Questionnaire and fieldwork

Once the research is in progress it becomes the responsibility of the research agency. However, the wise buyer will keep informed. The first opportunity occurs when the questionnaire arrives for approval.

■ Does it arrive in the time allowed for this in the research timetable?

■ How satisfactory does it seem to be generally?

Arrival of the draft questionnaire for approval is also the first opportunity the agency has for working with its new client.

■ Do they introduce delays by taking too long to approve the questionnaire?

■ Do they suddenly decide to introduce different topics from those agreed in the final brief?

For an effective working relationship to develop, both parties to the research should keep to the agreements laid down in the commissioning letter.

A second opportunity to monitor the research in progress arises at the fieldwork stage. The buyer should ask to spend the day with one of the interviewers, and should personally suggest the day and area to be used, rather than allow the agency to select its best interviewer. Particularly for the new research user, this experience gives great insight to and understanding of the real situation in which the questionnaire is applied and how consumers respond to it. This greatly enhances the client's understanding of the final research report when it is presented, and the insights gained are likely to influence the quality of the client's interpretation of the data and use of the findings.

Online Survey Champion

Online Survey Champion

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