for oncologists on oncologist and patient outcomes (e.g., oncologist’s performance and confidence and patient’s distress, satisfaction, and trust). A sample of 30 oncologists from two hospitals was obtained and though the authors provided a power analysis concluding an adequate number of oncologist participants to detect differences between baseline and follow-up scores, the conclusions of the study may not be generalizable to a broader population of oncologists. Oncologists were randomized to either an intervention group (i.e., communication skills training) or a control group (i.e., no training).

Fujimori et al. ( 2014 ) chose a quantitative approach to collect data from oncologist and patient participants regarding the study outcome variables. Self-report numeric ratings were used to measure oncologist confidence and patient distress, satisfaction, and trust. Oncologist confidence was measured using two instruments each using 10-point Likert rating scales. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was used to measure patient distress and has demonstrated validity and reliability in a number of populations including individuals with cancer ( Bjelland, Dahl, Haug, & Neckelmann, 2002 ). Patient satisfaction and trust were measured using 0 to 10 numeric rating scales. Numeric observer ratings were used to measure oncologist performance of communication skills based on a videotaped interaction with a standardized patient. Participants completed the same questionnaires at baseline and follow-up.

The authors clearly describe what data were collected from all participants. Providing additional information about the manner in which questionnaires were distributed (i.e., electronic, mail), the setting in which data were collected (e.g., home, clinic), and the design of the survey instruments (e.g., visual appeal, format, content, arrangement of items) would assist the reader in drawing conclusions about the potential for measurement and nonresponse error. The authors describe conducting a follow-up phone call or mail inquiry for nonresponders, using the Dillman et al. ( 2014 ) tailored design for survey research follow-up may have reduced nonresponse error.

CONCLUSIONS

Survey research is a useful and legitimate approach to research that has clear benefits in helping to describe and explore variables and constructs of interest. Survey research, like all research, has the potential for a variety of sources of error, but several strategies exist to reduce the potential for error. Advanced practitioners aware of the potential sources of error and strategies to improve survey research can better determine how and whether the conclusions from a survey research study apply to practice.

The author has no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

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50 Customer Survey Questions You Must Know About

May 16, 2024   •   9 min read

research question survey

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Think, you are one of the key stakeholders in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company. Your team released a new feature – an AI-powered chatbot ready to take on complex queries. Your inbox is flooded with congratulatory messages, but you stay stoic and decide to wear your customer’s hat and test the chatbot yourself.  

You fire up the app, type in a query, and wait, the chatbot stumbles, misunderstands your request and delivers generic responses. This scenario mirrors the B2B landscape. Companies invest in cutting-edge solutions, expecting seamless experiences. Yet, glitches, misalignments and unmet promises persist. That’s where B2B customer satisfaction surveys step in.  

But what exactly is a customer satisfaction survey, what are the right questions you could ask and how to ask them? Let's understand it one by one.   

What is a customer satisfaction survey?  

Different formats of customer satisfaction survey questions, what are the different types of customer feedback questions  , how to nail your customer satisfaction survey questions  .

A customer satisfaction survey is a tool leveraged by businesses to gather feedback from customers about their experience. These surveys ask customers to rate their satisfaction with a product, service or recent interaction.

Customer satisfaction survey with Sprinklr

You can conduct customer satisfaction surveys through various digital channels, such as chatbots or email. You can include structured questions with predefined response options or open-ended questions where customers can provide detailed answers. Deploying these customer satisfaction surveys help you with four major benefits: 

It helps businesses better understand what the customer wants.  

You create a better strategy revolving around the specific customer needs  

Customer lifecycle management becomes more efficient with better insights. 

Customer retention, customer satisfaction and customer lifetime value increase. 

Your customer survey should be engaging, relevant and effective. Remember, how you pose the question will affect the data you collect. Below are different customer satisfaction survey question formats, along with their pros, cons and benefits.   

Binary scale questions   

This type of survey question gives respondents only two choices. A few binary questions are: 

Did you have a satisfying experience? 

Was the article able to provide the answer you sought? 

Were you able to find what you were looking for? 

Was our product able to meet your expectations? 

The above questions can be answered with a simple yes or no. 

Example of binary scale question   

Were you satisfied with our customer support?  

Binary scale questions are quicker, easier to answer and easily understood. However, the questions may need more nuance and cause survey fatigue if the survey carries too many questions.

💡Pro tip : Showing a survey too early in the customer journey (before they have got a flavor of your product) can disrupt the customer’s experience to the extent that they abandon the product altogether.

Hence, time your surveys wisely and keep them short and simple, preferably one question only, with no typing requirements.

You could also use a survey solution that sends automated and contextual survey prompts to website and app visitors, gauging their readiness to take a survey. This way, you pass the control to users and keep them engaged 😊

Chatbot doing a survey

Multiple-choice questions  

Typically, multiple-choice questions have three or more options. These questions are primarily used to collect categorical variables such as race, sex, age group, educational level and satisfaction level.

Example of a multiple-choice question

Which feature would you like us to prioritize next? 

A) Improved search functionality 

B) Enhanced user profiles 

C) Faster checkout process 

D) More personalized recommendations 

For example, suppose you are conducting a customer survey. Herein, you can ask the respondent about their job title, what industry they work in and more.  

This would help you compare the customer satisfaction scores of respondents from different job titles or industries. 

Scale questions  

Most satisfaction surveys are based on scale questions that constitute numbers or labels, such as strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree and strongly agree. Scale questions have several advantages. 

Example of a scale question   

How satisfied are you with the service you have received from our customer support team?  

Very satisfied 

Moderately satisfied 

Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied 

Moderately dissatisfied 

Very dissatisfied

Customers can easily understand what to do when asked a question. 

Data can be segmented easily, allowing you to make decisions based on individual survey responses. 

That said, it does have a significant drawback. You need to discern why a respondent gave you a 2 or an 8 since there is no qualitative insight that you can draw from these customer survey questions.   

Semantic differential  

In this type of survey, customers are asked to rate a product, brand, or firm using a multi-point rating system. This allows you to choose an option that best describes your experience accurately. Like binary scales, semantic differential scales categorize responses as positive or negative.  

