What is Survey Dropout Analysis and why is it needed?

Survey Dropout Analysis

Survey Dropout Analysis: What is it?

Survey dropout rate is a percentage of respondents who did not complete the survey for diverse probable reasons such as technical hurdles while responding, lack of interest, irrelevant survey questions, a monotony of the survey, an unclear purpose of the survey and many such aspects and analysis of dropout rates is known as survey dropout analysis.

So, respondents who quit the survey without completing it are survey dropouts and researchers conduct analysis to evaluate reasons for the dropout so that enhancements can be made to improve the survey in terms of the purpose of survey, survey questions, an accuracy of covered questions or the overall length of the survey. An engaged respondent is highly unlikely to drop out of a survey. A market researcher is expected to create the survey in such a way the most of the respondents stay engaged throughout the survey and there is a visible reduction in dropout rates.

There are two parameters that a researcher should keep in mind for survey dropout analysis:

  • Response Rate: Response Rate is the number of people who submitted their responses divided by the total sample. It is observed that the response rate has an average range of 10-15% in the case of most customer surveys. The sample size may not available in cases where the surveys are conducted across the entire customer database. That is when researchers should review the completion rate.
  • Completion Rate:  Completion rate is calculated by dividing the number of respondents who actually complete the entire survey with the total number of respondents who enter the survey. Completion rate is extremely dependent on factors such as respondents will to complete the survey, the length of the survey, type of survey questions etc. The survey completion rate is generally between 20-50%.

Why are these two terms important for survey dropout analysis?

For a researcher, an analysis of the reason behind a respondent completing a survey is crucial. While many organizations focus only on response rates, in situations where there is a sample size which can’t be given a number. In situations where the survey is conducted with an almost innumerable sample, completion rate plays a key role.

For example, a market research has a completion rate of 60%, i.e. 40% did not complete the survey. Let’s say, 15% of this were not interested in the survey for reasons best known to themselves. Thus, a researcher is left with 25% chose not to respond after partially answering the survey.  This magic percentage – 25% is what matters to a researcher interested in garnering the best details about a research topic.

Survey Dropout Analysis will present the researcher with a detailed analysis of the stage at which the respondents quit, which questions led them to leave the survey, a percentage-wise division of dropout rates at each question etc.

Why should a Research Conduct Survey Dropout Analysis?  

  • It is important for researchers to create effective surveys which have lower dropout rates. Conducting survey dropout analysis provides insights into factors such as which questions were the cause of maximum people leaving the survey or how many people quit the survey soon after starting it.
  • The flow of questions can be decided on the basis of survey dropout analysis results. It is possible that many respondents close the survey if they find uninteresting questions at the beginning of the survey.  
  • Collecting data points becomes easier if the dropout rates are analyzed constantly after every survey.
  • Respondent engagement is key for any survey – analysis of dropout rates can help create a survey that increases respondent engagement with each survey.

5 Tips to improve Survey Dropout Rates:

1. Add important questions at the beginning of the survey: The arrangement of questions can be instrumental in reducing dropout rates as including important questions at the start of the survey can lead to respondent engagement. Researchers can obtain information about questions which are most important for their research analysis.

Also, implement skip logic in case there are too many questions to be covered in the survey so that according to the chosen options, respondents will be asked only a limited number of questions.

2. Type of questions: Researcher should pay close attention to the type of questions they include in the survey.

Researchers should avoid asking open-ended questions since they take a longer time to answer. Including close-ended questions such as Net Promoter Score question, Likert scale question etc. can prove to be beneficial for improving survey dropout analysis.

3. Rewards: Everyone loves rewards – of any sort. Researchers are relying on the knack of offering rewards to prompt respondents to complete the survey. Rewards in form of Amazon gift cards, prepaid Visa reward, Starbucks gift card etc. can work wonders in reducing survey dropout rates.

4. Restrict the Length of the Survey: The relationship between a number of questions and the time taken for completion is not always directly proportional. The type of question maneuvers the time taken for survey completion. A researcher should keep this in mind while designing a survey.

5. Send Reminder Emails: This tip is highly dependent on the target audience of the survey. If the survey is being sent out to a highly engaged audience, researchers can send them reminder emails as it mostly will not annoy them. But, sending reminder emails can be effective in ensuring that respondents take time out to complete the survey.

Survey Dropout Analysis using QuestionPro

With a survey software platform such as QuestionPro, researchers can seamlessly analyze dropout rates and create strategies to reduce the survey dropout rates based on the analysis results. The reports section of the survey dashboard offers an option for survey dropout analysis.

Here are quick steps on survey dropout analysis using QuestionPro:

1. Under the Reports, there is a Dashboard tab where an option for Participant Statistics will appear:

survey dropout analysis

2. The first part of this dashboard will have Overall Participation Statistics.

survey dropout analysis

3. There are various sections to further analyze response rates such as Email Invitation Participant Statistics, Grouping/Segmentation Participant Statistics.

4. At the end of this dashboard is a section of Dropout Analysis. The column of Base% indicates the percentage of respondents who dropped out at a certain question.

survey dropout analysis