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Podcast: We talk respondent experience with Anne Brown

We spoke with Anne Brown of Gazelle Global Research Services about the need for the insights community to significantly raise the levels of respondent experience that we're currently providing the world. 

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On our podcast, we were joined by Anne Brown, Chief Executive Officer and Principal of Gazelle Global Research Services, a Market Research global sample and operations company. Her extensive international data collection, data processing and management experience brings a high level of practical knowledge to both clients and staff. She is an IPC certified member of the Insights Association and a longtime member of ESOMAR.

We discussed the state of respondent engagement and satisfaction, steps that we can take to achieve better respondent experiences, why it is important, and what happens when we get it right. 


Respondent experience has been spiraling downward for a number of years now. Anne shares that “it’s so important that we treat the respondents, who provide us with the critical data, as individuals - as humans.” With so many things demanding people’s attention, we need to respect their time and engage them in the survey experience or we will lose their input. Anne continues by saying, “we sometimes forget about the importance of translations and cultural sensitivity. It’s downright rude to expect someone to do a study in English just because you don’t want to pay for the translation.” A person is going to give their most true response in their native language. 


So what are some of the steps that research buyers should be taking in order to start moving the needle on respondent engagement and satisfaction? To start, make the questionnaires shorter and more concise. It is also important that the incentives match the time and effort that respondents are putting into providing the data and insights. Anne recommends that “we’ll get better responses if the respondent feels like they’re in an ecosystem where they can trust that they’re being treated properly.” Building trust with respondents is essential for data quality.


“We need to have some sort of collaborative effort, on both sides, to pay respondents a better incentive,” says Anne. Organizations that get respondent experience right get higher quality data. “When we think about the kinds of insights and the kinds of decisions that are made from the data that we provide, it’s so important to have the best quality data,” shares Anne. She concludes by saying that “It’s invaluable to provide the best quality data - and you’re going to get the best quality data when you are treating respondents with respect.”

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