Types and Examples of Close-Ended Survey Questions For Collecting Customer Feedback in SaaS

Types and Examples of Close-Ended Survey Questions For Collecting Customer Feedback in SaaS cover

Understanding the difference between open and close-ended survey questions helps you ask better, more targeted questions. Asking the right question is usually the key to getting actionable insights from your survey.

In this article, we shine the spotlight on the closed-ended question and answer the following questions, among others:

  • What is a close-ended question?
  • How do they differ from an open-ended question?
  • When should you use them?
  • What are the different types?

Let’s dig in!


  • A close-ended question restricts survey responses to a set of pre-populated answer options.
  • It is ideal for collecting quantitative data for which statistical analysis techniques can be easily applied.
  • Conversely, open-ended questions are more liberal, allowing users to answer in their own words. Responses here are qualitative rather than quantitative.
  • Because they limit users to a few response options, closed-ended questions are easy to answer, group, and analyze. Responses also lack ambiguity and are consistent in meaning.
  • However, this comes at the cost of the valuable insights respondents can produce. They can also be suggestive, resulting in bias or forcing users to pick answers they may not fully agree with.
  • There are different types of closed-ended questions. Dichotomous questions present users with only two answer options, such as Yes/No, while multiple-choice questions offer more than two answer options.
  • Rating scale questions assign a fixed numeric value to responses, allowing the researcher to measure the degree of a customer’s opinions.
  • Finally, rank-order questions allow respondents to organize options in ascending or descending order, while checklists allow users to select more than one answer option.
  • One way to ensure your surveys are effective is by sending them to targeted user segments. You can also do that by pairing closed and open-ended questions for more detailed responses.
  • Userpilot helps you create custom surveys of different kinds and send them out to targeted users. Book a demo today to learn more.

What are close-ended survey questions?

Close-ended questions limit the respondent’s answers to predefined answer options. These are typically single-word answer choices, such as “Yes/No”, “True/False”, or a set of multiple-choice options.

Differences between close-ended and open-ended questions

You can spot the difference between an open-ended question and a close-ended one by just looking at them. We can summarize these differences under two headings:

Question structure

Open-ended questions are liberal, allowing respondents to answer as they please. Respondents are encouraged to speak (write) freely, using their own words to make and elaborate their points.

Closed-ended questions, however, are restrictive. They can only be answered by selecting from a limited number of options.

Data type

Because open-ended questions encourage survey respondents to answer freely, they are a source of qualitative data. Such qualitative data provides rich insights into the motivations, thoughts, and experiences of respondents.

Closed-ended questions, on the other hand, are a source of quantitative data. Responses here produce quantifiable data fit for easy statistical analysis. However, they do not provide insights into the “why” behind the answer.

Some examples of open-ended questions include:

  • What challenges have you faced with our product recently?
  • Can you describe your experience with the new feature?
  • What features would you like us to add next?

Conversely, examples of closed-ended questions include:

  • Were you satisfied with our customer service? (Yes/No)
  • On a scale of 1-5, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend? (Rating scale)
  • What is your primary reason for using this product? (Multiple choice options)

Advantages and disadvantages of using closed-ended questions

Closed-ended questions are meticulously crafted with a neatly organized menu of choices. Although it has its advantages, it also comes with a set of disadvantages. Let’s consider some of these:


  • Closed-ended questions take less time to answer, leading to higher response rates and a faster data collection process.
  • You can easily categorize the predetermined answers, making it easy to identify trends and patterns.
  • Responses lack ambiguity as they are consistent in form and meaning, leading to reliable data analysis.


  • Close-ended survey questions, by nature, limit the respondent’s options. You can, thus, miss out on insights that do not fit within your pre-populated answer choices.
  • Predefined options are sometimes suggestive, unknowingly influencing respondents and leading to biased data.
  • Because they do not capture the “why” behind answers, the data they produce is often unactionable. It simply doesn’t capture the motivations and emotions behind the choice.

When to use closed-ended survey questions?

As we’ve seen above, closed-ended questions have limitations that make them unfit for certain situations. But when can they be useful?

  • Collect quantitative data: You can use closed-ended questions for gathering specific and quantifiable data. This makes them ideal for collecting demographic data (age, job title, etc.), tracking preferences (product features, service options, etc.), measuring opinions, and more.
  • Maintain consistency among responses: Closed-ended questions ensure consistent interpretation of responses by eliminating ambiguity. This limits the potential for misunderstanding or misinterpretation of data.
  • Collect large amounts of data: You can also use closed-ended questions when you want to collect survey responses from a large group of participants. Their consistent, structured nature makes them easy to sort and analyze.
  • Manage groups: Finally, closed-ended questions are perfect for comparing responses across demographics and segments. They are also an excellent tool for creating segments and targeting specific groups.

Types of close-ended survey questions

Closed-ended questions come in a wide variety of forms and styles. From yes/no to rating scale questions, let’s consider 5 types of close-ended survey questions that you can use to collect data.

