The Value of Open-Ended Feedback

March, 2019

What is open-ended feedback?

In order to understand the value of open-ended feedback, it is important to comprehend what the term denotes. Open-ended feedback allows a respondent to share his or her view on a particular product or experience in an open format. Absence of any set patterns or options to choose from, empowers the respondent to freely express an opinion and elaborate on the same to prove the point.

Close-ended vs open-ended questions

Close-ended questions yield close-ended feedback where a respondent does not have much choice than select a particular response among the options already suggested in a set format. So, even if a respondent doesn’t fully comply with either of the possibilities, he or she does not have much choice than to select the option closest to the answer of the respondent. Unlike close-ended questions, open-ended questions broaden the horizon of understanding and analyzing. Open-ended questions yield open-ended feedback which is descriptive and often detailed in its information. So, the value it adds to the subject of study at hand is immense.

Choosing the correct pattern of questionnaire

In order to recognize the correct pattern of questionnaire selection, one needs to have a fair idea on a number of things. Firstly, there has to be a clear thought as to why a survey is conducted and the kind of information that is desired from the survey. Secondly, the target audience one needs to involve in the survey. Thirdly, how much value add will an open-ended feedback create to extract the right proportion of information that a survey can ensure. Fourthly, Will a detailed open-ended feedback fill any missing gaps that might be created as potential concerns.

Quantitative vs qualitative approach

So, we can see that market research can happen through both, quantitative and qualitative approach. Quantitative format is straightforward where, a respondent must choose a response within the available option. Quantitative approach works well when one needs quick data on an already established and successful product or service implementation. While qualitative market research involves open-ended questions and response. It is more about exploration and knowing your customer and market before launching something new and unique. So, it is essential to analyze the requirement before selecting a method of gathering information.

Example of the usefulness of open-ended questions

For example, when an organization is trying to improve the overall app experience of one of its existing products, it can run an open-ended feedback session over its already captured market. An open-ended honest feedback from existing customers can help understand the good part and short comes to work on. This can improve the overall app experience, also adding some value to create a future market. Hence, we can conclude how much an open-ended feedback impact on the market perspective. A serious consideration to such feedback can help enterprises avoid any potential shortfalls.

– Kathakali Basu,
Content Writer,
Infoholic Research