Respondent engagement, while important, is a major obstacle researchers face when conducting market research. It refers to the presence and focus a participant has when answering survey, interview, or other research questions. It is critical respondents are able provide timely and accurate answers in order to collect quality data.
When respondent engagement is low, it is an indicator of respondents not taking the study seriously. A few red flags of low respondent engagement to look out for are time taken to complete the research and the quality of responses.
For example, if a respondent takes a 15 question survey in under a minute, it is likely this participant was not offering their genuine feedback.
When respondent engagement is high in market research, it means respondents took the time to understand what is being asked of them. It also means respondents took the time to carefully and fully answer questions. This is the dream! After all, high respondent engagement means high quality data.
High respondent engagement means high quality data. Use these 3 tips to spice up your research study and keep participants fully engaged from beginning to end.
Respondent Engagement Tip #1: Use a Variety of Question Types
Consider mixing up question formats instead of only asking questions in typical formats like select one, select all that apply, and open-ended.
After answering a few select one or select all that apply questions, the experience can get boring for the respondent, which leads to lower engagement. A well-versed online survey company will utilize questionnaire software to ask a variety of question types.
Examples of engaging market research survey questions include:
- Drag and drop ranking
- Slider scale
- Star rating
- Image select
- Text highlight
- Image highlight
Learn more about engaging market research questions and how to use them!
Respondent Engagement Tip #2: Make The Experience Fun
In addition to mixing up question types, also update the language used throughout the survey or research script. You will see higher respondent engagement by including short quips or fun scenarios.
For example, instead of asking, "What is your age?" consider adding text like "Wow, time flies!" after the response options are listed. Think about ways to add small, fun additions to the survey script to brighten up the traditional (perhaps, boring) experience.
With that being said, making the experience "fun" may be a better fit for some projects rather than others. There are sensitive topics in market research which require a different level of care and preparation. Remember to keep the client and objectives of the research in mind.
Respondent Engagement Tip #3: Review Your Approach
Lastly, a key piece to respondent engagement is to review the market research approach. Your approach to market research should always keep respondents top of mind.
Doing this will help keep respondent engagement high, which again, means higher data quality. Consider these factors below, for example.
- Length of research. Keep questions as clear and concise as possible. For example, online surveys should take less than 5 minutes to complete. Research shows attention spans are getting shorter, which means market researchers need to prioritize survey questions to keep the experience short.
- Off an incentive to participate. Whether respondents are completing a survey, interview, or focus group, incentives help market researchers reach more respondents.
- Research format. Consider how the format of your research impacts the respondent experience. For example, with the increase of digital users moving from desktop to mobile, it is likely more than half your online survey responses will be completed through a smart phone. In this case, it is imperative you program and optimize your survey for mobile devices.
The perfect research participant does not come around often. However, by thinking about how respondents will be interacting with the research and developing an approach that best meets their needs, you will discover more engaged participants.
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