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Category: Marketing

Interviewing Hard-to-Reach Respondents During Difficult Times

Interviewing Hard-to-Reach Respondents During Difficult Times
By Arundati Dandapani

Door to door sampling was the truest, recall the veterans, who are still grappling with the challenges of an industry that has fast moved towards automation and programmatic designs. Research reveals that operational efficiency and costs have brought down the overall quality of the respondent experience, leading to a general distrust in the industry. Poor experiences have led to declining participation rates, leading to even lower response and completion rates.

Incidence rate is defined as the number or percentage of qualified people from a sample that are eligible to participate in a study. Since the onset of one of the most disruptive global health crisis in recent decades has changed the way we work, suppliers across the board report no change in IR (ease of finding qualified respondents/targetable population) or Response Rates (completion), and in some cases observing even higher response rates than before. Meeting respondents for specific market research studies however remains an ongoing challenge and difficulty for many reasons.

Are these Difficult Times?

Twelve weeks ago, there was no COVID-19 to talk about. Today, how we are doing business and market research has changed completely owing to the economic, social, and public health impacts of the current global pandemic.

“In times of COVID-19, we need to be hyper-sensitive on user experience as everyone has heightened emotions. When we poll our audience about ‘what questions do you have today’, Covid related questions are becoming major top of mind questions,” said Paul Neto of Measure Protocol. Rand Market Research confirms that nearly 80% of Canadians are concerned about the Coronavirus and are changing their behaviour due to it. “While many companies focus on Incidence Rates, the critical metric is its conversion to completion rates, as in many cases (70-90% of all surveys), participants do not complete them because of poor experiences. The industry has moved away from responsible interaction with the participant,” reminded Neto.

Jackie Lorch of Dynata wrote that, “Consumers can still provide generalizable data and think objectively about their cars, TVs, household goods and other products and services, but their answers on many topics will be different while the Coronavirus crisis lasts. This reflects the reality of your customers’ experience. It is more vital than ever to keep in touch with them and not risk being left with a data “black hole” as the world recovers.”

Business as Usual Despite the Crisis

The major reported or observed change in research operations has been in the shifting of real-person fieldwork to virtual operations, affecting offline qualitative work the most (including face-to-face interviews, and focus groups). The best way to measure change is by tracking respondents over time, for example, comparing the IR in studies in the last month with the past three months of studies in field.

Whether times are good or bad, maintaining respondent interest can be a challenge for many reasons. Factors range from the source of sample (e.g., banks that use highly targeted client lists for surveys seeing higher participation), mode of survey (online is a better medium for some demographics, and has little barriers for use in difficult times like COVID-19), quality of profilers (the rarer the qualifications or behaviours, the feasibility of that sample is lower) among others.

While there are different reasons for low respondent participation, panel participation is often dependent on how the survey question is worded, and what the qualification times and windows are. Qualification includes the criteria that respondents are required to fulfill at the recruiting stage, and qualification times and windows often determine how tracking studies will be impacted, opening unique opportunities to benchmark and observe targeted respondent behaviour over time.

The potential of mode must not be overlooked. According to Randa Bell of ASDE Survey Sampler, “IVR (interactive Voice Response) presents an interesting opportunity to reach respondents in a cheaper or faster way than traditional telephone surveys, when your interviewing capacity is lowered due to physical distancing in call centers. Also, there’s the added ability to reach cell phones via IVR or SMS text messages to the younger age groups who might be sitting at home and bored with all the news and lock-down. All surveys at these times should be introduced knowing that COVID-19 is on the minds of everyone and acknowledged in the introduction.”

Doing More to Earn Respondent Trust and Retention

Businesses need to keep conducting mitigation tests to check that their field studies are on track to optimize their incidence rates. The qualifications for studies and project timelines must reflect the new reality and new needs, whether that means keeping a close tab on the COVID-19 situation as it develops, and being adaptive in response as governments and citizens work to contain the outbreak, or introducing new measures that protect the public and companies investment in the ongoing health of their respondents.

