surveysTime is a precious commodity, so we appreciate that it can be difficult to encourage people to willingly part with it. Traditional print surveys or ballots can seem off-putting to your clients, so ensuring that you get the broadest, most accurate swathe of information from your audience can be very challenging. Here, we have a look at some of the more inventive and successful methods available in audience communication.

 

Kiosks

Having a stand or kiosk is a great way of attracting interest, as large, free standing units can be hard to ignore when promoted with banners and popup stands. We find that kiosks combined with privacy screens are less invasive than simply asking people for ‘a minute of their time’, a method that generates understandably mixed results. Kiosks fitted with touch-screen technology actively encourage participation. People enjoy interacting with touch-screen technology, almost regardless of its purpose or application, and their natural curiosity is aroused by the site of an interactive booth offering an ‘unknown’ function. We also find that audiences are more honest when communicating via technology. The immediacy of technological applications means that response times are reduced, thereby giving audiences less time to overthink their responses and resulting in less muddled results.

 

Tablets & mobile devices

Tablets are extremely useful in that they’re a technology almost everybody wants to get their hands on. Audiences are far more likely to contribute to your data if they feel they’re somehow gratified by the exchange, and by allowing them to interact with a tablet or other mobile device these needs are assuaged through the use of a desirable technological item. By keeping abreast of new technologies, you can keep up with the ever-changing nature of social interaction and current media trends, encouraging increased traffic for your survey. People naturally communicate via their mobile devices these days, so offering feedback via a tablet will seem more like second nature than a traditional pen-and-ink survey, encouraging more honesty and immediacy from your audience sample.

 

Trusty Pen and Paper

Although tablets, mobile devices and kiosks may be up-and-coming, there’s a lot to be said for relying on time-trusted methods. Where genuine feedback is sought, there’s no better way than pen and paper for getting people to tell you exactly how they feel. Responses are often much more thought through due to its less immediate nature, and surprisingly more honest because people are responding to the questions themselves rather than the experience of using technology. For technophobic respondents, from the very young to the very old, the humble pen and paper should not be overlooked. Responses can then be automatically scanned, and text recognition and natural language processing will help to visualise sentiment.

 

Gratification

While attempting to engage with audiences through the use of technology can be a very effective means of broadening your remit, there are other methods you can employ to ensure you achieve as broad a data set as possible. Naturally, people will be more likely to engage with a survey if they believe it will benefit them. Evidently, the promise of survey results being used to affect a desired outcome is a considerable motivational factor, but sometimes people need a little more of a push. It can pay dividends to treat survey submissions as a kind of raffle; stipulating to the audience that a prize will be awarded for the winning submission. While this technique can be very effective in encouraging interest, be warned that unless you take steps to prevent individuals submitting multiple entries results may be skewed, and if entrants aren’t invested in the outcome of the survey anyway, they may still be so.

 

Document Capture Co. is packed to the rafters with experienced data-gatherers who like nothing more than to find a bespoke, personal solution to generate effective results. Get in touch with us to discuss which methods might best fit your needs.