Sample survey questions and examples

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While SurveyMonkey makes creating, conducting, and analyzing an online survey super simple, we know that sometimes the hardest part is figuring out how to ask that first question. Whether you’re looking for a survey template, or just need some inspiration from sample questions, we are here to help.

With over thousands of expert-written sample questions, it’s easy to get the insights you need. Learn more about our sample survey questions and examples below.

A good survey question provides you with valuable insights and important information about your audience, whether they are customers, parents, or conference attendees. It is concise, strategic, and will equip you with insights that are actionable. Here are the 5 elements of a good survey question:

  1. The question is clear, concise, and written in direct language so it’s easy to understand. Plus, also make sure it’s free from grammatical and spelling errors which might send respondents away from taking your survey.
  2. It’s free of any bias or emotive language, so that the respondent isn’t persuaded toward one choice or away from another.
  3. It’s relevant, timely, and make sense to what the respondent is doing at the time. For example, you wouldn’t send a event feedback survey to one of your customers that never even attended the event. 
  4. It addresses only one topic avoid confusion and keep the answer focused on a single thought.
  5. It doesn’t offer absolutes, meaning, the answer choices have room for more nuanced responses. Asking if an individual loves or hates something won’t give you a clear indication of their true feelings.

If you do it right, your survey questions will show you crucial information about your target audience. You’ll find what they value, what’s stopping them from doing business with you, why they leave your website without making a purchase, and more. Here’s why it's important to ask good survey questions: 

Gain valuable data

Formulated correctly, your survey will provide you with valuable data that can be reported on clearly. For example, a good closed-ended survey question can give you numbers in the form of percentages, such as the number of customers that has a positive experience with customer support. These type of questions are best for viewing SurveyMonkey automatic charts and graphs. A good open-ended question will let you hear feedback straight from the customers mouth, which can make reporting in a word cloud especially valuable.

Ensure data is un unbiased

You want your survey questions to yield answers that truly reflect how your survey takers think and feel. By removing any bias, you’re ensuring you have the most accurate reflection of your audience. This includes making sure that your questions aren’t leading or loaded

Inform the business of customer needs

Good survey questions will yield actionable insights that you can use to improve your overall business model. For example, if you ask a customer how satisfied they are with your product or service, in a range from 1-5, you’ll have the data you need to make adjustments.

Uncover issues

A good survey question can give you some eye-opening information on your audience—like employees for example. If you ask employees whether they would recommend your company to a colleague or friend, and the response is overwhelmingly negative, then you’ve uncovered an issue in the employee experience that needs to be addressed.

Momentive, the maker of SurveyMonkey, offers solutions for building a better, more diverse workplace.

By following the best practices for creating surveys, your survey will be successful and participants will be able to provide you with clear, actionable data.

These best practices to ensure your questions are:

  • Clear and concise
  • Direct
  • Not double-barreled
  • Unambiguous
  • Have balanced choices
  • Aren’t leading
  • Don’t include absolutes

When it comes to analyzing the responses you collect, your questionnaire data is only as good as the questions you’ve asked. Let’s use a leading question as an example:

“Why don’t you like your job?”

This is a leading question because it assumes your survey participants don’t like their jobs and the type of responses you receive will all be around a negative employee experience. 

Similarly, if you don’t provide an “Other,” “None,” or “Not applicable” option for a question, you may force your survey-takers to pick an answer that doesn’t reflect how they really feel.

Which of the following pets do you own? (Choose all that apply)

  • Dog
  • Cat
  • Fish
  • Reptile
  • Bird

To avoid these survey question blunder and others, use the SurveyMonkey Question Bank to choose a question that works within your survey. Or, if you don’t want to start from scratch, use one of our pre-written survey templates, and just customize it as you go along. SurveyMonkey Genius can also help score your survey to determine whether your questions need adjusting.

