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Telephone Depth Interviews: Data Collection Advantages and Disadvantages

telephone depth interviewsWith the advancement of web-centric methodologies, it might seem that today’s market researchers no longer have any need for the traditional telephone interview. Specifically, the telephone depth interview might seem like a waste of time when the Internet seemingly offers much the same benefit with fewer associated costs. But with the world’s population quickly approaching a decidedly mobile-oriented focus, the telephone remains a viable way for market researchers to stay connected with consumers. To determine if the tele-depth interview is right for your business, take a look at some of its advantages and disadvantages:


  • Frequently secures better participation rates. It’s harder for many potential respondents to refuse a personal request for help.
  • Allows interviewers to explore respondent answers, asking for clarification when information is unclear and requesting further details when appropriate. This leads to richer insights.
  • Potentially facilitates more data by making it easier for respondents to reveal intimate or confidential material since they are not embarrassed being face-to-face with their interviewer.
  • Often cheaper than focus groups or face-to-face depth interviews because there are no costs for travel, lodging/meeting spaces or food.
  • Collection of demographic information for mobile telephone users is relatively easy, providing a rich and varied way to gather a more representative sample and better target potential respondents.
  • Can help bolster a company’s image and brand when interviewers are well-trained and personable and leave respondents with favorable impressions.
  • Increases diversity of respondents. Geographic limitations are eliminated because nearly everyone in the world has access to a phone of some sort. Thus, it’s easy to reach almost anyone.
  • More convenient for respondents since they can choose to either pick up the call or not, depending on their own schedule and willingness.
  • Faster than waiting on face-to-face respondents to make arrangements to meet with an interviewer.


  • Calls could be perceived as annoying, limiting the number of respondents willing to participate.
  • Because there is no face-to-face interaction, interviewers are not privy to the subtle information relayed through a respondent’s body language. This could lead to the loss of important data.
  • Often fewer or less complex questions are asked in order to limit the amount of time a respondent is kept on the line. Interviews lasting too long risk being discontinued by impatient participants.

Ready to Learn More?

At Communications for Research (CFR), we understand the value of tele-depth interviews. We have highly-trained call center interviewers that reach out to potential respondents with multiple calls at different times and on different days; we do all we can to get you actionable results. Contact us to speak with our co-CEO Colson Steber and see how we can provide quality tele-depth interview services that will give you the data you need to make skilled and insightful decisions in 2018.

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