When it comes to evaluating various phone survey companies, it makes sense that you would ask about experience, capacity, areas of expertise and cost. These are fundamentally important aspects and it is safe to guess that these are already on your list of questions.
However, there is another critical question to ask when evaluating phone survey companies that is vital, yet in many cases is overlooked: how do you convince telephone recruits to also participate in online surveys?
Indeed, since recruits are already on the phone (which is a challenge unto itself!), it is in your best interest to try and lead them towards completing an online survey without undermining the integrity and purpose of the phone survey, and diminishing its value. In other words, you do not want recruits to complete the online survey instead of the phone survey. You want them to follow-through with both.
If this strategy is successful, you will benefit in a couple of key ways:
- You will have a richer and deeper data set than with just phone surveys, but at a very economical price position.
- You will have the email addresses of respondents, instead of just their phone numbers.
However, if this strategy is unsuccessful, then instead of generating a larger number of better responses, your participants will head for the exits. In other words, it will backfire, and instead of getting more for less, you will get less for more.
This brings us back to evaluating and assessing various phone survey companies, since the one you choose will be managing this function on your behalf. If they get it wrong, then you will end up paying the price. As such, you need to ask now – not later – how they are going to persuade recruits to participate meaningfully in your phone survey that is just about to take place AND (not instead of!) participate just as meaningfully in the online survey that you have waiting for them.
With this in mind, here is what the best and most effective phone survey companies do to give clients like you the best of both worlds:
1. They keep the process as easy and simple as possible.
Choice is a funny thing. People want and often insist on it; but at the same time, too many options can create “analysis paralysis,” and confuse, overwhelm or just plain annoy. As such, the best phone survey companies keep the process as easy and simple as possible for telephone recruits. Instead of giving them a comprehensive and complex back story or overview, they just say something along the lines of “I’m sending an email to you right now, with a link that you can click on as soon as our conversation is done” (or if the email is not sent in real-time, then “I’ll be sending an email to you within the hour…”).
2. They obtain buy-in and commitment.
The best phone survey companies know how to ask questions -- such as “Can we depend on you to complete the online survey by tonight?” – that helps seal the deal as early as possible, but in a manner that recruits do not find aggressive or unfriendly. Instead, participants feel that they are collaborating with and supporting the telephone researcher. This makes all the difference.
3. They provide incentives.
While some recruits willingly agree to complete an online survey, others will need an incentive to move ahead. The best phone survey companies know when to introduce this tactic, and just as importantly, what rewards to offer that maximize completion rates while minimizing cost and administration.
At Communications For Research, we cover all of the above, and have a very high success rate in mixed mode surveys. We develop both the back-end strategy, and our highly trained, professional telephone researchers know how to build rapport, establish relationships, and leverage them accordingly in a manner that is beneficial to both the recruits taking the survey, and our clients who want their valuable opinions and insights.
To learn more, contact us today and you’ll speak with our co-CEO Colson Steber. Colson can help determine the best methodologies for your research opportunity before creating a research proposal based on your timeline and budget.
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