At High Impact2, Inc., we know that writing an effective questionnaires is a tricky business. First establish what you want to learn from the completed questionnaires. Then follow these tips which we’ve found address the most common pitfalls:
Tip 1: Avoid double barreled questions. In the quest to limit the number of questions on a questionnaire, two questions are combined into one, making it impossible for the guest to respond. For example: “Did you find the dessert and coffee menus acceptable?” How should a guest respond if she felt the dessert menu was lacking but the coffee menu was fine?
Tip 2: Consider forced choice response questions. When developing the questionnaire, allowing an odd number of choices, say from 1-5, enables respondents to choose the safe, middle of the road response. By offering an even number of choices, you encourage folks to get off the fence and tell you what they really think.
Tip 3: No leading the witness please. Be careful when listing answer choices that your opinion of the “right” answer is not obvious. Give guests an equal number of positive and negative ratings and you will see more true results.
Tip 4: Get everyone on the same page by quantifying choices. Certain words mean different things to different people. For example, replace “sometimes” with “once per week” to be sure everyone completing the survey is looking at the answer choices in the same way.
Gathering information from your guests is a great way to confirm or discredit your “gut feel” as to how they feel about your product and service. A well designed questionnaire reveals pertinent information for decision making.