Show me the way out. I am sure many survey respondents have thought this as they slugged their way through a lengthy survey. And while some of us may wish we could lock people in, the door to leave is always open! As those involved in consumer and B2B market research, we have to pay attention to what our survey respondents are saying, and to what they are not saying.
With the advent of online survey platforms it has become easier to track survey response with an eye on completed surveys. There is a report in the Cvent system which allows survey authors the ability to view where respondents are exiting the survey. The Last Question Answered report provides the question ID and number of participants that left the survey at the particular question.
This provides critical information to the survey author. Could it be that respondents do not understand how to respond to a question? Are there enough categories and is there a N/A (not applicable) option? Is the question being exposed to a subset of respondents who cannot be reasonably expected to answer given their knowledge of the subject, or lack thereof?
The table below shows that 12 out of 25 partial completes left the survey at question 9. This represents nearly 50% of all incompletes. Upon revisiting that question it became clear there was no response category for those who were unsure. Instead of providing a false answer they chose to exit the survey.
Using the Last Question Answered report as a tool for survey improvement will result in a deeper understanding of the response process, and provide needed input for potential questionnare revision. If you are launching a large survey, and time permits, then pre-test the instrument and make sure to incorporate the results of this report to adjsut the survey flow. In the end this will help to minimize abondonment and increase the quality of the data provided.