Open-ended questions   

Qualitative customer satisfaction feedback allows customers to say why they are satisfied with your product or service without you having to make assumptions about the same.   

  Example of an open-ended question    

1. How could we improve your experience with our customer service? 

 [Open text box]  

2. What did you appreciate most about your interaction with our team? 

  [Open text box]  

3. Were there any aspects of our service that fell short of your expectations? 

  [Open text box] 

Avoid asking too many open-ended questions in one survey, which may cause respondent fatigue. In addition, open-ended questions can frustrate your customers and negatively impact your data quality.  Take care not to let personal bias affect you when deciding which questions to ask since it is easy to skew qualitative data.   

Now, let’s dive into the different survey question categories to be included in your surveys.  

Asking the right questions is the foundation of your customer feedback exercise.   Imagine it as a treasure hunt: each question is a clue that leads you deeper into understanding your customers’ experiences. So, grab your metaphorical map and let’s explore the different types of questions you can include in your customer satisfaction survey .   

Category 1: Questions on product usage   

Asking your customers how happy they are with your product or service can surface product improvement areas, thereby improving customer retention . You can collect customer feedback by asking the following 10 questions:   

How much time has passed since you started using the product or service? 

Did you consider purchasing any alternatives before choosing our product? 

How frequently do you use the product or service? 

Are you able to attain your goals by using the product? 

What is the best part about using the product or service? 

What would you like to improve about the product? 

According to you, which features are the most important? 

Which product feature do you use the most during an average day? 

Have you had any issues while using the product? 

If you could suggest one new feature, what would it be and why? 

Go for a mix of open-ended, binary and scale question formats as the question demands. Mixed formatting will keep up respondent interest and yield precise insights.  

Category 2: Questions on user demographics 

Gathering demographic data helps brands and marketers with the creation of detailed and precise buyer personas, enabling targeted content, responses and campaigns. Consider asking the following demographic questions in your survey: 

What is your age? 

Where do you live? 

What gender do you identify as? 

Are you currently employed or not? 

Where are you currently working, and what is your job title? 

What industry are you currently working in? 

Are you married or not, and do you have children? 

What is your level of formal education? 

What is your gross annual income? 

Again, avoid bombarding too many questions and use automated omnichannel survey software to gather as much data implicitly as possible.  

Category 3: Questions on psychographics   

Under psychographics, businesses collect information about a customer's preferences, behaviors, values, habits and tendencies. For example, psychographics help you understand your customer's buying habits and why they do what they do. These questions help you identify how you can better serve your customers.  Some of the questions in this category are: 

Do you prefer to shop offline or online on your phone? 

How much time do you spend browsing (insert social media channel on which you plan to advertise)? 

Does sustainability matter to you at the time of purchasing a product? If yes, how much? 

Do you face any major obstacles when asking about something related to your product? For example, if you have created a meditation app, you may ask, "What's your biggest roadblock when meditating?" 

What do you look for the most at the time (ask something related to your industry)? For example, if you work at the bank's mortgage department, you may ask, "What do you look for the most when buying a house?" 

How much time do you spend a day doing (ask something about your product)? For example, if you sell sneakers, you may ask, "How many hours do you spend running?"  

Category 4: Satisfaction scale  

 A satisfaction scale helps quantify or measure subjective survey feedback. This scale can be adopted in several ways: 

A scale measuring 1 to 5 (or any other number), where 1 means the customer was highly unsatisfied and 5 represents the customer's delight.  

A descriptive scale measures a customer's response from unsatisfied to satisfied. The respondent must select from a list of responses ranging from "very unsatisfied" to "very satisfied." 

A picture scale wherein images are used to denote customer satisfaction . You can use images of happy, sad, or indifferent emojis to collect customer feedback quickly.

Customer satisfaction scale

Satisfaction scale questions can be phrased as: 

On a scale of 1 to 5, how satisfied are you with your experience today? 

What is the likelihood of you recommending the product/service to others? 

What score would you give our team in resolving your issue? 

Did you feel that your query was answered on time? 

Do you agree or disagree that your issue was resolved effectively? 

What are the chances that you will purchase again from us? 

What is the likelihood that you will revisit our website? 

💡Do you know?    

You can predict CSAT scores during conversations in real-time, without using surveys! Yes, it’s possible for AI-powered customer service software to:  

Monitor interactions for tell-tale signals of escalation and satisfaction 

Identify positive, negative, or neutral sentiment based on past conversations and algorithmic logic 

Give a predicted CSAT score to the conversation 

 Keeping an eye on the predicted CSAT, agents can change their resolution approach when things go downhill. Likewise, they can capitalize on “positive moments” by pushing surveys or upsells confidently.    

Predicting CSAT score with Sprinklr

Care to try predicted CSAT for free? Hit the button below now 👇  

Category 5: Open-text questions  

In an open-text survey, participants fill out their responses within a text box. This encourages the participants to be honest and freely express their opinions about the company's products and services.   

Here are some examples of open-text questions: 

Describe how you feel about (the product or company) in your own words. 

What can we do to improve your experience? 

What do you like about our product/service and why? 

How can our employees serve you better? 

How can we improve your experience with the website or in-store location? 

What was the reason behind choosing our product over a competitor's? 

Describe us in one word and why did you choose it? 

Are there any additional feedback or comments you would like to make? 

Again, AI plays a vital role in reading between the lines of open-text answers and detecting sentiment about various qualities of customer service , including quality, behavior, resolution time, convenience and more.

Sprinklr omnichannel survey for getting better insights

Read more about sentiment analysis and its game-changing role in customer service    

Category 6: Questions on survey follow-up   

In this section, you can include questions about follow-up with the participants in the future and receive updated feedback from the respondents.   

These questions can be phrased in several ways: 

May we contact you to follow up on these responses? 

Will you be willing to retake the survey in the future? 

Would you be willing to chat with our customer success manager? 

Can we share a list of valuable resources that will allow you to get the most out of your product? 

Would you be willing to discuss upgrade options for your product/service? 

If we made an update to the product or service, could we contact you to discuss these changes? 