Incidence rates are reflective of the effort it takes to convert qualified persons to participate in a study. Research fieldwork and data collection methods must be adaptive to create better experiences that improve participation rates. If that in the current environment means substituting / migrating all face-to-face qualitative work with other user-friendly virtual, mobile and safe alternatives, businesses must prepare. Targeting lists and respondents effectively involves employing the optimal mix of traditional and new technologies including AI, the internet of things and blockchain to ensure user-intuitive experiences that convert to the highest participation of qualified respondents.


About Arundati

Arundati Arundati Dandapani, CMRP (@itadnura) advises non-profits and businesses with insights and storytelling. She is the founder of Generation1.ca, an online cross-sectoral resource and outlet for Canada’s newest residents, chief editor of MRIA-ARIM, and has been honoured with industry awards like the inaugural GRIT Future List Honour along with the 2020 AAPOR Burns Bud Roper Fellow and QRCA’s 2020 Young Professionals Grant. She can be reached at arundati@generation1.ca.

Keeping Your Market Research Data Safe and Secure

Market research companies are faced with varying challenges and security threats when it comes to protecting their data. Over the last two years, there have been many breaches exposing millions of data records as cybercriminals have been targeting both the public and private sectors. According to IBM’s 2019 Cost of a Data Breach Report, the average cost of a data breach worldwide is $3.9 million. For the United States, that number soars to $7.91 million.

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The burden of responsibility is widening as many international regulators are now holding organizations liable for any privacy or security breaches. As custodians of sensitive client data, market research companies have a responsibility to minimize the security risk for data both in motion and at rest.

Data in motion, as its name suggests, refers to information being moved from one location to another across the internet, along networks, or from storage devices or the cloud. Protection methods are particularly critical because this data in transit tends to be thought of as less secure than data at rest, which is information simply stored or archived on hard drives, devices, or networks.

Protecting data is critical not only for its own obvious sake, but also to reassure potential survey participants who might be apprehensive about participating in your market research project due to being aware of recent data breaches in other sectors.

Some recommended measures to be implemented include:

• providing staff with cybersecurity tools to ensure ongoing compliance with best practice policies and procedures;
• lowering risk exposure by implementing technology such as intrusion detection systems (IDS), intrusion protection systems (IPS), honeypots, and firewalls;
• regularly monitoring and auditing security procedures to meet developing cyber threats;
• implementing detailed security policies that entail procedures, rules, and roles so all staff members understand that data privacy and security are priorities (e.g. policies like handling procedures, usage, privacy, social media, and user responsibilities);
• keeping informed with all cyber-threat news, updates, and applicable security patches;
• investing in data-breach or cyber-security insurance; and
• conducting penetration testing—also known as “ethical hacking,” this the practice of testing a computer system or network to find security vulnerabilities that could be exploited.

Perhaps one of the most important data security recommendations comes down to always ensuring you are working with people whose approaches and practices you can trust. The Logit Group is continually implementing new measures that comply with industry best practices and address client concerns and requirements about data security and privacy while adhering to data protection laws.

 

Forbes graph: https://www.statista.com/chart/9918/the-price-tag-attached-to-data-breaches/


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About Shane Scott

Shane Scott has over 17 years of notable success leading a broad range of corporate and government IT initiatives while participating in the planning, analysis, and implementation of solutions in support of business objectives. As the Logit System Administrator and Support Specialist, Shane has been championed to enhance the Security, Infrastructure and System administration as the company growth continues.

Using A Mixed Methodology Approach For Emerging Markets

Mixed methodology, otherwise known as multi-mode research is a popular choice when approaching emerging markets. With varying response rates, influenced by geography, language and respondent qualification to name a few, a mixed methodology approach allows researchers to compensate for coverage biases and shortfalls.

Cultural influences play a major role in determining the type of methodology used. In emerging markets such as Indonesia and Malaysia, email invitations to VOC programs yield lower response rates in than other countries. This is caused in part by social and cultural behaviours within these countries. Due to this a mixed use methodology may be warranted.

The quality of data collection is critical, and appropriate quality control measures are implemented. For e.g. in Malaysia, data quality requires 100% monitoring to ensure compliance from both interviewers and respondents. While phone and online methodologies are ideal there are some countries such as Singapore and Myanmar where face-to-face data collection using CAPI could be used as it gives wider access to sample and it’s use is generally accepted amongst the population. For each it’s important to note the costs and time constraints. These are factors that will influence choice of methodology.

 

We’ve pulled together a few key observations from our work with mixed methodologies in emerging markets. Here are some factors to take into consideration when developing your study:

Questionnaire Length: It’s important to maintain consistency in the length of your survey. We’ve concluded that the optimal length is around 10 minutes. Studies have been conducted up to 30 minutes, however this is not the norm.

Combatting Rural Areas: In more secluded areas, participants tend to be more conservative in their willingness to participate in studies. We have found that the face-to-face intercept methodology is most successful, as opposed to phone and online approaches, although this option is more costly.

Language Versatility: It is important to consider regional dialects and languages when using face to face intercepts. In instances where there are multiple distinct languages across various states, having the awareness and understanding of regional differences will strengthen your response rates.

Research Execution: The more comfortable your respondents feel when engaging in a study, the more successful your responses will be. It’s vital to have local native speakers wherever your study is taking place in order to ensure clear and unbiased communication.

Observance of Cultural Nuances: Ensure that your study takes into consideration the local cultural nuances. Public holidays, political events and even cultural differences in what constitutes a weekend versus a workday are all to be factored into a study to ensure higher response rates.

For example, in the Middle East countries, a weekend is Friday/Saturday, not the typical Saturday/Sunday. In emerging markets, it’s much more common to have a larger number of public holidays. These factors all contribute to the way in which a field plan should be mapped in preparation for a study.

Political situations such as a general election can impact participation due to a large influx of social media use. Consider the type of government in power within your emerging market, as this impacts how trusting the population may be. For example, while attempting to complete a survey during a national election in Malaysia, the corruption of the government and mass amount of propaganda going out for the election meant that we had a much lower response rate during that time.
In order to ensure all possible nuances, cultural practices and language variations we need to be mindful of all options when working in emerging markets. Logit carefully factors in all of the above when recommending the appropriate methodology for each research project. With over 25 years of experience, our international research execution can help to leverage your next international study.

Interested to learn more about our services? Contact us here: http://bit.ly/bidrequest


About Oscar Fernandes 

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Oscar has over 25 years’ experience in market research especially in the areas of Project Management and Business Development. Before joining the firm in 2014, he held senior positions at Greenwich Associates/Corsential/Consumer Contact.

How to Gain a Competitive Edge Using MR

How to Gain a Competitive Edge Using MR

Since Daniel Starch developed his theory in the 1920s that advertising had to be seen, read, believed, remembered, and most importantly, acted upon, in order to be considered effective; companies have been using research as a means to gain a competitive edge on their competitors.

Research methodology and techniques have evolved substantially over the years most noticeably since the turn of the millennium. Conducting research has become faster, cheaper and more efficient; allowing companies of all shapes and sizes access to it. With companies conducting research in one form or another more than ever before, the challenge to gain meaningful unique data has grown ten-fold.

The pursuit of consumer insights has become an arms race, with the most successful companies finding ways to not only understand, but leverage insights at breakneck speeds. Those who have been able to harness the power of insights have flourished in the post brick and mortar retail world, while those who haven’t have faded into obscurity and obsolescence.

So how does market research play into the success of a company? And what are some areas of focus that companies can look toward in 2020 for a competitive edge?

Looking at Purchase and Usage Trends

purchase trends
To know where you’re going you need to know where you’ve been. By evaluating both purchasing and product usage behaviour of your current customers, you can understand the why, when and how of their consumption and through it can see trends and potential areas for change and enhancement. There are a few keyways to do this each with their own inherent benefits:

In Store Observations: Allows you to see consumers in their natural environment and gives you an understanding of their path to purchase.
Online communities: A small representative population of your consumer base. Gives you quick access to run both quantitative and qualitative data.
Point of Purchase / Interaction data: Short follow up quantitative survey delivered post interaction.
In Home Usage Tests: Diary / Log of a consumer’s interaction with your product and key takeaways of it’s use.

