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Research techniques

Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing

 

CATI is one of the most effective techniques of acquiring statistical data which eliminates mistakes of manually filled questionnaires in paper and pencil method, and in the same time it allows to get results remote thus quicker. Key to success is conducting interview by telephone with aid of specialistic computer software. CATI researches are realised during phone call with respondent. Interviewer read out the questions and write informations gained during interview in computer system aided by special script which accelerate pace of noting gained data and eliminate mistakes. CATI research script is at the same time as elastic that allows to draw another read answers and takes into account crossing rule.

 

In our Institute we realise CATI researches for Companies searching informations about opinions, satisfaction and customers loyalty. We also realise adverts tests, competition researches, product potential which is going to be released, price researches. Thanks to such researches Customer is able to define outlet more accurately. We also recommend CATI researches to entrepreneurs who wants to know employees opinions about functioning of company and initiate changes.

 

Undisputed advantage of CATI researches is short term of realisation, completeness of acquired data and clearly lower cost compared with field studies. Studies are under constant monitoring of supervisors, who can listen interviews conducted by interviewers, see process of taking notes and proficiency level of handling script in the same time correcting imperfections. Supervisor is also able to gain consolidated characteristics of interviewer work, and due to audiovisual monitoring system has a continued insight to realisation of research. On the other hand work in special studio with aid of system which is eliminating interview mistakes, allows to standardise work of tele-interviewers.  Thanks to constant, precise monitoring project coordinator has a supervision over sample realisation. Research results dont need additional work, because they are being coded, archived all the time what create readable data system. Results are available shortly after end of research process.

 

CATI researches are realised in properly prepared studios. First in Poland CATI studio was created in 1995 by Pentor Research International in Warsaw.

To realise researches for Your demands we own CATI studio with 25 positions situated in Bechatw.

 

Our indubitable advantage over competition is that in our CATI researches we use our own programme DRB Support what significantly reduces costs.

 

Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing

 

CAPI

 

is a technique of quantitive researches, which is based on realising interview with direct contact and computer-aided. It means that interviewer meets with respondent in his home or in field and after obtaining permission to use the equipment (mobile computer) he reads out displayed questions from questionnaire saved in special system. Programme allows to preserve crossing rule and adjust grammatical forms to respondent sex. CAPI electronic survey doesnt need internet connection in works also off-line.

 

Benefit of CAPI research is undoubtedly personal contact with respondent which due to possibility of non-verbal communication sometimes allows to understand respondent communicate better. Other advantage of this researches is ability to demonstrate on computer audiovisual materials (picture, movie, sound), which are connected to question from questionnaire. Therefore research may not only rely on memory of interviewee. Results of research are saved constantly and send to headquarter by safe channel. Added value of this technique is measurement of interview time. Thanks to this benefits CAPI combine personal contact with respondent with more efficient interview due to faultless and fast filling of electronic questionnaire. Last but not least is also coding in the same time and almost instantly reporting, which is very valuable for Client. To DRB Institute is very important that in case of realising researches by this technique, interviewers must be highly qualified and trained in order to be equal to direct contact with respondent. Interviewers should be communicative and emphatic enough to underpin motivation of respondents to answer most informed and honest answers. In the same time they must show high professional level, to prevent being dragged into discussion, sharing own opinion and thereby suggest answer. Thereby their non-verbal communication must be adjusted to situation of interview to assure as neutral position as it is possible to presented issues.

 

As mentioned above, CAPI researches perform well in marketing researches thanks to possibility of using audiovisual materials. In our Institute we use CAPI to conduct, adverts effectiveness researches, image and brand awareness, potential and traits of product. We also realise researches such as: research about customer preferences, his price sensitivity and also satisfaction and loyalty.

 

Our indubitable advantage over competition is that in our CAPI researches we use our own programme DRB Support what significantly reduces costs.

 

 

Computer Assisted Web Interviewing

 

CAWI is an internet survey, supervised by computer system. Most important trait of this technique is usage of internet as channel of communication with respondent. Questionnaire questions are downloaded from project organiser website and send by internet to respondent computer.

