Recent Research Is

Contributing to the success of a new student accommodation concept; a series of face-to-face surveys on site over several years among students living in purpose built upmarket halls of residence, covering both service and physical aspects of the accommodation. The owner has capitalised on learning from the early surveys when opening new buildings, as well as making specific improvements to and tracking satisfaction with existing ones.

Enabling a climbing wall to find a customer-driven focus for improvement; a self-completion questionnaire handed out by the climbing wall reception to visitors over a period of several weeks. When returns were discovered to be too slow, Crystal Market Research adapted the methodology to handing out and collecting questionnaires personally, which dramatically improved participation. The survey was instrumental in bringing about a change in route setting policy to accommodate the (now) known climbing abilities of customers. The survey also strongly confirmed the need for new toilets which have since been installed.

Understanding the taboos surrounding lung cancer; face-to-face depth interviews in home with couples (individually and together) and mini focus groups with men at risk from lung cancer. The insights from this detailed research were crucial for informing and developing a social marketing campaign around encouraging people to act early on the symptoms of lung cancer. The research was done in several stages, each one building on learning from the previous one – progressing from choosing the key messages to tailoring the executions of those messages.

Measuring the impact of social marketing interventions; several pre and post intervention large scale quantitative surveys amongst specific target groups in ward-sized areas, on the subjects of lung cancer, fire safety and alcohol harm. In all cases, careful sampling and fieldwork procedures ensured that the survey samples were closely representative of the population being exposed to the social marketing campaign. The surveys were one of the vital tools for assessing the value of the social intervention measures and contributed to a national health behaviour and attitudes databank.

Working out how to reduce fire risk for elderly people living at home; in-home interviews and observation of people age 70-90 living in deprived areas. Procedures sensitive to this vulnerable group were used in this in-depth qualitative research e.g. interviewing and recruitment carried out by the same person from Crystal Market Research to avoid potential confusion among the participants, telephone call immediately before interview to reassure and remind, offer of fire service visit at the close of the interview to allay any fears aroused by the interview experience. For many of the elderly participants the interview was an enjoyable social interaction; for the fire service the research findings provided invaluable input to their fire safety strategy.

Evaluating the regeneration of an industrial estate; desk research, on-site observation, face-to-face depth interviews with key businesses and self-completion questionnaires with other occupants of the business park. This was a rigorous appraisal that utilised a variety of research methods and achieved 90% participation from businesses on the estate. The evaluation was a statutory requirement of the local authority to regeneration grant funders.

Providing the basis for an airport to implement a staff 'green travel to work plan'; an interviewer administered self-completion questionnaire with a census of employees. The airport was advised about promoting the survey to employees, the practicalities of achieving full participation and providing feedback to employees. Firm knowledge about staff travel behaviour and attitudes provided a solid base for developing a green travel policy and a yardstick by which to assess its effectiveness in the future.

Helping a charity improve the support it provides to adults with learning disabilities; semi-structured telephone interviews with carers/parents. This is one of several surveys carried out for this charity, covering different aspects of its service. Though small scale, the level of detail provided by the research and the understanding of Crystal Market Research built up over a number of years means that the charity has been able to make very specific improvements to its service.

Contributing to the formation of an airport's catering and retail offer; an examination of quantitative data relating to catering and retail from a quarterly customer satisfaction tracking survey, supplemented with focus groups with different types of customer. Understanding customers' behaviour, motivations and barriers surrounding airport food and drink and being able to segment this formed a vital part of the airport's continuing reappraisal of its offer.