Gaining Competitive Insights

competitive insights
As important as it is to know how your consumers use your product / services, it’s also equally important to know how your consumers view you in relation to your competitors. Several ways to do this include:
MaxDiff Exercises: Respondents evaluate all possible pairs of items within the displayed set and choose the pair that reflects the maximum difference in preference or importance
Conjoint Analysis: Helps to determine how people value different attributes (feature, function, benefits) that make up an individual product or service

Leveraging Technology and Automation

leveraging technology
As the speed of business continues to get quicker and quicker so too does the speed at which insights are gathered and put into use. The ability to leverage technology and automation has become more important amongst the ever-evolving business landscape. Here are a few areas where you can gain a competitive advantage.

Facial Coding: Allows you to capture a respondent’s emotional engagement to any stimulus in real time.
Chat Bots: Conduct qual style exercises at the size of quantitative studies

Through harnessing the research techniques above you too can ensure that your company has a competitive advantage. Want to learn more about how you can implement these on your studies, contact us to learn more.

Top 5 Market Research Predictions for 2020

Top 5 Market Research Predictions for 2020

This is the time of year when everybody seems to be making predictions. Within the realm of market research, I’ve seen quite a few articles forecasting methodologies and the impact of data privacy. From my own experience, here are five trends or changes the industry will experience in 2020.

1. Outcome- and strategy-first methodologies will be embraced.
In the coming year, business outcomes from research and insight will become even more important to drive results and profit from the data gathered. Success will be achieved through the increased integration of people, data, and technology. The combination of different data sources should enable businesses to move from insight-driven to result-driven, enabling the insight team to be one of the most important functions. For this to work in 2020, we need curious individuals who can answer the “why” question, working hand in hand with best-practice technology solutions.

2. DIY research will come into its own.
With so many start-ups and small to medium-sized businesses, there seems to be even more use cases for “do it yourself” research. Companies like SurveyMonkey, Typeform, and Zappi offer a DIY research format, allowing individuals to create their own research program without needing to discuss anything with an actual person or agency. For 2020 to be the year for DIY research, though, there must be more go-to-guides and information to help individuals conduct market research by themselves.

3. Unlocking privacy compliance will be key.
Yes, this one is probably on every prediction list over the last few years, but there’s a reason for it. Data privacy continues to be a big deal, and we are just beginning to feel the impact of the various global legislative initiatives that relate to this topic. As I like to say: “The bigger the company, the bigger the threat.”

At the moment, there seems to be no standard way of working with privacy-related requirements—different businesses are seeking different solutions for the variety of compliance issues. In 2020, I firmly believe we will see standard protocols emerge that will lead us to a less-fragmented market (and less-fragmented privacy rules, in general). However, the real value will be seen by organizations that look for ways to address compliance needs while also unlocking new potential value for data stakeholders.

4. Data science will overtake insights.
Market research has historically focused on data collection, and analysis has typically been simple. This applies to qualitative as well. In some ways, however, the market research industry was ahead of its time—the ability of decision-makers to use data to guide their decisions has lagged the capacity to collect it.

Now that the data industry is much larger, you could argue that market research is being absorbed into data science. There are huge amounts of programmers and software developers in our industry—while many are adept at selling, they know little about marketing or research. (To be fair, they usually do not refer to themselves as “marketing researchers.”)

For market research to be the golden industry, we have to go beyond mechanical data collection, simple analysis, and interpretation. Instead, we must work closely with AI, machine learning, and data scientists. However, I still feel that a market researcher with sound experience will still have an amazing career in the industry. Those able to design primary quantitative research who have a good grasp of statistics—as well as marketing and business in general—will be at an advantage, as will top-notch qualitative researchers.

5. We will reach peak innovation.
Innovation is a word I hear a lot, but it can sometime feel like people are only saying it because it’s a great marketing buzz term that makes you sound amazing and at the top of your game. The desire for market research agencies and boutiques to pump out faster and more reactive products has never been so strong. In 2020, I feel like we may well reach peak innovation, but the technology that is available today will continue to get better. This means new tools will be able to deliver timely insights that provide business results and outcome-first approaches to market research and data.

Conclusion
Overall, I feel that outcome-first methodologies will come out on top while the inclusion of DIY research will become prominent in the sector, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. Better yet, I feel like the industry hasn’t reached its summit. While it might have peaked in terms of innovation, it can still grow and improve with respect to the value it adds.

While January is a time for predictions, it’s also a time for resolutions. There are many people who still don’t see the value of market research, so I challenge you to set a goal for this year—go and change one person’s opinion of this important sector. If all those reading this can do that, our field will be off to a great 2020. Have a great year!

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About Jake

Jake-Pryszlak_avatar_1546770824-400x400  

Jake Pryszlak, commonly known as the Research Geek, is a 3-time award-winning market researcher, blogger and speaker. He’s a current Forbes columnist who is active across a plethora of social media channels. His aim is to share his market research knowledge with others in the industry. You can find his blog and social media channels here.

The Importance of a Blended Methodology

Everyone thinks you need a certain personality to be a market researcher, but you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes for a successful career in this field. Of course, some skill in observation and investigation—and a keen interest in people—can certainly go a long way.

Many people can get a bit lost when it comes to choosing which research methodology to use between qualitative and quantitative strategies. In some cases, blending the two can be a good approach. However, it’s important to know when and how this works in the real world.

While blended research is neither new nor extraordinary, it is often overlooked when designing a research study because clients are requiring cost-effective research conducted 24/7. However, one of the appeals of a blended methodology is that it can help triangulate our measurement strategy, using different measures of the same concept to provide a more robust overall sense of understanding.

But what if the results are not consistent?

One of the major challenges for using a blended methodology is the different types of expertise required. Most social researchers can manage adding some qualitative questions to a primarily quantitative survey, or can collect some quantitative indicators in a qualitative project and then analyze the results. That said, given the time and training required to develop advanced expertise in ethnography, in-depth interviewing, survey research, statistical analysis, or any advanced method, most researchers are going to specialize.

different researchers

This means developing a strong blended methodology often demands collaboration of different researchers with different types of expertise. It requires more time and more attention to project design and management than may be necessary in a single-method project. Researchers with different methodological commitments may also have different research philosophies—potentially making collaboration more challenging.

Overall, it doesn’t actually matter if you choose quantitative or qualitative research or a blend of the two. The most important questions to answer are why are you conducting market research and what would you like to understand? Then, you can create a research study that answers your questions while putting the audience at the heart of it all.

It’s important to mention that whichever methodology you pick, blended or not, good research needs excellent recruitment. Being successful means never forgetting that the respondents you recruit are people first and participants second.

Depending on your methodology and techniques, you should go and visit the respondent in person. You will see where and how they live and observe their environment and habits, while getting to know them better. Even more importantly, the respondent meets you, too. This builds trust and respect for each other and your research—two items even more important than being Sherlock Holmes.


About Jake

Jake-Pryszlak_avatar_1546770824-400x400  Jake Pryszlak, commonly known as the Research Geek, is a 3-time award-winning market researcher, blogger and speaker. He’s a current Forbes columnist who is active across a plethora of social media channels. His aim is to share his market research knowledge with others in the industry. You can find his blog and social media channels here.

Multicultural Research: Top 3 Things You Should Know

Multicultural Research: Top 3 Things You Should Know

According to a 2017 American Community Survey, one in seven US residents are foreign born. In Canada, that number is even higher. At the time of the 2011 National Household Survey, 1 in 5 Canadians were born outside Canada. This large influx of new US and Canadian citizens represents a prime marketing and sales opportunity for North American brands looking to grow their market share in an established and at times crowded market.

The increased importance of brand visibility and awareness amongst newcomers has turned multicultural marketing into somewhat of an arms race. Brands now seek out new advertising and marketing channels that provide high levels of exposure to newly landed or soon to arrive immigrants. Airports, Visa offices, and even partnerships with brands abroad are all opportunities that have been pursued in recent years to varying levels of success.

Brands are now understanding the importance of being first to market, and that making an impression with newly landed immigrants can have a noticeable impact on market share. However, what’s being lost in the mix is messaging and value.  Does the message of your advertising correlate with newcomers’ values and belief systems? Is the messaging relatable and does it speak culturally to those viewing the ad?

