Archive for the ‘Telephone Survey’ Category

The following post was co-written with Zach Shaw, Panel Associate at RMS


What is Qualitative Research?

Qualitative research is a non-numerical method used to discover and understand consumer behavior, beliefs, attitudes, experiences, and interactions. Qualitative data is often implemented during the exploratory phase of the research, using unstructured or semi structured techniques to facilitate an open dialogue with the participant(s). Giving the participant more freedom in their response allows them to provide more detail than can be gathered through closed-ended quantitative research. Instead of looking for statistical comparisons, qualitative researchers will evaluate the gathered data to identify trends given by the recipients, and implement solutions.

Types of Qualitative Research:

  • Focus Groups – A focus group includes a small number of people (often 10 or less) brought together to participate in a guided discussion by a moderator. The discussion focuses on specific products, topics, or services, and follows a pre-determined focus group moderator’s guide. The moderator’s guide outlines the questions to be covered, as well as the topics for which the moderator should expect to probe deeper for additional explanation.
  • Intercept Surveys –An intercept survey is a very brief, in-person interview with a participant and an interviewer. For example, the interviewer might approach someone leaving a retail store and ask them a few questions about their experience.
  • In-Depth Interviews (IDIs) –IDIs often take the form of a one-on-one discussion between an interviewer and participant. The interviewer typically follows a semi-structured interview guide, developed prior to the conversation, to direct the discussion. It is common for IDIs to be completed in-person, over the phone, or via the web.
  • Mystery Shopping – Mystery shopping is used to measure the quality of a service, compliance with regulations, or to gather specific information about products and services. This method allows the client to obtain competitive information without being involved in the process. Mystery shoppers often gather this information through telephone calls or by visiting the store and acting as a customer.

Why do Qualitative research?

Qualitative research can be used at any phase of research, but is most commonly done as a first or last step in the research cycle. It can be very valuable when developing new products or marketing initiatives that are looking to gauge consumer perceptions. Qualitative data allows the researcher to have in-depth discussions with participants and allows the researcher to gather more detailed information on consumer needs, behaviors, desires, routines, and a range of other information that companies use for designing products and services. The depth of qualitative research allows the researcher to uncover contextual details that may be overlooked in quantitative research.

What is Quantitative Research?

Quantitative research looks for patterns in numeric data and is generally better for confirming and clarifying a research hypothesis. Applying statistical tests to numerical data provides a better understanding of trends, allowing the researcher to make more informed statements about the results. RMS customizes each questionnaire to the needs of the client, but many of the questionnaires follow a structured outline and are primarily made up of closed-ended questions with provided response options for the participant to choose from. This structured approach to research is different than the more conversational approach used in qualitative research.

Types of Quantitative research:

  • Mail/Paper Surveys – A mail or paper survey is a questionnaire that is completed by the participant on a hard copy rather than in digital form. These types of surveys can either be distributed via postal mail or given to the recipient in person to complete. Mail or paper surveys are a great option for populations which may not have easy access to a computer or the internet, but are known for often having a lower response rate than other types of quantitative research.
  • Mixed Mode – Mixed mode research involves more than one type of data collection. For example, data may be collected with a combination of research methods to reach the desired populations. Phone surveys could be used to collect data from an older population who is more likely to have a landline; online surveys may be distributed to those younger than the population receiving the phone surveys, and paper surveys would be used to collect data from the subset of the population who does not have immediate access to a phone or the internet. A mixed-mode approach allows the researcher to ensure data is collected from the target population of interest, with a mode that is most comfortable to that population.
  • Online Surveys – An online survey is a digital version of a questionnaire. Participants may be sent a survey link that is embedded within an email, or they may access it on a social media post, which they can complete online.
  • Telephone Surveys – A telephone survey is completed over the phone. The interviewer takes the participant through the questionnaire question by question.

Why do Quantitative research?

Quantitative research often gathers a larger number of responses, allowing the researcher to make more reliable assumptions regarding the resulting data. Quantitative research questions can be used to measure consumer feelings, satisfaction, and other factors in a structured form, giving the recipient limited response options.  This quantifiable approach to research is a great option when a client has a sense of what their target audience thinks, feels, or expects, but would like to further test their assumptions.

