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Get Insights into Customer Preferences with Ranking Surveys

Use Zonka Feedback to create powerful Ranking Surveys to collect customer feedback and get insights into customer preferences to enhance customer satisfaction and overall experience.

Ranking surveys

Ranking Survey: A Strategic Tool for Understanding Consumer Preferences

Understanding customers’ needs and expectations is crucial for a business to ensure their satisfaction and customer feedback surveys help you do this. But merely fulfilling customers’ needs is not enough. Sometimes customers prefer one thing over another. Customers’ preferences and the order of these preferences have a great impact on the overall customer experience and satisfaction.

Here comes the need for such a customer survey that can help you determine exactly what customers want and prefer the most among several available alternatives. A Ranking survey serves this purpose well by providing valuable insights into consumer preferences, market trends, and industry dynamics. It offers a window into the collective opinions and priorities of a target audience and helps you make informed decisions as per customers’ preferences.

In this article, we will explore what a ranking survey is, how it can be beneficial for your business, and some use cases where you can make the most of ranking surveys and leverage them to achieve customer delight and ultimately grow your business. Let’s get started!


  • Ranking surveys are a great way to collect insights into customer preferences and make data-driven decisions for your business.

  • The benefits of ranking surveys encompass insight into preferences, data-driven decision-making, trend identification, resource allocation, and competitive advantage.

  • You can use ranking surveys for better product development, better marketing research, to provide better customer service, to optimize events, and to manage eCommerce offerings.

  • You should follow some best practices to conduct ranking surveys effectively - provide clear instructions to the respondents, keep surveys short, ensure relevant response options, randomize the order of options, use an accessible design, and test the survey before the final distribution.

  • Zonka Feedback is a powerful survey software offering ready-to-use templates and various question types, facilitating the creation and distribution of ranking surveys for diverse industries. It also offers a free trial of 14 days.

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What is a Ranking Survey?

A ranking survey is a customer feedback and research survey that contains one or more questions asking the customers to compare items or options to each other and place them in the order of their preference or importance.

This structured approach allows businesses to quantify opinions and preferences, providing valuable insights into the relative significance of various choices in a given context. A ranking survey is ideal when you want your customers to rank a list of options in the order they prefer, so you can make the right business decisions and strategies for prioritizing several business aspects.

Here are some benefits of a ranking survey.

Benefits of Ranking Surveys

  • Insight into Preferences: One of the most important benefit of ranking surveys over other surveys like thumbs up thumbs down surveys, yes or no surveys or 1-10 opinion scale surveys is that they provide insight into the preferences of respondents by allowing them to prioritize items or options according to their preferences unlike other surveys which collects information about whether and how much your customers like a product or service. This helps you understand the perceived value of your product features or other aspects as per the preferences of your target audience and you can compare the satisfaction levels of various aspects thereby getting a good idea on strengths and weaknesses of your business.

  • Data-driven Decision Making: By collecting quantifiable data on preferences and priorities, ranking surveys enable you to make data-driven decisions. This saves you from relying on guesswork or subjective opinions, leading to more effective strategies and actions.

  • Identifying Trends: Analyzing the rankings from surveys over time or across different demographics can reveal trends and patterns. This information helps you stay ahead of the curve by adapting to changing consumer preferences and market dynamics.

  • Resource Allocation: Ranking surveys assist in resource allocation by highlighting where investments should be focused. By understanding the relative importance of various business aspects, you can know which aspects are most important to customers and can allocate resources more efficiently to meet those needs and drive satisfaction.

  • Competitive Advantage: Utilizing ranking surveys allows you to gain a competitive advantage by understanding your strengths and weaknesses compared to competitors. By identifying areas where you excel or lag behind, you can capitalize on strengths and address weaknesses to differentiate yourself in the market.

Where to use a Ranking Survey?

