How Do Intercept Surveys Work?

Intercept surveys are a type of methodology that can provide accurate and invaluable in-the-moment data from respondents.

This might be a store exit survey after a purchase, fan feedback after leaving a game, or attendee thoughts after attending an event or concert.

Obtaining this feedback as the respondent leaves the event results in accurate recall and responses because the experience just took place.

Depending on the type of industry and the access to on-site respondents this can be the best type of market research to conduct.

Keep reading to learn the 5-step process our intercept survey company follows for successful in-the-moment market research.

How Do Intercept Surveys Work? | Market Research Process

Step #1: Signed Proposal

First and foremost, we have to make things official with a signed proposal. Depending on the size of your project this could be a two-page document or a more lengthy request for proposal. 

In most instances, the proposal includes components such as:

  • Objectives for the intercept survey
  • Approach to the intercept survey
  • Details of the project kickoff and workplan
  • Timeline
  • Costs

Need help creating your market research RFP? We've got you covered. Use our free, downloadable RFP template.

Step #2: Project Kickoff

Like any other type of market research, an intercept survey project is officially kicked off by hosting a kickoff meeting.

The project kickoff typically takes 30 to 60 minutes and covers the highlights of the process, objectives, and timeline for the intercept surveys.

During the introductory meeting, you'll want to select dates and times for the intercept surveys and potential locations.

When launching successful intercept interviews, half the battle is figuring out the logistics.

Our intercept survey team can recommend our best practices for planning, scheduling, estimated responses, and more.

Step #3: Survey Design

After the kickoff is completed, the next step is to design the questions asked in your intercept survey.

If the survey is being conducted on paper this involves structuring the document in a way that is easy to read and follow.

If the intercepts are being conducted online using a tablet, the intercept survey company will draft and then program the survey. The survey is tested thoroughly to ensure it is ready for fieldwork.

The institution of tablets and offline survey apps to collect data has made intercept surveys much more cost-effective and fast.

Without PAPI (pen and paper interviewing) there is no cost for data entry and the surveys can be conducted more quickly.

Additionally, tablet interviews make it much easier to add logic and skip patterns.

Recommended Reading: Tablet or Clipboards: Which Approach to Intercept Interviews is Better?


Step #4: Fieldwork

The fieldwork is the next step in the intercept survey process.

This is when the live data collection takes place at the store, stadium, event, conference, school, or other location.

Intercepts are typically conducted during scheduled date(s) and time(s) with goals in mind. However, depending on the length of the survey you may need to add additional time or interviewers.

For context, collecting an additional 100 surveys will either require additional interviewers on-site during the designated times or additional time-on-site from a smaller team of interviewers.

Depending on the approach you select for fieldwork, responses are recorded directly on the tablet or on paper with data entry follow-up.

Step #5: Reporting

Once fieldwork is complete, responses are first exported via CSV or SPSS. This is the raw data file of responses.

Some intercept survey companies, like Drive Research, will also conduct analysis and reporting.

The intercept survey report would include components such as:

  • Themes and key takeaways
  • Infographic
  • Respondent personas
  • Appendix of question-by-question results

Additionally, the best market research firms act as consultants. They go beyond the data and provide clients with insights and recommendations.

Looking for more market research best practices? Watch this short video to learn four tips for an intercept survey.

Contact Our Intercept Survey Company

Drive Research is a national market research company located in New York. Our team has the knowledge and tools to design a robust intercept survey study for organizations in any industry, serving any audience. 

Interested in receiving a proposal or estimate for an intercept survey study? Reach out through any of the four ways below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

Author Bio George Kuhn

George Kuhn

George is the Owner & President of Drive Research. He has consulted for hundreds of regional, national, and global organizations over the past 15 years. He is a CX-certified VoC professional with a focus on innovation and new product management.

Learn more about George, here.

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