How are the screener responses handled?
We learned in Step 2 that most companies sort through the survey results looking for the respondents that answered the right way, and then distribute papers for recruiters from which to call. But what happens when the recruiters call?
9 out of 10 times they leave a message and wait for a return call. When the respondent calls back, hours or even days later, where is that piece of paper?
Consider that a typical study involves speaking with hundreds, if not thousands of respondents. When these respondents are listed on paper, it’s virtually impossible to find their paperwork and it is certainly impossible to find it while the respondent waits on the phone. So when the final questions are asked to see if they qualify, there is no way to record the result.
If a respondent takes a web survey, why are there more questions? Certain questions like open-end responses, articulation and creativity questions, as well as segmentation questions are not well suited for web surveys. So, these are asked by phone.
Back to the story of the missing papers. If a recruiter doesn’t have the right paper listing this respondent, he has no way to record that the respondent did not qualify and were not scheduled. That leaves the door open for another recruiter to call that same respondent back again, or for the respondent to call in for a second shot at getting qualified and scheduled.
Do respondents really do this? Yes. They do. Respondents often try to guess their way in and, many times, they are even helped along by the recruiter.
What is the right way? When a respondent completes our web survey, their record in our database is updated in real time with a Pass or Fail. When calling out, all our recruiters work from computers that only present respondents who Pass. When respondents call in, the first step is to look them up. If they were marked Pass, we move on to screening. If they're marked Fail, or were never selected for the project, the recruiter knows immediately and also knows how to politely end the call and move on to the next caller.
Our recruiters can see the communication history for a typical research project (see above). Recruiters can see whether respondents were sent an email survey (ES), and if they did not qualify (WTR). If a respondent passed the ES, the communication record would reflect WPQ, for web prequalify, and our recruiter would know they could then proceed with the qualification process and invite the respondent.
QUESTION FOR YOUR CURRENT RECRUITER: Does your web survey update your respondent database in real time? The answer should be YES.
ANOTHER QUESTION FOR YOUR CURRENT RECRUITER: Is your respondent sample printed out? The answer should be NO.