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com

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The following blog post was written by Meghan House, CAHPS Associate at RMS.blog-tsa

A Telephone Survey Associate (TSA) is a fundamental part of any Call Center. From customer satisfaction to business lead qualification, a TSA is the face, or rather the voice, of the company. They are the persona that is portrayed each time someone is contacted on behalf the market research client, and that’s a big responsibility. Having the right person for the job is imperative to maintaining a high quality, well performing Call Center. Top-notch TSAs possess a few key attributes:

  • They know the client’s products and services- A strong TSA will “do their homework” and fully understand who it is they are representing. Understanding who the client is, and what job they are asking you to do for them, will better prepare the TSA to complete their calls.
  • They are detail driven-A TSA with good organizational skills and who is aware of project details is much more likely to be successful in completing the job efficiently and thoroughly than those that “glaze over” the finer points. TSAs must not only be able to communicate with the client’s contacts, but with fellow TSAs as well. They will frequently need to collaborate with colleagues to determine the status of a project, and must be able to effectively take notes that would allow another TSA to work with the information with little to no difficulty. Notes and abbreviations should be clear and easily understood.
  • They have good phone manners-A good TSA will understand the importance of phone etiquette. Proper greetings and closings, correctly addressing whoever answers the call, and asking the right questions at the right times are essential to conducting a successful phone call.
  • They are capable of multitasking-A crucial part of a TSA’s job is being able to accurately enter the information they are receiving from the other end of the line into a database, while continuing the conversation so there is no break in the “flow”. This keeps silence on the line at a minimum, and also makes the call time more efficient.
  • They are an active listener­-The ability to actively listen to who you are speaking with while performing the task at hand is pivotal to being a highly productive TSA. This allows the TSA to participate in the conversation, take down all pertinent information from the call, and complete any other task without losing focus.
  • They maintain a comforting tone of voice-Voice tone sets the stage for a call. If the TSA has a curt, sour sounding voice, then naturally anyone answering the call would not be as receptive to what the TSA has to say. However, if a TSA uses a cheery, clear tone, the person on the other end of the line will likely be much happier to speak with the TSA, even if only to hear what the call is about.
  • They are calm under pressure-TSAs may encounter projects with a deadline, a disgruntled person on the other end of the call, or changes in the project’s parameters mid-project. Being able to quickly and accurately adjust to the situation and still complete the task at hand is incredibly important.

Regardless of the project, having the right people on the phone makes all the difference. A good TSA should be focused, motivated, and have a positive attitude; that is what will make the difference.  RMS QualiSight employs a full staff of highly qualified TSAs. If you are interested in conducting a telephone survey or other market research project, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website at www.RMSresults.com.

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This blog post is a summary of a recent project completed by Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS).

Background: In Spring 2015, a global manufacturing company partnered with Research and Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) to conduct a B2B telephone survey with decision makers and buyers of their products. The client wanted to better understand the customer purchasing behavior and preferences of the company’s products for industrial applications.

Approach:  RMS utilized its in-house data center (QualiSight) and experienced B2B project telesurveyors to manage the blinded telephone survey research (the interview participant did not know the name of the RMS client). Although RMS is well-versed is developing telephone scripts, the client’s in-house research team crafted the survey used for data collection, allowing the client to harness their own internal strengths and save on the cost of the research. Once received, RMS programmed and tested the survey prior to implementation. The client provided RMS with a database of industry business contacts used for data collection. RMS can use lists provided by the client, but can also purchase business and/or consumer sample to conduct surveys of this nature. The survey was brief, and only took 5 minutes to complete. The quota of 100 telephone completes was met, and field work lasted approximately three weeks. The survey instrument included questions about the purchasing habits and key drivers for choosing local distributors over ordering direct from the manufacturer. Respondents were asked to identify 4 factors that are most important to their decision making process. Then, the CATI script was programmed to pit one against another in a trade off analysis to determine what matters most to the customer when deciding who to buy from.

Results: For this telephone surveying project, QualiSight staff collected and compiled the data into an excel spreadsheet in an agreed upon format with the client, but did not perform an analysis of the data. While similar projects may include a graphical report or require the purchase of telephone sample, the client was able to leverage their own internal expertise to use the data provided from this project to develop a report for their internal stakeholders. QualiSight has the flexibility to provide customized options to clients wishing to conduct a telephone survey project but might not have the internal resources to conduct a phone survey to complete the fieldwork. These clients choose to work with RMS QualiSight as their “back office” research team. Below is a quote from our client, explaining how the company utilized the findings from the project.

“Obtaining high quality and relevant feedback from decision-makers in our segments is difficult. We reached out to QualiSight as our data center to administer our survey and they exceeded our expectations. We used the data from the survey to help guide our global decisions on supply chain management as well as identifying improvement areas in the process that were most valuable to our market. By using a randomized phone survey and separate third-party vendor we were able to ensure a high confidence in the data we obtained with no sponsor bias. RMS did a great job for us.”

RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Syracuse, NY. If you are interested in conducting a telephone survey or other market research project, please contact Sandy Baker, our Senior Director of Business Development & Corporate Strategy at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422. Visit our website atwww.RMSresults.com.

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