Customer satisfaction survey questions can be close-ended or open-ended, enabling sentiment analysis regarding your product or service. Regardless of the type and format, following certain best practices can ensure your questions are always on point. Here they are:  

1. Choose the correct type of survey   

You must choose the right type of survey for collecting customer feedback that best suits your customer service goals . What kind of information are you looking for? Do you wish to gather quantitative data or will qualitative feedback serve you better?  Here are some common objectives with surveys: 

Measure overall customer satisfaction. 

Identify areas for product/service improvement. 

Understand customer preferences and needs. 

Gather feedback on a recent interaction or transaction. 

 A net promoter score (NPS) or CSAT survey can help you highlight significant trends and leverage them to build customer loyalty . In contrast, a customer effort score (CES) survey allows you to calculate the ease of service experience with your company.  

2. Choose the right questions   

We have outlined the different types and categories of survey questions above, but consider these two additional factors during questionnaire formulation:  

a) Target audience  

Segment your target audience based on characteristics such as age, gender, location, purchase history or engagement level. Different segments should be served with different types of survey questions. Some example segments are: 

New customers vs. returning customers 

Different product/service users (e.g., basic vs. premium) 

Customers from different geographic regions 

b) Channel  

Customers behave differently on different channels; hence your survey questions, timing and format also change accordingly. To extract maximum response rate, follow these guidelines for different channels: 

Email: Suitable for longer surveys and reaching out to existing customers. 

Website/App: Ideal for collecting feedback at specific touchpoints or after certain interactions. 

Social media: Useful for engaging with a broad audience and gathering quick feedback on specific topics. 

3. Send surveys at the right time   

Timing plays a critical role in surveys. If you wish to see successful results, choose the right moments in the customer journey to ask people for feedback. For example, when an agent closes a ticket, you can survey the customer and request their feedback on whether the company failed or succeeded in resolving their query.

Abstain from requesting feedback from agitated customers or just-churned customers. Keep an eye out on that predicted CSAT we spoke about and seize the right moment to solicit feedback.  

4. Limit the number of open-ended questions   

Finding the right balance between asking an appropriate number of questions and overloading respondents is crucial for survey success. While asking too many questions can discourage participants from completing the survey, asking too few may miss valuable insights. Strive for a sweet spot to optimize completion rates.

On average, a survey should ideally take between 10 and 20 minutes to complete. If it exceeds 20 minutes, there’s a higher chance that participants may lose interest and leave the survey unfinished. 

5. Consider asking questions in different ways   

When coming up with survey questions, be careful about how you frame the questions. For example, your language may affect how the respondents answer your questions, leading to skewed results. If you are unsure if your survey is biased, ask your employees for feedback.   

6. Test your survey & do a follow-up  

 Before sending out the survey to each of your customers: 

Send it to a small group and see what type of results you get. 

Take advantage of the opportunity and ask about improving the survey experience. 

If you feel confident about the input, send it to the rest of your customer base. 

You must close the feedback loop with survey respondents by following up with them. Address every bit of feedback you receive to show that you value your customers' opinions and feedback. 

💡Survey hack     Let a bot take your survey! 

Deploy software that could convert survey questions into a conversation that could be executed by a chatbot. 

A chatbot could help you test your survey questions with a bunch of customers and you don’t need to deploy a human agent for it.  

Let a section of customers interact with the bot, see if your survey questions are getting favorable responses and if they do, scale your survey deploying it across multiple channels.

Want to know how to do it?

Ready to craft engaging and informative AI-powered surveys?  

You’d have gathered how essential customer survey questions are to receiving quality feedback, catalyzing positive changes and improvements in your products, people and processes.  Another point worth noting is your surveys should be omnichannel, gathering customer feedback across all the channels your customers use - digital, social and voice. Sprinklr Service helps you do this and more: 

Omnichannel surveys that can be tailored to platforms of choice 

Responsive surveys for all screen sizes 

Predicted CSAT to capture in-the-moment customer sentiment 

Survey prompts to time your surveys perfectly 

Survey-to-report analytics for stakeholders 

 Impressive, right? Take Sprinklr on a twirl for 30 days (for free) and watch it walk the talk.  

Frequently Asked Questions

In a customer survey, aim for 5-10 questions to gather meaningful insights without overwhelming respondents. Include a mix of closed-ended (e.g., ratings, yes/no) and open-ended questions to cover key aspects of the customer experience. 

Yes, customer survey questions can help reduce customer churn by identifying issues, gauging satisfaction and understanding needs. Actionable insights from surveys enable businesses to address concerns promptly, improve service and enhance customer loyalty, ultimately reducing churn. 

Effective customer survey questions should be clear, concise and relevant. Use simple language and avoid leading or biased questions. Start with broad, general inquiries before moving to specific ones. Mix closed and open-ended questions to gather both quantitative and qualitative insights for actionable results. 

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Mayflies live for only a day. Galapagos tortoises can reach up to age 170. The Greenland shark holds the world record at over 400 years of life. 

Venki Ramakrishnan, Nobel laureate and author of the newly released “ Why We Die: The New Science of Aging and the Quest for Immortality ,” opened his packed Harvard Science Book Talk last week by noting the vast variabilities of lifespans across the natural world. Death is certain, so far as we know. But there’s no physical or chemical law that says it must happen at a fixed time, which raises other, more philosophical issues.

The “why” behind these enormous swings, and the quest to harness longevity for humans, have driven fevered attempts (and billions of dollars in research spending) to slow or stop aging. Ramakrishnan’s book is a dispassionate journey through current scientific understanding of aging and death, which basically comes down to an accumulation of chemical damage to molecules and cells.

“The question is whether we can tackle aging processes, while still keeping us who we are as humans,” said Ramakrishnan during his conversation with Antonio Regalado, a writer for the MIT Technology Review. “And whether we can do that in a safe and effective way.”

Even if immortality — or just living for a very, very long time — were theoretically possible through science, should we pursue it? Ramakrishnan likened the question to other moral ponderings.

“There’s no physical or chemical law that says we can’t colonize other galaxies, or outer space, or even Mars,” he said. “I would put it in that same category. And it would require huge breakthroughs, which we haven’t made yet.”

In fact, we’re a lot closer to big breakthroughs when it comes to chasing immortality. Ramakrishnan noted the field is moving so fast that a book like his can capture but a snippet. He then took the audience on a brief tour of some of the major directions of aging research. And much of it, he said, started in unexpected places.

