Many people only focus on the quantitative aspects of research for their business. Although quantitative research can provide you with statistics, there are many reasons to spend more time on your research and integrate qualitative studies.
Basic quantitative studies may only yield fundamental information about a product or service. For example, you might conclude that most customers enjoy your product. Without conducting qualitative studies, your participants cannot elaborate and provide you with valuable information. You may find out there are specific aspects of your product or service that are overwhelmingly popular with your customers, which can precipitate the development of new products.
Since you will have trained researchers conducting qualitative studies, you will likely have more consistent results. For example, a typical survey has plenty of opportunities for mistakes or deception to occur. During phone interviews or focus groups, participants are more likely to be engaged and honest about their experiences. Although their answers are anonymous, there is less anonymity with typical qualitative research since participants are often talking to a researcher.
A single researcher conducting interviews or focus groups can also improve consistency. For example, you may want your researcher to categorize answers given by participants as negative, positive, or neutral. If it were up to each participant to categorize their own answers, there would be no way to achieve consistency between answers. Each person will have their own opinion on whether a specific answer is positive or not. Since a single researcher will be categorizing all answers, there will be more consistency between ratings. If you will have multiple researchers conducting qualitative research, with proper training on categorizing answers, there will be high inter-rater reliability.
Broader Range Of Participants
Another advantage of qualitative research is the type of participants you can include. There are many reasons a typical survey is not appropriate for everyone. Young children are one group that will benefit from qualitative studies because they can't verbalize their answers. With children, participating in a qualitative study makes it less likely a parent may inadvertently or intentionally influence their answers. Other concerns, such as vision problems or learning disabilities can make the typical survey problematic. You want to include everyone who is representative of your demographic in your research.
Although qualitative research can require more preparation and higher costs, it is an important part of any type of research. Integrating qualitative data into your research will reveal more information in your studies and make your studies more inclusive. For more information, contact a company like Beall Research.