Important Questions to Ask Research Vendors
1. What information will be asked? Can the credit union give input as to the types of questions asked?
2. Who constructs the "instrument"? How will you define information needs (to determine question content)?
3. Will the survey be conducted by mail, e-mail, telephone, focus group(s), or personal interview?
4. How much will it cost? How many pages is the questionnaire?
5. Is postage included in the cost estimate? If not, how much will it cost?
6. What is the sample size? How is it chosen? How will you define groups of interest (to provide a sampling frame)?
7. How many questionnaires are expected to be completed? How many returns will we need for a desired confidence level? NOTE: CUNA Research typically gets response rates of around 20% for mail surveys and 10% for e-mail surveys!
8. Are follow-up mailings and/or e-mails conducted? (i.e., Do you follow up with non-respondents?) NOTE: This is vital because the profile of these later respondents and their responses differ from those who respond without further prompting.
9. How long does it take to complete the project?
10. How will you process returns, prepare tabulations, and analyze results? (i.e., How will the editing, coding, entering data, etc. be completed?)
11. Is a written analysis of the survey results included in the cost estimate?
12. Does the report provide a written analysis of market-segment differences?
13. Does the report contain recommendations based on the survey findings?
14. Do you take into consideration any misrepresentation of age groups or product users when analyzing the data? Do you adjust for these occurrences?
15. Do you have prior experience in financial research? May I review any written analysis from former clients? NOTE: Check their references.
16. Can you reliably compare our members' responses to those of other credit unions we have studied? NOTE: CUNA Research's database comparisons can tell you how your credit union stacks up to other credit unions.
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