4 ways survey call centers are adapting to new TCPA changes

Change is sweeping across the decades-old phone survey industry, and large survey call centers across the US are reacting in a variety of ways to the new TCPA regulations that we summarized last week.

As one of the industry’s leading suppliers of phone survey research systems and dialers in the US, the Voxco team has a unique point of view on the 2016 reality of the dialing landscape. We have a direct connection to many of the largest and most advanced survey call centers in the US, and we have talked numerous times with most of them since July 2015, when the TCPA changes were first announced.

We’ve seen first-hand how most of them initially reacted to the updated regulations, and how they have adapted in the 18 months since. Here are four distinct groups that we have observed:

Read More »

Still shifting: An update on TCPA and survey dialing in 2016

Despite the FCC labeling their sweeping new TCPA changes as final back in July 2015 when they were announced, the actual dialing reality for survey call centers in the US is still shifting and settling.

The initial July 2015 ruling was a set of strict, sweeping changes that affected everyone in the phone survey research industry. In summary, it stated:

  • An autodialer may not be used to contact any mobile number in the US unless explicit consent was received from the number’s owner.
  • Dialing hardware could not be used, even if it only had the ability to be used as an autodialer, regardless of whether those features were being used.
  • The burden of knowing which numbers were mobile and which were landlines rested on the shoulders of the dialing party. If a number had been reassigned, a call center was responsible for tracking the change, and was only given a single erroneous dial to figure it out.
Read More »

Four New Software Feature Updates this November

november-2016-voxco-feature-updates

This month we’re rolling out another handful of helpful features that will make managing survey projects easier for our loyal users. Many of these monthly feature updates are client-requested, so don’t be shy – let your Voxco rep or support team know what new features you want to see in the future!

Here we go:

1. On-premise SAML Survey Access

SAML Survey Access is an option that is now available for our On-Premise customers (yes – we offer on-premise survey software). This will make a big difference to our on-premise users who seek an extra level of third party security when they are authenticating respondents. SAML access lets users authenticate survey respondents using a SAML claim attribute mapped to the respondent PIN. This needs to be integrated by users on their side, but now the Voxco platform will play nicely with SAML authentication providers.

2. Delete sample files off FTP

After you’ve finished uploading sample lists off of the FTP site, we’ve added a single-click option to the Import Sample process that allows for the automated deletion of the sample source file from the FTP site after it has been successfully imported.

On the sample import window, under source: FTP, there is now a check box that you can select called “Delete file after download.”

3. Saveable response variables

Users will now see that the variables they have input on the Responses page will automatically be saved when they load a new page or log off, and return later to complete what they were doing. Once the user returns to the response page, previously saved variables will be displayed as they were last left and can be edited from that point. The variables will be automatically saved on a per survey and per user basis; this should boost productivity among our regular survey programmers.

4. Survey link variables on exports

When exporting respondent and response data, a Survey Link system variable can now be added to the files. This could help users in various situations, including those who create follow-up email campaigns in separate software – the unique survey URL can now be included in the export file and imported into personalized emails that include the correct, unique survey link.

All changes coming soon

Change number 1 above is available now for all of our on-premise platform users. Contact your Voxco rep or our support team to schedule a time to update your on-site software with all of the above updates.

We’re rolling out the other three changes for our SaaS client starting this week. Call or email our support team if you have any questions about the updates and how to use them. Talk next month!

Read More »

Feature Update: Enhanced questionnaire structure view

This week we started rolling out the newest version of our Voxco Online SaaS platform to include a highly requested feature. In the past, after questionnaires were written and programmed, the default preview display made it difficult to present the questionnaire structure to others and request their feedback. Well no more!

We have reviewed and updated the entire questionnaire structure preview to make it more helpful when presenting questionnaires to others.

These changes will make the questionnaire structure preview easier to understand on-screen, including the ability to add survey settings and block settings directly via the display. We’ve also added an option to export the questionnaire structure display into Microsoft Word as an HTML file. The Word file can then be formatted, edited, and presented to others:

Read More »

August Software Feature Updates

August Voxco Survey Software Feature Updates

Another month, another round of survey features being added to the Voxco platform. We’re excited to update you on what’s new now that the software was updated overnight. Here we go!

