Open-Ended Questions vs. Close Ended Questions [10 Examples]

10 key examples of using open ended questions vs close ended questions when collecting customer feedback. You will understand the pros and cons for each approach and which one works out to be better for you

The best way to understand your customer is by asking them questions. That's what surveys are useful to understand your customer. In any case, how you make questions regularly decides the sort of answer you get back. The first decision you have to make is what type of questions you will ask the customer, whether open-ended or closed-ended.


Understanding the difference between the two queries will help you learn how to ask better questions and more reliable, actionable answers to your user. A vital part of designing excellent online website surveys includes open-ended and closed-ended questions effectively. Before thinking about how to utilize them, let’s describe each.


Closed questions are pre-populated answer choices for the respondent to choose from it. In other words, closed-ended queries are focused and narrowed where they answered with a single word or used to pick a multiple-choice ( Example: Overall, How would you rate your experience with our product? Answer option would be Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor)


In contrast, the open-ended question invites the respondent to provide feedback in their own words. Open questions have to be answered in detail ( Example: What do you think about the application?), Making your user board.


Let’s take a more in-depth look at both the types of questions for your online survey, and let's analyze their pros and cons and clarify when to use them.

Closed-Ended Questions

Source:https://www.getfeedback.com/free-survey-templates


Closed questions come within a multitude of forms that comprise checkboxes. Dropdowns,  multiple-choice, drop down and ranking inquiries.   Users can only answer these queries by selecting from a limited number of options,  usually choice questions, yes or no answers,  or a rating scale (e.g., from strongly agree to disagree strongly). It won’t permit the customer to provide unique or unanticipated responses, but they can pick from a list of pre-selected choices.  It would be like "offering spaghetti or pizza for dinner" instead of asking them, "what do you want for dinner?"


It gives limited insight, but it can be analyzed for quantitative data. Net Promoter Score (NPS) question is one of the famous closed-end query surveys.  NPS is simple you will ask your customer, “How likely are you to recommend this Company/product/service to your friend and family” and is a scale from 0 (not likely) to 10 (Extremely likely) or Strongly Agree to Disagree Strongly.  The overall score trend is calculated to form customer numerical answers. You can use survey tools like Hubspot Customer Feedback, Survey Monkey, etc., and use the customizable default template and start gathering customer feedback. You can share these surveys with the customers through email or at the end of service.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Closed-Ended Questions in Feedback Forms


There are numerous benefits in practising closed questions in your feedback surveys, notably when you desire to obtain a high response rate from your busy clients.


Easier and Rapidly to Respond

In closed questions, users can answer your question quickly without consuming much time. They need to choose one of the available answer choices. They don't have to think a lot and compose the appropriate responses in their own words.


Help to Gain Measurable and Quantitative Data

These are perfect when your business wants to have a quantitative analysis because there will be a fixed number of answer choices.

More Solid Understanding Through Answer Options

Sometimes the user doesn't understand the question completely, but when they look at the answer option, they will clarify what is being asked.

Clients Are More Likely to Respond


Due to lack of time, users avoid time-consuming feedback forms but are provided with the choice. They were more likely to complete the feedback survey. You will have a better response rate.


Avoid Irrelevant Replies


Irrelevant replies will create difficulty in analyzing the data. But in open-ended questions, there is no high possibility of irrelevant answers.


Comparable Answers


These answers are easily compared. You can easily compare the response from various demographic groups with each other with the same questionnaire.


Can be easily customized


Closed-ended inquiries are easily modified and replicated as per the requirement. You can customize your questions based on the type of products, service, and business.  

Drawbacks  of Closed-Ended Questions


There are also some disadvantages to using close-ended questions.


Customer Are Helpless to provide detailed information

You can only obtain the customer's rating. In this type of question, the customer cannot explain their experience.


Cannot support to get customer opinions

Closed-ended questions don’t provide users to share their experience with the product or service. they cant able to share the positive and negative aspects of the application for further improvement (Like new additional feature request, Sharing bugs that user-facing on the application)


It is impossible to comprise all possible answers

Each user has a unique point of view. Even after trying your best to cover all possible answers in the options, there are high chances that the customer's response is not available there. In such a case, customers will get irritated and drop the survey in the middle, or they might choose a similar answer to the point of opinion.


More option will create more confusion

Sometimes, countless answer options for the clients may puzzle the user about what to reply to.


Recommend solutions that the client might not be thinking

In some circumstances, the customer might not even have thought of certain aspects, but the close question makes the user think differently.


