One of the key things we seek in market research is dependability in execution. To this end, here are some of the topics that sample buyers should explore with their suppliers to ensure that goals will be met. These originally appeared in P2Sample’s eBook: “The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide: How to Select A Sample Supplier.”
Over the past few years, the feasibility process has changed dramatically. That said, many sample providers still manually produce feasibility calculations in spreadsheets using simplistic formulas. Automated feasibility processes, on the other hand, can not only take into account a huge number of factors – from field parameters to individual behaviours – to provide accurate estimates of how a project will fill, but also deliver greater speed, accuracy and dependability.
BUYER TIP: If your vendors are still calculating based on spreadsheets or using methods that don’t take into account not just incidence and project days, but every other aspect of field and individual respondent profiles, you may be at risk. This is an area where you should require transparency. Ask how it is done. An objective metric is to ask the supplier to provide data on how many jobs it failed to deliver on time and in full.
Most suppliers handle field issues reactively, but the fact is that automation can now enable them to manage field proactively. Reactive field management, which is the way human-based project managers generally operate, means delayed problem solving and bad respondent experience. Thanks to automation, suppliers can constantly watch each and every project, detecting anomalies instantly, closing quotas automatically as they fill, and otherwise quickly and efficiently ensuring projects remain on track and raising alarms when they are not. Automation thus brings peace of mind to the research buyer and better experiences to the respondent.
BUYER TIP: Beware of manual field monitoring. While human project managers are still essential to solving problems, machines provide the best means of detection. Gain an understanding of how your suppliers use automation to ensure on-time delivery.
Sophisticated fraud detection
While mentioned above as a data quality issue, good fraud detection is also a field issue. When fraud mitigation is executed properly, there is no need to throw away sample. Many buyers often build this into their projects, over-buying sample with an expectation that they will need to trash a portion of it.
BUYER TIP: Make sure that your supplier is using a multi-pronged approach to fraud detection and mitigation.
Real engagement commitment
As with fraud detection, solid respondent engagement is essential both for data quality and field dependability. Poor practices mean lower completion rates, resulting in a need to significantly over-sample. Even worse, sub-par methods can yield field delays and dissatisfied clients.
What’s more, suppliers which employ proper engagement practices are usually more capable of managing special projects like trackers, IHUTs and recontacts. Put differently, buyers should be sceptical of suppliers who claim to be able to do these types of projects without solid automation and engagement practices in place.
BUYER TIP: A commitment to respondent engagement is indicative of more advanced capabilities. Make sure your supplier is making this a priority, and that their methods are actively improving respondent experiences.