Face-to-face vs online data: Why only F2F intercepts deliver genuinely actionable business insights.

Online surveys might be ubiquitous at the moment, but their convenience and affordability come with a hefty price in reliability.

Why? Because you can never really be sure that the data you’re gathering is accurate.

Why do online survey respondents sometimes falsify their results? People do strange things for all kinds of reasons. Some possibilities include:

  • Poorly conceived questions might discourage themfrom providing honest or accurate answers.
  • They might not remember their experience clearly,so choose an answer at random.
  • A desire for their details to remain anonymousmight mean they provide false demographic data.
  • They might be suffering from survey fatigue.
  • Incentives for responses might spur them to adjusttheir answer to what they believe the questioner wants to hear.

Each of these can pose serious problems if you’re collecting information to improve your products or services, discover what your customers really think of your brand experience or want to future proof your business.

Making step changes to your business processes and strategies can be a costly venture.You need precise, trustworthy data about your business’ reality to upon which to base your decisions – and online surveys can’t guarantee you’ll get it.

Face-to-face intercepts are a different kettle of fish altogether.

Face-to-face(F2F) interviews are the gold standard in the world of data collection. They’re a unique tool because they can capture far more than simple answers to simple questions.

F2F allows you to be absolutely certain that the data you collect is accurate and valuable to your business:

  • Professionally trained interviewers know how to askthe right questions in the right ways to get information you can use.
  • They can look for tell-tale clues and report onbody language, providing unbiased assessments of what they see and hear.
  • They’re on the ground right at the point of sale,so your customer’s experience is top of mind.

But don't take our word for it – see for yourself. The following table demonstrates the pros and cons of both F2F and online data collection:

What is your data actually costing you?

The benefits of online surveys include larger sample sizes and relatively lower costs when compared with other forms of data collection. Understandably, they might seem like a good option when you want to build a snapshot of your customers' experiences fast.

But,like everything in life, you get what you pay for.

Nothing can compare with the quality of insights gained from F2F intercepts. If you want genuine insights, you can confidently base vital business decisions on,getting up front and personal with your customers wins hands down – every time.