The future of research: shorter surveys and improved insight

Sarah Beams

November 20, 2015

There’s been a trade-off happening in the research world – improve the participant experience by shortening a survey but potentially lose actionable insight.

Thanks to HUB Text Analytics, shorter surveys no longer mean restricted insight. Combining new technology and our research know-how, we can improve the participant experience and still turn insight into action. eDigitalResearch’s Managing Director Steve Brockway examines how it works and what it all means for the future of research.

The rise of mobile has put the participant experience first and foremost; with more participants now completing surveys via their smartphone devices, the need for shorter, more engaging research experiences has never been so vital.

But how do we tackle this growing problem?

Open text feedback is key to improvement – rich, spontaneous comments are extremely powerful when it comes to driving insight into memorable customer experiences or uncovering growing themes or trends.

It’s why real-time textual feedback from customers is so powerful – and why an impressive text analytics tool is now a key part of any customer experience management programme.

Maximising spontaneous open text feedback

But what happens when customer comments don’t go far enough? When someone mentions great staff but fails to mention who, or who feels like the Oxford branch could be improved but never explains how?

With HUB Text Analytics, you can now focus the conversation and prompt for the key drivers behind great experiences – you can maximise the potential that open text feedback provides.

How to improve the respondent experience

By utilising the technology and power behind our text analytics tool, we’re able to detect what customers are commenting about in real-time and encourage participants to come forward with further information by serving relevant follow-up questions.

With our text analytics tool, comments are automatically analysed for particular categories, prompting for more information where needed. We can identify initial, top of mind themes and build upon them to drive actionable insight.

Thanks to our way of working, our methodology is easily adaptable so that insight and results always remain relevant to a business – we can even pick up on emerging top-of-mind themes and integrate new question prompts that keep businesses ahead of the competition.

It means that shorter surveys that provide a granular level of insight are finally here. No longer do researchers need to decide between insight and the participant experience; instead, they can have both.

Detail diagram

How it works

The question works by intelligently and automatically detecting pre-defined categories within comments – in other words, the ‘what’ that each customer is talking about. The engine behind HUB Text Analytics is then able to analyse the level of detail attributed to that category and probe for more information where necessary.

Take our example for the food and drink industry. A customer comment highlights they waited longer than expected for their food, but doesn’t say how long that wait was. They also highlighted a high level of service from the waitress on the day, but failed to leave her name or say what happened, making sharing the positive response with that member of staff extremely difficult.

“We had to wait longer than I would usually expect for our main – our waitress recognised this and was very helpful, proactively chasing up on our food and keeping us up to date with how long it would be”.

HUB Text Analytics recognises all of this and therefore the customer is asked a couple of additional questions so that both frontline staff and those at head office have all the information they need to improve. And because of the intelligent nature of the tool, HUB Text Analytics can detect associated words or phrases – such as waitress instead of staff – so that you can tailor the prompt and target insight.