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Questionnaires are commonly used to gather first-hand information from a large audience, in the form of a survey. There are different types of questionnaires in practice and the type of questionnaire to be used usually depends on the purpose of the survey and the type of data that has to be collected.

Questionnaires are highly practical and can be carried out by any number of people, and the results can be quickly quantified as well. Over the years, this form of conducting research has also been proven to be more scientifically accurate, as compared to other quantitative research tools.

Let's examine the various types of questionnaires.

Questionnaire Formats

Depending upon the nature of the questions in a questionnaire, there can be different types of questions in questionnaire -

  1. Questions in Open Ended Format

    Questions that allow the target audience to voice their feelings and notions freely are called open-format questions or open-ended questions. These questions are not based on pre-determined responses, giving respondents an opportunity to express what they feel is right, and often provide real, perceptional, and at times, startling proposals. Open-ended questions placed at the end of a questionnaire tend to draw accurate feedback and suggestions from respondents as well.

    Questions in Open Ended Format
  2. Questions in Closed Ended Format

    Questions which have multiple options as answers and allow respondents to select a single option from amongst them are called closed-format or closed-ended questions. This type of questionnaire is especially useful when conducting preliminary analysis. As a fixed answer set is provided, these are ideal for calculation of statistical information and percentages of various types. Closed-ended questions help to arrive at opinions about a product or service, and sometimes, about a company, in a more efficient manner.

    7 Types of Closed Format Questions

    Closed-ended questions which are aimed at collecting accurate statistical data can be classified into the following seven types:

    1. Leading Questions

      A question forcing the target audience to opt for a specific kind of answer is called a leading question. All answers for a leading question are almost similar. Leading questions are usually prepared to derive audience opinion within a set of limited words.

      Leading Questions
    2. Importance Questions

      Questions which ask respondents to rate the importance of some specific matter on a rating scale of 1 to 5 are called importance questions. Such questions facilitate drawing what respondents consider significant - enabling vital business decision-making.

      Closed Format Questions
    3. Likert Questions

      The degree to which respondents agree to a specific statement can be ascertained using Likert questions. Customers' feelings about a topic, product or service can be easily gauged by asking them these questions.

      Likert Questions
    4. Dichotomous Questions

      Questions that make respondents answer with a simple "yes" or "no" are called dichotomous questions. These questions carry one disadvantage-there is no other way of analyzing the answer between a "yes" and "no". A middle perspective is not possible.

      Dichotomous Questions
    5. Bipolar Questions

      Questions that have two answers with different levels of extremities, written at opposite ends of a scale, are called bipolar questions. Respondents have to mark their response anywhere between these two extremities, showing their opinion.

      Bipolar Questions
    6. Rating Scale Questions

      Questions that ask respondents to provide a rating on a specific matter on a scale of 1 to 10 or on a scale of "poor" to "good" are called rating scale questions. Normally, these questions have an even number of choices, so as to prevent respondents to choose a middle way out.

      Importance Questions
    7. Buying Propensity Questions

      These are aimed at assessing customers' future intentions, determining their propensity toward buying a specific product or service. Buying propensity questions help marketers to understand the needs of customers and the probability of their buying a certain product or a service.

      Buying Propensity Questions
  3. Other Types of Questionnaires

    Apart from the above-mentioned two broad classifications there are two more types which are rarely used in practice, namely; Mixed Questionnaire and Pictorial Questionnaire.

    • Mixed questionnaires consist of closed as well as open-ended questions. These are normally used in the field of social research

      Other Types of Questionnaires
    • Pictorial questionnaire on the other hand is used in promotion of interest to answer questions. These are mostly used as study material for children

      Questions in Open Ended Format

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Questions to Avoid in a Questionnaire

It is advisable to avoid certain types of questions while preparing a questionnaire, such as:

  • Hypothetical Questions: Questions with misleading speculation and fantasy should be avoided
  • Embarrassing Questions: Making respondents feel uncomfortable by asking details about personal or private issues which in turn can lead to losing trust
  • Extreme Positive / Negative Questions: Care must be taken in designing a question to avoid hard positive or negative overtones

Want to Design a Questionnaire? Outsource it to Flatworld Solutions!

Do you want to develop a marketing questionnaire for your research study, or want to conduct a survey for your marketing agency? Whatever be your requirement, we can help you create an accurate questionnaire.

We, at Flatworld Solutions, have a dedicated team of experts with rich experience in designing various types of questionnaires for global companies as part of our research and analysis services. Our experts can help you select the most appropriate questions for your questionnaire so that you get the desired response from your target audience.

We provide the following services:

Contact us to outsource questionnaire design services. We can help you create interesting survey questionnaires that never fail to get a reply.

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