Perfect viewing facility
Of course, the quality of insights is always the crucial determinant of every successful market research project. Recruitment, moderation, translation, content analysis, and reports – all of these sum up and result in a poor- or good-quality study. Yet, we all know that face-to-face research needs to be hosted somewhere, and it’s always better to have comfortable conditions to talk. But what exactly does it mean to have “comfort conditions” in case of market research? And even more importantly, how to choose viewing facility that would be perfect for your particular project?
Most probably the first thing you should check is the facility’s location. As far as moderators’ are concerned, this usually is not such a big issue. They are frequently used to traveling and commuting to different facilities, or respondents’ houses. Yet, remember that facility located in the suburbs, hard to reach by public transport, might discourage your potential respondents from attending your group. Or even worse, they might say yes, then check the location and simply, they might not show up at all. So the first tip would be to search for facilities close to the main public transport routes in the city.
On the other hand, it is also necessary to take care of the parking space. Some of your clients or respondents might wish to come by car. They might get frustrated if they keep going there and back for 20 minutes trying to find a place to leave their cars. To avoid clients or respondents being angry from the very beginning of your study, it is always good to find a viewing facility with parking space provided or, if that’s not possible, search for and recommend some places in the vicinity. Also, if there is no chance of finding a place to leave a car, just inform your respondents or clients of that fact. They would appreciate it and be prepared to come earlier or to choose a different means of transport that day.
Last but not least, adjust to your clients’ needs. If they have their premises in the city, search for a viewing facility somewhere near their work. If you work with international clients, look for something close to the airport, or at least, easily-accessible for those coming from abroad. Remember, time is money. If you make an extra effort to make reaching the facility easier for all your partners in this project, it will pay off.
Read the research specification thoroughly, and search for any special conditions you would need to run the project. For example, you might need to show non-standard stimuli (life-size figures? portable welding station? You never know!) or gather a larger group of people. Even the current Covid-19 situation requires people to keep a 2-meter distance from one another, so the capacity of the facility needs to be sufficient for that.
Ok, we agree that focus groups don’t have to be held in five-star hotels. Yet, it’s crucial to provide a comfortable and private space to discuss your respondents’ opinions, feelings, or beliefs. Also, your clients and translators who will be there to observe the interview, need to have adequate space for work. Hard chairs, poor lighting, extreme temperatures, dirty flooring, noisy neighbors – all of these might make the experience of working in your project tough. Even though these might seem obvious, but make sure, you’ve taken care of everything before inviting your guests.
It’s always good to have a local guide. That’s why client service in the viewing facility plays an enormous role in the whole experience. They might offer you technical support as regards audio/video, recordings, or any other issues that might come up during your interviews. It’s always good to have someone on-site since you might be busy talking to your clients or preparing moderators and translators. Therefore, make sure you will have some assistance in place.
Make sure the equipment in the viewing facility is suitable for your needs. Don’t take anything for granted – ask about audio and video recording, live streaming… Or maybe, you would need eye-tracking or EEG? Also, some studies require special UX equipment, or… test kitchen to investigate how respondents prepare their meals? You might be surprised to see all the options available in some viewing facilities. Also, they might serve as inspiration for your study design!
Of course, you’ll be there to work but everyone has to eat! It’s worth checking the available catering options in the viewing facility you’re about to book. Do they have their own bar/restaurant? Will they serve coffee? Or maybe you would have to have it delivered and if yes, are there any restaurants in the vicinity? Prepare well, know the options beforehand. Frequently, it is the customer service representative who helps with ordering food, which is very helpful when you’re busy dealing with the project itself. Thus, looking for a perfect viewing facility, remember to check the catering options as well.
Summing up, choosing a foolproof viewing facility for your market research project might be a challenge. Yet, to provide the highest quality of results, the facility needs to be of the good quality as well.