We have conducted numerous self completion and postal market research surveys ranging from small, targeted surveys (collecting a few hundred responses) to large consultation projects (many thousands of responses). We have surveyed a number of audiences using this method, including:
Postal surveys are a useful means of getting data from a relatively large number of people or from a representative sample of that population. They can be particularly useful when the target audience may want to complete the research in private, or if the timings within the research are not overly tight and cost is the key concern.
We are able to deal with the entire postal research process - including questionnaire design, printing, packaging, sourcing contact details, posting the surveys, sending reminder letters and collating responses for analysis. Our in-house fieldwork team is managed by Anthea Thompson, who has more than two decades' experience in running postal and self-completion market research studies. Alternatively, our clients often have a list of contacts already prepared, or feel they would prefer to print and deliver the surveys themselves - we are happy to follow this route if preferred.
Once any postal market research responses are returned to DJS Research, we have a dedicated data processing team who sense- check responses and input them in to a computerised system to undergo statistical analysis. A percentage of responses are back-checked to ensure that data has been entered correctly, including any verbatim comments which can also be coded in to groups exhibiting similar issues for ease of analysis at a later stage. We can supply our clients with just this raw data (in a number of formats) or we can analyse the data and produce a full report with the option for a face to face presentation.
In addition to the above services, we are also able to offer scanning services whereby responses are electronically scanned by text recognition software and data is generated automatically - these outputs are then manually checked to ensure the data is reliable. This is advantageous for clients who are looking to turn a project around quickly, as it limits the amount of time required to process responses. Additionally, it ensures that data is maintained in an electronic format for future consultation.
Postal / Self Completion Market Research Case Study
We have utilised postal and self completion market research methodologies for several major organisations including The Ombudsman Services. Our research covered the Energy Ombudsman, Otelo (telecoms) and the Surveyors Ombudsman and looked at customer and member satisfaction with the service the organisation provided. We interviewed thousands of respondents via a postal survey, allowing them the time to complete the survey at their leisure, and giving them the privacy to give their true opinions. The research was subsequently published in TOS' annual report and is publicly available - it focussed on identifying priority areas of improvement which The Ombudsman could work on to improve its service to both member companies and consumers.
Although lower response rates (compared with say a telephone methodology) can be a barrier to use, they are generally a cost effective method of research.