If a vast range of products or services are being evaluated in a satisfaction survey, the questionnaire may ask the respondent to rank many different products or services in order of preference. These questions are Ranking Scale questions.
In the ranking scale survey question below from a customer satisfaction questionnaire, the respondent is asked to rank the 4 aspects of service using a ranking scale of 1, 2, 3 and 4.
This comparison question is quite a complex task as it involves comparing an aspect of service with the other 3 aspects (3 Pairwise comparisons). Ranking these 4 items (A, B, C, D) is equivalent to 6 pairwise comparisons (A-B, A-C, A-D, B-C, B-D, and C-D).
Sophisticated survey software, such as Snap Survey Software, has the capability to go to the next question and exclude the choice made in question 1 for the next most important. This capability is called dynamic masking.
The alternative is to ask the respondent each of the 6 pairwise comparisons. Pairwise comparisons are easier to complete, but they involve more work on the survey data at the analysis stage. Below are examples of the 6 pairwise questions. The respondent would be asked to pick one from each pair.