Close-Ended Questionnaires: Types, Examples (Pros and Cons)

When creating a survey that can help you collect specific types of data within your target market, you are likely to be faced with lots of challenges. There are instances when you get confused about the type of survey that resonates with your market audience and the types of questions to ask, among other critical aspects that contribute to the accuracy and success of the survey.

By understanding the basics of what a survey should incorporate, you are likely to find it easier to create a survey that collects accurate information. This article describes various critical elements that will enable you to collect accurate survey results that will impact the success of your efforts. Check it out!

What are Close-Ended Questions?

Most surveys use close-ended questions due to the nature of the results they collect. Close-ended questions refer to the quad types of questions that come with predetermined answers that respondents can easily choose from. Usually, these types of questions can easily be answered with a single answer covering everything. Most of the answers used in closed-ended questions include yes or no, true or false and many others.

Close-ended questions are mostly used in surveys since they help in collecting quantitative data values. The data collected can easily be tallied in the form of scores and presented in percentages, statistics or tracked over a given time frame. They work better when you have an incredible grasp of the topic of discussion. If you have plans to collect data that can be easily segmented, close-ended questions can help you achieve exactly that.

The primary objective of using close-ended questions is to collect data that can be quantified. The nature of the data collected using this format can be easily used by the business stakeholders to make decisions without the need to undertake further analysis. In other words, the data collected is readily available for use without the need to undertake other analysis activities.

When to Use Close-Ended Questions?

Close-ended questions are used in specific circumstances to help in data collection. After learning what are closed-ended questions, it is also important to understand the exact circumstances in which you should use them. Remember that you may have the right approach but end up using the wrong setup. This will automatically generate wrong results regardless of the methods used. Below are some of the circumstances when you can use close-ended questions!

When You Want to Collect a Specific Set of Responses

When you are looking for a suitable way of narrowing down to a suitable topic of discussion, close-ended questions can help you achieve that. It helps you to penetrate the topic of discussion, which enables you to collect the exact data you are looking for. Remember that close-ended questions do not give room for explanations and only collect exact data values depending on the question. This is a suitable approach to use when you want to acquire a specific set of responses across your market audience.

Note that you can use the same approach when analyzing your employee data to understand their impact on business performance. The primary objective is to ensure that you get access to a specific set of values that you can use when addressing a certain market audience.

When Conducting a Large Scale Survey?

When conducting a market survey, you should ensure your questions are easier to answer. Remember that nobody has time to research before giving answers to your survey questions. This is an important aspect when conducting a large-scale survey since you automatically need to have something that will collect data in a more efficient way. You need to be in a better position to collect specific data sets without doing a lot of research to avoid wasting time.

Close-ended questions can help you make this possible by supplying your respondents with a set of answers they can choose from. It helps to ensure that respondents do not take a lot of time when responding to the questions and the answers given are accurate. When respondents have answers to choose from, it becomes easier for them to fill out the survey within the shortest time possible.

When You Want to Collect Quantitative Data?

Survey questions can either generate qualitative or quantitative data sets. What determines the nature of the data you collect is the type of questions used in the process. With close-ended questions, the survey creators are required to assign values to the responses to help them collect data that can easily be tallied. Qualitative data is easier to analyze since it takes the shortest time possible to read and make decisions based on available data.

Quantitative data is easier to segment, especially when targeting a certain market audience. When data is categorized into different groups, it is easier to identify the correlations and trends available in the data.

Types of Close-Ended Questions with Survey Examples

When you want to collect actionable data, it is vital for you to ensure that you use the right type of survey questions. What you need to understand is that there are different types of closed-ended questions that are used in certain scenarios during the survey. Below are some types of closed-ended questions you need to learn how they work and when to use them.

Rating Scale Questions

The rating scale questions are meant to help you understand how people perceive your company. They are mostly used to express feelings towards the company in general or specific products and services you offer. You can use this type of closed-ended survey questions to visualize the overall sentiments of your respondents. A good example of a rating scale question is,” How satisfied are you with the ease of finding what you were looking for?”

