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Category: Technology

Re-shaping Our Face-to-Face Protocols

The past several months has been a trying and disruptive period, both for our industry and the world.  As the curve starts to level, more and more economic areas have begun the process of re-opening, marking both opportunities and challenges for us conducting in-person research.

Since March, many of us in the research world have closely monitored the recommendations of both our government and medical experts.  Social distancing, disinfecting processes and general greater sense of awareness in public places have become the new norms.  As consumers and research participants emerge from self-isolation into the new world, it’s important to balance our research needs with the safety and peace of mind of participants.

Our ‘COVID19 Omnibus’ showed us that a majority of participants recognize the importance of sharing their opinions at this critical time, and largely feel that now is an appropriate time to participate in research. As research leaders, it is our responsibility to ensure that appropriate quality control & safety measures can both still be implemented.

As we transition back from the lockdown, it’s important to take the following steps to ensure the health and well being of not only respondents but also supporting employees as it pertains to in-person research.

In-Person Facility Best Practices:

To ensure the safety of all individuals participating in research at in-person facilities, it’s important to ensure the following conditions are met:

  • Sanitize the equipment and furniture before each shift
  • Have respondents do a temperature check at check-in
  • Ensure that mask & sanitizing/washing stations are available for respondents & staff
  • Have respondents sign a travel & symptom waiver before entering the interviewing area
  • Ensure that desks / chairs follow Social Distancing rules – minimum 6 feet apart
  • Utilize floor signs as reminder of social distancing rules
  • Limit the number of participants in a room at any one time – with a staggered entry
  • Reconfigure facilities to ensure proper distancing between respondents & staff
  • Use an electronic sign in and sign out for the respondent
  • No hand-outs, all concepts / hand-outs will be presented electronically
  • Product will be served in individual self-serve units only
  • If utilizing HUTs after in-facility interview– sanitized product containers should be placed in carry out bags for respondents to take home.
  • For HUTs without in-facility interview – respondents should be pre-screened by telephone/on-line before being mailed/couriered the product to their home in a sanitized container.
  • If client viewing is required, a second room with monitors or virtual monitoring should be utilized.

In addition to the safety of respondents, it’s also important to consider the health and well being of employees supporting the research. The following should be used as best practices when conducting research in person.

Staff Best Practices:

  • Measure and report staff temperature before coming in for each shift
  • E-mail/text a daily travel & symptom waiver before coming in for their shift
  • Wear masks and gloves where possible, always while at the facility
  • Sanitize/wash hands frequently and after every interview
  • Always maintain social distancing rules – minimum 6 feet apart
  • Sanitize tablets / computers after each interview
  • For product test – materials (plates, cutlery etc.) are one time use only

The post COVID-19 world will be a vastly different one for in person interviewing.  However, by following some of the best practices above we can ensure that both respondents and staff are able to conduct in person research in a safe and secure environment.

 


About Aref Munshi

Aref Munshi  

As Vice President, Sales & Research Services for The Logit Group, Aref Munshi’s main responsibility is managing existing clients. In his current role, his main responsibilities include managing existing clients, where he is a client advocate and research problem solver; he has been providing qualitative and quantitative support services to clients across the healthcare, consumer & business industries. With over 30 years of data collection experience, Aref’s strength is his holistic market research skill set.

Weathering COVID-19 – Business Development Strategy During a Difficult Time

I often thought the world would be a much better place if all politicians were, by law, required to have a history degree. The relevant knowledge and trends they could draw from to help shape insights, process and a successful path forward would really serve us all. As researchers, this is language that’s all too familiar to us…

With Covid-19, we’re in an unprecedented time, but we are uniquely qualified to handle this challenge.

With a growing trend towards sensationalized data and soundbites, we as a society are constantly inundated by main stream media with sobering assessments and un-fact checked hypotheses that drive fear and further enflame the situation. Covid-19 has become commoditized, making it easy to get caught up in the vortex around the pandemic. It’s important to understand that in these times, the best way to thrive is to think outside the box and to adopt a fresh perspective.

We need to focus on what we can control in an environment that has taken so much of it away. It’s difficult to develop business while managing our own personal feelings and worry for our families and colleagues, but we’re objective thinkers. We make decisions and recommend directions based on market conditions. We need to employ this thinking for ourselves and understand that there are growth areas, and in fact, it’s never been more important and a better time to conduct most lines of research.

The New York Times recently published this article that portrays the realities we’re seeing in field:

The Title:
Surprising Poll Results: People Are Now Happy to Pick Up the Phone

The Subtitle:
Pollsters are used to having their calls screened. But when everyone is stuck at home, a stranger with some survey questions can be a lifeline.

https://bit.ly/polling-coronavirus

The article focuses on the realities we’re finding on how ‘response rates have risen amongst people in typically tough-to-reach demographics, such as young people and those without college degrees, who are typically less likely to use landlines. Increased participation is also reported amongst cell phone users – particularly in the daytime, when in the past many respondents would most likely have been at work and unwilling to answer a call from an unknown number.’

The striking tone of the article and as those in CATI data collection research know, traditionally, older age groups take more time and are more receptive to research, more so than any other age group. With Covid-19 in our midst, we’re seeing increased cooperation across the board across all ages and ethnic groups. It’s incumbent on us to take the responsibility to continue research outreach and to help the population right itself. This example of an empowering reality can mobilize a lot of business decision makers into quick action. The question we all hear posed by Decision Makers is… ‘Is this the right time to do research?’ Yes in fact, it is.

Increased response rates are being reported across the board and span over all methodologies. Online survey response rates have surged, interactive IDI/Focus Groups are becoming the new norm and plans for onsite social distancing compliance for research are well underway and gathering momentum.

As business leaders, it’s our job to approach the emotional toll of a terrible pandemic in a clinical fashion as we’re revenue drivers. We acknowledge it’s our responsibility to create stability to ensure the health and growth of our clients. It’s also important for those who work for our Companies. It can feel heavy but I have found that shifting my focus to the emotional business needs of our clients has been helpful and very productive.

In times like this, we trust ourselves, trust the future and take charge of what we can control. Now, more than ever, it’s important to create a ‘diamond’ level experience routed in creativity and case examples that truly illustrate the state of the industry which is driven by respondents. Tasking yourself to this challenge will serve not only you, but us collectively as an industry well.

 


About John Wulff

John’s 25 year career has been focused on quantitative market research data collection. Holding senior positions representing some of the largest and best quantitative Online & Offline data collection companies with operations based in North & Central America and Asia.

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.

Shane Graph1

 

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/


shane headshot

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.

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 Three Research Lessons From Election Season Polling

With the Canadian Federal Election taking place on October 21st and the US Presidential election slated for 2020, it’s a perfect time for us researchers to reflect upon sampling, declining response rates, margins of error, and questionnaire wording for federal election polling surveys.

Those of you who are not researchers or analysts have probably been wondering, how truly representative are election polls, and can they still lend credibility to predicted election results in a world of declining response rates?

Looking back on previous elections and their results, it’s clear that there are important takeaways and learnings from how election polls are conducted.  These takeaways not only ensure that future election work is as representative as possible, but they also lend themselves to takeaways that can be transposed to other research projects.

ballot choice

  1. Ask the right questions to the right audience.

Political polling highlights the importance of asking the right questions. The wording of both the questions and answers will affect the outcome in different ways. For example, here are some considerations:

  • Should you ask respondents for whom they will most likely vote for when the election takes place? Or who they would vote for if the election was held tomorrow?
    • Should your question use the first names of the candidates, as they will appear on the ballots, and/or should you refer to each candidate’s party affiliation?
    • Who are the intended respondents? (All registered voters? All adults of voting age? Anyone intending to vote? Only registered voters who voted in the past election?)

To answer any of these questions, you need to have some clear goals and objectives of why you are conducting the research. There are many types of political polls, and multiple reasons for conducting them. Trying to measure consumer or voter attitudes is different than trying to predict behaviour, which in turn is different from trying to forecast voter turnout.

phone interview

  1. First know the why, then determine which method will get you there.
    Most political polls are subjected to a huge amount of methodological analysis and critique. Was the poll conducted online or by phone? Did the pollster use live interviewers or automated dialing with interactive voice recordings? Was the sample selected through random digit dial (RDD) or targeted listings?

    Questions like these offer insights into the most important methodological challenges facing the research industry in a time of rapid technological and social change. It reminds everyone that the method is so important. The challenges are not just about qualitative versus quantitative or surveys versus focus groups, but also about design, fieldwork, respondent recruitment, data collection, statistical analysis, and interpretation.

people in rally

  1. Think about the story rather than the numbers.
    Search online for “elections results” and you’ll find a multitude of different polls released on a weekly basis. Most of the results are in alignment with each other, but a handful are notable in their approach because they make the story just as important as the outcomes.

    In those cases, the content is relevant, interest is high, and the stakes are made to feel huge. The story is moving, and it feels like you are one of those individuals they were reporting on. While every poll has the support from PR, marketing, and communication campaigns, it is always nice to see those select few polls that report on things, or from angles, that nobody else has explored yet.

    Conclusion

    When it comes to political polling, the aims and goals are so important that you need to know your approach before you even begin to start thinking about the method and the potential questions. However, once you have your direction, it becomes critical to do more than show the numbers—you must also show the story behind those numbers to make your content relevant and interesting… and to really resonate with your audience.


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.

Things to Think About When Conducting DIY Research

Smaller companies, especially start-ups, often face challenges because they lack financial security or specialist resources such as research leads. To make matters worse, when it comes to cutting costs, it’s the marketing and research budgets that are frequently the first to be reduced. Fortunately, however, the range of cost-effective tools now available should mean a lack of money and experience is no longer an excuse for even the smallest company to not conduct market research.

Across this industry, DIY (i.e. do it yourself) research tools are accessible, widespread, and sometimes even free! From designing a survey for your customers to programs for data report visualizations, there are automated programs online for you to use. However, as with any DIY project, there is still a number of things you need to think about when conducting your own market research.

Quick Results

With the right DIY tools, you don’t need to hire a research company or wait several months for results. Online research platforms mean the various tools and resources are at your fingertips—all you require is a bit of patience, time, and effort to create your own research. Thankfully, there are loads of different examples to help you to get started.

cash-cent-child-1246954

Further, many organisations who work in the DIY research space are now moving into a SaaS (i.e. software as a service) type of model. This means they can offer their services and tools at cost-effective prices and speed.

Some things are ready for you already
Many survey tools now provide ready-made templates for different industries and scenarios, as well as automated reporting; they can also offer preselected panels for which you can pay online. All these companies have also invested a lot of money into the user experience, so it is simple and easy to conduct your own research in one place.

It can be cheaper (sometimes)
Did you notice the “sometimes” in brackets above? This qualifier is because you do have to take your time with DIY research, and you also have to think about what you really want to understand from your target audience. Without this patience or nuance, you could end up rushing the process and ultimately needing to spend more money to fix the issues you caused.

analytics-chart-charts-920116

When organizations or individuals know what they would like to understand, DIY market research can actually provide plenty of opportunities to be creative at a low price. The question is: Do you truly know what you’re looking for?

Being a step in front of your competitors
Not conducting proper market research is one of the main reasons why so many start-ups fail in their first five years. This is because they haven’t bothered to truly understand the audience to whom they wish to sell. Of course, the fact that not everyone conducts market research can be an advantage for you. To be honest, even thinking about conducting market research puts you a step forward of your competitors who don’t.

The information and insights you can gain from conducting your own market research will help you more even more steps ahead of your competition, if you frame your approach correctly. It’s the difference between a company that conducts market research to understand consumer thoughts and opinions… and a company that just goes off on a hunch or a rough idea.

Overall
More and more vendor partnerships are now being brokered in the DIY space, and the possibilities continue to be exciting as services and tools evolve.

For small companies (or even larger ones with limited budgets), it is important to remember that just because many tools are now automated, you need not rush through the process to find your answer. In fact, it actually means you need to take the same amount of time as you would have done if there was no automation—the speed will come in to play when you are collecting the data and then finding out the results that matter to you.

However, despite all the possibilities associated with DIY research, it should still ultimately be viewed as a complement to traditional full-service research. DIY is a great starting point and offers all the advantages mentioned above, but make sure you do not lose sight of your ultimate goal in exchange for using DIY methods.



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.

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?

woman-working-on-ss-designer-1200x670

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
oscar

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.

5 Top Ways To Build An Effective Online Research Sample!

So you have googled different research methodologies available and have decided that online research is your chosen golden nugget. In particular, you are interested in using an online sample because you wish to ask the same or similar individuals questions about your business and products.

Online sampling can be a crazy world and very difficult to start if you don’t have a set process to follow. This is why I have put together my top 5 things you should look out for when creating or using an online sample!

My top 5 tips are for those who want to build a unique online market research sample, because like I said, it can be a tricky task to even start. I’m hoping these 5 takeaways will help you to breakdown the process so its much more manageable.

  1. What Do You Want to Understand?

The first question you must ask yourself is – What would you like to understand from your research? You need to first define your research objectives. Your objectives will affect what research sample you wish to create and promote. Especially if you’re focusing questions to a set persona or type of individual.

For example, if you are looking to change some your core products, or add to your existing product range. You will need to understand which groups this will affect and how you want them to be represented in your research. Customers, potential customers, mar-comm audiences and stakeholders all need to be represented in a way which reflects their opinion.

On the other hand, let’s say you have a targeted marketing campaign that is on Facebook and other social media platforms, then you would actually what to understand the opinions and thoughts from that specific target audience who you have targeted.

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  1. Leverage Existing Networks

Recruiting participants for research can actually become very expensive especially when taking into account the size of your sample. Yet, the best place to start for any size or scale of research is your own networks. Whether that is using LinkedIn, social media and even your own email lists, customer databases and any other existing connections you have built. People on these lists will be those most valuable to you which means they will also have an opinion.

Current customer opinions is crucial and actually more relevant in some ways than a panel because they are familiar with your brand.

They will be motivated by a desire to improve the brand and experience, rather than the financial incentive.

African Woman Working Design Creative Concept

  1. Get Yourself on Social!

There has been a lot of buzz recently about social market research with the likes of Brandwatch and SproutSocial dominating the space. Social media listening tools have driven this discussion and market researchers have been quick to adopt such processes. Whilst it would be difficult to use social media from a sample perspective, it is still important to think about social in its broadest sense.

Social media can complement market research through the entire process, from introducing community-based elements during the project, to driving participant recruitment. A subset of snowball sampling methodologies, social media recruitment leverages the personal connections of individuals to reach a wider potential audience. By combining this with your organization’s own networks, it is possible to build a large (and representative) sample in a short space of time.

Then you can think about social media influencers in your area of work to help generate interest and spark a conversation about your new sample. With the use of social media, you can grow your sample size as well as understand what your target audience are actually talking about online. Which will help when creating topics, tasks and surveys for your participants to answer during your sample journey.

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Screen Participants

When you promote a sample on social media the danger is sample quality. There are many dangers to look out for, including speeders, professional research participants, no-shows and more. The best way to eliminate these is through an invitation questionnaire to understand who the individual is and whether they are a best fit for the sample you need.

This will then serve two things. The first is to ensure that your sample fits the profile you are looking for, as there is no point in sending questions to a group of individuals who may not even know what you are on about. The second is to drop participants that would reduce your data quality. Speeders are participants that complete research tasks as quickly as possible and do the bare minimum. Their responses are not always reflective of their own thoughts, often writing the first thing that comes to mind.

The easiest way to catch a speeder out is by asking them a particular question which you ask them to select a particular answer. Speeders will unlikely even read the question before making a choice.

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  1. Manage Your Lists and Participants

At the end of the day, your list are your participants and potential customers. So treat them how you would like to be treated. Over time, some participants will drop out, it is only natural. As more and more drop out this can have an overall negative impact on your research results and sampling quality. To ensure your research doesn’t suffer, you should regularly monitor active and inactive participants and also those on the verge of leaving. The latter could be sent some new information or you could seek to understand how you could help them from not leaving.

 

So by following these quick 5 steps you will be on your way to creating a high-quality panel of research participants. Obviously there are pro’s and con’s to using samples, however, by controlling the different processes that are there to see, it is possible to create a high-quality sample that will help your business in the short and long term.


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.

Trust, But Verify: Using Online Panels for B2B Research

Conducting B2B research via online panels is an increasingly attractive option. Its more efficient cost model translates to roughly 30% of the price of running the same project by telephone. Incentives are lower online and you’re able to cast a much wider net to accomplish goals far more quickly.

While this may sound great, serious questions can arise over how respondents are recruited… and to how to ensure those answering your surveys are in fact qualified to do so (and are who they say they are).

The survey-taking experience is recruited under the guise that it is completely anonymous. As such, respondents aren’t recruited with a phone number and can’t be validated with telephone verification. This means you need to have a certain level of faith in your panel-of-choice company, and this trust needs to be cemented by a history of successful projects together and the power of their name within the industry.

While trust is important, so is a little common sense. Regardless of past performance, there are additional steps to take across each survey as safeguards to help ensure the content of the report comes from qualified B2B online respondents.

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Picking the right partner

Client relationships are carefully constructed; they need care, attention, and acknowledgement that years of hard work have taken place prior. It’s important to pick a partner that not only respects this philosophy, but also has the experience and courage to tell you the possible pitfalls, preparing you for the reality of the project at hand. This enables you to more reasonably predict the end result, using experience and asking the right clarifying questions to give everyone confidence and a platform from which to build.

With data collection, an account manager will often work on the viability/feasibility and costs for a project, but then passes it along to a project team for execution. Effective B2B research is accomplished when the account manager is tethered to the project from start to finish, and can frame expectations, ensure the team is on target, and work with the client on the fly if necessary to adjust and implement backup plans. B2B research can be nuanced and fraught with challenges that require foresight, experience, and the ability to jump in, correct, and sometimes change tact.

 

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Pre-screening and ensuring B2B panelists are who they say

 “You’re only as good as your last book” is a smart adage to adopt when working with panel sources.

Panels are expected to adhere to the ESOMAR/GRBN Guideline on Online Sample Quality, which sets out best practices in:

  • Research participant validation, to ensure the respondent falls within the description of the research sample;
  • Survey fraud prevention, to ensure the same person doesn’t try to receive more incentives by completing a survey more than once;
  • Survey engagement, to ensure that the respondent is paying sufficient attention;
  • Category and other types of exclusions, to ensure the sample does not include respondents who might bias the results; and
  • Sampling (including sample selection, sample blending, weighting, survey routers, profiling, and screening) to provide transparency.

While these are the cornerstones of panel sampling businesses, it’s important to ensure they do this and acknowledge that respondent profiling isn’t as advanced as it needs to be in B2B sampling.

B2B profilers are sent out, of course, but the completion rates are low and panel companies will often steer consumer respondent traffic that they know is employed within a general business sector.

Most proprietary panel companies have partner sources they introduce. Although vetted appropriately, new sources in the mix can increase the probability for errors based on each source’s ability to control the fraudulent behaviour appearing from time to time. Some of these partner sources can also skew results, with the base of answers really off the expected norms or what other sources in aggregate are showing.

To mitigate this, pre-screening becomes very important even among panel sources that have sufficient profiling for B2B respondents in place. Screening questions for the targeted respondent to go through before entering your survey are ideal for ensuring a respondent is truly qualified to participate.

About half of the incoming panel traffic fails for some reason or another, but this is still an important piece to put in place to ensure that those entering the survey are in fact who you need to answer the survey.

Trust, but verify

“Trust, but verify,” is a useful way to describe how best to manage and monitor a B2B market research panel project and ensure a high-quality data set.

Given the absence of exact profiling, many panels sources need to be tethered together to accomplish ambitious goals or to look for a subsection of respondents within a certain industry.

Whether or not there has been that additional layer of pre-screening, it is critical to embed security conditions (e.g. time to complete, straight-lining) and pepper red herring questions into the survey. (These can be monitored in your daily field disposition, with fails tied to the panel source). Reviewing verbatim for gibberish is another measure for discarding cases that don’t meet quality criteria.

When blending multiple panel sources, it is important to measure the sources against each other and focus on the “quality fails” that arise from the security conditions set, the red herrings, and verbatim review to arrive at pass-back rate percentage by panel. Additionally, you should review responses by panel across each other to identify blips and skews in data. If any are present, they should be isolated and removed from the data set, and passed back to the panel for replacement at no charge. Further, after a pre-test of 10% of the quota is completed, the panel source(s) showing pass-back rates higher than 30 to 40% should be investigated for legitimacy. If necessary, they should be removed from the sampling, forwarded, and removed from the data set.

While all these quality review metrics are important, they must be reasonable—typical pass-back rates on security fails in the industry range between 10 and 20%. (With a pre-screener employed, it tends to be much less). When it is above 20%, there is either a quality source issue or it is overly stringent and the project at hand may not be appropriate for the online methodology. It is important to investigate both possibilities.

Conclusion

Human beings are creatures of comfort, and we prefer to put a lot of faith and trust in proven panel providers. While I think trust is key, it is also important to be vigilant and to employ your own reasonable security metrics that make sense each time. You also need to understand that with panel sources, issues with respondent quality can arise and fraudulent sources (e.g. bots) can break though. With these extra steps and an experienced partner, you’re able to avoid issues and ensure that your report is based purely on respondents that belong.


John Wulff started at Logit Group as its first salesperson in 2008 and has a 30-year career focused on B2B/B2C online, telephone, and onsite data collection. He has held senior positions representing some of the largest and best quantitative phone and panel companies with operations based in North/Central America, Europe, and Asia.

John’s areas of expertise within B2B/B2C data collection are focused on financial, automotive, health-care, entertainment, and information technology segments. In addition to data collection business development efforts for Logit, he leads business development for Logit Group’s technology company—QFI Solutions, a survey software programming/reporting platform.