Take rapamycin, a drug first isolated in the 1960s from a bacterium on Easter Island found to have antifungal, immunosuppressant, and anticancer properties. Rapamycin targets the TOR pathway, a large molecular signaling cascade within cells that regulates many functions fundamental to life. Rapamycin has garnered renewed attention for its potential to reverse the aging process by targeting cellular signaling associated with physiological changes and diseases in older adults.

Other directions include mimicking the anti-aging effects of caloric restriction shown in mice, as well as one particularly exciting area called cellular reprogramming. That means taking fully developed cells and essentially turning back the clock on their development.

The most famous foundational experiment in this area was by Kyoto University scientist and Nobel laureate Shinya Yamanaka, who showed that just four transcription factors could revert an adult cell all the way back to a pluripotent stem cell, creating what are now known as induced pluripotent stem cells.

Ramakrishnan , a scientist at England’s MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, won the 2009 Nobel Prize in chemistry for uncovering the structure of the ribosome. He said he felt qualified to write the book because he has “no skin in the game” of aging research. As a molecular biologist who has studied fundamental processes of how cells make proteins, he had connections in the field but wasn’t too close to any of it.

While researching the book, he took pains to avoid interviewing scientists with commercial ventures tied to aging.

The potential for conflicts of interest abound.

The world has seen an explosion in aging research in recent decades, with billions of dollars spent by government agencies and private companies . And the consumer market for products is forecast to hit $93 billion by 2027 .

As a result, false or exaggerated claims by companies promising longer life are currently on the rise, Ramakrishnan noted. He shared one example: Supplements designed to lengthen a person’s telomeres, or genetic segments that shrink with age, are available on Amazon.

“Of course, these are not FDA approved. There are no clinical trials, and it’s not clear what their basis is,” he said.

But still there appears to be some demand.

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What is survey research.

15 min read Find out everything you need to know about survey research, from what it is and how it works to the different methods and tools you can use to ensure you’re successful.

Survey research is the process of collecting data from a predefined group (e.g. customers or potential customers) with the ultimate goal of uncovering insights about your products, services, or brand overall .

As a quantitative data collection method, survey research can provide you with a goldmine of information that can inform crucial business and product decisions. But survey research needs careful planning and execution to get the results you want.

So if you’re thinking about using surveys to carry out research, read on.

Get started with our free survey maker tool

Types of survey research

Calling these methods ‘survey research’ slightly underplays the complexity of this type of information gathering. From the expertise required to carry out each activity to the analysis of the data and its eventual application, a considerable amount of effort is required.

As for how you can carry out your research, there are several options to choose from — face-to-face interviews, telephone surveys, focus groups (though more interviews than surveys), online surveys , and panel surveys.

Typically, the survey method you choose will largely be guided by who you want to survey, the size of your sample , your budget, and the type of information you’re hoping to gather.

Here are a few of the most-used survey types:

Face-to-face interviews

Before technology made it possible to conduct research using online surveys, telephone, and mail were the most popular methods for survey research. However face-to-face interviews were considered the gold standard — the only reason they weren’t as popular was due to their highly prohibitive costs.

When it came to face-to-face interviews, organizations would use highly trained researchers who knew when to probe or follow up on vague or problematic answers. They also knew when to offer assistance to respondents when they seemed to be struggling. The result was that these interviewers could get sample members to participate and engage in surveys in the most effective way possible, leading to higher response rates and better quality data.

Telephone surveys

While phone surveys have been popular in the past, particularly for measuring general consumer behavior or beliefs, response rates have been declining since the 1990s .

Phone surveys are usually conducted using a random dialing system and software that a researcher can use to record responses.

This method is beneficial when you want to survey a large population but don’t have the resources to conduct face-to-face research surveys or run focus groups, or want to ask multiple-choice and open-ended questions .

The downsides are they can: take a long time to complete depending on the response rate, and you may have to do a lot of cold-calling to get the information you need.

You also run the risk of respondents not being completely honest . Instead, they’ll answer your survey questions quickly just to get off the phone.

Focus groups (interviews — not surveys)

Focus groups are a separate qualitative methodology rather than surveys — even though they’re often bunched together. They’re normally used for survey pretesting and designing , but they’re also a great way to generate opinions and data from a diverse range of people.

Focus groups involve putting a cohort of demographically or socially diverse people in a room with a moderator and engaging them in a discussion on a particular topic, such as your product, brand, or service.

They remain a highly popular method for market research , but they’re expensive and require a lot of administration to conduct and analyze the data properly.

You also run the risk of more dominant members of the group taking over the discussion and swaying the opinions of other people — potentially providing you with unreliable data.

Online surveys

Online surveys have become one of the most popular survey methods due to being cost-effective, enabling researchers to accurately survey a large population quickly.

Online surveys can essentially be used by anyone for any research purpose – we’ve all seen the increasing popularity of polls on social media (although these are not scientific).

Using an online survey allows you to ask a series of different question types and collect data instantly that’s easy to analyze with the right software.

There are also several methods for running and distributing online surveys that allow you to get your questionnaire in front of a large population at a fraction of the cost of face-to-face interviews or focus groups.

This is particularly true when it comes to mobile surveys as most people with a smartphone can access them online.

However, you have to be aware of the potential dangers of using online surveys, particularly when it comes to the survey respondents. The biggest risk is because online surveys require access to a computer or mobile device to complete, they could exclude elderly members of the population who don’t have access to the technology — or don’t know how to use it.

It could also exclude those from poorer socio-economic backgrounds who can’t afford a computer or consistent internet access. This could mean the data collected is more biased towards a certain group and can lead to less accurate data when you’re looking for a representative population sample.

When it comes to surveys, every voice matters.

Find out how to create more inclusive and representative surveys for your research.

Panel surveys

A panel survey involves recruiting respondents who have specifically signed up to answer questionnaires and who are put on a list by a research company. This could be a workforce of a small company or a major subset of a national population. Usually, these groups are carefully selected so that they represent a sample of your target population — giving you balance across criteria such as age, gender, background, and so on.

