We are busy doing field research at the moment for our Loyalty Program Solution, and have discovered some really amazing things:
Firstly, we conducted our 8 question survey on mobile devices using one of our existing services (Lead Retrieval -usually used to qualify leads) – we needed to bastardise it a little and force it to behave like a survey service (which we now know works and will aim to deploy in the first quarter of next year – watch this space). We are by no means field survey experts but the incredible thing about using an online platform and smart phones or tablets to collect survey results, means that you can make adjustments to your survey questions on-the-fly and deploy the improved questions to the devices in seconds wherever the survey’s are being conducted. The very first survey I did this morning, the respondent said to me “that question makes no sense – I do not know how to answer that”. I was able to change the question online and the improved question dropped onto my device before I got to my second respondent. The same improvement was automatically deployed to all survey devices without the other field agents having to do anything – awesome!
Secondly, I very soon realised that a simple, quick to conduct survey, is a great non-threatening conversation starter. Cold calling and going door to door doing sales pitches is far more scary. Asking people, face to face, if they would not mind helping you out doing a 1 minute survey was hugely successful. Peoples guards seem to lower as soon as they realise you are not trying to sell them anything. The interesting caveat is that the survey seems to peak interest and I ended up having conversations with almost all of the respondents about the purpose of the survey. People were strangely intrigued to find out why you we were conducting the survey which led conveniently to dialogues about the product we are developing and how it could benefit them. Because these conversations are initiated by respondents we were not deemed to have tried to sell them anything. It was such an eye opener and we will definitely be formalising the use of smartphone based surveys, not only for market research but also to kick start new deals on our sales pipeline – the great thing is that you can skip the “idea” phase and jump straight to “contact made” or even “needs discovered” – again, awesome!