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9 Advantages and Disadvantages of Questionnaires
As soon as you know these 9 points, you too will become a questionnaire professional!
Ever wondered if a survey could benefit your research?
There are numerous tools that you can use for your research - in this article we will focus on the one we know best: questionnaires.
As with any research method, there are advantages and disadvantages. We have compiled the greatest benefits and traps for you to help you make the best decision.
With us you will learn more about the advantages of surveys, such as cost efficiency, scalability and fast results. We also deal with the disadvantages of questionnaires, such as participants with specific ulterior motives and a possible lack of personalization.
9 advantages of questionnaires
We start with the good news. Here are the nine biggest benefits of using questionnaires for conducting a survey.
1. Questionnaires are cost effective
Questionnaires are one of the cheapest ways to collect quantitative data. Online and mobile surveys in particular cost very little and reach a very large audience. There are no printing costs, no need to employ people to ask the questions, and no need to buy postage to send out printed surveys. No matter what type of questionnaire you choose, they will definitely be cheaper than using the services of a market research company.
A questionnaire can be published on your website or emailed to customers. These methods are almost free, depending on your administration, but require precise alignment in order to produce the most precise results.
Whether you're asking about the best ice cream at a local ice cream parlor or the most popular pizza at a pizzeria, questionnaires are a cheap way to increase your return on investment.
2. They are practical
In addition to being cheap and flexible, questionnaires are a convenient way to collect data. They can be tailored to the groups you choose and managed in a number of ways. The questions asked and the format (open or multiple choice) are up to you. In this way you can collect large amounts of data on any topic.
In this example, KBC Group finds out how practical surveys are. She was also able to send puzzles, polls and surveys as part of the three-day event. Obtaining feedback in real time became child's play.
3. Fast results
Online and mobile instruments deliver results quickly and easily. This means that within 24 hours (or less!) You will get insights, which depends on the size or scope of your questionnaire. You don't have to wait for another company to provide you with the answers you need.
Dajo Associates needed high quality feedback quickly. The South African consultancy needed to make informed decisions quickly. An online survey enabled her to collect the data she needed within a very short time.
Questionnaires and surveys allow you to gather information about a large audience. Online, you can submit your questions to anyone, no matter where in the world they are (provided they have an Internet connection). That means you can target a city or country in a cheap way. Geography no longer stands in the way of market research. However, it is important to consider cultural differences if you are doing research around the world.
5. You don't have to be a scientist
Most survey and questionnaire providers work quantitatively and allow easy analysis of the results. Thanks to built-in functions, it is very easy to analyze your results without having extensive knowledge of statistics or scientific research. Tools like Survey Anyplace provide easy-to-interpret reports and presentations that you can use to quickly convert your data into results. The built-in analysis also speeds up data collection.
6. Scientific analysis and forecasting
Think of research like a blank canvas. The more data you collect, the clearer the painting becomes. The information enables marketing staff to create new strategies and follow trends in their target audience. By analyzing reports, predictions can be made and benchmarks can be created for subsequent questions or questionnaires. The best? You do not need any additional statistical software.
7. User anonymity
Online and email surveys allow participants to remain anonymous. Post questionnaires are also completely discreet, which makes respondents feel more secure. Even during telephone interviews, you don't sit across from each other, so the conversation is more private. As a result of this secrecy, the respondents feel comfortable and motivated to answer honestly. However, there is a personal component to telephone interviews.
Digital questionnaires are the best way to convey the feeling of anonymity and data protection. This type of questionnaire is ideal for all types of businesses or topics and results in the most honest answers. You can use this method to ensure more correct results.
8. No pressure
Questionnaires sent by post, internet or email have no time limit and there is no one waiting on the other end of the line for a response. The respondents can take enough time to answer the questions. Often they answer more honestly: Studies have shown that the presence of a researcher leads to less honest and more socially recognized answers.
9. You can cover all aspects of a topic
One of the greatest advantages is being able to ask as many questions as you want. Of course, it is better for the marketing professional to keep the individual questionnaires short, as respondents may be frustrated by long questionnaires. Because they're efficient, cost-effective, and easy to send out, it's no problem to create multiple surveys that build on each other.
9 Disadvantages of Questionnaires
Here are the 9 biggest drawbacks of questionnaires. Before making your decision, weigh the advantages and disadvantages of questionnaires.
While there are many advantages to questionnaires, dishonesty can be a problem and questions may not be answered completely honestly. This could be for a variety of reasons, including social desirability and trying to protect privacy. Avoid dishonesty by reassuring respondents that their privacy is protected and that no personal identification is possible.
2. No conscientious answers
Every administrator hopes for conscientious answers - you can never be sure whether the participant really thought about the question before the answer was given. Sometimes answers are chosen without fully reading the question or answer options. Sometimes respondents skim the questions or make their decisions in a split second, which affects the validity of your data. This disadvantage is difficult to avoid. However, by keeping your survey short and your questions simple, you are more likely to get correct answers.
