Because we live in a globalized economy, market trends and customer preferences constantly morph and change over time. This only leaves brands with (open-ended) questions about their customers.
Among the constant waves of competition and increasing power of choice given to consumers, a company’s ability to maintain an agile strategy with this added pressure will determine its rate of survival over the next decade.
With that in mind, conducting effective and impactful market research is now more essential to basic business survival than at any point in history.
That's why we put together this epic list of 100 open-ended survey questions for market research.
Should I Use Closed-Ended or Open-Ended Survey Questions?
Often, the first step in collecting consumer data is developing a strong customer survey that has high response rates. The type of questions you use would then be dependent on the type of insights you are looking to collect.
A close-ended question can be highly effective in helping you achieve quantitative data of your customers. For example, if you were conducting research on condiment usage patterns, multiple answer or rating scale questions can help you quickly understand the percentage of users that consume cilantro on a weekly basis.
On the other hand, open-ended questions can help you gain qualitative data and customer insights. For example, as part of the same research, open-ended questions can you help collect free form verbatims on what difficulties survey respondents face when they cook with spices.
What is an example of an Open-Ended Survey Question?
Good survey questions are built with specific insights in mind. Within the world of market research, we believe that strong qualitative survey questions can fall under five broad categories:
- Customer Behavior: Understanding general consumer trends and purchase behavior.
- Customer Feedback: Understanding what customers feel about your products and services.
- Concept Testing: Understanding what customers feel about a new concept for a product or feature.
- Marketing: Understanding the effectiveness of your marketing and advertising campaigns.
- Competitive Analysis: Understanding how your brand and product stand up against your competitors.
Implementing the appropriate open-ended questions in a survey helps you collect the most relevant insights to your needs. But what are the different types of questions and response options your company can use to collect the strongest survey data?
Customer Behavior Survey Questions
What does the customer journey look like for your consumers? What are some of the key pain points they face? Use these questions to gain better insights into those behaviors and preferences.
- What solutions did you try before using our product?
- When you started using our product, what were you thinking about?
- How do you typically find information about this type of product?
- What websites do you use to discover new products?
- What do you research about a product before purchasing it?
- What type of product do you research the most before purchase?
- What is the biggest difficulty you face when purchasing this type of product?
- How does Product X make you feel?
- How have you tried to solve Problem Y?
- What are the main challenges you are currently facing without a product like Product X?
- What persuaded you to [action] today?
- What is stopping you from [action] today?
- Now that you’ve solved Problem Y, what’s next?
- What influences you to purchase from a store in person?
- What influences you to purchase a product online?
- What deters you from purchasing a product online?
- What discourages you from purchasing a product in-store?
- What is your preferred brand of this product?
- At what point do you re-purchase this product type?
- What additional product are you likely to purchase alongside this product?
- How do you feel before purchasing this product?
- How do you feel immediately after purchasing this product?
- What factors determine your budget for this product?
Customer Feedback Survey Questions
Customer feedback management has a bad reputation for existing in quantitative scales of 1 to 5 and smiley faces of measurement delivered via cold email. Whether a customer’s feedback for your product or service is positive or not, this type of data collection will likely not give your company the feedback you want. Instead, try a few of these open-ended questions to collect quick, meaningful data.
- What is your favorite feature of our product?
- Follow Up: Why do you like using that feature?
- What is working for you about the product?
- Follow Up: What makes you say that?
- What surprised you about using this product?
- What annoys you about this product?
- What problem does our product solve for you?
- How well does our product solve your problem?
- What part of our product is easy to use?
- What were the main difficulties you faced when using our product?
- How could we have helped you better use our product?
- If you could change one thing about our product, what would you change?
- What other features would you have liked to see on this product?
- Describe how you feel about our product.
- How can we improve your general experience with the company?
- In what situations do you use our product?
- If someone asked you about this product, what would you say to them?
- What is the primary benefit that you have received from using our product?
- Who would you recommend our product to?
- Describe your experience with our customer service team.
- What is the main factor that influences your decision to switch brands?
- How does past experience influence your decision to purchase from a brand?
- What do you expect from customer service after purchasing a product?
- What are your standards of quality when purchasing similar products?
- How do you prefer that a customer service team handles your complaints?
- What celebrity can you see endorsing or representing this product?
- Describe your purchasing process for this type of product.
- What influences your decision to purchase a new product?
- What was disappointing about your last experience with us?
- What was delightful about your last experience with us?
Concept Testing Survey Questions
Your company can collect data on a variety of types of customer feedback - and you don’t have to wait until after a product’s launch. Gauge customer interest for new products or features by writing a survey that measures perception, usage, tone, and experience before the concept ever reaches fruition. Use these questions to launch your inquisition into a new concept.
- How would you use this new feature?
- What is your least favorite part of the feature?
- Follow Up: Why don’t you like that part of the feature?
- What considerations do you have when deciding on a version of the product?
- Among these different versions of the product, why did you decide on _____?
- How does this new feature make you feel?
- What excites you about this new feature?
- Do you think this new feature improves the existing product?
- Follow Up: Why did you answer that way?
- If you had a magic wand and could have any new feature that you wanted on this product, what would it be?
- Have you seen something similar to this feature elsewhere?
- How do you think this new feature will improve your experience?
- Do you think this new feature is appropriate for our product?
- Follow Up: What makes you say that?
- How much would you expect to pay for this product?
- Which of these products appeals most strongly to you?
- Follow Up: Why did you answer that way?
- How do you envision incorporating this product into your daily life?
- Describe why this product is innovative.
- Describe why this product is not so innovative.
- At what stage of development do you think this product is at?
Marketing Survey Questions
Qualitative research is not exclusive to product development and concept testing. Surveys can also be used to understand the customer and consumer perceptions of marketing and advertising campaigns. These questions will help your company better understand external perceptions of your product.
- What do you think about our product’s story?
- What originally attracted you to our product?
- What do you like best about the messaging we use to promote our product?
- How would you explain our product to a friend, family member, or colleague?
- In one line, describe our product.
- What communication channels would you prefer we use?
- What supplementary content would help you use our product?
- Where exactly did you first hear about us?
- What companies or products do you perceive as our competitors?
- How does our messaging stand out from the competition?
- Who do you think uses our product?
- Which product attributes are most important to you?
- What would you improve about the product description?
- Write a one-sentence description of this product.
- How could our brand be more honest and transparent?
- What charity pairs well alongside our product?
- How could our product be more tailored to you?
- What does our product design make you feel?
- What does the product design remind you of?
Competitive Analysis Survey Questions
Although competitors come up in a variety of conversations with customers, asking specific competitive analysis questions is your time to dig deeper into your market share and potentially obtain internal information from competing companies.
- How would you feel if you couldn’t use our product?
- What other solutions have you considered?
- Which other options did you consider before choosing our product?
- Why did you choose our product rather than a competitor’s?
- What do we do better than other companies in this field?
- Who should we try and learn from?
- What would you use as an alternative if our product was no longer available?
- What are the first three brands in this category that come to your mind?
- In your opinion, what could we do to stand out from the competition?
- In the past three months, what have you heard about our brand?
- How would you describe your overall opinion of our brand?
- Do you have any additional comments or feedback for us?
- What could we have done to get a 10/10 today?
So you’ve developed a strong set of questions. What’s next? Check out the next step in our guide to writing better online surveys or discussion guides.