No matter the industry or sector, virtually all organizations must have systematic methods to gather feedback from their stakeholders to drive decision making. This feedback can be used to help an organization refine its products before bringing them to market, establish policies that reflect the priorities of local community members or even optimize its vendor management strategy.
Focus groups and listening sessions are powerful feedback-gathering techniques. Both of these techniques can be excellent complements to survey research, as they can provide data to inform the development of surveys or to delve deeper into survey results.
A focus group is a discussion with a small group of carefully selected participants. Our facilitator guides your focus groups to learn your stakeholders’ perspectives and opinions on subjects that are important to your organization. On the other hand, a listening session is generally a widely publicized meeting that is open for community members to share their opinions on a particular topic. Our focus groups are more rigorous and structured and allow our facilitator to probe more deeply on topics than our listening sessions do.
We will collaborate with you to coordinate and facilitate online or in-person focus groups or listening sessions to gather information about the views, perceptions, opinions, attitudes, feelings, beliefs and experiences of your stakeholders – customers, clients, members, users, employees, vendors, suppliers, community members, etc.
We will guide the focus group or listening session project. The primary project phases include:
- Project Planning: Define the project purpose, goals and scope.
- Participant Recruitment: Determine participant qualification requirements and identify and recruit participants.
- Session Design: Craft a focus group discussion guide, listening session agenda and other support materials.
- Session Logistics: Coordinate the logistics for the sessions.
- Session Facilitation: Facilitate the sessions.
- Analysis: Analyze the session data and results.
- Report Preparation: Prepare the report.
As a result of the information gathered through the focus groups or listening sessions, your organization can:
- Gain a richer understanding of your stakeholders’ views
- Learn and establish new ideas, strategies and solutions for current and impending problems, challenges and opportunities
- Refine and improve your existing products, services and programs
- Confirm or deny insights obtained using other methodologies (e.g., surveys, interviews and observations)