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Close-Ended Questions: Definition, Types & Examples

Close-ended questions are best for you if you are looking to collect survey responses within a limited frame of options.

They are framed to collect primary data and are the basis of all statistical analysis techniques applied to questionnaires and surveys.

The only way to understand what is on your customer’s minds is to ask them. That’s what surveys are for, right? A survey is an effective way to get actionable customer feedback. But while creating a survey, considering the way questions are structured is crucial. The way you ask questions determines the answer you are going to get. After all, using the appropriate type of questions is the key to collecting data efficiently.

So in this blog, we will discuss what closed-ended questions are. We will also look at its types, examples, and how you can use them in your surveys.

What Are Close-Ended Questions?

Close-ended questions are the ones that offer respondents a limited set of responses to choose from. In other words, they are designed to provoke a single-word answer from participants without giving it much thought.

A simple example of a close-ended question includes “Do you like ice cream?” Here, respondents will answer with a simple “Yes” or “No.”

Close-ended questions are opposite to open-ended questions, where respondents can share their thoughts and opinions in-depth by replying in an open-text format answer. When you want to collect quantitative data that can be analyzed quickly, close-ended questions are your best option. Due to their limited responses, these questions usually generate a high survey response rate and rapidly collect large quantities of data.

Types of Close-Ended Questions

Close-ended questions can be structured using multiple-choice options, rating scales, drop-down menus, and radio buttons. In this section, let’s discuss types of close-ended questions examples:

1. Dichotomous Questions

These are the questions that consist of two answer options. It can be “True/ False” questions, “Yes/No” questions, or “Agree/ Disagree” statements. It’s the easiest type of question for survey makers to interpret and respondents to answer.

For example,

  • Are you satisfied with our services?
    ☐ Yes
    ☐ No
  • Do you agree with the following statement, “It is easy to navigate your mobile app?”
    ☐ I agree
    ☐ I disagree
  • The sun rises in the east.
    ☐ True
    ☐ False

2. Multiple-Choice Questions

Here, respondents are presented with multiple-choice answer options. It can be divided into two types:

  • Radio-Choice 

In these types of questions, respondents can only choose one answer among the given set of response options. An example of this type of closed-ended survey question includes:

How long have you been using our products?
☐ Less than 6 months
☐ 6 months-12 months
☐ More than 1 year
☐ More than 2 years

  • CheckBoxes

In these types of questions, respondents can choose more than one option among the given set of response options. For example,

Where do you think we can improve our services? (Click all that applies)
☐ Product Quality
☐ Shipping Time
☐ Product variety
☐ Response Time

3. Rating-Scale Questions

Researchers use this type of question when they want respondents to rate how they feel about a particular subject, usually on a scale of 1-5.

An example of a rating-scale question for a close-ended survey:

On a scale of 1-5, how will you rate your experience with our company?

close ended questions examples

4. Ranking Order Questions

Ranking-order questions allow respondents to rank multiple-choice options based on a specific order. They ask the participants to evaluate multiple items in a particular order. For example,

Please rank the following according to your preference from 1 to 4, where 1 is the most necessary trait that you look for while purchasing:
☐ Quality
☐ Cleanliness
☐ Price
☐ Service speed

5. Likert-scale Questions

A Likert-scale question helps measure the participant’s opinion or attitude towards a given topic. Likert-scale is basically a five, seven, or nine-point scale used to measure the extent to which respondents agree or disagree with a particular question or statement.

Close-ended survey question example for a Likert scale is:

Do you agree with the following statement?
“I found the app easy to navigate.”
☐ Strongly Agree
☐ Agree
☐ Not sure
☐ Disagree
☐ Strongly Disagree

examples of closed ended questions

Close-ended Questions With Examples

Let’s discuss 50+ close-ended question examples for a survey. You can use them directly or modify them as per your research.

