Research became much easier and faster with the emergence of the internet and search engines compared to previous methods. The development of online surveys and questionnaires was also crucial to the success and growth of online research tools among businesses and individuals.
A research questionnaire’s use
To gather data from a target audience, researchers use questionnaires as a primary research tool.
It is common for questionnaires to include both open-ended and closed-ended questions. The results can be analysed qualitatively or quantitatively depending on the researcher’s needs.
Questionnaires offer greater structure than other types of research, such as interviews, and can maximise your research’s success.
We will proceed to examine the advantages and disadvantages of questionnaires next. As with any approach, questionnaires have their advantages and disadvantages.
Questionnaires have many advantages
Research questionnaires have a wide range of benefits, especially when conducted online.
Online questionnaires are much more cost-effective than face-to-face questionnaires delivered on site, over the phone, or by mail, since they reduce labour, paper, printing, phone, and postage expenses.
Getting in touch with people quickly:
You can distribute your questionnaire using a variety of methods, such as sending an email or text message, posting a link to it on your website, or creating a QR code for them to download.
With the internet, you can target your audience virtually anywhere and ramp up your audience quickly and easily. In a customer onboarding or lead nurturing campaign, you could send a link to your questionnaire as part of an automated email.
With an online questionnaire, you can provide anonymity to respondents, which is a significant advantage over other approaches like face-to-face and telephone interviewing.
Respondents respond honestly when anonymity is provided, which is ideal when trying to get a more accurate and honest picture of your subject of investigation.
Respondents can complete their questionnaire anywhere and at any time:
A great benefit of an online questionnaire is that respondents can complete it whenever and wherever they want. It can help boost your overall response rate to give your survey respondents more time to complete it and even give them the flexibility to start it and then finish it later.
Accuracy of data:
Online questionnaires are easier to administer than face-to-face or over-the-phone questionnaires since respondent answers are automatically inserted into spreadsheets, databases, or other software packages, reducing the chance of human error.
Questionnaires have several disadvantages
Research questionnaires have many benefits, but you should also be aware of any disadvantages in advance of implementing them in your initial questionnaire design and during the rollout of your questionnaire to respondents.
Interpretations and understandings differ:
Respondents can interpret the same question differently when presented with a worded question rather than being fully explained over the phone or in person. As a result, your results could become rather subjective. Moreover, some respondents may be unable to understand questions that appear clear to the questionnaire’s creator, causing skewed results.
To make answering questions as simple as possible, create questions that are easy to answer. Take a look at our questionnaire template page for more information on shaping your questions for different audiences.
Questions that have not been answered:
Respondents can skip questions they don’t feel like answering when they are left to their own devices, which can harm the validity of your results. The good news is that today’s online questionnaires have rules built in to ensure respondents can’t move on to the next question until the previous one has been answered.
It can be difficult to analyse some questions:
Designing your questionnaire requires careful consideration of your questions, since too many of a particular type, especially open-ended questions, will make analysing the data more difficult and time-consuming.
It’s likely that, unless you’re conducting a qualitative study, you’ll want questions that can produce answers that can be evaluated quickly and produce results that can be used immediately.
As a result, you should understand and know what types of questions are available to you. Find out which online survey question types are best for your needs by downloading our ‘Ultimate Guide to Online Survey Question Types’ ebook.