Good survey questions are the key to getting those valuable results you’re looking for. Our expert-written survey questions will help you reduce bias and give you more accurate responses. We make it easy to avoid survey slip-ups because we comply with survey best practices by using expert-certified Likert scales and effective question types

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We get answers to over 20 million questions daily and we’ve found that our most popular survey types are about:

  • Event planning/feedback
  • Employee engagement and satisfaction
  • Customer satisfaction and customer service
  • Market research and product testing
  • Education
  • Healthcare

Below is an ordered list that shows the 7 most popular templates. Once signed in to your account, you can start building your survey or questionnaire with these example questions and you can modify them to fit your specific survey requirements.

Choose a template below to preview sample questions. (Some templates may not be available in all languages).

  1. Customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is defined as a client’s overall level of satisfaction with using your product or service. If you’re a business owner, you have to understand what your customers want in order to keep them happy and loyal. Our customer satisfaction survey template helps you figure out how your customers feel and allows you to catch small problems before they become big ones. 

Any business can benefit from using a customer satisfaction survey. If you’re a restaurant owner, you could use this survey to gather feedback on new menu items. Businesses that sell tangible products can ask customers questions about their experiences with the products, features, and overall impressions. Service providers may ask questions that help prioritize their offerings. Our templates are customizable, so you can use them to get any type of customer satisfaction feedback.

Customer satisfaction surveys allow you to get an inside look at what your customers are thinking and feeling when they use your products or services. You can then take action to improve on parts that are struggling and reduce or remove problem items. 

  1. Employee satisfaction

It’s important to measuring employee satisfaction to avoid attrition, low morale, decreases in productivity, and more. Our employee satisfaction survey template will help you understand what is motivating your employees so you can maintain a high-performing workplace. 

Employee satisfaction surveys are useful if your business is experiencing high turnover rates. If for example, your employees are noticeably less productive, or that employee reviews of your business are becoming more negative, then this survey will help you figure out why. Other use cases include: employee attendance at company events dropping, you’re re-evaluating compensation packages, or if you have new leadership. 

When your employees are happy, your customers are happy. Let employees know you care about them by asking for their honest feedback and using it to adjust your organization’s policies. You may find that your employee retention rates are higher and your company culture is more positive.

  1. Customer service

We’ve all had positive and negative experiences with customer support. When a customer needs support, they are looking for a positive experience—this will naturally lead to long-term loyalty. A customer services survey will let you know just how effectively your representatives are turning problems into solutions. Not sure what questions to ask? Our customer service survey template is a great place to start.

If you want to know why your customer are churning, or you’re trying to win then back, then a customer service survey might be a good idea. You can also use these surveys to understand how customers are using your products and services, and if they have any friction during their experience—purchase, usage, delivery, etc. 

Not only are you able to determine what employees may need more education on the products and services your business offers but you can also uncover areas of improvement for your products and services.

  1. Market research

Launch your product successfully, test ideas for new product features, produce more effective marketing and advertising campaigns, and gain market intelligence with a little help from market research surveys. Detailed feedback from your target market or consumers will allow you to make changes and improvements in your strategies. Begin with our market research survey template and customize it to fit your needs.

Market research can help you do a variety of things. The most common method of market research is to do product testing to find out how your product is working. You can also use market research to get a an understanding of your competition. The insights gleaned from market research are put to practical use by reaching out to your target market before making any decisions that may affect their perceptions of your brand, product, or service.

Before launching a new campaign, product, or service, your business can use a market research survey to make sure your marketing plan is successful. Gauge your target demographic’s thoughts on your policies before stating them publicly. Know in advance what features your customers want from your product update.

  1. Public school survey

Find out what the parents, educators, and school personnel think about your public school climate with a survey. School climate plays a crucial role in the student experience. 

A public school survey is given to enlighten school officials about a school’s climate, culture, and atmosphere. Our simple, school climate survey will help schools get to the heart of people’s perceptions.

