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    Ensuring an interactive and engaging survey experience for respondents

    Jiyu Zhang, Client Services Team Leader

    Running a pretest interview before launching a study can help to ensure the respondent experience is interactive and engaging.

    Enhancing the survey experience for respondents improves the quality and accuracy of the responses they offer through survey research.  76% of survey takers claim that ‘a more interactive experience will keep them more interested and less likely to drop out.’

    Pretest interviews are scheduled so that qualified respondents can take a survey while in communication with whoever is designing the survey. They are often used on long and complex studies (i.e. healthcare studies) so that several respondents can provide input on the survey before it goes into field. The purpose of running pretests is for any ambiguities in the survey to be clarified by experts.

    Pretest interviews can take many forms; one of the most common is for clients to share a WebEx link and phone conference line. Toluna recruits the pretest respondents with the survey screener and provides them with the login for the WebEx and conference line so that they can be on both simultaneously. The qualified respondents take the survey “in front” of our client and provides any feedback they have on the survey.

    Our clients pretest surveys to ensure an engaging respondent experience, and clarity of questions asked from the respondent perspective. This can include things like:

    • Layout of the questions
    • Medical wording and phrasing
    • Logical flow of the questions
    • Accuracy of answer options
    • Technical terminology

    The setup of the pretest interviews begins once the screener is finalized and programmed, and the main survey is ready for respondents to test. Pretest recruitment should begin between 2 to 4 days prior the pretests taking place. This provides enough time to find qualified respondents while ensuring the pretest interview is still top of mind for them. When testing with physicians, it is a good practice to have time-slots throughout the day (mornings, lunch time, and late afternoon) for the best turnout as physicians can easily work the interviews into their schedules.

    With valuable input from the pretest interviews, researchers can have confidence their surveys are well designed for their target audience, are interactive and engaging, and yield results of the highest quality.