Respondent read and fill survey by himself. Software supporting the survey control way of respondent work with survey: display logical mistakes, take care of questions order.

 

Thanks to this technique possible interviewer mistakes and his influence are eliminated. Farther respondent can fill questionnaire in place and time suitable for him, limited only by terms of project realisation. Due to increasing availability of internet CAWI questionnaire can without problems reach different groups of respondents, for example focused around certain interests or believes. To reach such people we just need to insert survey on Client website. In this case even databases are unnecessary. In other CAWI researches, without using website we use Client e-mail databases, gained during process of sale, or in case of evaluating employee satisfaction or company condition, we use database of employees. We also work with ready, branch databases, e.g. doctors databases. By this techniques we are realising also surveys in which respondents are getting financial gratification.

 

Prices of such researches are very attractive, due to reduction of field-works and everything connected with it - interviewers courses and payments, printings, wear of equipment etc. Thanks to CAWI we can reduce research costs by realising first stage with CATI, and second stage with CAWI. In first stage respondent familiarise with situation in survey. Personal contact with interviewer builds in him sense of obligation to finish the procedure and to take part in second stage of survey, more comfortable for respondent - CAWI.

 

As in the case of CAPI, in the technique we can make use of multimedia materials which significantly enhance survey to respondent and allow to perform for example shelf test. So thanks to CAWI we are able to perform reliable advert and package test, but also ask respondents about satisfaction from product or service e.g. visit in holiday resort. With CAWI we conduct not only marketing surveys. Respondent comfort acquired by filling the survey in home, allows to realise social surveys. Respondent can think about answer which is a trouble for him as much as he wants  to. Unusually sensitive respondent may be sometimes confused by presence of interviewer. CAWI allows to reduce this inconvenience. Respondent has a sense of security, appealed by feeling that no one will see his answers even ensuring about neutrality and secret of survey, interviewer. Anonymity further surveys about irritable or sensitive matters.

 

Computer Assisted Self Interviewing

 

CASI is a computer survey, filled by unassisted client. This technique is close to CAPI, because of using computer with special software, except that respondent work with it unassisted - read and answer questions by himself. Software controls the logical correctness of answers and display communicates essential to correct filling of survey.

 

As in the CAWI case, discomfort connected with present of interviewer and his potential mistakes in communication with respondent is reduced. In CASI it is also possible to use audiovisual materials which significantly extend spectrum of opportunities to use this technique. However it should be considered that CASI can be used only with respondent who can work with computer and will handle the software. Because interviewers are eliminated from this survey, research is relatively cheap. However it is necessary to use prepared equipment and give it to respondent for the time of survey. Lack of direct supervision may cause that respondent will lose motivation to fill the survey which is less probable in conducted by interviewers CAPI or CATI.

In Poland most commonly used CASI software are

 

CADAS Software

NIPO Software

 

Paper and Pencil Interview

 

PAPI its a standard questionnaire interview, in other words without computer, with conventional method of paper and pencil. Interviewer writes respondent questions on paper questionnaire.

Then coded data are collected, analysed and submitted to report. Necessity of printing questionnaires, training and paying the interviewers, and also coding data, makes this traditional quantitive survey technique much more expensive than e.g. CATI.

 

 

 Interviewers are trained to properly arrange - introduce themselves, their role, institution, survey, explain reasons of visit, reserve voluntary participation in survey. Interviewers are trained not only about process of asking questions but also about writing down the answers. In case of PAPI, interviewer is responsible for correctness of filled questionnaire. Unlike in for example CATI, because there are no software which would indicate lacks or mistakes, Interviewer check results of the work and correct them by himself. He must also correct shortcomings, unreadable writings and if necessary logical coherence of answers.

 

PAPI requires also additional printing - questionnaire for interviewer, which he is filling just after interview without respondent. Interviewers are thereby trained how to properly describe conditions of interview, behaviour of respondent, proceed of interview. Costs are increased also by possible letter announcements which are however announcement of survey and way to prepare respondent for interviewer visit.

