Intercept survey

Part 2: Short intercept surveys Vs long surveys, days after an event

The first blog post of this series was about EFM (Enterprise Feedback Management) and its disruptive nature for market research and more specifically, for customer loyalty studies.

This post - the second of the series, is about short intercept surveys.


Intercept surveys can be triggered while a customer is using a mobile device or a PC/Mac and accesses a product, a service or a communication. In fact, many EFM solutions have an integrated online survey tool that has the capability to intercept customers in many different ways such as:
 

  • Pop-up – we all know how this intercept works and we also know how to block it :)
  • Pop-over – the visitor must interact with the Pop-over before they can continue with their visit
  • Pop-under – pops underneath the website and appears when the visitor leaves.
  • Slider – it slides from the side of the screen
  • Feedback link – a feedback tab appears on one of the sides of the screen
  • Infobar, etc.– This is a bar that goes across the top of the screen
     

I do not think we have to limit ourselves to online intercepts, using the above methods. I suppose we can call an SMS survey invite or question, an ‘intercept’ if the trigger to send the SMS relates to something the customer has done. The use of SMS would broaden the net to include any human that owns at least a basic phone – as opposed to a feature phone or a Smartphone. The SMS approach also eliminates the need to have access to the internet. “Caressing” two birds with one (plastic) stone (I don’t like ‘killing’ them): higher reach of respondents and better quality of responses. I have seen predictions that SMS will be a extinct by 2020; in such a case, any technology to respond to a survey using a mobile will do.

Here is an example of when an intercept survey could work: A customer is on a retailer’s e-Commerce site and they just bought a fabric detergent. The manufacturer of the detergent or the retailer could have a pop-over appear, asking which attribute from a list was the most important in the shopper’s decision to buy the specific product. The response will be truthful, accurate and not biased by the respondent’s ability to remember.


Jannie Hofmyer of TNS said it very well: “The market research model is broken….The days of long-tracking surveys with questions that bear little relationship to human behaviour are coming to an end.” 

Much shorter surveys, closer to the customer’s experience must be a better way to go about asking questions. We said it on this blog many times that the best way to generate true business insights is by combining data from the 3 main customer data source types, in no particular order:
 

  1. Web listening (or otherwise known as social media monitoring or social media listening)
  2. Observing behaviour
  3. Asking questions using online market research

The 1st, are peoples’ unsolicited views so no ‘memory bias’: they say what they know or remember without being asked or forced to say something. The 2nd, are simply facts but the 3rd is where traditional research can make an effort to improve i.e. short questions nearer to the touch-point with the brand; ergo “intercepts”.

Wouldn’t it be great for a corporate researcher to be able to get all 3 at a one-stop shop? But that is beside the point; the main point is that 1 and 2 work fine but No.3 needs fixing – the next-geners (like me) will argue. The traditionalists will throw their hands in the air and exclaim: “you dreamers, show us the proof!” It is amazing how many times history repeats itself and yet, there are still traditionalists who doubt the power of these disruptive technologies. I really do not know what to say to them, except to remind them of Darwin’s famous quote:

“It is not the strongest of the species, nor the most intelligent that survives; it is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
 

Click here for Part 3: ‘Sentiment Vs Semantic analysis

About The Author

Michalis Michael

Michalis Michael

Michalis founded DigitalMR in 2010 following a corporate career in market research with Synovate and MEMRB since 1991. He speaks at conferences regularly about social media research and marketing. He has published multiple white papers on market research.