Dichotomous questions

Dichotomous questions are questions with only two answer choices. As a result, you can only answer these questions in one of two opposing and entirely different ways.

“Yes” or “No” questions, “True” or “False” questions, and “Agree” or “Disagree” statements all fall into this category. Thumbs-up or thumbs-down questions also fall into this category.

A dichotomous survey created with Userpilot
A dichotomous survey created with Userpilot.

Dichotomous survey questions are easy to answer and even easier to analyze. However, they’re the most limited type of closed-ended questions as they leave no room for a middle ground.

Examples of good dichotomous questions

  • Were you satisfied with your latest purchase?
  • Have you purchased/used [company’s] product or service in the last 30 days?
  • Was your support issue resolved?

Multiple choice questions

Multiple choice questions offer respondents a selection of possible answers to select from. Unlike dichotomous questions, multiple-choice questions allow you to get more specific with your answer options.

The answer options are often displayed as a list of choices, a dropdown menu, or a select box. By providing multiple options, this question type often produces more nuanced results than dichotomous questions.

As a result, multiple-choice questions are ideal for gathering extra information on feature preferences, customer or employee experiences, demographic data, and even advertising reach.

A multiple-choice question to determine your unique selling point.
A multiple-choice question to determine your unique selling point.

Examples of good multiple-choice questions

  • Which feature of the product did you like the most?
  • How did you hear about us?
  • How will you primarily use [your product name]?

Rating scale questions

Rating scale questions are a type of multiple-choice questions that require respondents to assign a fixed (usually numeric) value in response. This is ideal for measuring the degree of satisfaction among respondents.

For example, you can use a rating scale question to determine how people feel about your brand, product, or service. The scale lets you assess the degree of agreeableness your customer has regarding a question.

The scale typically goes from very negative to very positive, with more moderate options in the middle. For example, it could go from “Very dissatisfying” to “Very satisfying”, with the middle option being “Neutral”.

A Userpilot rating scale survey for measuring customer experience.
A Userpilot rating scale survey for measuring customer experience.

Note that there are different types of rating scales, each slightly different. For example, Likert scale questions ask respondents how much they agree or disagree with a statement. Others include the star rating scale, numerical scale, smiley face survey, etc.

Examples of good rating scale questions

  • How satisfied were you with your onboarding experience?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend us to your friends?
  • How would you rate your experience with our company?

Rank order questions

Rank order questions are a form of multiple choice questions in which the respondent is expected to rank a list of options. The respondent here is to rank the provided options in ascending or descending order.

The question is used for identifying relative user preferences and ranking priorities. This makes it ideal for measuring users’ preferences or attitudes toward something.

Determining user's most preferred features using a rank order survey.
Determining user’s most preferred features using a rank order survey.

Examples of good rank-order questions

  • What will make you leave us? Rank the following from high to low.
  • Rank your expectations, most to least preferred, from our customer service team.
  • Which product features, in ranked order, do you use the most?

Checklist-style questions

Also known as multi-select questions, checklist questions allow respondents to select more than one answer from a list. Respondents can choose one or more options depending on the question.

Although these questions require careful analysis, they help you capture a more holistic picture of the respondent’s sentiment. Unfortunately, the responses often lack context, and respondents can overlook important options.

A checklist question allows respondents to select all that apply.
A checklist question allows respondents to select all that apply.

Examples of good checklist-style questions

  • Choose your top 3 goals you want to achieve with [your product name]
  • Which feature do you find the most useful? Select all that apply.
  • What do you pay attention to when purchasing software?

Best practices for collecting data with close-ended questions

Closed-ended questions help you to gather valuable quantitative data for your statistical analysis effectively. To do that, though, you need to keep two key factors in mind:

Collect customer feedback from different segments

One way to avoid ambiguity and ensure accuracy with your surveys is by segmenting your customers. Segment customers according to their needs and goals, and tweak your questions to better reach each segment.

For example, if you want to determine whether a feature is effective, your survey questions must be directed at customers who have used the feature.

By segmenting customers in advance, you ensure that the question is relevant to the customer.

Segment customers according to different criteria in Userpilot.

Couple them with open-ended questions for the overall picture

Although they are great for data analysis, closed-ended questions fail to provide deeper insights and context into the reasons behind user responses. You can avoid that bottleneck by pairing them with open-ended questions.

The qualitative findings from open-ended questions will furnish you with reasons, details, and actionable insights that you may have missed.

This will better equip you to make informed decisions that improve your product or service.

Use contextual open-ended questions to understand user responses.
Use contextual open-ended questions to understand user responses.


Whether or not you need the fixed responses from closed-ended questions ultimately depends on your pre-stated research objectives.

Whatever your choice of survey instrument, your goal should be to empower respondents to provide authentic responses.

Ready to begin creating surveys for your product users? Userpilot provides the tools for creating, styling, and launching custom surveys in your app. Book a demo today to learn more!

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