This matter is rooted in the outlook adopted by the market research team at “Rahbar Bazaar”
In market research, data collection lies at the heart of all activities. This, however, does not mean that respondents, as a source of information should be treated as mere tools; they are human beings, each with their own unique feelings and emotions. Take into account focus groups. The average time presumed for each interview is at least an hour, considering the time spent to and from the venue, each respondent has to dedicate 3 hours of their time for each interview. In return, market research companies present respondents with some incentives or pay for travel expenses. Can this be considered sufficient? Contacting a person and asking them for an interview without being warm and friendly, and giving them a sum as incentive in the end, would definitely leave the respondent with an unpleasant feeling. One will provide full-heated answers only when they feel counted; and will fully participate in discussions when they can sense a feeling of intimacy.
Let’s take a step forward returning our attention to focus groups. Most respondents eligible for this type of study are housewives, who normally are mothers too. A number of people decline to participate in interviews because they have no one to look after their child when they are out of home. Now consider a market research company who has taken required measures in order to tackle this problem. Having a playroom where kids can sit around a table and draw, read books, and play while their mothers are engaged with an interview, is not beyond the bounds of possibility. Would a mother decline an interview when she notice the amount of effort the organizers have put into meeting their needs? Undoubtedly, this peace of mind will have significant effects on the interview.
Most market research companies save the respondents’ contact details in their data base for future reference. This is very helpful, but it’s not enough. Surely, more is needed than just a name and a contact number to encourage respondents from previous studies to participate in upcoming interviews. Firstly, it’s important to save additional information about the respondent, e.g. personal information, reasons for eligibility, the type of study he/she participated in, etc.
Secondly, the respondents should not be left disregarded. It’s important to keep in touch with the respondents, contacting them every once in a while and thanking them again for participating in the study. It is also possible to have annual gatherings with the respondents or having products sent to them every now and then as incentives. As a result, we make the respondents aware of our commitment in keeping to the human aspects of the profession.
This approach will result in a number of benefits, among which are: the process of finding eligible respondents is facilitated, the company will have access to a source of potential respondents which will be sufficient not only in quantity, but also in quality. The responses provided will also be of standard quality. They will share their ideas with greater patience and care and are not extrinsically motivated to participate in the study – which will prevent negative research outcome.
Most market research companies follow a customer-oriented culture, which is vital to their income. However, absolute neglect of “respondent-orientation” will have immediate consequences on the quality of work carried out by these companies. On the whole, it seems adherence to both principles of “customer-orientation” and “respondent-orientation” can add to the credit and reputation of a market research company.
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