Rank Order Question Examples for Better Decision Making

Rank Order Question

Rank Order Question Examples for Better Decision MakingAs you continuously strive to improve products and services your company offers – rank order question type might be exactly what you’re missing for making more informed and better business decisions.

Let’s say that you have done preliminary research and have decided on the areas that your product could improve on. You could present customers with a list of possible product improvements and ask them to select what would they like to be the next thing within the product. But what if they select many of the options, how would you find out which are they most interested in?

Or imagine a scenario where you’re and airline company getting feedback on customer experience. You would like to improve the overall experience, and you have many ideas of possible solutions, but you can’t implement them all. You could start by presenting ideas to the customers and asking to rate them on a scale from “not at all” to “very” important options but would it be helpful if they all said that all these aspects are “very important”? Probably not.

This is where you should be considering a rank order question. Rank order question asks respondents to order the presented options from hight to low. By asking this, respondents cannot say that all things are equally important. They are actually forced to prioritize.

While rank order question is very valuable and highly suggested, you should bear in mind a few things.

1. Rank order question does take more effort for the respondent, so use them judiciously (one per survey is best).
2. Develop the presented list/options carefully. You don’t want to give them terrible options/ideas that will not create any value for you and waste everyone’s time.
3. Spend time on wording your questions right to get the best outcome.

Here are a few examples of rank order question.

Fitness Tracker Survey_Rank Order


This is best asked if you have determined, in a previous question, that respondent is currently or planning to evaluate fitness trackers within three months. Otherwise, the question is way too hypothetical.


Fitness Tracker Survey_Rank Order Question_2

If you are looking to offer a new, differentiated product, a good first step is to know what the “table stakes” are. If you know certain features are well-liked in current products than those may be the items you need to match (at minimum). Then, knowing the aspects that are least well-liked gives you input on what possible differentiators you may be able to seize.


Fitness Tracker Survey_Rank Order Question

While this approach is wordier, it reflects a reality: choosing between products in many product categories is often ultimately driven by one or two items, and all other features are not all that differentiated.

Rank order question type, of course, is also available on the QuestionPro Mobile App.

Rank order Scale

This is a powerful question and can generate very valuable insights, but consider other question types you should use to get through customer feedback.