5 critical reasons you should be hiring dedicated, survey programming specialists instead of lumping programming in with your sample provider.

Would you ask an electrician to do your plumbing just because he was already doing your wiring? Of course not! Now imagine that you need electrical and plumbing work done weekly, yet you only hired several electricians. Okay, that just went from bizarre to nonsensical.

Yet, this type of decision is often made in quantitative research. Agencies primarily hire “electricians” (sample providers) but also ask them to also do their “plumbing” (survey programming) while they’re at it.

Two critical vendor decisions stand out when putting a survey online; where to get sample and who will do the programming. Sample can (and should) vary based on audience needed but the programming often boils down to one question:

Do you leverage your sample provider for programming services,

or do you partner with a firm that specializes in survey programming?

While the convenience of a one-stop-shop offered by sample providers is appealing, a deeper exploration reveals that expertise and partnership, not accounts-payable ease, leads to multiples of return on effort and greater market research bliss.

Partnering with a specialized market research survey programmer offers several critical advantages…

1. Offer Excellence:

I’ve heard through the grapevine that sample providers actually hate doing survey programming and they don’t make money doing it. So why do they offer it, and why at an unprofitable rate?

I can’t definitively say what another company’s motivation is, but the only thing that makes sense to me is that they tack on the service as a loss-leader to handcuff the relationship. Having the “cheapest” programming entices you to use their sample, regardless of how they are doing or how the cost changes based on fielding.

Having a dedicated survey programmer removes these handcuffs and ensures you are getting the best service at each touchpoint, so you can offer the best to your end-clients.

The benefit extends to data quality as well: an “acceptable” survey experience for respondents will yield acceptable data, but offering a truly excellent survey will encourage responses that are more complete, considered, and accurate.

2. Operational Integration, Enhancement, and Efficiency:

When you use a specialist programming shop for your surveys, you create a relationship that can be exactly like having an in-house resource, but without the fixed cost and staffing.

Since your sample choices no longer dictate your survey vendor, you can work on things that go beyond individual projects. Things like long-term process efficiency, integration with your systems and tools, and differentiation in the programming capabilities you provide to your end client.

Each survey builds on the collective body of work. A programmer familiar with your specific needs, preferences, and communication style can work more efficiently, reducing the time required for programming and often decreasing the overall project timeline. This is especially true if they have an entire program dedicated to systematically increasing MR operational efficiency. (See MR-LEAP)

3. Differentiating Customization and Personalization:

Businesses that specialize in programming can help you to create bespoke, innovative solutions for your clients that truly differentiate your brand. This is especially true if your programming partner offers novel solutions and/or custom development.

Specialist programming firms that have consultative capabilities, technological prowess, and decades of experience in the industry can apply their knowledge, technology, and creativity to help set you apart.

4. Predictability in Budgeting:

Working with the same programmer can lead to more predictable costs, as both parties understand the scope and complexity of typical projects, reducing the likelihood of unexpected charges.

Additionally, as you work on efficiencies, not only will the speed increase but theoretically, your costs will go down as well.

5. Consultative and Strategic Partnership:

Long-term collaboration should evolve into a truly strategic partnership, where the programmer actively contributes to the planning and development of research projects, not just the execution.

Familiarity with past projects allows the programmer to anticipate potential issues and resolve them quickly, often before they become significant problems. With ongoing feedback and collaboration, the programmer can continuously improve the tools and techniques used, thus enhancing the effectiveness of the research efforts and continually helping your team raise the bar for your clients.

Separating survey programming from sample procurement may seem like an extra step initially, but it is a strategic move that enhances efficiency, consistency, and overall satisfaction in market research operations. Specialized survey programmers bring a depth of expertise and dedicated focus that ensures high-quality data collection, tailored solutions, and smoother project execution. By establishing a dedicated partnership with a specialized programmer, clients enjoy streamlined communication, faster problem resolution, and consistent quality over time.

This approach not only meets the immediate needs of a specific study but also builds a foundation for long-term strategic success, ensuring that every element of the research process is handled by the best in the business.

While the ease of a one-stop-shop might be tempting, the long-term benefits of specialization and partnership far outweigh the convenience, painting a clear picture of why specialization in survey programming is not just preferable but essential.

Please reach out anytime if you’d like to learn more about how Jibunu is truly pushing the edge for survey programming services and capabilities and how our proprietary technology platform, MR-LEAP, can be integrated into your unique work processes to drive long-term efficiencies and effectiveness.