Design your surveys with survey chaining


Design your surveys with survey chaining Survey chaining
Table of Contents

Some survey topics require in-depth data digging and extensive questions to be asked to get the right and all the useful data from the population. That being said, it is always advised to keep your surveys short and to the point. 

How do you make both these requirements meet? You use survey chaining!

What do you mean by survey chaining?

With survey chaining, you can branch various surveys out of one parent survey and the respondents will be directed to specific surveys depending on their answer option selected in the parent survey. 

So in simpler terms, when you look at survey chaining, you will see multiple surveys linked to each other. 

The survey chaining technique is used to give long surveys a proper flow without making just one extremely long survey. Instead, the creators make various short surveys focusing on specific answer options in the parent survey. 

So now you understand how survey chaining solves the problem we mentioned before. But there is even more to it. In this article, we will look at survey chaining examples, uses, and advantages.

Create surveys that bring the right insights?

Advanced logic, 40+ Question Types, 150+ languages, survey branching….. 

How to use survey chaining?

While designing a chained survey, make sure you have dedicated surveys for each answer option that the respondent chooses. The real deal while framing a chained survey is to maintain the flow of the survey in the right way. Since you are switching between surveys, it is important that you pay attention to which answer option goes to which survey. 

To determine the right survey flow, it is always advised to do a mock/test run of the survey with your friends or colleagues.

For example, we will take a look at a survey focused on gathering information about the population’s favorite clothing brand. Here the first survey focuses on asking them about their favorite clothing brand. Then based on the response, the respondents are taken to a different survey that asks more detailed questions about the chosen favorite clothing brand. 

What is the difference between survey chaining & skip logic?

Survey chaining means branching the surveys to one parent survey whose routing is dependent on the respondent’s answer option choice. 

When we talk about skip logic, it is a function that alters the subsequent question or page a respondent sees depending on the response they gave to the previous question. 

Survey chaining focuses on redirecting the survey to other surveys. 

Skip logic customizes the next question for the respondent. 

Although, both survey chaining and skip logic respond to the respondent’s answer choice. And both techniques are designed to give a customized survey experience to the user. Both survey chaining and skip logic are logical branching logic. 

But it is important to understand that survey chaining deals with multiple surveys and their direction, whereas skip logic focuses on changing questions in the same survey.

Coyne Research boosts productivity by 100% with Voxco Online.

What they liked most – 

  • Zero scripting 
  • Drag and drop interface
  • Less time to set up surveys

When should you use survey chaining?

We read all about what survey chaining is, how it can be used and how it is different from the skip logic. But the real question remains, where will you use chaining in your survey? 

One of the scenarios where you can use survey chaining is when you need to reuse your surveys. Since you are directing the respondents to their respective surveys based on answer options, you don’t have to create the same survey for each answer option. Only one parent survey will be enough which will have a generic question. All other connected surveys will have the questions focused on one particular option.

Another scenario to use survey chaining is when you need to dig deep into a topic and ask detailed questions. As we know, detailed surveys can get pretty lengthy. Survey chaining allows you to distribute the survey into various short and focused surveys.

Yet another use case of survey chaining can be while designing a multilingual survey. The parent survey will have one generic question asking the respondent to choose their preferred language to complete the survey in. Based on the language selection, the respondent will be then redirected to a survey in the chosen language.

What are the benefits of using survey chaining?

  • Survey chaining takes less time to frame surveys. Since the surveys are reusable, you don’t have to design a survey every time a respondent chooses a different answer option.

Low maintenance is a perk of survey chaining. When you want to change a question in a survey, you would traditionally have to rewrite the text wherever the question is asked. In survey chaining, you don’t have to repeat the changes in a survey. Those changes are automatically reflected everywhere.


Survey chaining logic is used when you need to save time and give a smooth sailing survey experience to your respondents. That being said, many online survey tools allow inducing survey chaining logic to your surveys. It is easy to design and maintain your surveys no matter how many types of respondents answer your survey.

100+ Survey Templates to get your research started.

Download any free survey template and collect actionable insights.

Explore all the survey question types
possible on Voxco

Read more

This post is also available in French.