Basic Survey Questions: Types and Examples

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Surveys are a great way to learn directly from customers and employees how you can improve and grow your business. And the first step in creating a survey that will provide valuable information is to ask the right questions.

The words you use and the question you choose make a huge difference between accurate and skewed data. But we have come to help you with that. This blog explains the basic survey questions you need to make surveys that yield actionable insights. 

Basic questions for survey can take various forms – from open-ended questions to closed-ended questions. There are several different survey questions, each requiring a different approach. 

The objective determines the type of questions you ask in a survey. Continue reading to the end of this article to learn about basic survey questions, when to use them, and how to write questions for your next survey.

What is a survey software?

Survey software enables businesses to create surveys, share them over various channels, and collect and analyze the gathered feedback to uncover insights. Such a platform helps you gain a holistic understanding of customer experience, perception, and satisfaction. By leveraging multiple channels, you can reach a broader audience across the world and gather diverse feedback. 

At the end of 2021, the survey software market experienced a 12% CAGR. Mobile usage enables researchers to target wider respondents, thus enhancing the usage and appeal of survey software.

Survey software not only helps you understand your customer’s satisfaction but also gathers insights on new opportunities, unexplored markets, competitive landscape, and more. In today’s dynamic world, the platform empowers you to gather the right data you need to make informed-decisions at the right time. 

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9 types of basic survey questions

The following questions we have listed are among the common bundle of general survey questions you will find in any online survey software. 

Some of these seven types are more frequently used because the data they collect is easy to analyze. At the same time, other question types are helpful while exploring complex subjects. 

So here’s a list of some basic survey questions

  1. Open-ended questions
  2. Multiple choice questions
  3. Likert scale questions
  4. Ranking questions
  5. Slider questions
  6. Yes/No questions
  7. Rating questions
  8. Picture questions
  9. Demography questions

You should look for these popular survey question types in any survey tool. Now, let’s look at each type’s question format and when you should use them.

1. Open-ended questions

These questions allow the respondents to answer in their own words.  When a survey intends to collect qualitative data, then it would be better to have open-ended queries. Such questions are always employed to get to know how the participants feel or act.

They are typically utilized in cases where one would want an additional information when using closed questions responses or at some point within survey course.They are referred to as open-ended as they have no pre-set list of response alternatives but rather allow for expression of personal thoughts on the issues under consideration without limits.

Examples of open-ended questions:

  1. Q. Please tell us about yourself.
  2. Q. What did you like about our product?
  3. Q. What would you like us to improve in our future products?

When should you use open-ended questions?

This type of basic survey question can be used in the following cases: 

When you are surveying a new subject for the first time. An open-ended question can help bring a good amount of insights to educate you about how your audience feels about the subject. 

For example, asking customers to leave a review on their experience after using a cosmetic product. 

As a follow-up to a bad satisfaction or NPS score. It can help you gain insights into what your audience thinks needs improvement. It could be about your product, offers, customer support, and anything. 

Open-ended questions are a good way for respondents to voice their opinions without limitations. 

2. Multiple-Choice Questions

It is called multiple-choice questions, as respondents are given a variety of options to choose from, leading to responses that are neat and straightforward to analyze.

These questions are of two types:

  1. Single answer questions: The respondent can choose only one relevant answer from the list of options.
  2. Multiple answer questions: Respondents can choose multiple answers that they feel are appropriate.

So, when setting up a multiple-choice question, you can allow one or multiple answers for each question.  This type of basic survey question can be used to limit the answer options based on the data you want to gather. 

 

Basic Survey Questions Types of IVR

Example of multiple choice question: 

Say you only want data based on Hollywood music, you can use a multiple-choice question with specific genres to limit the options. 

  1. Q. What genre of music do you prefer?
  • Rock
  • Hip-hop
  • Indie
  • Heavy metal
  • Country
  • Other

When should you use multiple-choice questions?

 Multiple-choice questions are good when you want to include a limited number of categories as answer options for a given question. These are easy for respondents to answer. Moreover, you only gather the data you want. 

It’s always good to use an “other” answer option to give respondents the freedom of adding an answer that’s not on the list. 

3. Likert Scale Questions

One of the most popular types of basic survey questions is the Likert scale question. They are used for single-topic surveys and help beast survey bias. The scale of answer range from agreement to disagreement. 

There are two types of Likert scale – odd and even. The odd Likert scales offer a neutral option while the even Likert scale doesn’t. 

They can be used to gauge customers’ satisfaction levels regarding the services offered by businesses.

