Jean Forster has been a Kantar Operations market researcher for over 6 years. Unlike many of the Kantar field force, Jean works full time - it's not unusual for her to work a six day week and a 10 hour day. In addition to looking after herself so that she can tread the boards across an area that covers 120 miles, she has to make sure that her laptop is fit - and if it's not, that a replacement is quick to hand.

Says Jane "I love my job at Kantar. My role is to secure interviews with people who have received a random survey, mainly a social government one. Sending out the survey letter is the easy part - it's then down to me to knock on that person's door and fix an appointment to interview them".

The process of securing an interview is not as easy as it first appears. Jean can often call at a person's house five or six times before she actually catches them in. Then she has to secure a suitable time and place for the interview. Says Jean "I always, always have my laptop with me - in fact in the last four and a half years I can only recall two interviews when I did not use it. It is paramount that my laptop is working - if anything goes wrong with it then the consequences can range from mild to catastrophic.... I'll set the scene for you - imagine you've persuaded someone to have an interview with you, then you have to cancel because your laptop is not working - it's an opportunity for them to go cold on you .... If your laptop goes on the blink in the morning it can have a complete knock on effect on the rest of your scheduled interviews."

Laptops are increasing reliable but like all things technical, they can go wrong. This happened to Jean's laptop recently. Says Jean "I was in the Isle of Wight concluding an interview when my screen suddenly went blank and my laptop died on me. When I rang our helpline they confirmed it was a fault and that we would need to use the TEK Express swapout service. Imagine my relief when the next morning my replacement laptop arrived promptly. Less then 24 hours between fault and replacement. This helped me enormously because it gave me the time to download all my completed survey interviews - 
something that can easily take up to three hours."

Jean has been on the receiving end of the TEK Express service for over four and a half years now and has nothing but praise for the company. "From my first contact with TEK Express, it was such a joy to know that Sam Francis, the boss, was a real person that I could talk to. As I live a few miles down the road from them, on some occasions I prefer to call into their service centre rather than wait for the courier swapout service. Although I absolutely dread my laptop going wrong, I'm so relieved that TEK Express are there - such a good company and so efficient - Adam (one of the TEK Express engineers) and the rest of the team treat me really well - I never feel like an idiot and I know it would be easy to tell Sam if I was unhappy in any way with their service. They are a great company, offering me and all my fellow researchers a fantastic service .... a life line in fact"

Thanks to Jean for allowing us to interview her in the Isle of Wight. Dee Blick, TEK Express's PR Consultant conducted the interview in August 08


Editor's notes

Kantar provides high quality research solutions in six specialist areas, they currently manage
approximately 680 field researchers in the UK. They are one of the longest-established market research companies in Britain and they stand among the top 10 in terms of turnover, quoting over £45 million in 2005. In 2001 they selected TEK Express's service provision "SOS Express" as their preferred solution of support saving them over £30,000 in the first year. TEK Express now manages all Kantar's hardware swapouts, collections for leavers and issue of kit for new starters.