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4 Mistakes You Should Avoid When Writing Survey Questions

3 Mins read

Mistakes You Should Avoid When Writing Survey Questions. You already know how valuable any survey question can be to gain insights from your respondents. But, have you ever wondered about writing your survey questions to make the difference between a bad and a good survey?

Yes, a well-written or poorly written question can alter your prospect’s perspective on a problem and also force them to respond to a question inaccurately.

A good survey question allows the respondents to answer genuinely without being forced to anything as well as having an enjoyable experience participating in it.

On the other side, a bad survey question ends up the respondent answering the wrong way and can even make them leave the survey in the middle. So, before writing your survey questions, here are four survey question mistakes you should avoid:

Do Not Use Biased Language: Leading Questions

A good question should never use bias language that sways the participant’s answer to one side. For every marketer, your goal should be to ask unbiased survey questions in your online survey software and strive for unbiased answers. Biases in surveys will not give you precise data and hence hamper your next business decision.

A question like, “did you enjoy our fantastic new chocolate muffins?” is biased.

To avoid this, make your questions clear and objective. Do not use adjectives in your survey that already explains the subject of your question.

Do Not Force Respondent to Answer in a Certain Way: Loaded Questions

Loaded questions are formed in a way that influences the respondent to answer in a way that does not reflect their opinion accurately. This survey mistake will sway away your respondents and is one of the common reasons for people abandoning surveys.

Let’s say the question is “what’s your favorite place to drink beer?”

This question directly shows that the respondent drinks beer. But, there are possibilities that many people don’t like beer or won’t drink alcohol and thus can’t respond truthfully.

Generally, loaded questions can be avoided by pre-test your survey to ensure the respondents will answer honestly. You should ask a preliminary question of whether the participants drink beer or not. Let people allow pass over the question that is not applicable to them.

Avoid Using Absolute Questions

Absolute questions force participants where they can’t provide useful feedback. Absolute questions usually involve options with Yes/No and use words such as “all,” “always,” “ever,” “every,” etc.

Let’s understand with an example: Do you always like to watch TV? (Yes/No)

The above question will clearly force the respondent to choose “No.” The straightforward nature of absolute questions makes it too rigid and wrong for respondents to answer genuine in a survey. Survey questions should have a range of options that respondents will feel comfortable selecting from.

For instance, how many days in a week do you generally eat desserts? (daily/ 3-4 days/ 1-2 days/ I usually avoid desserts).

Try to Speak Respondent’s Language

Use clear and uncomplicated language when asking survey questions. Make sure to give definitions while using tricky concepts or terms. This way, you will be sure that the maximum number of people can participate in your survey easily.

Poorly-written Question: Do you have a tablet PC?

Well-written Question: Do you have a tablet PC? (e.g., Android tablet, iPad)

Usually, you should use simple language in your survey. Knowing if your respondents have a good understanding of terms, events, and issues will help in your survey questions. The more you will focus on writing adequate questions, the better it will be.

For instance, if you want to survey patients in a hospital, you will not use medical jargon. But if your survey is for doctors, you would use higher-level medical questions.

Now that you know what mistakes you have to avoid while writing survey questions, you will make data that are more accurate. Also, your respondents will complete your survey feeling satisfied that it will be a win-win!