Ranking surveys can be used in various industries to collect customer insights about their preferences and get an idea of what they like, dislike, and what matters to them the most. Here are some use cases of Ranking surveys.

1. Ranking Survey for Product Development

If you are a SaaS or product-based company, you can use a ranking survey to know what features your customers prefer in your product. These surveys can prove to be instrumental in guiding product development efforts.

With the help of product research survey questions that ask the users to rank features or potential product enhancements, you can gain valuable insights into what aspects or product features are most important to your target audience. For example, if you want to introduce new features to your product, you can use ranking surveys to create a successful product marketing strategy and prioritize which new features to include in your software, based on customer preferences. Here is an example of a ranking survey question that helps in product development.

Please rank the following potential features for our software from most to least important.

Ranking Question Product

2. Ranking Survey for Marketing Research

You can use a ranking survey in your marketing research to know better about your target audience and their choices. Ranking surveys can help you understand consumer preferences for different product attributes, advertising messages, or brand elements. 

By asking respondents to answer questions by ranking various options, you can gain insights into what resonates most with your target audience. The information gained through these market research questions enables you to tailor your marketing strategies effectively, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates. Here is an example of a ranking survey question for marketing research:

Please rank the following product features in terms of importance when considering a purchase.

  • Durability

  • Price

  • Brand reputation

  • User-friendliness

Ranking Question Market Research

Looking for a market research tool? Explore the Best Market Research Tools or Software to grow your business.

3. To Gauge and Improve Customer Experience

Ranking surveys can be effectively used to gauge customer experience by collecting feedback about various aspects of your business. You can collect feedback by asking your customers to rate your business aspects from best to worst, or which aspect needs to be improved the most to least. 

For instance, if you are in the Hotel and Hospitality industry, you can use ranking surveys to ask hotel customer satisfaction survey questions from your hotel guests to gather feedback on various aspects of the guest experience, such as check-in processes, room amenities, and dining options. By prioritizing areas of improvement based on customer rankings, you can avoid any more problems for your guests in the future and enhance guest satisfaction and loyalty. Here is an example of a ranking survey question to gauge customer experience in the hospitality industry.

Please rank the following aspects of your recent stay at our hotel from most to least satisfactory.

  • Check-in process efficiency

  • Cleanliness of room

  • Quality of dining options

  • Friendliness of staff

Ranking Survey Question - Hotel Guest Feedback

Looking for effective customer experience tools? Read this to explore the best customer experience survey platforms of 2024 to measure and enhance customer experience and satisfaction.

4. To Collect Customer Service Feedback

You can use a ranking survey effectively to collect feedback about your customer services to measure customer service performance, and eventually provide your customers with better services. If you are in the service industry, ranking questions in your customer service surveys can help you gauge customer satisfaction and identify areas for service improvement. 

For instance, you can use ranking surveys to assess customer satisfaction with different aspects of your customer service, such as response times, resolution effectiveness, and overall friendliness. This feedback can help you know all the problems or issues customers face and can inform training initiatives and process improvements to enhance the quality of service provided.

Please rank the following aspects of your recent interaction with our customer service team from most to least satisfactory.

  • Response time to your query

  • Clarity of communication

  • Effectiveness in resolving your issue

  • Overall friendliness and helpfulness

Ranking Survey Question Customer Service Feedback

5. To Collect Event Feedback

Ranking surveys are useful for event planning and management. If you want to organize an event or conference, you can use ranking questions in your event feedback surveys to gather preferences on event locations, dates, session topics, speakers, and activities. 

By understanding attendees' priorities and preferences, organizers can make the best decisions about the event, its location, date and many aspects to meet their expectations, resulting in higher satisfaction and engagement levels. Here is an example of a ranking question for events or conferences.

Please rank the following session topics for our upcoming conference from most to least interesting.

