9 Disadvantages of Questionnaires
We’ve gathered the 9 biggest disadvantages. Outweigh both the pros and cons of a survey before you make your decision.
While there are many positives to questionnaires, dishonesty can be an issue. Respondents may not be 100 percent truthful with their answers. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including social desirability bias and attempting to protect privacy. Stop dishonesty in its tracks by assuring respondents that their privacy is valued and that the process prevents personal identification.
2. Lack of conscientious responses
Every administrator hopes for conscientious responses, but there’s no way to know if the respondent has really thought the question through before answering. At times, answers will be chosen before fully reading the question or the potential answers. Sometimes respondents will skip through questions, or split-second choices may be made, affecting the validity of your data.
This drawback is tough to defeat, but if you make your survey short and your questions simple you’re likely to get the most accurate responses.
3. Differences in understanding and interpretation
The trouble with not presenting questions to users face-to-face is that each may have different interpretations of your questions. Without someone to explain the questionnaire fully and ensure each individual has the same understanding, results can be subjective.
Respondents may have trouble grasping the meaning of some questions that may seem clear to the creator. This miscommunication can lead to skewed results. The best way to combat this situation is to create simple questions that are easy to answer.
4. Hard to convey feelings and emotions
A survey or questionnaire cannot fully capture emotional responses or the feelings of the respondents. Without administering the questionnaire face-to-face, there is no way to observe facial expression, reactions or body language.
Without these subtleties, useful data can go unnoticed. Don’t get stuck trying to interpret emotion in data, instead go for a Likert scale, the response scale that often uses a rating scale from “slightly agree” to “strongly disagree.” This allows for strength and assertion in responses rather than multiple choice.
5. Some questions are difficult to analyze
Questionnaires produce a lot of data. Multiple choice questions can be tabulated and graphed, but open-ended questions are different. Open-ended questions allow for individualized answers which cannot be quantified and must be reviewed by a human. Too many open-ended questions can produce more data than can be analyzed. Fix this pitfall but choosing your question types carefully. If you have ten questions, you probably don’t want more than one to be open-ended since these have no way to be quantified.
Too many open-ended questions can produce more data than can be analyzed. Fix this pitfall but choosing your question types carefully. If you have ten questions, you probably don’t want more than one to be open-ended since these have no way to be quantified.
6. Respondents may have a hidden agenda
As with any sort of research, bias can be an issue. Participants in your survey may have an interest in your product, idea or service. Others may be influenced to participate based on the subject of your questionnaire. These proclivities can lead to inaccuracies in your data, generated from an imbalance of respondents who see your topic in an overly positive or negative light. Filter out a hidden agenda with a pre-screening. Come up with a few indirect questions that will remove those results wreckers.
Filter out a hidden agenda with a pre-screening. Come up with a few indirect questions that will remove those results wreckers.
7. Lack of personalization
Customization is the prevailing marketing theme. Any piece of marketing material is at risk of seeming impersonal unless time and care are taken to personalize it. If you’re unable to add touches of personalization, some potential respondents may be put off and ignore it. This can be particularly difficult when the questionnaire or survey is taken voluntarily on a website, outside of a purchase or email.
Fix this by always sending emails containing respondents names. Use dynamic content on websites, and strive to use names, personal data and personalized content in all communication.
8. Skipped questions
When using questionnaires, there is a chance that some questions will be ignored. If questions are not required, there is always that risk they won’t be answered. Online questionnaires offer a simple solution to this issue: make answering the question required.
Otherwise, make your survey short and your questions uncomplicated and you will avoid question skipping and get better completion rates.
9. Accessibility issues
No matter what form of delivery is used, lack of accessibility is a threat. Surveys may be unsuitable for users with a visual or hearing impairment, or other impediments such as illiteracy. This should be considered when choosing to do research in this manner. Always choose a questionnaire platform that has accessibility options built in.
Advantages of Using Online Questionnaires
There are numerous advantages to using online questionnaires. Firstly, as mentioned, they can be sent out quickly and turnaround can be relatively short. You’re able to reach your audience in the moments that matter – while they’re browsing your products, as they read your content, as soon as they’ve made a purchase.
Online questionnaires allow users time to consider responses – a distinct advantage over face-to-face or telephone methods. Besides these great perks, the cost of online questionnaires is low and actionable items produced by the data can produce a high return on investment.
There are additional benefits as well. User responses can be precoded, eliminating transcription errors. The data is already in an electronic format, allowing for easy analysis without the hassle of digitizing data. Lastly, guidance and/or software is available through providers such as Survey Anyplace at an affordable cost and with a wide range of possibilities to make it fit your brand and your requirements.
Why Selecting the Right Type of Questions is So Important
A questionnaire is only as effective as its questions. These questions need to be evaluated quickly and they need to produce data that can be acted upon. If you make questions too difficult or confusing to answer, you may end up with meaningless data. Choosing the wrong type of question can also lead to incomplete results or data that’s hard to interpret.
The main types of questions are open-ended, closed-ended and semi-closed ended questions. Within these types, there is an abundance of ways to present your query from ratings to yes/no question. Learn how to select the right types of survey questions for your needs in our essential guide.
How to Motivate Your Respondents to Participate
You have a great set of questions and you’re ready to get answers, but no one wants to participate. This has happened to all of us plenty of times before. We’re so excited about the data that we forget we have to make other people excited about the questions. We’ve compiled a list of 34 tips to improve your survey response rate.
The most obvious way to do this is to reward respondents for their time through gifts, credits or payment. Survey Anyplace even offers fun reward tools like a digital scratch card or slot machine.
They also want to know that they can complete your questionnaire without the hassle of dinner time calls. Respecting the respondent’s time goes a long way towards showing you appreciate their participation.
Be sure to send reminders as well – many people forget anything that isn’t at the top of their minds.
Find inspiration for your Questionnaire Design
Designing a questionnaire may sound simple until you sit down to write the questions. Planning, content creation and graphic design are all important. Not everyone has the time or the professional design skills to create a questionnaire.
That’s why some software companies like Survey Anyplace offer templates to create questions in minutes.
Now that you know how helpful and effective questionnaires and surveys can be, get a free Survey Anyplace account!