3 Ways to Make Sure Your Wufoo Surveys Aren't Terrible

Fast. Easy. Fun. That’s Wufoo for you. But not so fast. We’re also flexible. There are many ways you can use a Wufoo form. Take our [Contact Form](http://www.wufoo.com/gallery/templates/forms/contact-form/) for example. Or the handy [Newsletter Sign Up Form](http://www.wufoo.com/gallery/templates/forms/mailing-list/); the list goes on.

An even more useful (and flexible) way to use Wufoo? Create surveys. That’s right, with Wufoo you can easily create a survey and start gathering quality feedback from your customers, right away. And the more high quality feedback you receive, the more you can optimize the success and growth of your business. We’re big fans of making your lives easier and our Form Template gallery was created to do just that. Be sure to visit and get started with these pre-built [SurveyTemplates](http://www.wufoo.com/gallery/templates/surveys/) designed to give you a jump- start on whipping up a truly sweet survey.

With that said, there are a couple of things to keep in mind–three quick tips to be exact–when creating a survey to ensure you’re collecting that high quality information from your customers.

## 1. The Likert Scale: Use Words, Not Numbers

“On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst ice cream you’ve ever tasted and 10 being the best, how much did you enjoy our ice cream?”
Wait—what does “three” mean? People tend to think in words, not numbers—so you should ask them to express their opinions with scales that use words.

Rating scales (also known as Likert scales) are methodologically-sound sets of answers that help you measure the frequency, intensity, amount, quality, and probability of your respondents’ attitudes and behaviors.


Sure, you could use a rating scale based on a number from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 4 (Strongly Agree), but when you put answers in words, you reduce the ambiguity between what a 2 means to the respondent versus a 3.

## 2. Know When To Use Closed-ended vs. Open-ended Questions

Now depending on the type of feedback you’re looking for, you might find yourself having to make the “difficult” choice between using a **closed-ended question** (e.g. specific answers) or an **open-ended question** (e.g. a text area field where a customer can write a longer answer).

If you’re looking for results that you can *easily quantify*, using closed-ended questions are generally your best bet. Asking people to choose from pre-specified answer choices will allow you to easily parse the results and give you data in simple percentages (e.g. “62 percent of customers are extremely likely to eat our ice cream again!”) that are more actionable and simpler to share.

However, if you’re looking for more nuanced responses and can afford to spend some time analyzing your results, an open-ended question might be the way to go. Opt for a text area field and you’ll give your customers the added advantage of sharing insights in their own words. It may take more time to parse through these answers since they’re free-form but because your customers were freely expressing themselves, chances are you’ll find more insightful and thoughtful answers than you normally would’ve collected using a closed-ended question type.

## 3. Be Cautious When Using Yes/No Questions

Another thing to watch out for when creating closed-ended questions is to cautiously use strict Yes/No answers. For example, say you have a question that looks like this:

> **Will you visit our ice cream shop again?**
> – Yes
> – No

Depending on a multitude of things, people might answer the question differently. Now, if you had a question that looked like this:

> **How likely are you to visit our ice cream shop again?**
> – Extremely likely
> – Very likely
> – Moderately likely
> – Slightly likely
> – Not at all likely

Then you’re in business. Avoid asking Yes/No questions when you’re dealing with shades of gray. Phrasing your closed-ended question like this gives respondents the ability to more easily and accurately answer the question when it isn’t a black and white one. It also gives you as the decision maker, even better data that you can act upon.

Now that’s not to say you should never use a Yes/No question. You should definitely use a Yes/No question if it’s measuring something absolute. For example, it’s totally fine to ask a Yes/No question if you’re asking someone, Have you ever eaten ice cream in their lives? There’s really no gray area there (and obviously the answer is “yes” because who’s never had ice cream?!) Just be sure to have all your ducks in a row and that you’re factual when planning to use a Yes/No question.


So with these 3 quick tips, we hope that you create even more awesome surveys with Wufoo, collect truly high quality information, get the feedback you need from your customers and make your business even more, well, awesome.

To help you get started, here’s a quick link to one of the most useful survey templates you should be using right now: the [Customer Satisfaction Survey Template](http://www.wufoo.com/gallery/templates/surveys/customer-satisfaction-survey/).

Have opinions or tips for your fellow Wufoo customers? Share below!


  • Thanks for this tip. I came to type of a survey form and your post spoke directly to me. This greatly helped me understand how to get formulate my questions to make sure I get high value and direct answers.

    Great job, keep up the great work.

    Posted September 4th, 2014 by Sharon Toodle.
  • Excellent!

    Posted September 4th, 2014 by doug.
  • I could use some guidance on modifying the output of the survey into a format that can be easily read, as opposed to the Excel output.

    Posted September 4th, 2014 by Engineering.
  • Everyone needs a hug.

    Posted September 4th, 2014 by E Tam.
  • There are some attentiongrabbing points in time in this article but I dont know if I see all of them heart to heart. There may be some validity however I will take maintain opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we would like extra! Added to FeedBurner as properly kaebkkfddbdc

    Posted September 4th, 2014 by Johnd764.

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