  • Future trends in technology

  • Leadership and management strategies

  • Sustainable business practices

  • Digital marketing best practices

Ranking Survey Question Event Feedback

Also Read: 5 Overlooked Tips for Hosting a Great Online Event

6.  To Manage eCommerce Offerings

Ranking surveys are also useful for online retailers and eCommerce businesses. If you are in the eCommerce industry, ranking surveys can help you optimize product offerings and website usability. You can use ranking surveys for anticipating customer needs and to understand which product categories, features, or attributes are most important to your customers. 

Additionally, ranking surveys can be used to gather feedback on website navigation, web page content, search functionality, checkout process, and overall user experience, enabling you to make data-driven improvements to drive conversion rates and customer satisfaction.

Please rank the following product categories in terms of your preference for our online store.

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Home and kitchen appliances

  • Fashion and accessories

  • Health and beauty products

Ranking Question Product

Also Read: Beginner's Guide to Personalized Customer Experience for eCommerce

Let’s learn some best practices to conduct effective ranking surveys.

Some Best Practices to Conduct Ranking Surveys

Here are some best practices you should follow while conducting ranking surveys.

  • Provide Clear Instructions: Offer straightforward guidance on how to rank items, including the purpose of the survey and any specific ranking criteria. Clarity ensures respondents understand what is expected from them, leading to more accurate responses.

  • Make your Surveys short and simple: Make sure your survey is short and concise so that your target audience can quickly respond to them. Avoid overwhelming your customer with a long survey or complex questions, as this can lead to survey abandoning in between.

  • Select Relevant Items/Options: Carefully choose items that are directly related to the survey's objectives and represent a diverse range of options. Avoid overwhelming respondents with too many items or including irrelevant choices that could skew results.

  • Randomize the Order of Options: Randomize the order in which items are presented to respondents to minimize order effects and biases. Additionally, consider counterbalancing the order across respondents to further reduce potential biases.

  • Use Accessible Design: Design the survey with user experience in mind, ensuring it is easy to navigate and compatible with various devices. Clear layouts, concise wording, and intuitive interfaces enhance respondent engagement and data quality.

  • Pre-test Before Final Distribution: Before launching the survey to the full sample, conduct pre-tests or pilot studies with a small group of respondents to identify any potential issues with instructions, item wording, or survey design. This helps ensure that the ranking survey is clear, relevant, and well-understood by respondents, leading to more reliable and valid results.

Let's learn how you can create ranking surveys.

How to Create Ranking Surveys?

Creating a ranking survey is easy with Zonka Feedback through the following steps:

  • Log in to your Zonka Feedback account and click on the Add Survey button OR click on the (+) icon in the left sidebar and click on Add Survey.
  • Enter the details of the survey i.e. Survey Name and Description (description is optional) and submit the feedback survey form.
  • You will be presented with a list of ready-to-use survey templates for various industries and survey methodologies. Choose the one that suits your requirements or you can also choose to start a new survey from scratch and add the ranking question to your survey.
  • For adding a ranking question, choose General Questions and a list of general question types will appear from which you need to Select Ranking. A ranking question will immediately be added to your survey and will appear in the middle of the screen.
  • From the right side of the screen, you can choose the option to Edit the question through which you can add the question and response options.
  • Similarly, you can add more questions and answer choices to your survey and go ahead to distribute your ranking survey through multiple survey channels with Zonka Feedback.


Ranking surveys are an ideal way to know the choices, priorities and preferences of your target audience by asking them to compare items or options and giving a rank order to their preferences. For creating a powerful ranking survey, you should use good survey software to create and share ranking surveys with your target audience.

Zonka Feedback is one such software that can help you serve the purpose. With its ready-to-use survey templates and various question types, you can easily create ranking surveys for various industries and share them with your customers through multiple channels.

The tool also offers a free trial. You can try Zonka Feedback for free for 14 days and leverage ranking surveys to understand your customers’ preferences and optimize your offers to meet their expectations.

Nikhil Dawer

Written by Nikhil Dawer

Apr 10, 2024

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