Carrying out field research?
A complicated task that usually requires you to be physically present is something that people have steadily begun to avoid thanks to advances in online forums but try as you might, its advantages cannot be dismissed.
Online data collection is more attractive nowadays because you can reach thousands of people with the click of the button, but if you study the responses correctly, you will see a pattern emerge. People are innately lazy, we will always want to take the easiest route and replying in a generic fashion is pretty convenient. If you want fast results, fast is what you will get.
So what are the benefits of conducting face to face data collection?
When being questioned face to face it puts automatic pressure on the respondent to give a timely and honest answer. You are more prone to give your information to someone when you can physically see them, receive information directly from the source and ultimately know that your answers will be secure. When conducting online surveys, people send their answers into the abyss that is the World Wide Web and more often than not it goes where it should, but there is always that feeling that we don't know where it is gone.
Capture verbal and non-verbal cues
In many face to face encounters, the first few minutes are extremely important as first impressions have a significant impact on the success of further communication.
Everyone has expectations and norms as to how initial meetings should proceed and people tend to behave according to these expectations. If these expectations are mismatched, communication will not be effective or run smoothly, and some form of negotiation will be needed if relations are to continue.
When collecting date, formalities, and appropriate greetings are still expected: such formalities could include a handshake, an introduction to yourself and the project you are working on, eye contact and discussion around a neutral subject such as the weather may be useful. A friendly disposition and smiling face are much more likely to encourage communication than a blank face, inattention or disinterested reception.
A face-to-face interview is no doubt going to capture verbal and non-verbal cues, but this method also affords the capture of non-verbal cues including body language, which can indicate a level of discomfort with the questions. Adversely, it can also indicate a level of enthusiasm for the topics being discussed. Capturing non-verbal cues is not possible in online or mobile surveys.
It is easier to maintain the interest of respondents for a longer period of time in face-to-face discussions. Being face-to-face with respondents gives the interviewer more control and refusals to answer questions are less likely than over the telephone. Concern about confidentiality can be more readily satisfied than with an 'anonymous' person at the end of a phone.
If you want to learn more about how Voxcitio can help with face to face data collection, why not get in touch below: