Survey questions to ask


Survey questions to ask Survey questions
Table of Contents

If you are running a business, you will undoubtedly have questions. What improvements to make in the product? Which new items should you offer? How to enhance the engagement of employees? Regardless of the type of information you seek, compile a list of questions and distribute it to your customers. Sounds easy, right?

Although surveys appear to be simple, this is not always the case. The key to a successful survey is to ask the right question. But how do you differentiate between right and wrong? The type of question, from open-ended to closed-ended, is determined by the kind of data you need. A good survey question will give you an insight into the following attributes: target audience, perception of customers, pricing, website navigation, and more.

In this article, we’ll walk through the different kinds of survey questions you can ask, along with some examples.

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Types of survey questions

Survey questions to ask Survey questions

Open-ended questions

Open-ended questions allow you to uncover respondents’ thoughts by allowing them to answer in their own words. Open-ended questions are ideal for providing qualitative data. They are often asked as a follow-up to closed-ended questions to uncover the quantitative data. 

When to ask open-ended questions?

  • Open-ended questions are used in the initial stage of your survey process to gather valuable feedback. These questions allow you to dig deeper into your customers and their preferences.  
  • Open-ended questions shed light on opportunities for development that you hadn’t previously known. They do not limit the responses to a predetermined set of options, thereby minimizing the risk of missing out on important information.

For example,

  • What features of the product did you like?
  • What would you like to see in the future versions of the product?

Closed-ended questions

Closed-ended questions ask the respondents to choose from a set of predetermined options. A closed-ended question is an umbrella term that includes a broad category of questions:

  • Dichotomous questions
  • Likert scale questions
  • Nominal questions
  • Rating questions

When to ask closed-ended questions?

Closed-ended questions are used to record quantifiable data that can easily be transformed into graphs and charts. The data acquired can also be used for further analysis.

For example,

How often do you use our product?

  • Extremely often
  • Often
  • Sometimes
  • Rarely
  • Never

Dichotomous questions

Dichotomous questions offer the respondents two options to choose from – Yes/No, True/False, Agree/Disagree. They are used to get a clear contrast between the perspectives of respondents. 

When to ask dichotomous questions?

  • Dichotomous questions can filter the respondents based on their responses. For example, you can ask if people like a specific genre of music and then follow up with specific questions.
  • Answering dichotomous questions takes relatively little time. Hence, respondents are more likely to answer subsequent questions.

For example,

  • Would you recommend our company to your friends?
  • Would you recommend our products to others?
  • Will you buy from us in the future?


Likert Scale questions

The Likert scale can gauge the extent to which an individual agrees or disagrees with something. The options range from extreme to neutral attitudes. A 5/7 point Likert scale is typically used in surveys. 

When to ask Likert Scale Questions?

Sometimes, a simple yes/no question is not enough. If brands want to learn more about the feelings of their customers, they can use Likert Scale queries. For example, if a brand wants to know what customers think about their product or to what extent they are satisfied with their services.

For example,

How satisfied are you with our delivery?

  • Very satisfied
  • Somewhat satisfied
  • Neutral
  • Somewhat dissatisfied
  • Very dissatisfied

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Nominal questions

Respondents have to choose from various non-numerical options in a nominal question.

When to ask nominal questions?

Nominal questions are ideal if there are a limited number of options to choose from. You can easily use the data to create charts and discover patterns. The negative is that you might not be providing enough categories for people to choose from. An ‘other’ option along with an open-ended question can be used to allow respondents to give an answer that is not given as an option.

For example,

What genre of music do you prefer?

  • Indie
  • Rock
  • Hip hop
  • Jazz
  • Others

Rating questions

Rating scale questions ask the respondents to rate the response options on a scale of 1-5, 1-10, etc. 

When to ask Rating questions?

The Net Promoter Score® is calculated using rating questions to determine the likelihood of customers recommending things to their friends. The information gathered can be utilized to compare and visualize patterns.

For example,

Rate the following aspects of service on a scale of 1-5.

  • Quality 
  • Delivery
  • Customer Service
  • Value for money

Net Promoter®, NPS®, NPS Prism®, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld. Net Promoter Score℠ and Net Promoter System℠ are service marks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.

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