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Ringing in the Data: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Telephone Surveys Today

Are telephone surveys still a powerful way of collecting data?

Telephone surveys became very popular during the 1980s. Almost every household had a telephone in their house and they were easy to reach. Nowadays with all the technology, many researchers think that telephone interviewing is something that doesn’t work or a thing from the past. Of course with an increased number of scammers, telephone surveys are not that popular.

Even though telephone surveys are not a scam, they are one of the most necessary forms of data collection. Telephone surveys help many businesses, government agencies, non-profit organizations, etc understand the needs of their consumers and citizens, towards a better product and future.

The decrease in telephone surveys

In earlier times, many people were willing to answer a survey by phone. Sadly, today this trend is plummeting. There are many reasons why this is happening and we can debate it for hours. This mostly is due to technology, because many people don’t have a landline nowadays and are using their cellular phones. Plus there are many scammers out there, and when people will see a number that they don’t recognize, they simply do not answer their phone.

Sometimes they are not even willing to participate in the survey, because often they are mistaking a survey for telemarketers and that someone is trying to sell them something.

And even though telephone surveys have taken a plummet over the years, they are still one of the most powerful ways of collecting data. Let’s look at some of the reasons why telephone surveys are a powerful way of gathering data.

Why telephone surveys still matter

  • Reach out to the highest number of people

Almost every adult between the ages of 18 – 50 has phone access. If you compare this to the 70% of the people that have a laptop or a PC, the phone has still a huge advantage. This means that you can still reach a lot of people by phone by demographics, and it shows that the phone is still one of the most powerful tools for gathering data.

  • The respondents can have a conversation with a real person.

Nowadays a lot of the systems are being automated from online shopping to paying the bills etc. And a lot of people enjoy these automatons. And the same applies to online surveys and automated phone systems. Despite that, numerous people won’t participate in automated platforms simply because they are not accustomed to them, and they want to talk to a real person.

Whether you are running a business or conducting a survey, a conversation with a real person will make the process easier. The person on the other end can answer questions, and offer guidance. The human factor can have a great impact.

  • The telephone surveys deliver more accurate data

Usually, when answering online surveys, and you come across a question that you don’t know, or you are not sure, you will simply skip it. We used to do that in school when we had tests, and we will do it in any type of written survey. In the end, most of the questions in the survey will be answered, and the data will be useful.

With telephone surveys, the participants can ask clarifying questions if they don’t understand the question. That way the data will be more accurate and complete. The online surveys if not structured well, and are a bit confusing the participants are more likely to abandon them. But the telephone surveys will bring the full picture.

Today’s market research depends on many techniques and methodologies to get the necessary answers. And with technology always advancing, the telephone has still a major role in communicating.

In order to understand how to perform efficient market research that will improve your business, contact us today.


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