Panel surveys give you access to the respondents you need and are usually provided by the research company in question. As a result, it’s much easier to get access to the right audiences as you just need to tell the research company your criteria. They’ll then determine the right panels to use to answer your questionnaire.

However, there are downsides. The main one being that if the research company offers its panels incentives, e.g. discounts, coupons, money — respondents may answer a lot of questionnaires just for the benefits.

This might mean they rush through your survey without providing considered and truthful answers. As a consequence, this can damage the credibility of your data and potentially ruin your analyses.

What are the benefits of using survey research?

Depending on the research method you use, there are lots of benefits to conducting survey research for data collection. Here, we cover a few:

1.   They’re relatively easy to do

Most research surveys are easy to set up, administer and analyze. As long as the planning and survey design is thorough and you target the right audience , the data collection is usually straightforward regardless of which survey type you use.

2.   They can be cost effective

Survey research can be relatively cheap depending on the type of survey you use.

Generally, qualitative research methods that require access to people in person or over the phone are more expensive and require more administration.

Online surveys or mobile surveys are often more cost-effective for market research and can give you access to the global population for a fraction of the cost.

3.   You can collect data from a large sample

Again, depending on the type of survey, you can obtain survey results from an entire population at a relatively low price. You can also administer a large variety of survey types to fit the project you’re running.

4.   You can use survey software to analyze results immediately

Using survey software, you can use advanced statistical analysis techniques to gain insights into your responses immediately.

Analysis can be conducted using a variety of parameters to determine the validity and reliability of your survey data at scale.

5.   Surveys can collect any type of data

While most people view surveys as a quantitative research method, they can just as easily be adapted to gain qualitative information by simply including open-ended questions or conducting interviews face to face.

How to measure concepts with survey questions

While surveys are a great way to obtain data, that data on its own is useless unless it can be analyzed and developed into actionable insights.

The easiest, and most effective way to measure survey results, is to use a dedicated research tool that puts all of your survey results into one place.

When it comes to survey measurement, there are four measurement types to be aware of that will determine how you treat your different survey results:

Nominal scale

With a nominal scale , you can only keep track of how many respondents chose each option from a question, and which response generated the most selections.

An example of this would be simply asking a responder to choose a product or brand from a list.

You could find out which brand was chosen the most but have no insight as to why.

Ordinal scale

Ordinal scales are used to judge an order of preference. They do provide some level of quantitative value because you’re asking responders to choose a preference of one option over another.

Ratio scale

Ratio scales can be used to judge the order and difference between responses. For example, asking respondents how much they spend on their weekly shopping on average.

Interval scale

In an interval scale, values are lined up in order with a meaningful difference between the two values — for example, measuring temperature or measuring a credit score between one value and another.

Step by step: How to conduct surveys and collect data

Conducting a survey and collecting data is relatively straightforward, but it does require some careful planning and design to ensure it results in reliable data.

Step 1 – Define your objectives

What do you want to learn from the survey? How is the data going to help you? Having a hypothesis or series of assumptions about survey responses will allow you to create the right questions to test them.

Step 2 – Create your survey questions

Once you’ve got your hypotheses or assumptions, write out the questions you need answering to test your theories or beliefs. Be wary about framing questions that could lead respondents or inadvertently create biased responses .

Step 3 – Choose your question types

Your survey should include a variety of question types and should aim to obtain quantitative data with some qualitative responses from open-ended questions. Using a mix of questions (simple Yes/ No, multiple-choice, rank in order, etc) not only increases the reliability of your data but also reduces survey fatigue and respondents simply answering questions quickly without thinking.

Find out how to create a survey that’s easy to engage with

Step 4 – Test your questions

Before sending your questionnaire out, you should test it (e.g. have a random internal group do the survey) and carry out A/B tests to ensure you’ll gain accurate responses.

Step 5 – Choose your target and send out the survey

Depending on your objectives, you might want to target the general population with your survey or a specific segment of the population. Once you’ve narrowed down who you want to target, it’s time to send out the survey.

After you’ve deployed the survey, keep an eye on the response rate to ensure you’re getting the number you expected. If your response rate is low, you might need to send the survey out to a second group to obtain a large enough sample — or do some troubleshooting to work out why your response rates are so low. This could be down to your questions, delivery method, selected sample, or otherwise.

Step 6 – Analyze results and draw conclusions

Once you’ve got your results back, it’s time for the fun part.

Break down your survey responses using the parameters you’ve set in your objectives and analyze the data to compare to your original assumptions. At this stage, a research tool or software can make the analysis a lot easier — and that’s somewhere Qualtrics can help.

Get reliable insights with survey software from Qualtrics

Gaining feedback from customers and leads is critical for any business, data gathered from surveys can prove invaluable for understanding your products and your market position, and with survey software from Qualtrics, it couldn’t be easier.

Used by more than 13,000 brands and supporting more than 1 billion surveys a year, Qualtrics empowers everyone in your organization to gather insights and take action. No coding required — and your data is housed in one system.

Get feedback from more than 125 sources on a single platform and view and measure your data in one place to create actionable insights and gain a deeper understanding of your target customers .

Automatically run complex text and statistical analysis to uncover exactly what your survey data is telling you, so you can react in real-time and make smarter decisions.

We can help you with survey management, too. From designing your survey and finding your target respondents to getting your survey in the field and reporting back on the results, we can help you every step of the way.

And for expert market researchers and survey designers, Qualtrics features custom programming to give you total flexibility over question types, survey design, embedded data, and other variables.

No matter what type of survey you want to run, what target audience you want to reach, or what assumptions you want to test or answers you want to uncover, we’ll help you design, deploy and analyze your survey with our team of experts.

Ready to find out more about Qualtrics CoreXM?

Get started with our free survey maker tool today

Related resources

Survey bias types 24 min read, post event survey questions 10 min read, best survey software 16 min read, close-ended questions 7 min read, survey vs questionnaire 12 min read, response bias 13 min read, double barreled question 11 min read, request demo.

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E-Cigarette Use Among Youth

What to know.

E-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among U.S. youth. No tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, are safe, especially for children, teens, and young adults. Learn more about e-cigarette use among youth.

