The way you get information and the questions you use play a big role in a successful questionnaire.
Before you rush into writing your RFQ questions, ask yourself how you intend to use the answers from your questions. Are you going to ask direct questions? What about categorical questions? Once you know the goals of your questionnaire and the information you’d like to collect, you’ll be able to choose question types easily.
For RFP questions you can use either a closed-ended or open-ended format to collect answers from individuals.
Note: A closed-ended question includes a predefined list of answer options, while an open-ended question asks the respondent to provide an answer in their own words.
Before you decide on the different types of questions to use, let’s review each of your options. These include:
- short text
- long text
- single choice
- dropdown single choice
- multiple choice
- dropdown multiple choice
- file upload
Let’s get into more details
Single or Multiple choice questions
Multiple-choice questions are the most popular question type. They allow your respondents to select one or more options from a list of answers that you define. They’re intuitive, easy to use in different ways, help produce easy-to-analyze data, and provide mutually exclusive choices. Because the answer options are fixed, your respondents have an easier experience.
Perhaps, most important, you’ll get structured responses that produce clean data for analysis.
Multiple-choice questions come in many different formats.
The most basic variation is the single-answer choice question. Single-answer questions use a radio button (circle buttons representing options in a list) format to allow respondents to click only one answer. They work well for binary questions, questions with ratings, or nominal scales.
Here’s how a single-answer question can look:
Multiple-answer/multiple-choice questions are commonly shown with square checkboxes. They allow respondents to check off all the choices that apply to them. For example, “In which of the following location you can deliver goods?”
A common drawback of multiple-choice questions is that they force you to limit responses to a predetermined list of options. This can cause bias in your results. What if none of your answer options apply to your respondents? They might just choose a random answer or no answer, which could impact the accuracy of your results.
Dropdown single/multiple choice questions
The dropdown question is an easy way to display a long list of multiple-choice answers without overwhelming your respondents. With it, you can give them a scrollable list of answers to choose from.
Sometimes, showing all answer options at once can offer your respondents useful context about the question. Keep that in mind whenever you consider using more than one dropdown question in your questionnaire.
Short text / Long text questions
Short text questions require respondents to type their answers into a comment box and don’t provide specific pre-set answer options. The supplier can reply with a free text up to 100 characters or 1,000 for Long text questions
When it comes to analyzing data, short text questions aren’t the best option. It’s not easy to quantify written answers which is why text boxes are better for providing qualitative data. Allowing your respondents to offer feedback in their own words could help you uncover opportunities that you may have otherwise overlooked. However, if you’re looking for data to analyze, you may want to engage in some quantitative marketing research and utilize closed questions.
Pro tip: Pair closed-ended questions with short or long text ones to better understand and address your quantitative data.
File upload questions
Need suppliers to upload their certifications? You can collect whatever you need as a PDF, PNG, Doc, XLS, or any kind of file. And once your responses come back, you can easily download the files.
If you need to receive and answer only in numbers you can choose the “Number” type of question.
Keep in mind that the supplier can only respond with a number on this type of question, without any characters.
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