4 Most Effective Question Types: What to Ask Your Customers

2 min

4 Most Effective Question Types: What to Ask Your Customers

We bet there are a million questions you’re dying to ask your customers. Luckily for you, we know a thing or two about which question types provide the insights that drive better results. We do it every time we onboard a new client in our brand research process.

Read on to learn about a few of our most effective question types and how to use them:

Multiple Choice – The Time-Tested Method

Most surveys will use multiple choice questions as a foundation, and for good reason. The ability to evaluate many factors at the same time to find out which your customers prefer is an excellent method. When using multiple choice questions, remember to avoid more than 5 options and to keep the questions unbiased. For a list of other common offenders, Surveytown has you covered.

Qualitative Choice – The Deep Thoughts of Your Customers

Written responses can provide some of your most important insights. Questions that require a sentence or two give your customer a moment to stop and reflect. However, use these question types sparingly. Too many will bog people down and make them want to give up on your survey altogether. Additionally, make sure your questions are straightforward. Don’t expect multiple answers from one question. At the same time, keep your questions broad enough that your customer can provide a candid answer in less than 30 seconds.

Rating Scale – The Thermometer of Your Business

Rating scale questions allow you to gain measurable metrics on different aspects of your business. They provide accurate insights and reveal where change needs to happen most. Keep in mind, you want to limit the size of the scale (no more than 1-10). A larger scale will scatter your results, making it harder to determine a clear consensus. 

The Matrix – The Best of the Best

The matrix is our favorite of all the question types. The goal of a matrix is simple—to determine what your customers really do and don’t think is important for your product or service. Start by determining five essential factors. For example:

What is your biggest consideration when buying kitty litter?

  1. Eliminates odors
  2. Safe for cats
  3. Easy to clean
  4. Affordable
  5. Litter type

Once you have your factors, you propose the same question multiple times. Each time, provide different combinations of the factors. Through this process, you direct customers to choose their most essential quality. If this company’s clients consistently believe affordability is the best factor, it might be in their best interest to play up the messaging around cost.


There are an endless number of questions you could ask your customers. But asking the right questions can help you make more important business decisions. Take the time to determine the best question types for the insights you need to gain. Collecting successful results from your feedback surveys starts with the framing of each individual question. Knowing your options is the first step in constructing a dynamic survey that helps your business grow.