1. Do you like our services?
☐ Yes
☐ No
2. On a scale of 1-5, how will you rate your overall experience with us?
☐ Highly Dissatisfied
☐ Dissatisfied
☐ Can’t Say
☐ Satisfied
☐ Highly Satisfied
3. Does our product offer you the benefit that you were looking for?
4. Are you satisfied with our services?
☐ Yes
☐ No
5. Did you get the results that you were looking for?
6. Would you consider purchasing from our brand again?
☐ Yes
☐ No
7. Did you like the range of products that we offer?
8. Would you recommend us to your friends?
9. Did you find our customer service team helpful?
10. On a scale of 1-5, how will you rate your experience with our staff?
11. Did you know about us before visiting?
12. Please rank the following according to your preference, with 1 being most preferred and 5 being least preferred.
☐ Food taste
☐ Ambiance
☐ Waiting Time
☐ Hospitality
☐ Location
13. Did we fulfill your expectations?
14. How will you rate us on a scale of 1-10?
15. Did our staff answer your queries?
16. Were you greeted in a friendly manner?
17. Did you find our staff helpful?
18. Will you purchase with us again?
☐ Yes
☐ No
19. Were you served promptly?
20. Have you tried the latest model of our product?
21. Would you like to try the products of our competitors?
22. Can we make your experience better?
☐ Yes
☐ No
23. Is our product no longer useful for you?
24. Please rate your level of agreement or disagreement with the following statement:

Statements  Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree
25. The app is extremely easy to navigate.
26. I was quickly able to find what I was looking for.
27. The checkout process is smooth.
28. I can easily add items to my cart.
29. The customer care team here is prompt in their response.
30. The interface of the app is user-friendly.

31. Did you notice any change in our services?
32. Have you heard of our company before?
33. Please rate our services out of 5 stars?
34. Which social media platform do you use the most?
35. All things considered, is our brand getting better or worse?
36. Are you happy with our services?
37. Did you find the waiting time too long?
38. Did you wait in the queue to purchase the product?
39. Would you like to test our new product?
40. Did you find the new feature useful?
41. Did you find the checkout process complicated?
42. Is our website easy to use?
43. Is our store easy to locate?
44. Have you ever visited our website?
45. Are you satisfied with your time with us?
46. Did you use our discounts or coupons?
47. Did you receive mail about our promotional events?
48. Did you purchase from our competitor before us?
49. Did you like our product after using it?
50. Do we need any change in our services?
51. How long have you been using our products?
☐ Less than 1 year
☐ 1- 2 year
☐ More than 2 years
☐ Never tried your products
52. How will you rate our mobile app?

Tips for Using Close-Ended Questions

No one likes to fill out a survey that takes hours to complete. To collect data efficiently and increase the survey response rate, you need to keep your participant’s attention span in mind. While using the close-ended questions, make sure to follow the following-given tips to design a clear and concise survey that everyone loves answering.

  • Keep the questions simple.

Try to include specific and clear questions in your survey. Participants are more prone to misinterpret or disengage with questions if they find them difficult to understand.

  • Present the questions in a logical order.

This holds true, especially for scaling questions like Likert-scale questions. These types of questions should be presented in an order that follows a logical sequence. But, if your question doesn’t follow any sequence, make sure to shuffle them to avoid bias.

  • Ask the right questions.

It’s essential to understand your research topic to ask the right question so that you obtain the answer you were looking for. Asking questions that do not relate to your research objectives might lead to ineffective data collection.

  • Limit the number of questions.

Try to restrict the total number of questions in a survey. Only keep the questions that you know will lead to direct insight, and leave the rest.

  • Consider external factors

Make sure to consider external factors like where respondents are when they are taking the survey. If they fill out the survey on their mobile, try to keep it short and easy to complete on the go for the optimal respondent experience.

  • Exhaustive and Exclusive answer choices

Answer choices for close-ended questions must be exhaustive (it covers all answer range spectrum) and exclusive none of the answer choices share the same meaning or intent).

When to Use Close-Ended Questions?

When to Use Close-Ended Questions?

Close-ended questions are used in surveys to gather specific and relevant information. Hence, It becomes necessary to understand when to use close-ended questions to collect actionable and quantitative data. So let’s look at the possible areas where close-ended questions can be used effectively.

  • To collect quantitative data

Closed-ended questions are ideal for surveys that require statistical information. The questions give us quantifiable data that is conclusive in nature. You can analyze it effortlessly using various statistical methods and also display the result in graphs and charts for better demonstration. 

  • To segment audience

The audience can be segmented based on the answers they select to a close-ended question.w For example, you can segment your audience based on demographic factors like the age group of “below 20,” “20 – 40,” and “above 40.” The segments can help you determine what different groups of people want and need. This way, you can use strategies that meet the needs of a particular group.