An example of an odd Likert scale question:

  1. Q. How satisfied are you with our website?
  • Very satisfied
  • Moderately satisfied
  • Neutral
  • Unsatisfied
  • Very unsatisfied

When should you use Likert scale questions?

A Likert scale is also used when gathering specific data about a particular topic. One popular use is the question “likelihood to recommend” or NPS. The questions have a particular intent, i.e., to gauge customer loyalty

Another example would be the CSAT or customer satisfaction question, which helps determine how the respondent feels about certain things. 

4. Ranking questions

A simple survey asking survey respondents to arrange their preferences for various alternatives in ascending order is called a ranking question. They are meant for determining the most preferred features by clients and the least preferred features.

An example of a ranking question:

  1. Q. Rank the following pizza toppings in order of your preference, with 1 being your favorite.
  • Jalapenos
  • Pepperoni
  • Olives
  • Mushrooms

When should you use a ranking question type?

The ranking question helps you understand the relative popularity of one option over the other. So, it’s a good option when you want to compare things, for example, brands or products from different brands. 

However, it may take time for respondents to answer ranking questions. So don’t use them if a different question can provide you with the same data. 

 

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5. Slider Question 

A slider question allows respondents to move a pointer across a scale. The scale ranges from highly dissatisfied to extremely satisfied. The respondent can move the pointer and pause it at any number to lock their answer.

Online survey tools should offer a slider question type in their survey builder.  

An example of a slider question:

  Q How would you rate your satisfaction with our classic chicken burger?

5. Slider Question 

A slider question allows respondents to move a pointer across a scale. The scale ranges from highly dissatisfied to extremely satisfied. The respondent can move the pointer and pause it at any number to lock their answer.

Online survey tools should offer a slider question type in their survey builder.  

An example of a slider question:

  Q How would you rate your satisfaction with our classic chicken burger?

When should you use the slider question type?

Slider questions are fun to answer. Adding this type of basic survey question can make the survey interactive and enjoyable for the respondent. 

But when using this scale, it is important that you mention what the numbers represent. 

6. Yes/No Question 

You must have seen the most common survey question type is the yes/no question. It is a simple and straightforward question you can use to create surveys. 

An example of a yes/no question: 

  1. Q. Did you buy a car in the year 2022?
  • Yes
  • No

When should you use the yes/no question?

As simple as a yes/no question can help you screen respondents. Just like the question above, you can screen those customers who haven’t purchased care in 2022 out of the survey. 

These simple survey questions can also be used to segment respondents. For example, you can simply ask if they were happy with the customer support. You can segment respondents and take follow-up action suited for both groups. 

7. Rating Questions

Rating questions ask respondents to rate the options on a given scale (1-10, 1-15, etc.). They are commonly used to rate movies, restaurants, or the overall satisfaction levels of respondents. 

Respondents choose the option that aptly reflects their opinion.

Online survey software offers different types of rating questions such as star, smiley, numerical, etc. 

An example of a rating question: 

  1. Q. On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate the food served at our restaurant?

When should you use a rating question?

A rating question is typically used when you want to gather the customer’s satisfaction level. It helps you visualize and compare the gap between how satisfied you think your customers are and how much they really are. 

The most common use of this basic survey question is in any review website. Review websites use star rating questions asking customers how satisfied they are with the product out of five stars. 

 

Related read: A detailed description about how to make a survey

8. Picture/Image choice questions

Picture choice questions can be used to make surveys interactive and give a break from the textual content. Adding a few pictures also makes the surveys look aesthetically appealing. 

An advanced online survey software should support image questions in its survey maker

An example of an image question:

  1. Among these five icons, which one do you like more for our new product?

When should you use the picture question type?

An image question is a basic survey question used to evaluate logo or ad quality. It is easy and pleasing to the eyes. You can simply present the images and ask respondents to select the best one.

9. Demographic Questions

Demographic questions focus on gathering background information about an individual. This can include questions related to age, gender, ethnicity, income, etc. 

Collecting demographic information helps businesses obtain a clear understanding of the target audience. They help in identifying how demography plays a role in the choices made by an individual.

An example of a demographic question:

  1. Q. Select your age group.
  • <18
  • 19-25
  • 26-35
  • >35

When should you use demographic questions?

You can use demographic survey question types to gather profile data of your customers or employees. 

You can also use the basic survey question to segment the audience based on standard demographic data and gain deeper insights from the target segment.

Now that we have covered the nine types of survey questions, let’s also take a look at the best survey practices. 

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Best practices to write basic survey questions

It is very important to stick to the objective of the survey and ask precise questions. While writing questions may sound easy enough, there are some best survey practices you must follow to ensure that the questions perform well.  

