In This Issue
As we reported in an earlier issue, our colleague Jennifer Lacy was interviewed a couple months ago by Marty Traynor at Mployer Advisor about the research CSR has conducted on the topic of workplace insurance benefits in recent years. More content from those interviews has been made available. Check new releases out here.Questions? Click here to send us an email with your request.
- Vol. 16, Issue 3, July 2021
In This Issue
Hope everyone is enjoying the summer season, or as we like to call it here in New England, “The time we look forward to all year.” Wishing you a safe and relaxing summer, made all the more enjoyable as you read this month’s newsletter while sitting by your favorite body of water, accompanied by your favorite libation: What is “Aaron Rodgers for $1,000?” Part 2.
What is “Aaron Rodgers for $1,000?” Part 2
If you read our May newsletter, you’d know that when watching Aaron Rodgers guest-host Jeopardy! a few months ago, we were impressed by his qualitative interviewing skills. Jeopardy! has been doing the same thing successfully, including crafting excellent questions, for more years than anyone could have imagined when it first began.
Which of course reminds us of Tom Brady, because most of us New Englanders miss him terribly. Watching as Qualtrics, the market research platform, added him as a guest speaker at a recent conference only made us miss him more. We feel a bit guilty about highlighting Aaron Rodgers in a recent issue, so in this issue we will revert to basing our recommendations around our formerly-local-favorite quarterback:
Questions have to be verrrry precise
Think about how precise a Jeopardy! question has to be. There can be only one acceptable answer, and the question can’t be so obscure that no one will understand the clue. Though there is no one “right” answer in qualitative market research, precision in designing questions is also critical — when a screened research participant is in the room, or on Zoom, we need to ask questions that will not be misinterpreted, and won’t require wasting time in explanation.
As an example of precise questioning, when Tom Brady said that he was thinking about leaving the Patriots, Robert Kraft should have very precisely asked, “What can we do to keep you so that we can win another SuperBowl?” rather than ANY other, less precise question he might have asked. 🙂
Ask the right question at the right time
Jeopardy! questions have varying levels of difficulty, because correct answers earn the contestant more money for more difficult questions. In qualitative research, we also craft questions of varying difficulty. We find that the conversation flows more smoothly and naturally when we ask more general questions first, then funnel down into more and more detail.
For example, here’s how we would have scripted Robert Kraft’s part of the discussion with Tom Brady: “What can we do to keep you so that we can win another SuperBowl?” [Take careful note of what Brady wants.] “Yes. Anything else? [Again, take careful note of what Brady wants.] “Yes. What else would you like?” [Again…you get the idea.] “Yes. How about Gisele, what does she want?” And so on.
Set aside time for questions to build rapport
On Jeopardy!, the participants don’t just jump into playing the game. There are introductions first. Then, in the middle of the game, there is light conversation between the emcee and contestant, to build rapport and support between the players, audience, and host.
At CSR, we build opportunities to explore “off-script” topics into every qualitative interaction. This is one of the reasons that our qualitative custom panels are so effective for our clients — our interviewers build rapport with research participants over time, and therefore research participants speak freely, providing great insight and “aha!” moments for our clients. Perhaps Robert Kraft could have built more room into the Brady relationship for those “aha” moments to arise — “Oh, you like pirates? You don’t need to move to Tampa Bay, we can do some role-play on my yacht! Arrrrh!”
Here’s the Twist: Like on Jeopardy!, in qualitative research, questions have to be very precise, asked at the right time, and the interaction is more effective when rapport is created between the moderator/host and the research participant/contestant. These types of questions will uncover information that will help build and maintain strong relationships with the people most important to you and your team. Wink, wink.
Mixology (Putting Research into Practice)
Here are some “pro” tips for crafting qualitative questions:
- Precise questions: As mentioned here in a recent issue, conduct “pilot” (AKA preliminary, or “slow launch”) interviews among members of your target audience before fully fielding. Review every question to make sure it’s getting the info most important to you.
- Asking the questions in the best order: We find that a funnel approach typically works best. For example, in a satisfaction study, we often ask about overall satisfaction first, then drill down into satisfaction with various aspects of the relationship.
- Room for rapport: Don’t assume that qualitative questions can be sped through quickly. Interviewers and moderators need time to truly interact with your customers and prospects, building trust and rapport, and to ensure your qualitative research results really shine.
As we reported in an earlier issue, our colleague Jennifer Lacy was interviewed a couple months ago by Marty Traynor at Mployer Advisor about the research CSR has conducted on the topic of workplace insurance benefits in recent years. More content from those interviews has been made available. Check new releases out here.
The Center for Strategy Research, Inc. (CSR) is a research firm. The “Twist” to what we offer is this: We combine open-ended questioning with our proprietary technology to create quantifiable data. As a result our clients gain more actionable and valuable insights from their research efforts.