  • In the United States, youth use e-cigarettes, or vapes, more than any other tobacco product. 1
  • No tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, are safe, especially for children, teens, and young adults. 2
  • Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. Nicotine can harm the parts of an adolescent's brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control. 2
  • E-cigarette marketing, the availability of flavored products, social influences, and the effects of nicotine can influence youth to start or continue vaping. 3 4
  • Most middle and high school students who vape want to quit. 5
  • Many people have an important role in protecting youth from vaping including parents and caregivers, educators and school administrators, health care providers, and community partners.
  • States and local communities can implement evidence-based policies, programs, and services to reduce youth vaping.

E-cigarette use among U.S. youth

In 2023, e-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product among middle and high school students in the United States. In 2023: 6

  • 550,000 (4.6%) middle school students.
  • 1.56 million (10.0%) high school students.
  • Among students who had ever used e-cigarettes, 46.7% reported current e-cigarette use.
  • 1 in 4 (25.2%) used an e-cigarette every day.
  • 1 in 3 (34.7%) used an e-cigarette on at least 20 of the last 30 days.
  • 9 in 10 (89.4%) used flavored e-cigarettes.
  • Most often used disposable e-cigarettes (60.7%) followed by e-cigarettes with prefilled or refillable pods or cartridges (16.1%).
  • Most commonly reported using the following brands: Elf Bar, Esco Bars, Vuse, JUUL, and Mr. Fog.

Most middle and high school students who vape want to quit and have tried to quit. 5 In 2020:

  • 63.9% of students who currently used e-cigarettes reported wanting to quit.
  • 67.4% of students who currently used e-cigarettes reported trying to quit in the last year.

Most tobacco use, including vaping, starts and is established during adolescence. There are many factors associated with youth tobacco product use . These include:

  • Tobacco advertising that targets youth.
  • Product accessibility.
  • Availability of flavored products.
  • Social influences.
  • Adolescent brain sensitivity to nicotine.

Some groups of middle and high school students use e-cigarettes at a higher percentage than others. For example, in 2023: 6

  • More females than males reported current e-cigarette use.
  • Non-Hispanic multiracial students: 20.8%.
  • Non-Hispanic White students: 18.4%.
  • Hispanic or Latino students: 18.2%.
  • Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native students: 15.4%.
  • Non-Hispanic Black or African American students: 12.9%.

Many young people who vape also use other tobacco products, including cigarettes and cigars. 7 This is called dual use. In 2020: 8

  • About one in three high school students (36.8%) who vaped also used other tobacco products.
  • One in two middle school students (49.0%) who vaped also used other tobacco products.

E-cigarettes can also be used to deliver other substances, including cannabis. In 2016, nearly one in three (30.6%) of U.S. middle and high school students who had ever used an e-cigarette reported using marijuana in the device. 9

  • Park-Lee E, Ren C, Cooper M, Cornelius M, Jamal A, Cullen KA. Tobacco product use among middle and high school students—United States, 2022 . MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022;71:1429–1435.
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. E-cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General . Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2016. Accessed Feb 14, 2024.
  • Apelberg BJ, Corey CG, Hoffman AC, et al. Symptoms of tobacco dependence among middle and high school tobacco users: results from the 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey . Am J Prev Med. 2014;47(Suppl 1):S4–14.
  • Gentzke AS, Wang TW, Cornelius M, et al. Tobacco product use and associated factors among middle and high school students—National Youth Tobacco Survey, United States, 2021 . MMWR Surveill Summ. 2022;71(No. SS-5):1–29.
  • Zhang L, Gentzke A, Trivers KF, VanFrank B. Tobacco cessation behaviors among U.S. middle and high school students, 2020 . J Adolesc Health. 2022;70(1):147–154.
  • Birdsey J, Cornelius M, Jamal A, et al. Tobacco product use among U.S. middle and high school students—National Youth Tobacco Survey, 2023 . MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2023;72:1173–1182.
  • Wang TW, Gentzke AS, Creamer MR, et al. Tobacco product use and associated factors among middle and high school students—United States, 2019 . MMWR Surveill Summ. 2019;68(No. SS-12):1–22.
  • Wang TW, Gentzke AS, Neff LJ, et al. Characteristics of e-cigarette use behaviors among US youth, 2020 . JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(6):e2111336.
  • Trivers KF, Phillips E, Gentzke AS, Tynan MA, Neff LJ. Prevalence of cannabis use in electronic cigarettes among U.S. youth . JAMA Pediatr. 2018;172(11):1097–1099.

Smoking and Tobacco Use

Commercial tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States.

For Everyone

Health care providers, public health.

Utah State University

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Uwlp study highlights top opportunities for utah girls and women.

National and statewide studies continue to show that Utah women and girls are not thriving in many critical areas. Committed to finding solutions, the Utah Women & Leadership Project (UWLP) wanted to better understand Utahns’ perceptions regarding opportunities for women and girls in the state.

To assist with this, UWLP researchers collected data from 3,505 Utah men and women ages 18 and older in the fall of 2023. The 80-question survey was based on existing literature and survey instruments, guidance from experts, and baseline data needed by leaders of A Bolder Way Forward (BWF), an initiative that invites Utahns to break down the barriers that keep women and girls from thriving. The data were then compiled into a report summarizing the findings, co-authored by Susan Madsen, UWLP’s founding director, and April Townsend.

Madsen said the report’s purpose is two-fold. “By examining the opportunities identified in the study, we hope to focus our efforts and resources to expand them. We also hope to help mitigate the negative impacts of the challenges they shared.”

Madsen said at the end of the survey, 2,433 participants answered an open-ended question to share their perceptions of the most significant opportunities for Utah women and girls. Below are the top seven categories.

1) Work and Employment Options – The most cited opportunity for Utah women and girls was related to work and employment (37.8%). Respondents called for more employers in Utah to adopt family-friendly policies to better support parents and offer parental leave, scheduling flexibility, equal access to advancement and higher paying jobs, and on-site childcare. One person commented, “If the state wants more women in the workforce, they must invest in better childcare. It’s not just a women’s problem – it’s a family problem.”

2) Education and Training – Many supported females pursuing formal education and training (33.7%) and called for help accessing financial assistance or low-cost/free tuition. One respondent said, “Higher education has never been more accessible, and women are outpacing men in enrollment nationally.”