3. Different views and interpretations
The problem with the impersonal delivery of the questions is that each participant could interpret your questions differently. As no one explains the questionnaire and ensures that every participant has the same opinion, results may be subjective. Respondents may also have trouble understanding questions that seem straightforward to the creator. This miscommunication can lead to biased results. The best way to avoid this situation is to ask simple questions that are easy to answer.
4. Feelings and meanings cannot be conveyed
A survey or questionnaire does not capture participants' emotional reactions or feelings. If questions are not asked in person, there is no way to observe facial expressions, reactions, or body language. Without these subtleties, useful data could be lost. Don't try to interpret emotions in data; instead, opt for a Likert scale, an answer scale that has ratings from “I somewhat agree” to “I disagree at all”. So you get strong statements instead of multiple choice answers.
5. Some questions are difficult to analyze
Questionnaires provide a lot of data. Multiple choice answers can be tabulated and displayed graphically - this is not possible with open questions. Open questions provide individual answers that cannot be quantified and have to be processed by a human being. Too many open questions provide more data that needs to be analyzed. Solve this problem by choosing your questions carefully. If you have ten questions, only one of them should be open as they cannot be quantified.
6. Respondents have ulterior motives
As with any type of research, prejudice can become a problem. The participants in your survey may be interested in your product, ideas or services. Others may be motivated to participate based on the subject of your questionnaire. These preferences can result in inaccurate data because respondents rate your topic excessively positively or negatively. Filter out such hidden motifs with a preselection. Ask some indirect questions to weed out biased participants.
7. Lack of personalization
Personalization is the predominant marketing theme. All marketing materials can appear impersonal unless carefully personalized. An impersonal questionnaire could put some respondents off and simply ignore it. This can be especially problematic if the questionnaire or survey is voluntarily completed on a website and is unrelated to a purchase or email.
Solve this problem by sending emails with the names of the participants. Use dynamic content on web pages and try to use names, personal information and personalized content in all communications.
8. Skipped questions
When using questionnaires, there is a chance that some questions will be ignored. If questions do not require mandatory answers, there is always the risk that they will be ignored. Online questionnaires offer a simple solution to this problem: just make the questions mandatory fields. Otherwise, make sure that your surveys are short and the questions straightforward. This will help you avoid skipping questions and increase the number of full answers.
9. Lack of accessibility
No matter what type of submission you use, lack of accessibility is always a problem. For example, surveys may not be suitable for users with visual or hearing impairments or those who are illiterate. This should be taken into account when deciding to conduct such research. Always choose a questionnaire platform with barrier-free options.
Advantages of an online questionnaire
An online questionnaire has numerous advantages. First, as mentioned, it can be shipped quickly and has a short turnaround time. You can reach your audience at important moments: while they are viewing your product, reading your content, or making a purchase.
Online questionnaires allow users to ponder answers - a huge advantage over face-to-face or telephone interviews. In addition to these advantages, the low cost of questionnaires and the easily usable data should of course also be mentioned, which enable a high return on investment.
But there are other advantages as well. User responses can be pre-encrypted, which prevents transcription errors. The data is already in an electronic format, which enables easy analysis without digitizing the data. Finally, providers like Survey Anyplace provide support and / or software at affordable prices and offer a wide range of options to customize your questionnaire to suit your brand or needs.
Why choosing the right type of question is so important
A questionnaire is only as effective as its questions. The questions must be able to be assessed quickly and produce data that can be worked with. If you make the questions too difficult or confusing, you could end up with useless data. The wrong type of data can also produce incomplete results or difficult-to-interpret data.
The three main types of questions are open, closed, or semi-closed. Within these categories there are numerous ways to present your question: from ratings to yes / no questions. Learn how to choose the right survey question type for your needs with our guide
This is how you motivate respondents to participate
You have a great variety of questions and are ready for answers: but nobody wants to participate. This has happened to all of us before. We are so enthusiastic about the data that we forget to get other people excited about the questions too. That's why we've put together a list of 34 tips to improve your response rate.
The most obvious option is to reward participants with gifts, credits, or cash for their time. Survey Anyplace, for example, offers fun rewards such as scratch cards or slot machines.
Also, respondents want to know that they can complete your questionnaire for dinner calls with no risk. It is best to show your appreciation for their participation by respecting the participants' time. Send reminders too - many people forget things that are not their top priority.
Inspiration for your questionnaire design
The questionnaire design might seem like a simple task - until you sit down at your desk to compose your questions. Planning, content creation and graphic design need to be considered. You may fear that your questions are too complicated or have trouble structuring them for the answers to be standardized.
Not everyone has the time or professional design skills to create a questionnaire. That's why software companies like Survey Anyplace offer templates to help you write questions within minutes.
Want 21 free tips and tricks to help you create the perfect questionnaire? Click here and you'll find them right in your inbox!
Now that you know how helpful and effective questionnaires and surveys can be, open up a free Survey Anyplace account right away!
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