Gaining consent to do user research on forms

I've been in various conversations the last few weeks about certain forms, and why people have been using routes of interaction we'd rather they didn't instead of these forms, and why they've been giving up half way through the forms. There have been various discussions about what kind of insight we might get using Google Analytics around abandonment, and all manner of speculation about what the underlying reason for abandonment might be.

Of course, we could just ask the users.

One of the usual ways of recruiting a user research panel is via an organisation's Public Participation Group - you'll ask them for a carefully crafted selection of a representative sample of a cross section of the population of the borough. Hopefully, amongst those you might get some people who've used the form you're particularly interested in, and if you're trying to find out about abandonment, you might get some people who've abandoned your form.

Of course, we could just ask the users of the form itself.

Why don't we include as part of the contact details pages of our forms a simple yes/no question asking users if they would be willing to consent to us potentially getting back to them in the future to talk about their experience? Would asking that question be so much of an additional user experience burden?

By way of sample, I've added it to the contact details page of the report flytipping form on this site, and also updated the contact details section of the form guidelines of my proposed generic Content and User Experience Strategy.