SSI Quest Awards: The Quest for a Positive Respondent Experience

By Kristin Cavallaro, Knowledge and Data Analysis Specialist

It all started one bright sunny day in Shelton, CT back in 2010.  Truth be told, I don’t remember what the weather was like, but it sounded like a good opening sentence…

SSI’s CEO at the time, Kees de Jong walked up to my desk and asked me to create a score. This was not meant to be “just any score,” but a score like no other–a score to give respondents a voice. This was the beginning of what became the Respondent Preservation Initiative (RPI). The premise of this initiative to educate researchers in methods and designs that engaged respondents. The intention was for RPI to lead to longer tenure on online panels.  “Panelists are People” became our message.

We had eight (8) guidelines that were promoted as part of the RPI. We still stand by them today:

  1. Give people surveys to take
  2. Respect people’s time and goodwill
  3. Provide an enjoyable survey
  4. Respect preferences
  5. Reward appropriately
  6. Explain what we do and why
  7. Respect people’s interest levels
  8. No nagging

After several hours and days of data analysis and mediocre algorithms, a light bulb went off in my head. What do we do when we want to measure satisfaction in a product or service? We ask! That became our starting point. We designed a short battery of questions that would later be added to the end of every survey SSI runs. These questions are still asked today:

  • How satisfied were you with your experience with this survey?
  • How interesting was the topic of the survey to you?
  • Do you have any other remarks, suggestions or improvements to make about this survey?

We then thought it was necessary to account for the respondents that would drop out of a survey. In most cases if someone dropped out of a survey, it was because they did not like the experience they were having. We also  wanted to penalize long surveys.  As we know based on countless studies, long surveys cause respondent fatigue which not only leads to poor survey quality but also reduces respondent tenure and activity.

Once we created our Quest score (Questionnaire Experience Satisfaction Tool) based on the respondent’s feedback, drop rate, and median survey length, we set out on a “quest” to spread the word. This was the beginning of the SSI Quest Awards.

The SSI Quest Awards are given out each year at ESOMAR Congress.  There is one winner per category per region (Americas, APAC, Europe) as well as one global winner in each category known as the “Best In Quest.”

  • Winners are chosen based on the average of all projects during the award year
  • Eligible customers must have run a minimum of five (5) projects with SSI during the award year.
  • Scores are based on all eligible studies from June 1st – May 31st

This year, SSI released the names of our finalists in July. Congratulations to all our customers that have made it into the “finals!”  Join us as ESOMAR Congress on September 12, 2017 as we announce the addition of the twelve 2017 Regional and Best In Quest winners.

Check out the 2017 Quest Award Finalists!