3) Embrace Potential – More than a quarter of respondents (28.1%) mentioned encouraging Utah girls and women to embrace their potential by believing in themselves, acknowledging their abilities, and taking control of their destinies. For some, that includes opportunities for girls and women to become financially literate so they can become self-sufficient and independent. Many participants believe there is considerable support for women and girls wanting to own businesses or become entrepreneurs.

4) Support Personal Choices – Whether it’s being a mother, pursuing a career, or a combination of the two, many commented on the need for support in their personal choices (21.5%). One respondent stated, “Help women feel supported in making the best choice for them, whether that is a career or a stay-at-home mother. More value shouldn’t be assigned to either one. Help individuals feel important and valued with whatever is best for them.” Many participants also suggested including boys and men in conversations around equality to encourage them to become allies.

5) Connect/Work Together for Change – Opportunities to connect, network, and work together for change were frequently cited (17%). “When women see other women leading, it inspires them to get involved. It’s not men vs. women – it’s men and women working side by side to better our state, towns, and neighborhoods,” said one respondent.

6) Support Women in Leadership and Public Office – Respondents supported more women becoming leaders, including running for and being elected to public office (16.8%). One participant wrote, “There is a goldmine of opportunity in politics and business! We need more women deciding our laws, running our schools, such as superintendents, and running for school board. We need more women CEOs.”

7) Increase Awareness of Community Resources/Support – Some called for increasing awareness and access to available resources and support (16.7%). Also noted was increasing community resources that provide education and support on abuse, violence, consent, safe dating, mental health, and reproductive health.

In addition to these seven categories, other miscellaneous opportunities were noted. Some identified Utah’s growing economy as a resource that brings more diverse perspectives to the state. Others viewed sports and outdoor recreation as valuable opportunities.

“By identifying and understanding the opportunities noted in the study, we hope to focus our efforts and resources on the common good of supporting women,” Madsen said. “When we strengthen the impact of Utah girls and women, we strengthen everyone.”

Click here to view the full report. Click here to learn more about the UWLP and A Bolder Way Forward .

research question survey

Posted by Dr. Susan R. Madsen on May 21, 2024

Research Brief

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May 2024 Newsletter: A Bolder Way Forward

May 21, 2024

May 2024 Newsletter: A Bolder Way Forward

Monthly newsletter with research, legislation, announcements, and events for A Bolder Way Forward.

UWLP Study Highlights Top Opportunities for Utah Girls and Women

As part of the UWLP fall survey, participants answered an open-ended question to share their perceptions of the top opportunities available to Utah girls and women. The most cited opportunity was related to work and employment.

May 2024 Newsletter

May 7, 2024

May 2024 Newsletter

May Newsletter for the Utah Women & Leadership Project at Utah State University.

IMAGES

  1. Survey Examples For Research

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  2. Survey Examples For Research

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  3. What Makes a Good Survey Question Infographic

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  4. Survey Questions: 250+ Good Examples, Types & Best Practices

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  6. 10 Types of Survey Questions You Should Use for Business

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VIDEO

  1. Surveys and Questionnaires: Research

  2. Public Opinion And Survey Research Question Paper Pattern May Exam 2023|| 4th Semester

  3. How to overcome common Survey problems?

  4. Marketing Research: Questionnaire Design by Google Form

  5. Data Collection

  6. What is Survey Research ? Urdu / Hindi

COMMENTS

  1. 90 Survey Question Examples + Best Practices Checklist

    However, all questions must serve a purpose. In this section, we divide survey questions into nine categories and include the best survey question examples for each type: 1. Open Ended Questions. Open-ended questions allow respondents to answer in their own words instead of selecting from pre-selected answers.

  2. Writing Survey Questions

    May 26, 2021. Writing Survey Questions. Perhaps the most important part of the survey process is the creation of questions that accurately measure the opinions, experiences and behaviors of the public. Accurate random sampling will be wasted if the information gathered is built on a shaky foundation of ambiguous or biased questions.

  3. Survey Questions: Tips & Examples in 2022

    For example, "With the best at the top, rank these items from best to worst". Be as specific as you can about how the respondent should consider the options and how to rank them. For example, "thinking about the last 3 months' viewing, rank these TV streaming services in order of quality, starting with the best".

  4. Survey Questions: 70+ Survey Question Examples & Survey Types

    Impactful surveys start here: The main types of survey questions: most survey questions are classified as open-ended, closed-ended, nominal, Likert scale, rating scale, and yes/no. The best surveys often use a combination of questions. 💡 70+ good survey question examples: our top 70+ survey questions, categorized across ecommerce, SaaS, and ...

  5. Survey Research

    Survey research means collecting information about a group of people by asking them questions and analyzing the results. To conduct an effective survey, follow these six steps: Determine who will participate in the survey. Decide the type of survey (mail, online, or in-person) Design the survey questions and layout.

  6. 16 Types of Survey Questions, with 100 Examples

    The questions you choose and the way you use them in your survey will affect its results. These are the types of survey questions we will cover: Open-Ended Questions. Closed-Ended Questions. Multiple Choice Questions. Dichotomous Questions. Rating Scale Questions. Likert Scale Questions. Nominal Questions.

  7. 10 Research Question Examples to Guide your Research Project

    The first question asks for a ready-made solution, and is not focused or researchable. The second question is a clearer comparative question, but note that it may not be practically feasible. For a smaller research project or thesis, it could be narrowed down further to focus on the effectiveness of drunk driving laws in just one or two countries.

  8. Questionnaire Design

    Questionnaires vs. surveys. A survey is a research method where you collect and analyze data from a group of people. A questionnaire is a specific tool or instrument for collecting the data.. Designing a questionnaire means creating valid and reliable questions that address your research objectives, placing them in a useful order, and selecting an appropriate method for administration.

  9. Doing Survey Research

    Survey research means collecting information about a group of people by asking them questions and analysing the results. To conduct an effective survey, follow these six steps: Determine who will participate in the survey. Decide the type of survey (mail, online, or in-person) Design the survey questions and layout. Distribute the survey.