 

Essential for technique selection to research is also that in the case of PAPI field work, manual writing of answers and coding quite significantly extend time of project realisation. In case of this technique supervision is not conducted online but just after survey, phone call with respondent is being done or alternatively repeated interview with part of questionnaire questions. Thereby effectiveness and reliability together with impression left by interviewer are checked. Phone supervision also cause higher cost of this traditional method of quantitive researches. On the other hand, benefit of PAPI is that respondents are more motivated to take part in survey, because of personal contact with interviewer who works with record of their answers.

 

 

Mystery Shopper

 

Mystery Shopper is a method of checking customer service quality. It is based on visits of professionally trained Mystery Shopper who is going to indicated agency and there realise appointed scenario of research. Research scenario reflect process of services typical for certain agency. Mystery Shopper can be called auditor, because his task is neutral, professional, evaluation of quality and time of services, including analysis of adjustment level of service to branch standards. Both behaviour of personnel and general impressions of Mystery Shopper are important. In order to correctly prepare Mystery Shopper for this task, to every research different person is assigned, whose profile corresponds the best to characteristics of branch represented by project Client.  Observation sense, good memory, reliability. objectivity in giving opinion and accuracy in filling questionnaires are necessary. Mystery Shopper must for a while forget about impression which he took in certain agency when he was serviced there as private person. He is rating only present service quality.

 

Task of Mystery Shopper is also checking ability of personnel to identify Clients needs, way of presenting offer and ability to answer the questions and manner of verbal and non-verbal communication itself. Person who is realising Mystery Shopper research during research adjust their message in order to prevent suspicions from subjects. Shortly, should behave like regular customer of certain agency. He cant by no means display that he is a Mystery Shopper, and simultaneously keep to appointed scenario. During talk discreetly rates also appearance of service point, availability of informations necessary for Client and potential materials. Mystery Shopper memorise every possible details from talk with service and from his observations. Promptly after research he fill detailed form answering on prepared questions.

 

Mystery Shopper researches perform well in service quality research in all kinds of point of sale and service points e.g. banks, hotels, wholesales, shops, beauty parlours, hairdressing salon, car showrooms etc. In aim to complete Mystery Shopper research, we conduct analyses of consumer opinions and competition researches, using e.g. CATI technique.

 

Individual In-Depth Interview

 

IDI is a technique of qualitative data gathering, based on direct communication, characterised  by low level of standardisation. IDI is a directed interview which means that conceptualisation of research is already on high level, because issue of research is not a problem desertthereby asking right questions is not a problem. Tool is not a categorised list of questions, but list of informations which should be obtained during interview. List of instructions is rather long to deplete the topic. List is ordered accordingly to thematic blocks, in order to maximally facilitate the work of interviewer and to gain all needed informations. It is allowed to use multiple choice questions, but IDI is focused on open questions. Process of undertaking IDI research resemble regular talk but certain informations must be gained. Process of interview is adjusted to behaviour of conversationalist. Research is registered in audio system by tape recorder. Interviewer in arrange stage explain goal of research, warn about its course (lack of pre-defined questions, expectation of openness and comprehensive answers). and also about necessity of recording whole interview, he also explains ways of using gained audio material.

 

IDI are used to explore problem, understand positions and behaviours. It requires a lot of elasticity, sensitivity and empathy from interviewer. In IDI interviewer focuses direction of talk by carefully introducing sensitive topics and helps to reveal positions by interviewee. Interviewer should exhibit cognitive curiosity, engage in (but not unduly) in talk. Simultaneously it is necessary to preserve established logic of conversation and to not to be over inquisitive. Abilities to actively listening and have a feel of situation are necessary. It is assumed that interviewer is neutral and has a positive attitude to interviewee.

 

In case when interviewer doesnt have instruction list, we talk about variation of IDI - free interview. In free interview, essential is only topic imposed by interviewer. At that time interviewer focuses on listening. Such interviews have often evaluation character and are introduction to interview with instruction list or to research with different technique. IDI are often concentrated on life experiences and take a form of biographic interview.

