What is survey skip logic and branching?
Skip logic and branching is defined as a feature that moves respondents to a different question or page based on their response to the current question. This feature can show a different question sequence by skipping a question or a set of questions to maintain the flow of a response in the survey. You can define custom rules in the survey design to create a custom path for each respondent depending on the answer to a specific question, geo-location of the respondent, etc. Skip logic survey create “intelligent” surveys i.e., respondents can answer only relevant questions based on their answers to screening questions.
For example, a patron at a restaurant can be asked if he/she enjoyed their meal. If the answer is no, the survey questions branch out to ask a future question - “Can you rate your experience on the basis of the following parameters.” with a few options about service, quality of food, ambiance, pricing and the behavior of the restaurant staff. If the answer to the question is yes, a follow-up question about what part of the experience made them respond yes, can be asked.
Skip logic and branching is achieved by using boolean statements. The conditions can be configured as if answer choice 2 is picked on question 3, then skip directly to question 10. If not, continue to question 4. Skip logic works only forward though. Hence it is important to decide the flow of questions within the survey beforehand and then apply the skip logic as per the requirement.
Example of skip logic branching - Conditional survey question
Consider Kroger conducting a survey with its patrons to understand the purchasing trends in their grocery sections. This survey can be conducted across the country and demographics to collect deeper insights into the purchasing psyche. The survey response data can be used to create a marketing strategy including messaging, advertisements and offers to be made for the targeted audience. The skip logic and branching can be applied to questions as below.
For any of the first four options, the question branches to collect further details.
If the respondent selects option 5 - 'Never' in the first question, it branches out to a question that collects responses to help increase sales.
Uses of skip logic or survey branching logic
The simplest use of a skip logic survey is in a situation when respondents need not view some responses or questions. Some common types of projects or surveys that use skip logic and branching are:
- New product launches or product tweaks: If a FMCG brand would like to understand laundry detergent usage, they can run a questionnaire that understands the usage of current detergents by using basic demographic questions. This survey can help understand if the respondents prefer detergent in the form of liquid or powders, their favorite aroma, etc.
- Employee satisfaction surveys: The experience of each employee differs from others and hence there should be a custom employee satisfaction survey path depending on the answers. Using skip logic and branching in the survey can collect the right data.
- Concept test for new services: Survey data is a good yardstick to gauge the demand in the market, understand consumer behavior and collect preferences of the target audience. Skip logic and branching can be used to jump to a different set of questions based on the answer selection.
Survey data is a good yardstick to gauge the demand in the market, understand consumer behavior and collect preferences of the target audience. Skip logic and branching can be used to jump to a different set of questions based on the answer selection.
Types of skip logic or branching logic
There are two types of skip logic and branching.
- Conditional branching: Conditional branching is used when a condition needs to be met while answering the survey. The logic rules are inserted during the survey design phase. This helps create a custom path for a respondent that is taking a survey and helps move from one question to another without having to see irrelevant questions. For example, if a respondent is on Question 3 which is a dichotomous question type. Answering “yes” to this question takes the respondent to Question 6 but answering “no” displays Question 12 to the respondent.
- Unconditional Branching: Unconditional branching occurs even if no condition is met. This type of survey branching is generally used for text questions or at the end of a branch logic that brings the respondent back to a main point in the survey. For example, all respondents are shown a “Thank you” page irrespective of their answers. This condition is set on the last question of the survey.
Advantages of using skip logic or branching in surveys
- Lesser survey completion time: A respondent sees only relevant questions and so the time spent completing the survey reduces drastically.
- Consistent survey flow: Using skip logic and branching adds structure to the survey and gives a consistent experience to the respondent.
- Lesser survey dropout rate: The survey dropout rate is very high when the respondent feels like the questions aren’t relevant to them. For instance, if respondents answer that they do like to travel and the next question asks them to choose their favorite holiday destination, it will irritate them and urge them to leave it halfway. With survey branching logic configured on the former question, the second question will be skipped for such respondents and the survey will be branched to the next relevant question.
- Accurate data: Relevant survey responses increases the accuracy of the data and generates reports that can be trusted.
How to use skip logic or branching in your surveys
Check out our skip logic and branching help document for a better understanding of how it works.