Mackman Research researchers use face-to-face interview techniques for social research, market research and business to business customer satisfaction surveys.

Our research team are experienced in face-to-face techniques and strictly adhere to the MRS (Market Research Society) code of conduct.  Face-to-face interviewing as a method of personally administering questionnaires has significant advantages as well as some disadvantages.

Advantages of face-to-face interviews

  • With face-to-face interviews you know who has completed the questionnaire unlike postal or online methodologies.
  • Face-to-face interviews allow the inclusion of respondent groups that might otherwise be excluded for instance the illiterate, blind, bedridden, or very old.
  • Face-to-face interviewers are able to probe for more information in the event that they sense that the respondent has more information.
  • Face-to-face interviews promote the use of different data collection techniques.  For instance open ended questions and visual aids such as cue cards or visual aids.  A self-administered questionnaire may be used for part of the interview (particularly useful for asking really sensitive questions in a face-to-face interview).
  • Face-to-face interviews can be much longer that telephone interviews, online or postal questionnaires.  An hour long personal interview is not uncommon.  A telephone interview in excess of 20 minutes requires exceptional skill and a postal questionnaire will require an appropriate incentive if it is of excessive length.  It should be noted however that street face-to-face interviews need to be kept short.
  • Face-to-face respondents are lead through a questionnaire one question at a time and cannot flick ahead or answer out of order.  This can alter findings.

Disadvantages of face-to-face interviews

  • Face-to-face interviews are intrusive, reactive and take great skill to administer without introducing bias.  Reactivity becomes more of a problem when more than one interviewer is involved as delivering consistent reactions can be difficult to manage.
  • Face-to-face interviews are costly in both time and money.
  • Face-to-face interviews by their nature need to be administered to lower numbers than is possible with other techniques.
  • Face-to-face interviews can run the risk of going out of date due to the prolonged time periods that can be involved.

In the event that you are considering face-to-face research then please do not hesitate to call us to discuss your needs or to request a quotation.