How Google Translate can help market research agencies optimize participant experience and research quality

Languages are an important part of setting up an international research project. But many agencies and panel suppliers struggle with the multilingual aspect of market research.

Have you ever tried finding and using a support email address in an online survey? Have the researchers ever bothered answering questions or comments you’ve made? Do you as an agency monitor and read feedback from participants in different languages?


Like most agencies, InSites Consulting works with translation agencies using native speakers to translate the surveys we run. But we also use Google Translate. This free app is embedded in our research flow because it makes the survey easier for participants to complete, and ultimately improves the data quality.

How do we at InSites Consulting use Google Translate in our day-to-day work?

Not all surveys offer participants the chance to comment on questions or say what they think about the survey in general. At InSites Consulting we always offer participants the opportunity to give feedback on each individual question in the survey using what we call our ‘shoutbox’, where they can make suggestions or shout out loud about what’s wrong.

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Participants indicate what type of feedback they have (language, technical, content) and give their comments in the text field. The same system is triggered when using the support email address that is on every page.

Once they’ve clicked the send button, the information is processed at our end. It delivers the feedback to our system and triggers an automated email to the person responsible for that specific comment (eg if it’s a technical issue it goes to the IT person involved).

Of course nearly all participants give feedback in their native language, but our team doesn’t speak all the dozens of languages we use in our research.
This is where Google Translate comes in. It recognizes the language of the feedback, gives a real time translation in English and immediately integrates this in the email. By using the Shoutbox system we can also immediately identify which question the participant is talking about.

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This way we can spot at an early stage or even during a soft launch if there are problems, and adjust the survey to make sure the data quality remains high. Moreover we offer the participants the chance to give us feedback and we can answer the emails when needed. And finally, offering a support address and responding to incoming messages leads to a better participant experience.

For more information about our research flow and participant experience, contact Sam Berteloot.

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