By Sean Mahoney, Manager, EFM Solutions Consulting, Verint® Systems
In your online surveys, you should use demographic and firmographic questions to profile respondents and their organizations. This will enable you to cross-tabulate and compare subgroups to see how opinions vary between these groups.
When possible, place these sections near the end of the questionnaire as they are tedious and intrusive. Sometimes, though, one or two demographic questions must be moved to the screener in order to route respondents appropriately.
Pre-populate from CRM systems where possible, so that information can be updated rather than re-entered. When integrating with CRM data, make sure to ask the question in your survey the same way it is reported by your CRM system.
When trying to compare your survey results to other data, such as U.S. Census estimates, make sure to use similar categories and questions as your sources.
Here are sample demographic questions, many adapted from the 2000 U.S. Census:
What is your sex?
In what year were you born? ____
Q. Marital Status
What is your marital status?
- Now married
- Never married
What is the highest degree or level of school you have completed? If currently enrolled, mark the previous grade or highest degree received.
- No schooling completed
- Nursery school to 8th grade
- 9th, 10th or 11th grade
- 12th grade, no diploma
- High school graduate - high school diploma or the equivalent (for example: GED)
- Some college credit, but less than 1 year
- 1 or more years of college, no degree
- Associate degree (for example: AA, AS)
- Bachelor's degree (for example: BA, AB, BS)
- Master's degree (for example: MA, MS, MEng, MEd, MSW, MBA)
- Professional degree (for example: MD, DDS, DVM, LLB, JD)
- Doctorate degree (for example: PhD, EdD)
Q. Employment Status
Are you currently...?
- Employed for wages
- Out of work and looking for work
- Out of work but not currently looking for work
- A homemaker
- A student
- Unable to work
Please describe your work.
- Employee of a for-profit company or business or of an individual, for wages, salary, or commissions
- Employee of a not-for-profit, tax-exempt, or charitable organization
- Local government employee (city, county, etc.)
- State government employee
- Federal government employee
- Self-employed in own not-incorporated business, professional practice, or farm
- Self-employed in own incorporated business, professional practice, or farm
- Working without pay in family business or farm
Is this house, apartment, or mobile home:
- Owned by you or someone in this household with a mortgage or loan?
- Owned by you or someone in this household free and clear (without a mortgage or loan)?
- Rented for cash rent?
- Occupied without payment of cash rent?
What is your total household income?
- Less than $10,000
- $10,000 to $19,999
- $20,000 to $29,999
- $30,000 to $39,999
- $40,000 to $49,999
- $50,000 to $59,999
- $60,000 to $69,999
- $70,000 to $79,999
- $80,000 to $89,999
- $90,000 to $99,999
- $100,000 to $149,999
- $150,000 or more
Please specify your ethnicity.
- Hispanic or Latino
- Not Hispanic or Latino
Please specify your race.
- American Indian or Alaska Native
- Black or African American
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander