Face to face
Face to face research techniques are arguably the best method of collecting data.
They allow fully trained interviewers complete control of the interview process and a rapport between interviewer and respondent to develop.
This ensures respondents complete understanding of the questionnaire and all questions are accurately completed. Should the survey require behavioural observation, touching, tasting or smelling then a face to face approach is far superior to other research methods.
If location is important then a face to face approach allows place specific interviews to be conducted outside a store/venue or in a particular town/place. In-home placement product testing, exit polling and central location testing (hall tests) typically use face to face interviewing.
Face to face interviews can be traditionally done using pen and paper
Or administered on laptop/mobile/tablet devices online and offline.
Telephone based research
Using the telephone is an excellent medium for conducting many types of research.
Despite frustrations in the reality of reaching respondents there are several advantages to telephone research:
- Potentially cost effective
- Wide geographical spread
- Extensive interviewer control allowing semi-structured questionnaires
- Certain stimuli can be considered by a respondent
Can be used in conjunction with other techniques (follow up calls after a face to face interview, e-mail/postal survey reminders, and face to face appointment making).
E-mail based research
E-mailing potential respondents with your questionnaire has several benefits – a potentially very wide audience, cheap and fast to a targeted sample. However there is little control on ensuring the respondents correctly consider and understand questions before answering. Response rates can be appallingly low and the timing for return of completed surveys is not guaranteed.
Web based research
The internet can a useful tool for research with typically low cost surveys (or links to surveys) being incorporated as part of virtually any website/social media post/e-mail (click here for an example). However this method can also demonstrate flaws – site users can be turned off by invasive pop-ups and data can be unreliable – who took part / who didn’t take part? Did the respondent answer honestly / read the question? Etc.
KGS ltd are happy to advise the best method for conducting your research project taking into account budget, required accuracy of results and target audience.