How can you avoid leading questions in your survey?
- Be straightforward
- Ask for feedback on your survey
- Don’t get overly technical
Your questions are the backbone of your survey. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to gather data. But did you know you should also be particular with the way you ask your questions too? How you ask questions will make or break your whole survey. It greatly influences the response rates AND its quality as well. This is why you should learn how to avoid leading questions on your survey. Continue reading to learn more about this!
What Is a Leading Question?
But first, what is a leading question? A leading question is a form of a question that requires answers to respond in a particular and limited manner. These questions are usually structured in such a way for the survey creator to get a biased answer to the question.
Why shouldn’t you do this? The ultimate goal of survey research is to gain the most honest feedback from your customers as possible. When you use leading questions on your surveys, you are moving your answers away from this goal.
For example, asking a leading question like “How likely are you to avail (your company’s products and services) over brand X?” This question immediately assumes that they are already happy with your brand, even if you have no data to prove it in the first place. Leading questions assume that you’ll get a positive, biased answer.
While it is a great feeling to receive positive feedback from your customers, you are not giving them the opportunity to provide constructive responses. Remember, negative and honest feedback is important in improving your website, products, and services.
Types of Leading Questions
There are different types of leading questions. Each of them differs in intent and tone — which leads to a change in survey results. To help you identify them, here is a list of the types of leading questions:
This is the most common type of leading question, wherein the question is based on an assumption. Examples of these are “How much did you enjoy your product?” It immediately cancels out any other opinion. To avoid this kind of leading question, ask questions like “Please share your experience” instead. This way, you are allowing them to give an honest statement.
This kind of leading question contains connected statements. You may find this common in satisfaction surveys. One example of this is “Most customers hate waiting for their orders more than 10 minutes, what do you think?” This limits your audience. You can go about this by asking “What is the maximum amount of time that you would wait for your order?”
With direct implication leading questions, you are asking a type of question that leads your answers to consider the outcome of one specific incident. An example of this is “If you enjoyed your food, should we release something like it in a different flavor?” This assumes and implies that they’ve already purchased the product when there is no certainty that they have. Again, this limits your audience and the answers you’ll be getting.
This type of leading question is forceful. Examples of these are “Your experience with us was satisfactory, right?” or “Now that you’ve enjoyed your food, leave a review”. To avoid this, construct a question that lets them tell you about their honest experience.
Now that we’ve covered the types and how you can turn them into a more effective question, here are some tips and tricks for you to avoid writing leading questions:
When constructing a question, keep it clear and simple. Always avoid leading the question to a specific answer. Provide room for options to make sure that the survey is easy and fuss-free.
Ask For Feedback On Your Survey
Take opinion and feedback from your peers. Get an extra set of eyes to review your survey. This way, you are also removing any biases.
Don’t Get Overly Technical
Avoid using any jargon in your questions, and using terms that are too difficult and niche. This makes it difficult and time-consuming for your respondents. Construct a question that can lead to a simple, straightforward answer.
We’re sure that you want your company to improve. If you’re using surveys to help you gather data and feedback, then you should be particular about how you construct your questions. Asking good questions will result in more response rates and will improve its quality.
Today, you learned how to avoid leading questions on your survey. Knowing their types and how to turn them around to create more effective questions will create an effective survey for your business.