An intentional series of one-on-one conversations can be a great source of information and insight. Even though it is among the cheapest forms of research, conversation surveys often are only an afterthought.
Unlike telephone or online surveys that center on questions with multiple-choice answers, one-on-one conversations are based on open-ended conversations. The whole idea is to start a conversation, not get an answer.
Skilled researchers guide the conversation through a series of pre-determined questions, but allow the conversation to find its own parameters and depth. Skillful conversation guides know how to keep the conversation going without skewing it in any particular direction by inserting their own views.