Tips For Writing An Effective Questionnaire To Get Customers Feedback

Every business needs feedback from its customers every once in a while. Sometimes companies do extensive surveys before launching their new brands. These surveys, if conducted properly, can do wonders in helping you devise the right marketing strategy. Imagine knowing what the target market demands and where the competitors lack behind… such information can do wonders to your long term success.

But wait, is it that simple to make people take out time to answer your questionnaires, no matter how simple or short it is? How many times do you stop to fill in a questionnaire when browsing? How do you react to the questionnaires that you receive through email? Do you remember filling any questionnaires in the recent past? These are the questions which you need to ask yourself before launching a survey campaign and waiting for the responses (that will be hard to come by).


It is important to do some planning before launching the actual survey campaign. Identify the target audience, decide on the survey’s tone and come up with the questions relevant to your customers’ interest. While designing the questionnaire, keep your target audience in mind. The following are some useful tips that will help you design an effective questionnaire that won’t fall flat like the majority of surveys.

1. Make it short

Most of us don’t like reading and writing much and especially when we aren’t getting any reward. Be compassionate about your customers’ time and try to keep your survey concise, and to the point. You need to come up with the questions which are short and don’t require a long, descriptive reply. Studying sample questionnaires, reading interviews, and editing will help a lot. Keep the same thing in mind when deciding the length of your questionnaire. Take the unnecessary questions out, read and re-read the questionnaire, keep omitting the questions that sounds repetitive and unnecessary..

2. Don’t sound too formal

Formal language is kind of an annoyance for web surfers. The tone of your questionnaire has to be casual and appropriate to the target market. Using industry jargons and technical terms is a big ‘No’ unless you are looking for feedback from other businesses. The order of the questionnaire will also matter. To keep the audience interested in filling in the questionnaire, make sure that you’ve placed the interesting questions in the beginning. Please note that the tone of the questionnaire is more important than its syntax.

3. Avoid leading questions

What good is a survey if it makes people say what you want to hear? Remember you are looking for neutral answers and not testimonials. Such leading questions leave negative impact on the audience, you might even get the desired answers but those answers can serve no purpose as far as decision making is concerned.

4. Closed ended questionnaire

Open ended questions are hard for the audience to respond and even harder for the researchers when it comes to qualitative analysis. As mentioned earlier, people avoid writing as much as they can. While making the questionnaire, include the appropriate options in the answer sections as multiple options or check boxes, and try not to exceed the list of options than five or six options.

5. Keep the order logical

The order of questionnaire always has to be general to specific. Such order helps the audience get better understanding of the questionnaire and hence they are likely to fill it to the end. Revising and editing is when you should focus on the order of questionnaire.

6. Balanced rating scale

For any business, negative feedback is a hard thing to digest, but looking at the brighter side, this feedback is what will help you to improve. So while making the questions where rating is required, use a balanced scale. The scale should provide equal margins for both extremes.

7. Pre test

Pre-test helps you identify the loopholes in your survey. These loopholes, if ignored, will affect the overall efficacy of your survey. Sometimes it’s hard for the research analysts to identify certain mistakes in the questionnaire, a pretest can help surface these issues. Sending the questionnaire draft to selected audience and analyzing its results will help the researcher to know if the audience is having an issue while filling it.

8. Accompanying message

It is important that your audience knows what the survey is all about, and how it will help you make better products for their own benefits. This pretext decides if your target audience will take the questionnaire or not. So make sure to keep the message concise, simple and relevant.

Keep these points in mind while making a questionnaire and your chances of getting the responses will increase quite significantly.

Photo by Sunfox


  1. Jason Mitchev says:

    I have seen feedback surveys work with even children, 4th and 5th graders. The leader of the After School Program made the questions easy to understand, some with multiple choice questions, some needing answers with written sentences. To my surprise, it worked. The kids knew what they wanted in their program and the leader vowed to take all serious thoughts into consideration. She made it clear that having pets and video games during the program was not going to happen but gave them kudos for trying.

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