How to Ensure Respondent Quality in Online Research

The prominent British artist and renowned social thinker, John Ruskin once said: “Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.”

In the research world, consistent and reliable delivery of high-quality insights no matter the project size, type, or scope goes a long way to ensure your findings are as accurate as possible. This is important because an exact cross-section of your respondent’s feelings and feedback will provide the precise information needed to best optimize your concepts to meet consumer needs. So how do you continuously ensure this unyielding level of respondent quality in today’s fast-paced environment? That is one of our most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which we will answer today.

Ensuring the Highest Level of Quality

It is good practice to screen on demographics and then add the psychographic, behavioral and attitudinal screens, based on individual project needs. Also, it is best to work with global panel providers who have set stringent standards to ensure the highest quality with our participants. For example, one of our primary panel providers integrates with RelevantID, a proprietary digital fingerprinting technology that allows you to uniquely identify the respondent from their web browser. With this technology and other validation rules, they examine over 10 factors in real-time that would prevent respondents from participating in surveys if they do not pass the right quality checks (eg. languages spoken by the respondent, multiple account detection, country and IP detection).

It is also crucial to have the ability to remove respondents from a community, at any time, if a respondent’s level of engagement does not meet your standards or a respondent does not seem to fit the screening criteria based on their responses. It’s key to have a team of expert researchers who constantly monitor the respondents engagement and can remove them if needed.

Here are the three critical elements of a successful respondent quality assurance process:

  • Established Panel Providers: Strive to partner with well-established global panels providers. These panels have high standards to ensure quality and utilize digital fingerprinting technologies to check IP addresses, Captcha, email verification, and over 10 other quality checks in real-time. A few of our partnerships include uSamp, Toluna, SSI, and Research Now.
  • Double Screening: Once audiences are targeted from the panel, it is good practice to re-ask demographic questions and then ask psychographic questions to ensure the answers are current and consistent right before they screen into the specific study.
  • Human Monitoring: Use experienced researchers to ensure qualitative quality standards are upheld. These professionals will closely moderate and monitor all respondents for quality of responses and irregularities. And remove any respondents who do not meet a high level of standards of engagement.

Additionally, during the recruitment process, the following best practices will help make sure respondent standards are met each and every time:

  • Utilize a registration scoring system, which assigns points to several user behaviors, followed by a score that automatically prevents entry if the score exceeds the quality threshold
  • Capture unique machine IDs and verify this via a digital fingerprint
  • Leverage Geo-IP look-up to ensure members are actually located in the region noted during the registration process
  • Detect fraudulent individuals regularly using a proxy server
  • Postal address verification
  • Utilize Captcha to eliminate the threat of bots.
  • Seek email address verification that aligns with CAN-SPAM regulation and compliancy
  • Monitor for linked accounts

Following a standardized and consistent respondent quality assurance process will give you utmost confidence in your results and ensure the key findings uncovered directly address your consumer’s needs…no matter how quickly you are moving.

To learn more about how we ensure the highest level of respondent quality schedule a demo today!