No matter how great an online survey software you use, following the basic survey rules can lead you to successful surveys. 

We have listed some advice to create the best surveys with these basic questions. 

1. Use simple wordings

Do not use jargon, technical terms, or acronyms. Avoid making the respondents consult a dictionary. Explain any unfamiliar terms to them.

2. Focus on one question at a time

Every question in the survey should focus on one subject only. Avoid merging two questions into one. 

Always remember to ask One Question for One Idea. 

For example, 

Don’t:  How satisfied are you with our website and services?

Do: One question at a time:

  • How satisfied are you with our website?
  • How happy are you with our services?

3. Avoid subjective adjectives

Subjective adjectives like “amazing,” “great,” etc., can create a bias in the respondents. They may draw the responses towards a certain option. Always use neutral workings that will not skew the results. 

For example, 

Biased: Our customers speak highly of the services delivered by us. How would you rate it?

Unbiased: What do you think of our services?

4. Include all possible options wherever applicable

A range of options accompanies closed-ended questions. These options should best describe the feelings of respondents. 

If you can’t think of any answer option, give respondents the chance to write down their answers. Add an “Other” option. 

Also, allow them to skip the question if they do not wish to answer.

Related read: How to write survey questions

5. Use open-ended questions thoughtfully

An open-ended question allows you to collect honest responses from your audience. But using it too many times can bore the audience and lead to drop-off. 

Use open-ended questions towards the end of the survey. Or use it as an option for an audience who chooses to explain their answer. 

6. Test your survey among colleagues 

Before you launch your survey, run a test by sharing it with your colleagues. This way, you can see what they think of the quality of your survey questions. 

When designing your survey, consider the specific survey questions to ask, as they help generate responses that provide insights to your target group of respondents. In the following section, we have shared some examples of questions for various topics. 

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Basic survey questions examples

Here we have collected a list of questions you can ask to gather feedback across various subjects. 

Customer demographic:

You can ask these questions when you want to gather profile data about your respondents to segment them later for target marketing. 

  1. How old are you?
  2. What gender do you identify yourself as?
  3. What is your current employment status?
  4. Which state did you graduate high school from?
  5. What industry do you currently work for?
  6. What is your yearly income?

Product testing:

You can ask new or old customers, trial, or paying users these questions. 

  1. What features of the product did you like?
  2. What features would you like to improve?
  3. What is one feature that we are missing?
  4. What convinced you to buy our product/service?
  5. How likely are you to recommend our product to a friend or relative?
  6. How would you rate this product in terms of value for money?

Brand performance:

Use these questions to understand how your current customers perceive your brand. These questions can help you learn where your brand stands in the market.

  1. Have you heard of these brands? [ Your Brand / Competitor / Competitor]
  2. What comes to your mind when you think of our product?
  3. How often do you purchase from [your brand]?
  4. Was our product successful in meeting your needs?
  5. Rate the product based on the quality of the products on a scale of 1 to 5. 
  6. What do you think about our pricing range? [Satisfied/ Neutral/ Dissatisfied]
  7. How would you describe our brand’s packaging? [Pleasing / Okayish/ Outdated]

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Conclusion

Integrate the outlined nine question types and six survey best practices into your survey design to ensure accurate and actionable insights. Utilize a variety of question formats, including basic and advanced options, to gather comprehensive data. For a deeper understanding of available question formats, explore Voxco’s online survey maker, which offers over 100 question types to enhance the effectiveness of your surveys.

Voxco helps 450+ global brands to gather, measure, uncover, and act on valuable insights.

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FAQ’s

1. what are 5 good survey questions? 

Five good survey questions to ask are as follows:

  1. “How satisfied are you with our product/service?” 
  2. “What improvements would you suggest for our website?” 
  3. “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend our company to a friend?”
  4.  “Which features do you find most valuable in our product?” 
  5. “How would you rate the effectiveness of our customer support?” 

2. What are some examples of general survey questions?

General survey questions cater to a wide variety of subjects, and their nature depends on what the survey is intended for. For instance, questions may be asked regarding demographics (age, sex, income), satisfaction levels with a particular product/service offered by organization X, the probability that s/he will tell others about brand Y, or the desire for a specific attribute on product Z.

3. What are some simple survey questions to ask?

Yes! Some simple survey queries to be posed may include: 

  1. “How satisfied are you with the services that you availed from us?” (Likert-scale questionnaire) 
  2. “Which are our products that you use more often than any other?” (Multiple choice questionnaire) 
  3. “What would you change in our website if you given a chance?” (Open-ended questionnaire)



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