Posted on: Monday, February 20th, 2012
Most people like to give their opinion about things.
That’s why I recently took a call from a lady representing a market research company in Toronto. As I am in the field, I never turn down receiving a survey when asked.
She was conducting a survey on behalf of TD Bank; a very well known bank here in Toronto and the one I personally use; hence, I specifically was called. We call this type of survey a “loyalty survey”.
So I sat back and went through the process.
From the onset, she was noticeably nervous; in fact, I perceived her goal was to quickly get through all the questions before I hung up on her…
I wasn’t rude, I had no attitude towards this, I am quite happy with TD as a bank so I patiently answered her questions one at a time.
Now aside from her nervousness, I made note of her company’s methodology. Most notably, all the questions were: “Rate this from 1-10 with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the best…”
I am a believer of any survey is better than no survey or any data is better than none; however, after about 10 minutes of rating things, I honestly “shut out” and wasn’t really participating in the questions.
You see anyone can ask questions, but they have to be worded in such a way so as to get your answers and keep the person at least somewhat interested and involved.
Surveying is a game of communication. You have to be comfortable in asking your questions and you have to know how to create proper questions that elicit communication back.
After I shut out as mentioned above, I had still another 10 or more minutes of questions. Admittedly, my attention drifted off and there was no one home for the last 10-15 minutes, so did she really get my true answers? Was I really involved in a good communication process at this point? The answer is no.
As I like this banking facility, I starting giving 7 and 8 answers (out of 10) “on automatic” for the remainder of the questions. I am sure TD paid quite a fee for these surveys.
Recently I looked through some competitor market research websites to see if there was anything of interest in 2012 on their sites. One immediate observation I made was how some companies spent a lot of time trying to technologically woo you with the complex names for their methods or show off their sophisticated premises. One even mentioned how they used “out of the box” methods.
Bottom line though is that surveying is a communication process of asking proper questions, by a trained person who is excellent on the phone and/ or in person, and acquiring answers by the person being surveyed.
The interest is invoked by the surveyor and from proper wording of the questions. You can have the best computers, phone systems, SKYPE, 100’s of staff in cubicles, whatever… the above in bold is what it is all about. That’s our methodology.
Another methodology we employ:
At On Target Research we will ask, for the most part, Open Ended questions.
Example of an open ended question:
“What did you like most about The Super Bowl?”
Example closed ended question:
“Please select from the following choices…”
In most cases, the answer to the opened ended question is much more valuable as it is exactly what the person thinks in his own words and it gets them involved; hence, we have some communication happening.
On Target conducts their surveys on the phone or in person employing only trained phone surveyors with good communication skills.
Getting “research” from the internet, published several years ago is old news. Even last years’ news is old, the way the markets are currently.
People’s buying habits and thoughts on products and services change all the time. You need to re-ask your questions and stay in tune with the minds of your ever changing clients and markets.
Well, I hope that answers Our Approach for you!
By the way, at On Target Research we have even taken it a step further: all our staff have completed extensive communication courses, after all that’s what it’s all about.
On Target Research Canada