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Adapting Research Studies During COVID-19

Adapting Research Studies During COVID-19

Woman on a call COVID-19 has forced businesses to adapt and for those of us responsible for conducting research, there has been a shift in how we operate as well. Decision Point is aware of the ground realities and the impact this pandemic has had on several industries.

As part of our services, we offer in-depth telephone interviews that are a cost-effective way to conduct research that needs to cover a wide geographic area. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were contacted by a global leader in the market research for animal health and agriculture to conduct telephone interviews with horticultural growers in Canada.

The client wanted to conduct in-depth telephone interviews (IDI) with their target audience and fieldwork for the research was scheduled to being in mid-March with an estimated completion time of 2-3 weeks. However, a state of emergency was declared in the province due to COVID-19 and this forced us to close our offices. When deciding on how to proceed with this particular study, apart from our offices being closed, there were other challenges as well.

International borders were closed off and farmers experienced a shortage of labour from traditional sources such as Mexico and the Caribbean. This increased pressure on growers at a time that is the busiest for them and they were unwilling to take time out and speak to us for the research.

To move forward we had to adapt and the first step was to devise an effective work from home strategy for our team of recruiters. We provided our recruiters with all the necessary equipment and training they required to work from home. During the set-up phase, our team overcame technical glitches such as low bandwidth and issues with the dialing software.

We were able to contact farmers and determine the situation on the ground and inform the client how the agricultural industry was impacted by COVID-19. Decision Point provided first-hand information from the target audience on how the study timing was being impacted by the pandemic.

Considering the Decision Point team’s feedback, the client decided that the timing of the study needed to be revised. There was a need to adapt and resume research when horticultural growers were available and willing to share their experience and thoughts, so useful insights could be captured from the interviews.

Decision Point was able to react swiftly to the changing situation and advise our client on taking the right course of action.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can assist with your market research needs.

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