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Best Market Research Survey Questions to Ask your Customers

Types of Market Research Survey Questions

A market research survey can help businesses to get a foothold in the market. A key factor in making such surveys successful depends on asking the right questions. It is fundamental to ask relevant questions in a market survey if you genuinely want to use them as research intelligence tools.

There are various types of market research questions, and you can use  them according to the survey objective, sample size, survey method, etc. Read on to see some of the most popular market research survey question types.

Close Ended Questions

A close-ended question is a question with pre-defined structured responses. The respondents have to choose answers from a distinct set of responses. These are usually “yes and no,” “wrong and right,” or “true and false.” These questions aim to collect focused quantitative data or one-word answers. They limit the respondents to the answer options already provided. Belonging to this family are the following questions types:

Dichotomous Questions

As the name suggests, these questions offer only two possible answers. Such questions are usually used in surveys that need a Yes/No, Agree/Disagree, Like/Dislike, and Fair/Unfair response. It helps in understanding the contrast among respondents. There is a clear distinction between opinions and preferences. Here are a few examples:

  •         Do you like this product? Yes/No
  •         Are the prices under our brand fair?  Fair/Unfair
  •         Do you like our product return services? Like/Dislike

·         Do you agree with our updated privacy policy?   Agree/Disagree

Multiple Choice Questions

Multiple choice questions (MCQs) give more than two answer options to the respondents. The users are asked to choose one of the choices given in each question. This helps in getting a clearer answer. The purpose is to fetch the exact preferences and requirements of the consumers. Here are a few examples:

  •         Which type of shampoo do you use the most?


  •         What do you prefer for breakfast?

Home-made food/Corn flakes/Brown Bread/Juices

  •         Where do you shop more frequently?

Local market/ Office canteens/ Malls/ Online platforms

Rating Scale

It’s a famous variant of multiple-choice questions and is used to collect relative information about a particular subject. It’s used when a survey intends to assess the feedback for a product or service in comparative form. The respondents are encouraged to rate the product or service concerned or the attributes associated with them. A rating scale provides more information than dichotomous questions. Researchers use it when they intend to link a qualitative measure with a product or a feature thereof. Examples:

  •         Which of these best describes your experience with your latest purchase of our products?

Very unpleasant/Somewhat unpleasant/Neutral/Somewhat pleasant/Pleasant

  •         How likely are you to recommend our services to others?

Very likely/Likely/Never/Unlikely/Very Unlikely

Importance Scale

In survey questionnaires, “level of importance” questions help the researchers in assessing what is most important to their audience. These are detailed questions. Proper measurement of importance garners critical information about potential and existing customers. Such questions are highly fruitful in the pre-launching phase of a product/service. A few examples could be:

  •         How important is the ‘speed of service’ in our restaurant to you?
  •         How important is eco-friendly product packaging in your purchase decision?
  •         What level of importance do you assign to the response time of our customer support team in addressing complaints?

Not at all important/Slightly important/Important/Fairly important/Very important

Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions are free-form questions used to elicit a detailed answer from the respondents. These are more suitable for exploratory market research surveys. Respondents are encouraged to submit more of their own opinions and experiences in an open-text format. This needs more time and effort on both ends.

Entirely Unstructured

These are typically used in qualitative research surveys. Unstructured questions are used predominantly in face-to-face interviews, where it is easy to make a free-flowing conversation with the respondent. They can also be used in telephonic interviews. However, it is indeed a time-consuming process. Given structured limits are absent, a conversation can stretch for a longer time. Nonetheless, experienced interviewers with strong research backgrounds can make the best out of these. Examples of unstructured conversation could be:

  •         Do you exercise? Yes.
  •         How often do you exercise? Twice daily except on Sundays.
  •         What equipment do you use? Dumbbells, Treadmill, Exercise Cycle, Sitting mat.

·         How does exercising make you feel? I feel fresh and energetic.

Sentence Completion

This is a psychological method to gain an understanding of consumer behavior, preference, and feelings regarding the subject. The initial part of sentences is prepared in advance, and respondents are asked to add the remaining part based on their liking and understanding. This is also a useful technique for getting a grip on the mindsets of potential customers of a company. Below are a few examples:

  •         After a long and tiring work day, I prefer to…….
  •         My priority while shopping for my infant is……..
  • ·        ………………..are the best features to look for in body wash.

Word Association

This is yet another psychological test conducted in market surveys to test respondents’ perceptions. They are given words or a short phrase and are requested to respond with the first word that comes to their minds upon hearing/seeing them. These words or phrases are called ‘stimulus words.’ Spontaneity is a must while answering these surveys. Usually, these tests are used to name a new product or service. Some researchers use these questions as a warm-up exercise before starting a detailed personal interview. Examples:

  •  What is it that comes to your mind when I say “Fashion”…..?
  •  What comes to your mind when I say “interior decoration”….?
  •  What comes to mind when someone says “cars”….?

Freaquently Asked Questions

What are market surveys and their types?

A market survey is a research process in which information about consumers or target markets is collected, analyzed, and examined. There are different types of market surveys, such as Competitor surveys, Buyer persona surveys,  Brand awareness surveys, Market segmentation surveys, etc.

What are the 5 types of market research?

The five types of market survey research are-

  •  Market Segmentation
  • Consumer satisfaction
  • Competitor analysis
  • Customer loyalty

Product development and insights

Why is survey the best method for market research?

A market survey helps you understand your consumers, the market you are entering, and your competitors. As a result, you’re in a better position to make effective business decisions. The insights you gain are useful in positioning your products and prices in the target market.