  • To increase the response rate

Surveys with close-ended questions don’t require much effort from respondents to fill them. Hence, it increases the survey response rate compared to surveys with open-ended questions that require participants to describe their opinions in-depth.

Advantages of Close-Ended Questions

You get many advantages while using the list of closed-ended questions in a survey. However, do remember that they are not suitable for all types of research; therefore, you should consider the type of data you want to collect before using them.

Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of closed-ended questions:

  • Close-ended questions are time-efficient. It doesn’t take much time and effort for the respondents to answer.
  • Data collected from close-ended questions are easier to analyze and can be presented easily using tables, graphs, and charts.
  • The answers gathered from the close-ended questions are less likely to be irrelevant, as observed in the open-ended questions.
  • If the respondents would like to provide a unique answer, they can add an ‘Other’ option in the answer section.
  • Increases the probability that participants will answer personal questions.
  • Provides clarity in the response choices as to what answer is expected from the question asked. It becomes simple to grasp the question and does not discourage response or lead to abandonment.

Disadvantages of Close-Ended Questions

Though close-ended questions offer numerous advantages, they also have some cons. It’s crucial to understand them so you can take proactive steps to decrease or eliminate their occurrence.

  • It can lead to acquiescence bias, making people less likely to criticize your company or products when you need their honest opinions.
  • When close-ended questions are grouped together, it can cause central tendency bias.
  • Too many answer options (like in a rating scale) may be used, which will make the question appear daunting to respondents.
  • Because there is a fixed and limited number of answer options, responders may choose an irrelevant option or skip the question entirely.
  •  Inserting the questions that have no relation to the subject will not be able to provide you with the results that you want to achieve. Hence, there must be no ambiguity at all.

Difference Between Open-Ended and Close-Ended Questions

Difference Between Open-Ended and Close-Ended Questions

Close-ended questions are the ones that solicit short and fixed responses from the participants. They are appropriate for the situation when you are looking for a quick and definitive answer. On the other hand, open-ended questions allow respondents to answer freely. They are used when you are looking for a rich level of explanation about a subject.

Close-ended questions are suitable for projects that require the collection of quantitative data. This type of data can be easily analyzed using different statistical charts and methods. However, they limit the participant’s responses to a predetermined list of response options. Unlike open questions, which open a window for ongoing discussion, closed questions elicit controlled responses.

On the other hand, open-ended questions provide quality answers and allow customers to elaborate on their feelings and thoughts. They offer detailed evidence as to what the consumer wants. But, there is no fixed method of evaluating the participant’s responses proportionally. As a result, data analysis becomes difficult.

Close-Ended Questions Open-Ended Questions
Purpose Questions are designed in a way that offers specific and limited response options to respondents. Questions are designed to elicit a comprehensive answer based on a person’s feelings and opinions.
Type of Answers Short and factual answers Descriptive & explanatory answers
Type of Data Collected Used to collect quantitative data Used to collect qualitative data
Question Starts With Questions start with words like ‘did,’ ‘is,’ ‘when,’ ‘who,’ etc. Questions start with words like ‘how,’ ‘why,’ ‘what,’ etc.
Type of Questions  Multiple choice, Rating, Likert-Scale, “Yes/No” questions Essay questions
Uses Useful when you want specific information Useful when you want general information
Example Are you happy with your experience with us? How would you describe your experience with us?

Conduct Your Close-Ended Survey to Gather Quantitative Data Now!

By now, you must have understood that close-ended questions are best used when you want direct answers to your questions. It is a valuable way to collect large quantities of quantifiable data that can be easily analyzed. However, there’s room for both open-ended and close-ended questions in every survey. And close-ended questions can be easily converted to open-ended questions with a few tweaks.

To conduct a close-ended survey efficiently, you need good survey software like  ProProfs Survey Maker, which provides free inbuilt survey templates and a reporting dashboard that helps analyze your customer feedback quickly.

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About the author

Jared is a customer support expert. He has been published in CrazyEgg, Foundr, and CXL. As a customer support executive at ProProfs, he has been instrumental in developing a complete customer support system that more than doubled customer satisfaction. You can connect and engage with Jared on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.