What for do people need a questionnaire?
Usually a questionnaire is needed by a company or a politician to be aware how their stakeholders or voters feel at a specific period of time. Sometimes they want to know people’s opinion regarding a specific issue. It is wrong to think that the questionnaire is only meant to gather information and present the results. In the end, these results may lead to rebranding, change of political plans, etc. Only a well-designed questionnaire may be used to improve a current situation under discussion. A poorly designed one may only harm due to the distorted results.
There are three major parts, about which you need to be aware when making a questionnaire. A typical questionnaire format consists of a designing process, when you prepare a list of questions, implementation, when you actually design the way of delivering the survey, and a revision, which is a final preparation of the questionnaire for the fieldwork.
You need to understand what kind of data you need and how you plan to use it in future. The order of the questions plays a significant role as well. A perfect questionnaire is a short one, therefore create a list of questions and then choose those that will be most relevant to your goal.
Make the questions as simple as possible. The answers should be simple as well. Such an approach will help you avoid any confusion in the process and you will manage to process the results much faster. For this purpose, you may use either open-ended or closed-ended questions.
Closed-ended questions are generally used to receive specific answers, as they have a list of options to pick from. There is a huge variety of closed-ended questions, including true as well as false ones or yes/no questions. Open-ended questions are used in case there is no definite list of answers to choose from.
Avoid leading questions, as the main goal of the questionnaire is to get an unbiased answer to a specific question. Besides, many people may feel uncomfortable and quit a questionnaire as asking leading questions is mostly used for manipulating someone’s ideas. Nobody wants to be manipulated. There is a trick to use when you need most accurate answers. You should have the same questions asked in a different way. Distribute them evenly throughout the questionnaire so that the person will not notice their similarity. This will help you find person’s true opinion and reduce the overall bias as well.
It is important to choose the proper way to deliver the questionnaire. You need to choose the most suitable one for your specific survey. Some may need a personal approach. Others may be well-answered over e-mail or a telephone.
The questions should be created so that to match the chosen delivery method. You should keep this in mind when writing a questionnaire.
Pay in forward. People are more eager to participate if they benefit from such participation. You may offer them a discount coupon or some merchandise from the company you are gathering the data for. It is a great way to thank people for dedicating their time to answer the questions.
Make a final revision of the questions. Your questionnaire may be used in the future to survey another group of people on another issue just by fixing some core questions.
Always revise feedback that you may receive. This will help you understand whether the questionnaire was developed in the right manner.
We hope that these tips will help you learn how to write a questionnaire.