When using such questions in your survey, you can outline answers such as very dissatisfied, dissatisfied, neither satisfied or dissatisfied, satisfied, and very satisfied. Note that your scale does not necessarily need to be represented with a range of numbers, but you can easily assign a data value to every response.

Checklist-style Questions

Checklist-style questions allow the respondents to choose multiple responses from the predetermined list of answers. This type of closed-ended survey question requires detailed analysis for the respondent to give accurate feedback. They are mostly used when targeting a small audience within the market. However, they play a significant role in capturing a holistic picture of the customer as well as the employee depending on the nature of your target market.

Multiple Choice Questions

The multiple-choice close-ended survey questions offer the respondent a comprehensive selection of responses to choose from. The more you get clear with your answer options, the more your data collection process becomes clear and concise. The nature of your answers makes it easier for you to collect data that is easier to analyze and use in decision-making. Always work on your answer selection to ensure that you are dealing with the values that are easier to analyze.

This type of closed-ended question is good when looking for information enabling you to tailor new products or make decisions that impact business development. The goal is to look for means that can help you improve the customer or employee experience depending on your survey objectives.

Advantages of Close-Ended Questions

When using close-ended questions in your survey, there are a bunch of advantages that you enjoy throughout the process. What you need to understand is that close-ended questions are not suitable when conducting all types of research. They are only used in specific circumstances to collect a specific set of data that can be used in decision-making.

Close-ended questions are effective in matters of time management since the respondent takes the shortest time possible to respond to the questions. The respondent does not need to put in a lot of effort to respond to the questions since they are easier and straight to the point. It is only a matter of using a specific response that aligns with the question and the personal experience of the respondent.

The data collected from close-ended questions is easier to analyze and make conclusions from. The data can be visualized and presented in a graphical format using charts, graphs, and maps, among other options. The primary objective is to ensure that the data collected is easier to analyze and make accurate decisions that impact business development. Besides, the answers collected from close-ended questions are less likely to be irrelevant.

If you want to increase the probability in a way that respondents can easily answer personal questions, close-ended questions can help you hack this out. The questions offer clarity in the responses given depending on the question asked. The questions are easier to have, thus reducing the rate at which the respondent can abandon the survey.

Disadvantages of Closed-Ended Questions

Even though close-ended questions offer accurate data output that can be utilized in decision-making, they also have shortcomings that need to be addressed. This type of question reduces the rate at which your company can be criticized by the customers. The questions mostly talk about the positive part of the company forgetting about the customers with negative reviews about the company’s performance.

When different close-ended questions are grouped together,  they are likely to bring out some form of bias. Offering too many responses to the respondent makes the process of answering questions challenging. Given that there is a specific set of responses to every question, respondents are likely to skip the question when they fail to find a relevant response.

Using questions that are not closely related to the responses given cannot offer you the insights you are looking for. This means that you need to ensure that there is no ambiguity in the questions you raise to your respondents.

Examples of Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions are designed to give the respondents the freedom to respond to questions in their own words. These types of questions are mostly used as follow-ups to the closed-ended questions. They help the respondent to give more explanation to the responses they gave in closed-ended questions. Some of the examples of open-ended questions that are used as follow-ups to closed-ended questions include.

Tell us more about why you decided to pick on the options you made.

What kind of improvements can we make?

Do you have anything else that you would like the company management to know?


If you are looking for a suitable means to collect data that is ready for use by business stakeholders, close-ended questions can help you collect exactly that. With this type of survey questions, you don’t require any analysis tool in Excel to help you dig into the responses to make accurate decisions. The accuracy of the data collected is defined by the nature of the questions used and the target market.

When closed-ended questions are properly aligned with their respective market audiences, it becomes easier for the respondent to give accurate feedback that can be used in decision-making. The surveyor also needs to understand that different types of closed-ended survey questions are used in different scenarios. Understanding how to use these questions will help you collect accurate feedback within the shortest time possible.