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In recent years, technology has transformed the way that housing providers can communicate with their customers and with ever tightening budgets, many organisations are turning this to their advantage. Methods such as SMS surveys or email surveys are cost-effective means of seeking residents’ views in service monitoring programmes or other resident surveys, but how good are they in reality?

Text and email surveys have a number of benefits which make them attractive. Firstly, they are simple to run, and easy to automate. They also enable all customers in a sample to be contacted extremely quickly.

SMS and email offer very low cost ways of collecting customer feedback, so if you want a fast, easy approach to gathering information, then they can be very effective.

This all sounds great, so where’s the catch?

SMS and email surveys tend to have a very low response rate.

Not every person in the population will have access to a smartphone or to email, which limits the inclusiveness of these approaches.

Combining Techniques to achieve better outcomes in Resident Research
Our experience suggest that SMS or email surveys used in isolation are not effective quality assurance tools. However, mixed mode surveys where they are combined with phone or postal techniques can overcome the weaknesses in a very cost-effective way.

For example, Kwest’s proposed mixed-mode approach to transactional surveys can incorporate SMS text and email surveys, followed up by telephone interviews with non-respondents. Alternatively, SMS and email can be combined with postal surveys such as STAR.

The main rationale behind these multi-channel approaches is to respond to growing requirements to increase the number of responses to surveys, to improve accuracy levels of data, to improve survey reach and offer a choice of completion methods. A key benefit also lies in immediately decreasing the cost per completed survey.
For more information about our mixed mode surveys,
please call us on 0161 448 1388