  10. Market research questions: what to ask and how

    Market research (also called marketing research) is the action or activity of gathering information about market needs and preferences. This helps companies understand their target market — how the audience feels and behaves. For example, this could be an online questionnaire, shared by email, which has a set of questions that ask an audience ...

  11. Writing Effective Survey Questions

    A good survey question should be clear, concise, and contain simple language. They should be free of bias and not lead the respondent in any direction. Your survey questions need to complement each other, engage your audience and connect back to the overall objectives of your research.

  12. How to write effective research questions

    Writing effective research questions will ensure you get the correct data from your survey. Get started. When you're preparing to conduct research, creating the right question in the correct way is critical for producing the study and collecting the data you need for analysis. Questions that are too broad don't yield useful information.

  13. Research Question Examples ‍

    A well-crafted research question (or set of questions) sets the stage for a robust study and meaningful insights. But, if you're new to research, it's not always clear what exactly constitutes a good research question. In this post, we'll provide you with clear examples of quality research questions across various disciplines, so that you can approach your research project with confidence!

  14. How to Write Qualitative Research Questions

    A good qualitative research question sums up your research objective. It's a way of expressing the central question of your research, identifying your particular topic and the central issue you are examining. Research questions are quite different from survey questions, questions used in focus groups or interview questions.

  15. Survey Research

    Survey research examples and questions Examples serve as a bridge connecting theoretical concepts to real-world scenarios. Let's consider a few practical examples of survey research across various domains. User Experience (UX) Imagine being a UX designer at a budding tech start-up. Your app is gaining traction, but to keep your user base ...

  16. Survey Research: Definition, Examples and Methods

    Survey Research Definition. Survey Research is defined as the process of conducting research using surveys that researchers send to survey respondents. The data collected from surveys is then statistically analyzed to draw meaningful research conclusions. In the 21st century, every organization's eager to understand what their customers think ...

  17. Best Survey Examples for your research

    See more examples : Marketing and market research surveys. Customer Satisfaction. As businesses become more customer centric, bench-marking on customer satisfaction using surveys has become a defined metric for customer success. Here are a few examples for your next customer satisfaction evaluation survey: Net Promoter Score Survey : Any ...

  18. 20 Market Research Questions To Ask In Your Customer Survey

    A single-ease question is a straightforward query that elicits a concise and uncomplicated response. Beyond these 20 market research questions, here are 350+ Market Research Templates for you to use completely free! Market research questions is a questionnaire that is answered by customers or potential consumers.

  19. Survey Research

    Computer-assisted surveys: A survey research method that uses computer technology to administer or collect survey data, often used in large-scale surveys or data collection. Interactive voice response surveys: A survey research method where respondents answer questions through a touch-tone telephone system, often used in automated customer ...

  20. Understanding and Evaluating Survey Research

    Survey research is defined as "the collection of information from a sample of individuals through their responses to questions" ( Check & Schutt, 2012, p. 160 ). This type of research allows for a variety of methods to recruit participants, collect data, and utilize various methods of instrumentation. Survey research can use quantitative ...

  21. Writing Strong Research Questions

    A good research question is essential to guide your research paper, dissertation, or thesis. All research questions should be: Focused on a single problem or issue. Researchable using primary and/or secondary sources. Feasible to answer within the timeframe and practical constraints. Specific enough to answer thoroughly.

  22. Question Search

    Question Search . 1615 L St. NW, Suite 800 Washington, DC 20036 USA (+1) 202-419-4300 | Main (+1) 202-857-8562 | Fax (+1) 202-419-4372 | Media Inquiries. ... ABOUT PEW RESEARCH CENTER Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion ...

  23. 50 Must-Have Customer Survey Questions

    In contrast, a customer effort score (CES) survey allows you to calculate the ease of service experience with your company. 2. Choose the right questions. We have outlined the different types and categories of survey questions above, but consider these two additional factors during questionnaire formulation: a) Target audience.

  24. Science is making anti-aging progress. But do we want to live forever?

    Nobel laureate details new book, which surveys research, touches on larger philosophical questions Anne J. Manning Harvard Staff Writer May 14, 2024 4 min read Mayflies live for only a day. Galapagos tortoises can reach up to age 170. ... "The question is whether we can tackle aging processes, while still keeping us who we are as humans ...

  25. Survey Research: Definition, Examples & Methods

    Survey research is the process of collecting data from a predefined group (e.g. customers or potential customers) with the ultimate goal of uncovering insights about your products, services, or brand overall.. As a quantitative data collection method, survey research can provide you with a goldmine of information that can inform crucial business and product decisions.

  26. The Deloitte Global 2024 Gen Z and Millennial Survey

    Download the 2024 Gen Z and Millennial Report. 5 MB PDF. To learn more about the mental health findings, read the Mental Health Deep Dive. The 13th edition of Deloitte's Gen Z and Millennial Survey connected with nearly 23,000 respondents across 44 countries to track their experiences and expectations at work and in the world more broadly.

  27. International Religion Survey Data

    The World's Muslims Survey Dataset. This Pew Research Center survey, conducted between October 2011 and November 2012, focuses on attitudes toward religion, politics and society among Muslims in 26 countries and territories in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. The survey included more than 32,000 face-to-face interviews in 30-plus ...

  28. E-Cigarette Use Among Youth

    Birdsey J, Cornelius M, Jamal A, et al. Tobacco product use among U.S. middle and high school students—National Youth Tobacco Survey, 2023. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2023;72:1173-1182. Wang TW, Gentzke AS, Creamer MR, et al. Tobacco product use and associated factors among middle and high school students—United States, 2019.

  29. USDA

    USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Information. NASS publications cover a wide range of subjects, from traditional crops, such as corn and wheat, to specialties, such as mushrooms and flowers; from calves born to hogs slaughtered; from agricultural prices to land in farms. The agency has the distinction of being known as The Fact Finders of U.S. Agriculture due to the abundance of ...

  30. UWLP Study Highlights Top Opportunities for Utah Girls and Women

    Madsen said at the end of the survey, 2,433 participants answered an open-ended question to share their perceptions of the most significant opportunities for Utah women and girls. Below are the top seven categories. 1) Work and Employment Options - The most cited opportunity for Utah women and girls was related to work and employment (37.8%).