What Clients and Respondents Say
About Internet-Based Qualitative Research
The Clients' Perspective
About Chat Groups: "An obvious benefit is being able to sit at your PC instead of catching a plane to who-knows-where to gather behind the mirror. Observers can be in the office or in their PJs at home. We could talk with the agency on a speaker-phone while the groups are going on. One surprising advantage of chat room focus groups is that consumers express their thoughts with less pressure than in traditional (face-to-face) groups. Another surprise is that consumers don't have to 'politely wait' until others stop talking to get their own thoughts out. The thoughts we miss when consumers 'wait their turn' could be the breakthrough consumer insights we set out to get. It was also good to be able to probe [by sending an instant message to the moderator] without breaking the flow by sending a note in to the moderator. The key is to have a sharp moderator to keep the pace of the group moving ñ Jeff did an excellent job. And, yes, you can still have the M&M's!"
Marketing Manager, Fortune 50 Consumer Products Company
More About Chat Groups: "On-line chat groups provided a great way for us to get to know our client's consumer. When you can't visit each and every one of your customers yourself, on-line chat rooms provide a quick and reliable alternative, and it's a bit more economical!!!
"Another added benefit of this data collection method was that it was in real-time. We were able to send Jeff blind messages that he would in-turn ask consumers, and then we would see the answers typed out on our screen almost instantaneously."
Research Manager, Relationship Marketing Agency
About Bulletin-Board Groups: "The online discussion provided extensive customer input ñ respondents were prolific, answering in paragraphs rather than sentences. Also, respondents seemed to be more focused than in a traditional setting ñ their answers were targeted at the issue being discussed. ëObservingí was convenient and easy."
Market Research Manager, Telecommunications Company
The Respondents' Perspective
About Chat Groups:
"This was more fun (and educational) than a mail survey."
"You kept it flowing by not staying on one topic too long or letting people go on forever." "The questions were valid and you paced it very well!"
"Convenient. Have been called to do focus groups but usually decline."
"Being online is always fun and you can say whatever you want without being interrupted."
"This was fun." "Can we do another one soon?"
About Bulletin Board Groups:
"I found that I could be part of the discussion and not need to take any significant time away from my other duties. This was due to the ease of checking in and adding my thoughts when I could, even from home, rather than sitting in a room and trying to think of everything on the spot. Ö If I needed to think on it I simply logged off [and] went back to work until my thoughts were together."
"I enjoyed the other responses. They gave me things to think about. Ö It was easy. Iím going to get on the Internet everyday any way, [so it was] just one more stop."
"I liked being able to do it when it was convenient to me."
"I could pick my free time [to participate] even if it was 11:00 p.m."
"I liked the flexibility of taking a few minutes each day, at my leisure, to answer a few questions. It made for a pleasant pace."
Not to be reprinted without permission. © QualCore.com Inc. 1998
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