Has a clear benefit: If you can’t articulate the benefit of the question to you and your constituents, you shouldn’t ask the question.
Is one-dimensional: A common problem with survey questions is putting multiple dimensions into a single question. For example, if a question asks, “On a scale of one to five, how would you rank the shipping and handling of your item?” I may be unsure how to respond. Let’s assume that the shipping was fine because the item arrived on time, but the product was broken so the handling wasn’t great. Questions with multiple dimensions hinder the participant from providing a telling response due to lack of focus.
Allows multiple responses: Why make someone choose if they have multiple reasons for liking your business? Rather than limiting constituents to one response, listen to all that they have to say. In some cases, a ranking system may be appropriate. (More on that later. You will need to keep in mind how this changes the time needed to answer a question.)
Eliminates ambiguity: Make sure that you provide a clear answer choice for the participant. For example, “What do you like best about vacationing in Florida?”
- The weather
- The sunshine
Don’t laugh. This happens all the time.
Embraces variability: This means that you want to ask questions that different people will answer differently. Think about it: If everyone is going to answer the same way, why bother asking the question in the first place? “Do you love your kids?” ...