How we’ve changed the way we work to ensure our vital research continues

As the world continues to adapt to new ways of working, organisations across all sectors have been turning to research to understand how their customers or service users are coping with the impact of coronavirus.

Local authorities seek to gauge how businesses are impacted. Health providers investigate the mental health issues affecting those who are shielding. Educational institutions look to new ways to support teachers and pupils.

Research now plays a central role in helping to set a new baseline – both in identifying how behaviour and attitudes have had to change quickly, and to try to foresee how society expects to navigate a way forward.

At Qa we have had to adapt too. To help organisations gain insight from their customers and service users, we have applied digital approaches that have enabled research participants from all walks of life to provide their opinions on how they are dealing with these unprecedented times.

Here are some examples of the things we’ve been doing…

  • City-based destination management organisation – visitor sentiment tracking using online surveying
  • Multiple London councils – Covid-19 impact and confidence telephone surveying with businesses
  • Electricity distribution network operator – Willingness To Pay research with businesses, residents, and vulnerable customers using online video tools for focus groups and in-depth interviews
  • Northern clinical commissioning group – health inequalities qualitative research using online video tools in place of a face to face deliberative event
  • Agricultural Government agency – strategic communication insight with farmers and growers using telephone and email approaches
  • National educational institution – preparing educational assessments for the school term

We have also re-introduced face to face interviewing, initially by conducting visitor experience surveys at recently opened attractions as well as in city-based tourism destinations. Our interviewers all wear personal protective equipment to keep interviewees and themselves safe.

By adapting our approaches to gathering insight we have been able to ensure research is able to continue its vital role in helping society to find new ways forward.