Clients having no idea will also respond

The client doesn't have any idea of a particular aspect and may also answer the queries to complete the feedback survey. They may choose one of the available options to finish the survey. This will end up in false user data and inappropriate customer feedback.
Open-Ended Questions


An open-ended question allows the user to share their feedback in their own words; unlike close-ended questions, it will not provide any answer choice for their customer. It enables your customer to share their perspective in their own words as content, video recordings, and stories. You can pick various kinds of survey questions while planning your client feedback. Open-ended questions cant be answered with one-word answers. The one-word answer will be difficult to build conversation and relationship with the clients. Let us look in detail at the advantages and disadvantages of here about open-ended questions.


Pros & Cons of Open-Ended Questions


The open-ended question is useful if your business wants to gather rich and high-quality information.


Can Provide Complete Information

These open-ended questions will provide more detailed insights from the clients; You can make product and service improvements. It would be useful when your business wants to get detailed insights. It is best for customer feedback.


Give Genuine Customer Insights

Open-end questions will help to gather real-time customer feedback. It would be an opportunity for the clients to share their views about the product or service in their own words.  You get to know the client's thoughts, ideas, opinions, expectations towards the brand.

Allows an Immense Range of Responses

In these types of queries, you will get unlimited answers to a question. Customers are allowed to compose what they feel, and you will have rich information and surprising aspects of the application. With these responses, you can make an action step.


Enables to Obtain Demographic Data

Open-ended inquiries help you capture the clients' demographic and personal data like name, age, gender, phone number, etc. With this data's help,  can you easily target a particular segment (age, gender) and geographic groups? These data will also be useful for reaching customers whenever needed for sales and marketing purposes.


Able to Obtain Rich Qualitative Data

You can readily share the question with the various client segments and collect customer views, opinions, and attitudes about the application.


Enhanced Customer Satisfaction

You will get to know what the client feels about the product/service, and from the customer's valuable data, you can improve your products to meet the customer's needs.  And also helps in the immediate fixing of the website and application error based on customer bug reports and can provide a hassle-free experience to the user.  Users can easily record and add a description of the issue they encounter on the application and share it with the development team with few clicks.  This will enhance more customer satisfaction.

Drawbacks of Open-Ended Questions


Time-Consuming

The significant disadvantages of the open-ended questions are time-consuming. As customers want to write feedback on their words, the clients want to write their inputs. It is a lengthy and time-consuming process.


Low Response Rate

Everyone is busy with their stuff, and not everyone will prefer to spend much time filling the feedback survey forms. Therefore, open-ended questions may have a low response rate when compared with closed-ended questions.


Data Analysis Will Be Difficult

Analysis and comparing the data is complicated as each user feedback will be unique.  So it will be challenging to analyze and interpret all the data into a meaningful report.


Not the Best Method to Discover Quantitative Insights

You cannot classify the information collected through open-ended questions for quantitative data. So, an open-ended question of customer feedback is not a suitable option if you need quantitative statistics.


Possibility of Gathering Irrelevant Data

This type of query allows the user to provide freestyle answers. There is a high possibility of irrelevant answers to the question asked.



With open-ended questions, you can identify the customer view and the defects in the apps. It is not the right option for quantitative analysis.  So for an ideal survey, you can create a mix of both open-ended and closed-ended questions.


Conclusion


Open-ended questions allow the customer to express their expectations, real-time experience with the products on the feedback. The automated tool that you can use for a customer feedback survey is BugReporting.


BugReporting can be easily integrated with the website and mobile apps with the code. It doesn’t require any developer or programming knowledge for integration. You can easily integrate with a few clicks. Website visitors or app users can start sharing their feedback just by clicking the Feedback button, and they can begin to record the issue and include the description of the issue. The customer can provide feedback in an annotative way. Customers can record voice and video and submit their feedback to the relevant team. The development team can quickly identify and fix issues faster with the help of the automated tool.


Whereas the closed questions limit the customer responses with the choice given. It provides quantitative data on customer feedback (e.g., NPS (Net Promoter Score) survey). Open questions provide more insightful data, and you can make more improvements in the application and website. With the close question, you can understand how the app/website is user friendly and how much the customer likes and recommends the products. You can make use of both types of questions to get better customer insights for your product improvement.  You can turn a closed question into an open-ended one by asking for detail with the clients.


Vaibhav Namburi
Founder

I'm the Founder of BugReporting. I've helped build multiple multi-million dollar companies and I love approaching Start Ups through product-lead growth

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