The following items are especially relevant to telephone surveys: Will the telephone interviews be conducted from an in-house facility, or subcontracted?This has implications for quality control measures and scheduling. The data collection arm of a research firm, in simple terms, is an information factory.
Will the research supplier require four weeks or four months to complete the work?
Will top-line findings be available prior to detailed analysis and reporting?
Relevant references provide the most valuable input in evaluating any professional service, including market research firms.
Request references not only for the firm, but for the individuals to be working on your project.
This may involve extra typing costs, but will provide dramatic insight into the respondents' state of mind.
You may wish to request an example of raw data output to evaluate its readability and usefulness to management.The costs of data collection depend largely on the number of surveys that can be completed in a labor hour.A short, executive level survey with accurate lists might be completed at a rate of 1.0 to 1.2 completed surveys per hour (CPH).As a minimum, the following elements should be included: RESEARCH PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES METHODOLOGY SAMPLE SIZE TARGET RESPONDENTS/QUOTA GROUPS RELEVANT UNIVERSE OF RESPONDENTS ANALYSIS AND REPORTING TIME FRAME CONFIDENTIALITY PROJECT TEAM EXPERIENCE REFERENCES SOME SPECIFICS FOR QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH Who qualifies to complete a survey (such as the executive most responsible for purchasing decisions)?Also, should quotas be established to ensure enough interviews are conducted with various subgroups?Quotas might be established by region, household size, purchasing patterns, customer status (such as past, present, prospective), public vs. Invariably, when surveying customers and prospective customers, you must obtain a list of relevant firms or people from which to sample.The lists may be derived from professional association directories, area phone directories, lists arranged by SIC code, purchased mailing lists, lists already assembled by you, etc.Specify in the RFP what you already have available; if you do have lists, how many people or organizations are on the list, and do they have working phone numbers and current addresses?Proposals you receive should detail what lists will be used and any associated costs.A list will have to be significantly larger than the intended sample size given refusals to participate, vacation and travel schedules, etc.For example, in order to complete a sample size of 100 quickly, you might need a list of 400 to 500 or more names.