 

IDI are conducted in case of low availability of respondents or if the topics are particularly sensitive (or in advance accepted necessity of biographic interview). This technique performs well both in social and marketing researches, because due to it, it is possible to get to know consumer habits or behaviours toward certain brand in deeper way. It allows to sum up, answers of interviewee and ask about especially important things.

 

Focus Group Interview

 

FGI is a technique of qualitative researches, which is based on discussion of group of specifically selected persons moderated by moderator, accordingly to pre-defined scenario. It is supposed that focus group counts 8 up to 12 persons. Sometimes 6 up to 10 persons. In case of very sensitive topics or professionalism of problem, FGI is conducted in group of e.g. 4 persons. Participants are selected accordingly to certain demographic characteristics or other e.g. users of certain services or consumer of certain products.

 

In FGI scenario are contented specific research problems, responding to issues important from the targets from of view which Clients want to achieve. Moderator is selected accordingly to the topic of discussion. He has to encourage participants to share their opinions, to dispose them to take a part in discussion. He is not a passive leader but person actively taking part in controlling course of discussion. He has to keep to the scenario but simultaneously in case of occurrence of such necessity - he should have possibility to introduce minor modifications. Moderator is a leader, but at the same time he should play a role of friend and take care if everyone has a right to speak. After finished discussion, he makes a detailed report about proceeding of research, keeping neutrality and synthesising conclusions, making analysis of FGI proceeding.

 

Assumption of FGI is that discussion in group, introduce new quality data which cannot be obtained during individual interview. In this case synergy, snowball, stimulation and security in group effects are taking place. FGI has a form of spontaneous discussion, which enables to gain true opinions and register unsubdued emotions during  e.g. rating of products. But possibility of group-thinking phenomenon must be taken into consideration. Focuses may not be only technique of exploration researches but also fundament to  phrase problematics or introduction to works which goal is to map out questionnaire interview. FGI may also be useful to deepen survey researches. Focus interview resemble brain storm. Participants talk about their experiences and collectively make conclusions.

 

Focus sessions lasts from 1 up to 4 hours, and are organised in specially prepared to this task workplaces consisted of two rooms (room of focus session - round table, camera, voice recording device, view room with two-way mirror. Considering necessity of work in specially prepared room and long duration these researches are expensive.

 

 

DYADS

 

Dyads is a technique of qualitative researches based on direct communication, related to individual interview (IDI), with a difference that in case of dyads interview is performed with two interviewees. Dyads may be homogenous or heterogenous. Homogenous dyads are such in which interviewees should have a similar opinions about topic. These can be for example husband and wife who are discussing shopping decisions related to Client of research process product, or friends sharing their opinions about products. Due to this research we can define hierarchy of motives, which caused such shopping decision. Heterogenous dyads are such in which it is known that interviewees have different opinions. Effect of this interview is rich material abounding in arguments of both sides. Report may be valuable source of information for Client who is planning to broaden products portfolio or intensively invest in creation of image of his flag brand. In dyads it is essential to do not unnecessary interrupt discussion of interviewers, but only moderate it to prevent personal conflicts. Dyads costs are significantly lower than focuses (FGI). Conclusions from focuses are more elaborated and well-developed but on the other hand in case of heterogenous dyads we have certainty that we will get different ideas and explanations, which in case of focuses is threatened by group-thinking.

 

Triads

 

Triad is a technique of qualitative researches, combining advantages of dyads and focuses (FGI).

 

Due to triad we are able to gain for example ideas of group of friends about given topic or shopping decisions of family. Thanks to adding third person we gain the effect of synergy and snow ball, but prevent group-thinking. Third person works in discussion as catalyst. With expertly work of moderator it is easy to gain informations about decision processes or process of shaping opinion for certain topic or product, brand. Thread to effectiveness of this research is people who knew each other before will share their opinions between them or they already know it and discussion wont be effective. In contrast it may happen that three persons who do not know each other would feel unpredicted discomfort connected to unnatural situation and wont start discussion active enough. Blocking behaviour of one person may destroy whole research. But these are only black visions and everything is depending on proper selection of persons to research, accordingly to its problematics.

 

Triads are significantly cheaper technique than focuses because of lower personal costs, but also requires engaging trained moderator and proper room.