Tuesday, 5 October 2010

As Adroit-e starts its 35th research project for Reed Midem, Jonathan Brill reflects on the training programme needed to ensure sound intercept research.

The accuracy and speed of retrieval that can be achieved by intercept research is astonishing. Technology improvements account for the improved speed of delivery of reports – but the skills of delivery of the interviewer is the key to converting the results of a research project from ‘quite accurate’ to ‘very accurate’.  The core technique of intercept research is its random nature – respondents are not self selecting. Busy people are very important respondents  - far too many completions are derived from people with time on their hands. Interviewers need to be trained to deal with rejection, but not be brushed off too lightly.

I like to centre Adroit-e training around the three C’s:

Context – why the questionnaire is being undertaken and what the purpose of the research is

Content – what each question means and its nuances

Conversation - how to adopt a conversational technique with respondents – this should ensure truthful instinctive responses and dispenses wit the faux formality of an officious interview

The ubiquity of hand held mini computers( phones) enhances the informal nature of our interview interviewers and interviewees are in their comfort zone.

But there’s the rub – behind this apparently informal interview remains the relentless pursuit of the accuracy quantitative research can provide. Combine the two elements and you have a very powerful research medium – slacken the pursuit of accuracy with pointless small talk, or make the interview overly formal and you will damage the really quite sensitive intercept research tool.

For further information, please visit our website at www.adroit-e.co.uk/monitor/ or call us at 01582 463479.

Research project