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Supporting UK Enterprise

Survey Methods - Interview Methods

Entrepreneurs have various options to administer their survey. All options have advantages and drawbacks. The use of one or more of these methods must be chosen according to the profile of the interviewees and the questions types.

Below is a list of pros and cons for each method:

Internet Surveys - CAWI

(Computed-Assisted Web Interviewing) - Solution provided by Marketest

Computer-Assisted Web Interviewing (HTML online questionnaire).

This process allows creation of automatically-captured visual questionnaires. The respondent receives an invitation to go online and reply to a questionnaire by themself. The filters are then automated.

Click here to see the advantages of this method

Telephone Interviews - CATI

(Computed-Assisted Telephone Interviewing)

Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing: the pollster administers the questionnaire orally by telephone, and captures the answers directly in a computer.

The advantages of this method are:
- It allows to avoid filter mistakes
- It allows an automatic control of answers (coherence, …) as they are automatically generated by the software

This method also facilitates using audio messages to the interviewees.

Postal Surveys – Mailings


A questionnaire is mailed to a pre-selected sample of potential respondents. The typical mailing is generally composed of a side letter presenting the market research, the questionnaire and a stamped/franked envelope for the respondent to send the survey back. In some cases, an incentive is also enclosed (gift vouchers, lotteries, etc.,) to motivate the individual to complete the survey.

For that type of market research, the survey must be simple, clear, accurate and user-friendly, as the respondent will be alone when answering it and without any help.

This technique requires a database. Please note that the return rate is low.

CAPI

(Computed-Assisted Personal Interviewing)

Face-to-face computer-assisted market research: the pollster uses a laptop on which he can read the questions and capture the answers.

The advantage of this technique is the speed of the questionnaire capture as the pollster does it directly. It also allows a lot of filter questions to choose the respondents.

Face-to-face interviews


Individuals are interviewed at home or in a given place where pollsters are stationed (pedestrian street, shopping mall, etc.). If the pollster visits the interviewees at home, he would contact them to schedule an appointment before going to administer the questionnaire.

This is the most expensive method, due to the cost of pollsters (salary, training, cost of transport, interviewees spotting), but also due to the surveys capture. The survey capture is time-consuming and increases the errors rate (data capture errors).

This type of market research is used in the following cases:

  • Complex study : The pollster’s role is to help the interviewee to answer the survey, to read the questions, give precisions and avoid omissions.
  • Long questionnaire : The presence of the pollster limits omissions, abandons or dashed off questionnaires.
  • Questionnaires requiring products, packaging, advertising displays to make comparisons : The pollster manages the order of appearance, gives information about the tasks to be done and writes the answers down on a survey paper.
  • Test study of a product : e.g.: Test of an iron before putting it on the market. Interviewees are given the product for a few days for them to test it in real-life conditions. he pollster then comes to interview the respondents and to collect their product rating.


This technique is slowly disappearing but allows an excellent sample control.



Comparison table

Internet
CAWI
Telephone
CATI
Postal
Mailings
CAPI Face to Face
Data collection flexibility Medium
to High
Medium
to High
Low Medium
to High
Medium
to High
Diversity of questions High Low Low
to Medium
High High
Geographical scope of the data collection High High High Medium Medium
Sample control Medium
to High
Medium
to High
Low Medium
to High
Medium
to High
Pollsters control High Medium High Low to
Medium
Low to
Medium
Completion rate Medium Medium Low Medium to
High
Medium to
High
Pollsters potential influence None Medium None Low to
High
Low to
High
Data collection speed Medium to
High
High Low Medium to
High
Medium to
High
Pollsters potential influence Low Medium Low to
Medium
Medium to
High
Medium to
High


Do you want to carry out your own survey?