The Responsibilities of a Fieldwork Company
Today, because of the very competitive operating environment, it is critical that a business knows their market well to aid in the decision making process. Market research is a valuable tool in providing this information. It helps in gaining an understanding of the market, anticipating the market’s reaction to a new strategy, monitoring success of the company’s activities or in identifying new opportunities for future development.
Knowing your market well is critical to the decision making process
Whilst being involved in the research process, marketers traditionally have contact only with the research executive with whom they are working, and often have very little knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes.
No matter how skilled the research executive, how professional the methodology, how well designed the questionnaire, many other people involved in the whole process can still have a negative effect on the quality of the end result.
One of the areas which can have the most impact is the fieldwork. Interviewers are often seen as “a necessary evil” and that they are the weakest link in the chain. And, sadly, often they are. Too often they can be thrust a questionnaire with little or no briefing on the survey itself and all its intricacies. Then there are the “skills” involved in being an interviewer. And there are many, including contacting the right respondents at the right time and encouraging them to participate, eliciting the right information, recording it correctly and all this to be completed as cost-effectively as possible. Far too often, interviewers are not provided with initial training to enable them to complete their role correctly because they simply do not understand the importance of all those “silly” little details.
Getting the right respondents at the right time to elicit the right information
We at Reid Research Services, a market research fieldwork and tabulation company, have many years experience in controlling the collection of data. This has given us insight into the critical role the interviewer plays in the whole research process. For any Face to Face interviewing around the country, the interviewer and their supervisor are the only people in the process who are working completely independently - there’s no one sitting on their shoulder as they are conducting the interview to ensure everything is as exact as it needs to be.
Reid Research have many years experience in controlling the collection of data
We believe it is critical to place top priority on training of our staff - the interviewers must be taught that they cannot change the wording, that they cannot change the methodology, that they cannot, in fact, do anything but adhere exactly to the instructions they have been given. They must understand the implications of altering anything. Every interviewer working on a survey must be doing and saying the same things, for the data collected to be accurate.
Appropriate staff training is critical
They are, in effect, in a position of incredible trust. Therefore, it is the responsibility of every professional fieldwork team, to ensure that every interviewer is given thorough background training before commencing in the industry, and that they are thoroughly briefed on every survey on which they work. This to ensure that when marketers need to make decisions based on the data collected by market research, they can have full confidence they are making the right decisions.