Skip Logic: Keeping Surveys Relevant For Those Completing Them

Philip Cleave
April 24, 2023
A picture that depicts routing a respondent through a survey

When it comes to your survey, you’ll want to gain as good a response as you can, as the higher your response rate, the more valid and reliable your survey insights are likely to be.

Subsequently, you’ll want as many respondents as possible to complete your survey. However, given how busy most people are, unless it’s simple, concise and relevant this can be more challenging to achieve.

Fortunately, if you have skip logic, you’ll have the tools to do something about this.

What is Skip Logic?

Essentially, skip logic, also known as branch logic, is a feature that enables the content and questions in a survey to change, based on the answers that respondents give when completing that survey.

By using this feature to route different respondents through their survey according to the answers they give, survey designers can both minimize frustration for survey takers and maximize the quality of data they’re able to capture for their business. This is because respondents will now only see those survey questions that are most relevant to them, making the survey simpler and quicker to work through and encourage more of them to complete it.Who needs Skip Logic?

Who needs Skip Logic?

From HR professionals and business owners to customer experience managers, market researchers, healthcare professionals and more. It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to reach out to an internal or external stakeholder group, anyone that needs to survey a particular audience will benefit from being able to configure their questions and obtain feedback based on the initial answers that each respondent provides.

Best practices when using Skip Logic

Having taken the decision to try skip logic in your next survey, it’s useful to check in briefly on best practice when using skip logic.

Very simply, if you’re to gain the greatest value from skip logic, its usage is best kept to a minimum.

Essentially, its primary use is to shorten and simplify survey completion in order that respondents only see the parts that are most relevant to them and skip the rest.

So, if you have a larger survey that conditionally shows or hides information many times, then you probably need to focus on page or question logic too.

However, for the intents and purposes of this blog piece, if you’re looking for some quick ways that skip logic can help keep your surveys relevant for those completing them, we’ll go on to look at that next.

Popular uses of Skip Logic

Here are some popular ways that many organizations use skip logic, to ensure as many of the right people as possible take their survey.

Disqualifying Respondents

We’ve already referred to the benefits of skip logic for keeping your survey as relevant as possible for those taking it. Well, the ability of skip logic to help you disqualify respondents who aren’t relevant to your survey early on is a big part of this.

For example, let’s say you ran an Italian restaurant chain and were conducting a survey about changing your opening hours and adding new dishes to your menu.

In this scenario, it’s likely that you would only be interested in feedback from your highest paying customers – namely those over the age of 18 and look to disqualify responses from any customers under 18.

To do this, you could simply add an age-related question, such as the one below to the first page of your survey.

“What age group do you belong to?"

  • Under 18
  • 18-25
  • 26-35
  • 36-45
  • 46-55
  • 55+

Then through the use of skip logic, you could ensure anyone selecting the radio button to indicate that were under the age of 18 could skip the entire survey. All they would see is a “Thank You” page that you can customized, to let them know that you appreciate their time, but they unfortunately didn’t meet your criteria.

It’s also prudent to ensure this response is flagged as “Disqualified” in your results, so that they aren’t inadvertently included in your aggregate results.

The good thing about this process is that depending on how many disqualifications you receive; it can help you to distribute your next survey to an even more carefully targeted audience, further maximizing the quality of your results.

Marking responses as complete - even if this isn’t strictly the case

Whether you’re trying to reach out to your staff or get feedback on a sensitive subject. While there will often be occasions when you may want your respondents to have the opportunity to reply anonymously, you may also want to give them the opportunity to provide their contact details or opt out of this bit altogether.

So, let’s say we wanted to do this using our example of the Italian restaurant. In this scenario, we may follow up a required NPS (Net Promoter Score) question on the first page of our survey with an optional contact details fields on page two.

However, we may also want to mark the response as “complete” for those respondents who would rather opt out and skip over the contact details field on page two. For that, we would need skip logic.

If we didn’t have skip logic, those respondents choosing not to continue our survey after page one would see their responses marked as partial rather than complete.

When using skip logic, responses appear as complete regardless of whether the respondent completed the contact fields on page two or not.

Navigate an irrelevant page

The survey creation process doesn’t stand still, and it may be that a survey you issue frequently needs to be updating from time to time.

If we revisit the example of a survey created by an Italian restaurant, it may be that we want to add another question in the future to ask whether a customer dined in or ordered a takeaway.

For those dining in, we may want them to see a page, so they can rate their experience of their interactions with the service staff, while sending those who ordered a takeaway straight to a page that looks to collect more information about them.

In contrast to the first group who would smoothly progress from their previous question to the question about their interactions with service staff, skip logic would automatically skip the latter takeaway group past this service-related question to an optional contact details page.

The use of this sort of responsive survey design can help to significantly decrease the level of survey fatigue your respondents might otherwise experience.

Triggering new surveys to be sent to respondents

Depending on the type of survey you’ve created, it’s not unusual to want further answers from some of your respondents based on what they’ve already said.

In this case, issuing them with a further survey to get these responses can be hugely beneficial, with the use of skip logic to make this happen.

For instance, in the example of the Italian restaurant, you might want to send a second survey to those who answered your NPS (Net Promoter Score) question positively, in the hope that they might now sign up for your loyalty program.

Similarly, detractors who answered negatively could be sent to a “How Can We Improve?” survey instead.

Recognizing the value of Skip Logic

From reducing the number and increasing the relevance of your questions, to simplifying and shortening the length of your overall survey. There's a lot of benefits to be gained from skip logic. And in today’s increasingly busy world, where there is an ever-growing number of technologies continually vying for our attention, any innovations that can help keep respondents focused on our survey will be hugely valuable.

Fortunately, skip logic can give you this, by arming you with the tools to cut through this noise and keep respondents fully focused and committed to completing your survey. So, if you’re not already using this feature, there’s never been a better time to begin doing so.

Boost your survey response rate

By skipping them past irrelevant questions in your survey, skip logic is one of the best ways of maximizing your response rate. However, you’ll only gain the fullest value, if you’re partnering with the right survey provider who can offer these tools.

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