Four Online Respondent Research Tips
January 27, 2021 Qualitative Research

Four Online Respondent Research Tips

Online focus groups are happening! In places where in-person research is not as easy right now or where online methodology is a better fit for the project, our team has a few tips to share to help your success.

1. One person talks at a time.

You are frozen. Still frozen. Still frozen…

From internet issues to lags in audio, respondents talking over each other happens frequently. Still, one of the important roles of a moderator is to limit cross talk & navigate the blips in continuity as much as possible.

Mute can help. We find that groups where respondents are muted until they are called upon have clearer audio when we transcribe the groups. As the host of the online meeting, make use of the administrative controls to mute participants, or stop respondents’ video if needed. If managing the respondents doesn’t work, consider reducing the size of the online focus group or creating break out groups.

2. Human transcribe groups where cross talk becomes a problem

Sometimes it just becomes a challenge to capture all the thoughts, sharing and insights despite how well everyone attempted to navigate wifi speed challenges, excited respondents, or other items that make the groups harder. When there is cross talk or overlapping speakers, many transcription firms can separate the audio so that the words can be typed and, very often, linked to the video, like in our Enhanced Interactive Transcription.

3. Overstimulation from screens is real

With many people working from home, utilizing online video platforms for meetings, calls, and brainstorming sessions is where many hours are spent. But with so many people in front of the computer screen for so many hours, the drain is real.

But how can you combat it to keep your online focus group moving successfully? The standard time where engagement seems to be the highest for an online focus group session is around 90 minutes. If the material needs more time, consider adding an after-group breakout session with select respondents who were focused and participated enthusiastically, for a small additional incentive, so all the material can be covered, and insights gained.

4. Have respondents do pre-assignments or other activities

A pre-assignment is often a great way to get respondents excited about the project and also have them ready for the group. Sometimes, even a short call with the moderator before the project can help encourage people and have them feel more familiar.

The assignment can be creative in nature, surveys, a short intro video, or product reviews that give the respondent a feel for the research, and reduce stress over how the how the experience will go, as well as give the moderator a preview of the respondents.

Our Team Helps Clients Achieve Success With Respondents In Online Research

Since 2003, Focus Forward has been your team for respondent recruitment and all services to support your marketing research efforts–including online focus groups. Recruiting participants, handling transcripts, incentive processing, online panels, survey programming, open-end coding – we do it all! How can we help? If you have a project where you feel like our team can add value, we would be excited to talk!