16 May Respondent engagement for beginners: six simple ways to get the results you need
The success of your research depends on a lot of factors - and the level of respondent engagement is definitely one of the most important. Your market research is only as strong as your weakest link - so not only do you need a consumer market research recruitment strategy that enables you to reach out to the best respondents, but you also need to make sure your respondents remain engaged and excited for the duration of your project in order to get the results you need. From building a rapport and keeping things interesting to asking for feedback, read on to discover our six top tips for excellent engagement…
Top tip 1: Make sure they’re prepared
If you want to ensure that your respondents are as engaged as possible, they need to be fully prepared and know exactly what to expect from the very beginning of your consumer market research project. Make sure they are thoroughly briefed and that they understand what is needed from them, as well as what to expect. From what is being researched to what you want to achieve and why, the more prepared they are, the better the results. You could prepare a task list to keep them focussed or a project timeline for them to follow, as well as an information sheet with all the important deadlines and contact details of your support team. Basically, the more info they have up front, the more comfortable they will feel to open up and share - which means you can enjoy high-quality results!
We say: “It’s super important to make sure your respondents know exactly what to expect during the research study - by being completely prepared, they will be calmer, more relaxed, and much more likely to share those in-depth insights!”
Top tip 2: Build a rapport
Your contact with your respondents shouldn’t stop once you’ve recruited them. In fact, to get the most out of your participants, it’s essential that you keep in regular contact and build a relationship with them. By keeping up the contact throughout your research, you will not only be able to encourage them to respond to the best of their abilities, but they’ll also be more comfortable and increasingly likely to open up and share in-depth insights. When it comes to digital methodologies, keeping in regular communication also means you will be able to spot any participants who are disengaged and take action to re-engage them. By staying in control, you can ensure that deadlines are being met and make sure that your research goes as smoothly as possible.
We say: “At Angelfish, we’re all about the relationship. In fact, the secret to our success is really getting to know our clients and respondents and building up a strong relationship based on mutual respect and understanding.”
Top tip 3: Embrace technology
In today’s world, as people get busier, respondent fatigue is a growing problem - and it can have a knock-on effect when it comes to the quality of your research. But technology is a great way to keep your market research interesting and your participants engaged. After all, it’s much more fun to record a short video explaining what you like about a product rather than filling in a survey, or snapping some photos as you shop rather than taking part in a telephone interview! And the great thing is that these digital methods can be used anytime, anywhere - which means they can also fit in around people’s busy lives. Because online methodologies give respondents a quick and easy way to take part, people can get involved on the go at a time that suits them - so they will be more likely to stay engaged and share in-depth insights. In addition, because technology empowers participants and allows them to express themselves clearly, it also makes them feel as if they are really being listened to. And because they feel like they are being heard, they will be encouraged to give the best possible responses.
We say: “We’re definitely seeing a rise in online and digital methods in qualitative market research. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it allows our respondents to share their thoughts in a way that’s convenient for them - what’s not to love?!”
Top tip 4: Keep it interesting
If you’re conducting mobile-based research such as an accompanied shop, mobile community, or online diary, selecting the right tasks is another really important step to achieving excellent engagement. After all, the tasks you choose will set the tone in terms of engagement and creativity, so it’s important to offer a good range of fun and interesting activities to keep your respondents interested and encourage them to open up. The more engaged they are, the better the results - so it’s definitely worth taking the time to perfect your task selection. Potential task ideas include blogging, video diaries, discussion forums and picture books, but for more ideas, have a look at this blog.
We say: “If your respondents aren’t enjoying the research, you can’t expect them to take part to the best of their abilities. Step into their shoes, get creative, and have some fun - you’ll definitely see the benefits!”
Top tip 5: Select the right software
If you’re using an online community or mobile ethnography to conduct your research, it’s really important to make sure you choose the right software. Basically, if your software isn’t user-friendly, you’re not going to get the most out of your research. Don’t forget that each project will have its own particular needs, so it’s really important to take your time and choose the software solution that’s right for you. Some things to think about include whether or not it can be used on mobile, whether it’s device agnostic, if it has the right security measures in place, and most importantly, whether or not it’s easy-to-use. If your software is too complicated or if you don’t provide tech support details and answer your respondents’ questions, your engagement levels will plummet - and the quality of your responses will take a hit too.
We say: “Your software choice can have a huge impact on the quality of your results, so it’s vital that you choose the right one. If you need advice, we’re more than happy to help!”
Top tip 6: Ask for feedback
Finally, another way to make sure your research is hitting the spot is by asking your participants for respondent feedback. Ask them to rate the research after it has taken place to find out what they enjoyed, what they didn’t, what they found easy, what they found difficult, and what they think could be done to improve any similar research projects in the future. By asking for respondent feedback, you can not only make sure your respondents are happy and engaged - but most importantly, you can learn from your mistakes and make any necessary improvements to make sure you get the most out of your future projects.
In conclusion, the quality of your respondent engagement is really important when it comes to the overall success of your qualitative market research. By getting to know your respondents and putting yourself in their shoes, you can make sure you get the most out of your research. Communicate regularly, build a rapport, make things as easy as possible for them to take part - and you can’t go far wrong! Want to find out more about consumer market research recruitment and how to get the best possible results from your fieldwork? Check out our helpful guide.