Article by Ryan Moore, RMS Research Coordinator

At a glance:

What are Intercept Surveys?A method of getting contextual, immediate feedback from participants in real-time environments.

Keep it ShortTry to design the survey so that you can get useful feedback in a short period of time (Ideally 5 minutes or less).

Adaptability is KeyMake sure to have physical and online surveys to cater to your participants’ comfort level with technology.

Make it Worth Their WhileOffer Incentives or rewards in return for their time and feedback. 

What are Intercept Surveys?

Are you ready to learn the truth about how your customers feel about your business? Intercept Surveys may be just what you need! They’re a great way to get contextual, immediate feedback from participants. These surveys are conducted at important moments of a customer’s experience to gather real-time feedback and insights that can help companies improve their services and identify areas for growth.

You may have already participated in Intercept when filling out a questionnaire at an event, restaurant, or shopping mall. Perhaps you scanned a QR code on a restaurant bill to fill out a satisfaction survey on your phone. Intercept Surveys are designed to obtain responses from patrons while the experience is still fresh in their minds, and it’s best to get that feedback from them right after a movie, a purchase, or a meal.

Unlike mail surveys or focus groups, Intercept Surveys are conducted in real-time environments, often around other customers and employees, so researchers must leave a positive impression and be unobtrusive to respondents.

Here are three strategies that RMS uses to help get useful feedback from participants without detracting from their experience:

Keep it Short

Since Intercept Survey respondents are usually busy going about their lives, it’s crucial to keep the survey brief to maintain a positive experience for the customer. At RMS, we try to keep our Intercept Surveys under five minutes whenever possible. A reputable market research firm can design surveys and craft innovative questions to get valuable insights in a short period of time. 

Adaptability is Key

When conducting Intercept Surveys, interviewers should have the necessary equipment to accommodate respondents’ comfort levels with technology. Tablets are effective in helping interviewers to adapt to the survey environment. However, in locations with spotty Wi-Fi reception, (such as stadiums), interviewers should have access to wireless hot spots to ensure connectivity to the digital survey. To remain flexible in any environment, an offline survey option should also be available to capture responses. 

Make it Worth Their While

Over time, RMS has observed that even a small incentive can have a large impact on the response rate of Intercept Surveys. Making it worthwhile for respondents to participate in the survey doesn’t necessarily require a hefty investment. We have achieved excellent results by providing incentives such as a gift card for a coffee or Amazon purchase, or a coupon for a complimentary drink or food item at the survey venue. When offering incentives, it’s crucial to consider the timing of the Intercept Survey in relation to the incentive. For instance, if you’re distributing a coupon for a free beverage at a football stadium, it would be best to conduct the intercept interviews around halftime rather than at the end of the game. This would allow enough time for respondents to share their feedback, while also ensuring that they still have time to redeem their free beverage coupon.

With the right approach, Intercept Surveys can be a powerful tool for getting immediate customer feedback and uncovering customer needs, improving business operations, and enhancing customer satisfaction.

RMS is a full-service market research firm with a long history of conducting Intercept Surveys in a broad range of settings. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, Vice President of Corporate Development at or give us a call at (315) 635-9802.

Relational RMS Blogs:

Recruiting the Right Participants for Your Focus Groups: Best Practices
How to Design Your Next Feasibility Study
How to Overcome Common Barriers to Employee Satisfaction Surveys

About the Author – Ryan Moore

As RMS Research Coordinator, Ryan assists the analytic team with managing projects, including designing surveys, survey programming, interviewing, analyzing data, and summary reporting. He works within the research department to interpret primary and secondary data, helping to identify key findings and trends. Ryan also assists in project recruitment.

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Contact our Vice President of Corporate Development, Sandy Baker at or call 1-866-567-5422.

About RMS

Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. (RMS) is a full-service market research firm in Central New York. Formed in 2002, RMS helps organizations that are looking to know more about their customers and/or potential customers. They conduct surveys, focus groups, mystery shopping, studies and analysis. Each project is customized and gets personal attention by the best in the business. RMS has a reputation for getting results and offers an independent means to conduct telephone, on-line and mail surveying, In-depth interviews, intercept interviews, and participant recruitment as well as focus group hosting through QualiSight, its onsite call center and focus group facility. Taking advantage of the region’s reputation for being a great market study barometer, RMS recruits and moderates for focus groups, community forums and town meetings.