Public school climate data reveals if your school has the right environment, resources, and relationships for its students to thrive. You can use this data to inform changes to enhance your school community.

SurveyMonkey has many education surveys to choose from—for administrators, students, instructors, and more.

  1. 360-degree employee evaluation

Coworkers evaluate each other in a 360-degree employee evaluation. Unlike a typical performance review completed by a manager, this survey also takes into account feedback from peers customers, reporting staff, and anyone the individual has contact with. This template will help you get started on 360-degree employee evaluations

These types of surveys help the efficiency of organizations by learning where there might be friction or areas for improvement. It helps managers act on feedback from their employees, and helps colleagues become better collaborators. These surveys help employees assess their strengths and weaknesses, management styles, and more. 

An employee receives feedback from multiple sources on various aspects of their job. This can build and strengthen work relationships, reveal areas for development, provide insight into training needs, and develop teamwork and accountability.

  1. K-12 parent survey (in collaboration with Harvard)

Our K-12 parent survey template was created in collaboration with The Harvard Graduate School of Education. It is used to survey parents on their thoughts, feelings, and attitudes about their child’s school. 

Teachers and administrators can distribute this survey to find out if parents are fostering learning outside of the classroom, how they view the school’s discipline system, whether they feel classroom lessons are motivating to students, and other factors affecting the success of the school.

This survey provides parents with a way to express their views about the school, and it offers educators and administrators clear feedback as to parents’ perceptions. Find out what’s working and what’s not with our expert template.

Do you need to gather feedback on distance learning? Try our Distance Learning survey template.

From open-ended to closed-ended question types, we offer over a dozen types of survey questions. The most popular (and often the most useful) are multiple-choice questions. However, different question types serve different purposes. Learn more about choosing the right question type and writing good survey questions.

Multiple choice questions are the most popular type of survey question. In this type of question, respondents select one or more options from a list of answers you define. Multiple choice is the type of question used to provide structured data for analysis. 

Survey question examples:

Which of the following options best describes our brand?

  • Modern
  • Caring
  • Edgy
  • Family-oriented
  • Hip
  • Eco-friendly

What product feature is most important to you?

  • Comfort
  • Price
  • Appearance
  • Warranty 
  • Other

In rating scale questions, respondents are offered answers on a scale with a range (eg. 0-10). By providing a range rather than simply “yes” or “no,” customers can express their opinions without committing to an absolute.

Survey question example:

How likely are you to recommend this product to a friend?

Not at all likely               Extremely likely 

To gauge your respondents’ opinions or attitudes on a range of topics, you’ll use Likert scale questions. They generally offer 5-7 options with extreme opposites at the ends and a neutral choice in the center. 

Survey question example:

How would you rate your experience with our customer service representative?

  • Very satisfied
  • Satisfied
  • Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
  • Dissatisfied
  • Very dissatisfied

Interested in gathering information about your respondent’s background, income level, or relationship status? Demographic questions give you insight into your target audience. The answers to these questions allow you to segment your audience and examine your data in detail. Learn more about using demographic questions in your surveys.

Survey question example:

What is your age?

  • Under 18
  • 18-30 
  • 31-55
  • 56+
  • Prefer not to answer

Open-ended questions require respondents to type their answers in a provided comment box. There are no answer choices. These questions give respondents the opportunity to personalize their answers and offer feedback in their own words. These answers may be more difficult to analyze, but they can uncover information you hadn’t considered before.

Survey question examples:

  • How would you describe your experience with us?
  • What did you find most valuable about your experience?

Want to know the difference between open-ended and closed-ended questions

We hope this got you thinking about what questions you’re going to ask on your survey. Just for fun, see if you can guess what the most frequently used questions are!

Start with one of our expert-designed survey templates, or build your own using the certified questions available in our Question Bank. We also provide guides on how to write good survey questions, calculate a sample size, as well as create and conduct surveys. Explore those too!

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