Open-Ended questions are those questions which require more thought as they are free-form questions which require more than just simple one-word answers. The responses are lengthier and of more depth. The Open Ended Questions - What, When, Why and Where? blog post delivers you some idea about how open-ended question helps in understanding the situation and person closer than closed-ended questions. These questions deal more on the audience's thoughts and feelings and also their own ideas. There is no limit on the response and gives a free mind for the surveyor to answer them. Closed-ended questions narrow down the survey answers to the given options whereas open-ended questions give detailed answers that give a broader perspective and valuable information. When preparing our Survey Design, we have to decide whether to use open or closed-ended questions. Both are different from each other and have benefits as well as drawbacks. To know more about how to prepare survey questions, you can, therefore, check out Writing the Finest Survey Questions.
Some examples of Open-Ended questions used in Surveys are
- What is the ideal weather that you would like to travel in?
- What is your expectation on the product?
- Where do you make your everyday grocery purchase?
- What is your age?
- How do you deal with angry customers?
- Tell us about your experience with the company
Advantages of Open-Ended Questions
Customer Feedback is important for the development of a product or a business. When we get more detailed answers that help in more insightful information. The respondents are not limited to the answer choices and can voice out their views without any limitation.
Some users will provide creative answers and other additional information which will give us more valuable information and also we might find links to their personal blogs too.
We can expect the unexpected with open-ended questions as the users can respond any way they like. They can be generous with the number of words and details.
These questions help in the better understanding of the people answering the questions and learn from their responses.
Some users may not even read the questions properly and choose just an answer for the sake of it with closed-ended questions. But with open-ended questions, they can respond freely.
Surveys that use more open-ended questions can be used for secondary analysis by the researchers.
Writing Effective Open-Ended Questions
Challenge the respondent
Challenging questions tend to receive more response and double the level of feedbacks. Instead of just asking 'What do you think of this product?' we can rephrase as 'What are the most popular words that you can associate with this product?'. These types of questions encourage more response
Rewarding the user
One of the powerful approaches is rewarding the best answers. This makes it interesting for the user to answer the questions.
Setting Explicit Time Limits
When explicitly told that the question only takes a certain time to answer, this lets the user know that it will be quick and will not take much time. 'Please send no more than 2 minutes in telling us what you think about us'. This is a clever technique and they spend lesser time than mentioned.
When some examples are provided as what other people have written, it will encourage them to write more. Looking at what they have written, they will also write more.
In order to increase the volume of open-ended feedback received, a word counter can be set. You can make it more interesting by setting some rules which makes it fun to answer like 'Tell us about this book in 3 words'
Follow a Closed-Ended Question with an Open-Ended Question
Instead of converting closed-ended questions we can follow a closed-ended question with an open-ended question. For example, after a question like 'Did you like our product?' with 'yes' or 'no' option, we can follow up with an open-ended question like 'How do you think we can make the product better?'.
Deal with boredom
Generally, people are not willing to answer open-ended questions right at the beginning of the survey as they are not yet comfortable and also not at the very end as it becomes boring and they might be in a hurry to finish it. Hence, the users need to be warmed up with the initial questions to go ahead with open-ended questions.
When you create your Survey Design with SurveyFoxy, you can add two types of open-ended questions, one with a single textbox and other with multiple text box.
Sign up for free now and learn more about creating your survey.