In order to create a great marketing campaign, you need the insights to support it.  That’s why multicultural research has become more important than ever.  Here are 3 things to consider when designing and executing your research campaign.
Aerial view of supported hands out together

Consider your sample makeup.

We tend to think of newcomers holistically, but every immigrant has a story, a different path to North America and background with his or her own set of beliefs and cultural shopping behaviours.  That’s why it’s important that your sample set is as representative of the newcomer population as possible.  Things to consider include tenure and acculturation levels, country of origin and regional segmentations within country.  The closer you mirror your sample to representation, the more accurate your results.

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Think about regional and cultural biases

Each country is unique and even within country there are regional and cultural biases.  The opinions and cultural beliefs of someone from the North of India is different than someone from the south, and someone who speaks Mandarin from mainland China will have vastly differently shopping behaviours than a Cantonese speaker from Hong Kong or Macau.  It’s important to take this into account when designing your questionnaire, ensuring that you provide different language options for those taking part in the study and that you’re tailoring parts of your questionnaire to speak to respondents on a regional basis.

Traditional Roles are Localized

In North America, we tend to view traditional gender roles as a thing of the past.  It’s now common place for both heads of the household to have full time jobs and to help around the house.  Although we view this to be true in North America, the same can’t be said for some other countries around the world.  It’s important to give consideration to who your intended purchaser is and how the roles of ultimate purchaser and decision maker vary from region to region.  For example, in most cases traditionally the man of the house has been the breadwinner for South Asian households, but the female is the ultimate decision maker for food prep and purchase.

A well thought out questionnaire and sample plan will go a long way in ensuring your study is as representative as possible, and that you’re gaining meaningful insights into your target audience.  As newcomers to North American continue to grow in size and they become a larger part of our population, we as market researchers need to do a better job of tailoring our studies to their individuality and to think about them more as specific sub segments as opposed to one large conglomerated audience.  Doing this will create opportunities for additional products and services to benefit those who are currently underserved, and in turn will aid brands in growing their market share in a crowded marketplace.

CATI IN 2019: Battling Declining Response Rates

The transition away from telephone interviewing is well underway. Online polls now make up the principal source of data on consumer opinion surveys, with CATI projects largely being relegated to B2B audiences, historic tracking studies and geographic areas that lack online representation.

online polling Although online has now become the preferred methodology for most due to its attractive price point, it still poses a lot of questions in the subjects of quality and representation. The absence of a clear set of standards for online research, in particular online polling, has led to many questions about the reliability of the results that are shared.

Whilst journalists are now more likely to cite online polls as a reliable source of data, it is still unclear in many cases how these polls are fielded, and if the sample composition is entirely dependable.

Of course, traditional live-interviewing telephone polls have been facing their own challenges as of late. As the cost of labor has increased, so too has the average cost per telephone survey, and as consumers turn away from landline phones in favour of cell phones, response rates continue to decline. To further complicate matters, phone response can vary greatly within different demographic groups.

phone survey There is substantial evidence that phone interviewing is inherently less biased than opt-in panels. For one, randomly dialling both landline and cell phones puts you in touch with a consumer that may or may not know about market research and hasn’t voluntarily opted into a research-based panel. Secondly, a phone approach provides access to segments of the population that are traditionally under-represented on online panels including younger males, visible minorities and senior citizens.

As consumers continue the trend of ditching their landline in favour of a cell phone only household, sample and interviewing techniques must keep pace in order to ensure that a CATI methodology remains representative and that response rates remain high.

Here are three things to consider when conducting your CATI project.

 

Cell Phone vs Landline

An RDD (Random digit dialling) approach is effective in some cases, but as households move away from having a landline in their home it’s now more important than ever to ensure cell phone sample is included in your sample mix. Based on the latest data, a 60% land line, 40% cell phone sample split is ideal. This blend will ensure that you’re reaching cell phone only households which tend to skew younger in age.

 

Maximizing Your Success with Targeted Audiences

Does your project contain visible minorities, or perhaps those who are considered to be affluent? You can dial blindly amongst the general population in the hopes that these individuals will fall out naturally. However, chances are that these audiences are more likely to have unlisted numbers which would not be included in general landline dialling. For these groups a targeted sample list approach might be best. Targeted sample lists contain appended demographic data which is sourced from 3rd party consumer lists and databases. This increases your chances of connecting with your desired audience and you can boost your overall target numbers.

