Survey Software for In-Person Interviews
Web surveys are often the least expensive way to reach a large number of people. Telephone surveys remain the gold standard in many fields, though declining response rates may prove problematic, and telephone surveys are expensive. Mail surveys are slow, but often cost less than telephone surveys and can show images. One aspect that all of these methods share are that you must know whom you’re going to interview in advance and have their email address, phone number or mail address. In-person interviews are often the best choice at least four situations:
One is when you know where the people you want to interview will be, but do not know who they are in advance. For example, if you wish to interview people who have visited a particular theme park, the most efficient way to find such people is to visit the park and talk with people there.
A second is when you want people to sample a product. Depending on the product, in-person interviews, such as mall intercepts, are usually best.
A third is when you have a very long interview. People will almost never talk an hour on the phone or fill out a survey that takes that long to complete, but people will sometimes talk to an interviewer who visits their home for that long.
A fourth situation in which in-person interviews are best is when you want to interview people in remote locations, such as disaster survivors or rural residents of Third World countries.
The type of in-person survey software to use depends on the particulars of the situation. If you will only be interviewing in places that have a live Internet connection, a web survey may be best. This is particularly true if you will be handing people a device to answer the survey on their own. Web survey software typically lets you create more visually engaging surveys than other kinds of software. When interviewers will be using the device, the program does not have to be as engaging and can include features you would not want interviewees to have available, such as a Skip button. In this case you can use either a mobile device app or a desktop program on a small laptop or tablet. The ideal program would give you the most flexibility by being able to work off-line and then send data to a server when a connection is available. The Survey System’s Android solution has that ability.