Whether you're utilizing online survey software to analyze customer satisfaction or paper surveys to determine employee morale, one of the most important steps in executing a successful survey is writing the questions. It may sound easy enough but even the simplest of questions can be riddled with mistakes that may directly affect or skew survey results.

Things You Will Need

Learn how to avoid mistakes and write questions that are effective and efficient.

Step 1

Be Concise - Questions should be clear, concise, and to the point, anything that readers would potentially have to reread is too long. Write the questions as if you were vocally asking them to a colleague.

Step 2

Use Clear Language - Use everyday language to ensure each reader can clearly understand the questions stated. Avoid words or phrases that are largely open to a reader's interpretation, such as many, most, and several; otherwise, you may get skewed results.

Step 3

Avoid Double-Barreled Questions - Double-barreled questions are questions that could potentially have different responses because it contains two separate parts. An example is Where and how did you meet the new clients?or What is the market for the product and do you think it will be a success? Respondents are likely to give just one answer for what is essentially two questions.

Step 4

Limit The Number of Options - When it comes to ranking items in order of preference or multiple choice questions, try not to have more than six options having a long list can lead to survey abandonment.

Step 5

Offer an Out - There may be some questions that don't apply to certain respondents so make sure you offer an out option for them, such as not applicable or don't know.

Tips & Warnings