As a full service research company, SMS conducts quantitative studies by telephone, mail, Internet, or through intercept surveys. The recommended method depends on the client's objectives and the availability of contact information for the appropriate sample. In some cases SMS may recommend more than one method be used.
Telephone surveys are the most widely used method of collecting information because of the flexibility they offer in screening respondents, survey design, relative cost, timely completion, and the availability of telephone numbers from which random samples can be drawn. SMS conducts its calling from the SMS Call Center in Honolulu using the latest Sawtooth technology.
Cell phone research is becoming more important as the trend toward using cell phones exclusively, replacing landlines, increases with a distinct segment of the population. SMS is the first company in Hawaii to extensively conduct surveys to cell phones. This experience has taught us valuable lessons that we use to make the process more accurate, less costly, and safer correspondents.
E-Surveys (Internet) are ideal when there is an established base of e-mail addresses to draw from, such as from a customer database, employees, or "guest book" on a website. Surveys through the web can be done faster, forless money, and offer the flexibility of gathering feedback on visual factors. In addition to more traditional surveys,
SMS has undertaken e-surveys to test logo designs with customers, advertising with potential customers, and reviews of publications.
Mail Surveys are generally conducted with a base of customers or members - for example, members of a club or customers of a bank - when respondents are older, speak a foreign language, or when the survey requires more time for the respondent to consider their responses. The mail survey process requires more time due to mailing out of the survey and waiting for responses. Once returned, SMS scans and reviews all surveys in our state-of-the-art scanning facility. As the demographic mix of respondents moves from preferring mail surveys to e-surveys, SMS will frequently offer respondents the option of returning a paper survey or completing the survey on the web.
Intercept Surveys are more common when potential respondents are located at a specific geographic location or an interaction is required, such as visitors to Waikiki, shoppers at a Mall, or "gamers" asked to try out newgames. Here again reliable results depend on a rigorous sampling routine; quality, trained interviewers who are monitored; and a survey that suits the time respondents have available.
Multi-Mode Projects are becoming more prevalent as a means to maximize response rates. These projects often begin with a mail survey followed up by a telephone survey. SMS has the expertise to manage the challenges of presenting clients with accurate results generated from two or more data collection methods.
SMS did a great job in leading Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s evaluation development process…including identifying input, output and outcome measures to track progress toward HTA’s strategic goals. SMS also provided steps to guide us in integrating the evaluation process into our overall operations and planning. Our staff was actively engaged in the process and tracking the measures will ensure a focus on driving towards outcomes.
— Leslie Dance, former VP Marketing
Hawai‘i Tourism Authority