 

Making Your Survey Relatable and User Friendly

In addition to targeted sample, it’s also important to consider the overall framework of your project to ensure that you are making it as easy as possible for participants to take part. If you’re dialling visible minorities are you using interviewers that speak the language? Are you dialling from a local number as opposed to a toll free number. Is the survey itself accessible?  The more relatable you make your survey to participants the higher participation and cooperation rates will be.

 

Some people say phone is dying. I prefer to look at is as a metamorphosis.  As consumers habits change, so too must our research practices and approach. At the end of the day, the goal is to ensure high quality response rates and by following the 3 steps above you’ll ensure that your phone projects continue to be well rounded and balanced.

 


About Chris Connolly

2018 Color headshot Chris Connolly, Vice President of Research Services at The Logit Group is persistently focused on providing superior value and experience for each client relationship. With over 20 years of industry experience serving in leadership roles for both technical groups and project management teams, he has a proven track record of success.

Getting the Best Out of Your Customer Satisfaction Program

In the last decade, there have been significant changes to how researchers define “customer satisfaction,” as well as how they use this metric.

Also known as CSAT, customer satisfaction measurement has evolved over time, largely spurred on by technology. It has moved from point-in-time to real-time, from anonymous to linked, and from brick-and-mortar to multi-channel. Throughout these changes, the basics behind a customer satisfaction program have remained essential—gather data to help a client turn opinions into actionable learnings and insight.

At Logit, we collect data in different ways, depending on the client’s customer database or research requirements. We offer the capabilities to execute different methodologies to reach different customer audiences, including phone interviews, online surveys, onsite interviews, and mail surveys.

When considering customer satisfaction surveys, you first have to think about the customer journey and put yourselves in their shoes. For example, how would you like to receive a survey? When would you like to complete a survey?

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The telephone interview has always been an in-demand service from clients who have contact lists. Nevertheless, we see declining participation rates. Fewer people want to take part in comparison to a number of years ago.

On the other hand, online surveys are rapidly gaining momentum. Depending on the survey length, this methodology can be relatively quick and error-free for the client and the participants. It’s similar when thinking about onsite interviews—we always recommend the survey length be no longer than five minutes. These types of interviews are great for clients who may not have a customer list, or for clients who want to understand the opinions of consumers who may not actually purchase a product from the store.

Depending on your data collection instrument (i.e. phone or on-site), it is always important to think carefully about the identity of the client and the values of the brand. At Logit Group, we ensure all interviewers are trained to represent the brand well.

Making it work
Once you have decided on your methodology, you still need to ensure that it is actionable for your customer satisfaction program.

Connect the dots
Consumer responses and their data must be connected to the specific transaction, if one was made. This means each function of the business can receive specific feedback.

Ask yourself: Are you being clear?
When I look at reports, I always think: “Is this data actionable, and is it written in language that easily understood?”

Data and reporting should be clear and simple to understand. Many clients actually provide real-time shared customer experience information to their internal staff because experiences can change from day to day, month to month, or season to season.

Pause for reflection
A customer satisfaction program should not be left alone for years but reviewed every six to 12 months to ensure it is generating ROI and actionability across the entire organization. You need to ask your internal stakeholders what they think of the tools and the dashboards offered. Their feedback allows you to make effective changes to your approach, making certain it is always relevant to the current state of business.

Things to think about…
Almost all organizations have a customer satisfaction program. From my experience, no two are the same and the ideal approach will be unique to each company and its stakeholders, both internal and external.

Once the CSAT program is in place, the data is used to help evolve your products or services, you still need to ensure your customers understand what is being changed and why. Again: Never forget the customer journey. They are taking time out of their day to help you, so if you have altered something because of their feedback, then you need to make sure you not only tell them what actions have taken place because of their opinions and close the loop, but also thank them for their participation and feedback.

 


About Oscar
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Oscar Fernandes serves as the VP of Sales & Client Services at Logit. For over 25 years he has helped his clients execute successful CSAT programs, both online and over the phone.