SFTP Support

When uploading survey results to an external site, or downloading raw data files for importation into the Voxco survey platform, we now offer full SFTP support in addition to the pre-existing FTP service.

SFTP is an even more secure method of transferring data that uses a private and safe data stream. Its major benefit is that it encrypts the connection between your computer and the FTP server, never sending file data or passwords as clear text.

SaaS Support for Twilio

Twilio allows its users to programmatically make phone calls and send text messages using its web service APIs. Now, Voxco clients who regularly use Twilio’s short codes when auto-sending SMS text messages can now be fully compliant with provider requirements by enabling an automated response for keywords like ‘help’, ‘stop’, or ‘unsubscribe’.

Read More »

July Software Feature Updates

July Voxco Survey Software Feature Updates Windows 10 Blog Header

Voxco regularly integrates brand new features to our online survey software. Sometimes these are based on client requests, sometimes they’re just add-ons that our hard-working development team thinks would be an awesome addition to what is already the industry’s most flexible survey platform.

We’re going to get in the habit of sharing these new features with you via the blog each month as they are released. The features below were updated onto our SaaS platform yesterday, July 20.

Keep an eye out for future updates. For now, here’s what’s new this July!

Read More »

Events Season Recap

photo_by_Allen_McEachern

May and June are always a flurry of industry events. And Voxco attends as many of them as possible – the level of insight that can be gained and connections that can be made via networking at these events is unmatched. Roll the highlights reel!

In May, Vincent and Jeb attended AAPOR in Austin. There is literally no better event for hearing North American pollster thought leaders share what’s trending in the world of public opinion and survey research. It’s awesome to have detailed conversation about survey strategy with people who love the topic as much as we do – shout out to a few clients we spent time with there: NORC, Precision Opinion, Siena College, Recon MR and Roanoke College.

At the end of May, Voxco had a different kind of event experience. C2 Montréal is one of the largest and most influential business conferences in North America, and it happens right here in our home town. We reached out to C2 this year and offered our platform and our professional scripting services to help them get a better attendee feedback system than they had been getting from the lower-end DIY platform they used in years past. For the first time, they combined post-event online surveys with in-the-moment mobile interviews, which gave them a much more robust level of feedback. Keep an eye out for a more detailed client success story, coming soon.

Speaking of Voxco having the home field advantage, MRIA was also held in Montreal this year. Two and a half jam-packed days of Canadian-focused #MRX insight from some of the premier industry thought leaders. Our booth was a center of attention both for our own clients and new friends we met for the first time. The Canadian crowds always put a smile on our faces, and it was awesome to welcome them to our own city!

New this year was our first appearance at ICES-V just last week. The once-every-four-years International Conference on Establishment Surveys brought us into contact with a number of leading statisticians from across Europe and the world. Our CEO, Raymond, is especially numbers-savvy, so he was gleefully absorbed with talking shop with many of the world’s leading national statisticians. The advanced professional capability of our platform really drew in the crowds to the Voxco booth and software demonstration, and we can’t wait to tailor a the right platform for many of them.

So now the summer is here. And with it comes a short lull in industry events. As we put our nose to the grindstone and plan our run up to Fall and our first few conferences (ESOMAR and others) it’s nice to have a short moment of focus on what matters: making killer multichannel survey tools. But gosh do we love the chance to share our survey nerdery with like-minded industry colleagues! 😉

Read More »

Canada Privacy Act-Compliance in Survey Hosting & Access

Survey Hosting & Data Access that’s Canada Privacy Act-Compliant

Market Researchers who have been following the news about data privacy and protection in the past few years know that there are major concerns with any data that is hosted in the US, or accessed by US parties.

Recently, we’ve seen that US survey software providers come under fire from provincial governments, even those who have operations in Canada. The major problem is that US employees of these firms often have access to their Canadian clients’ personal information data even when it is stored on Canadian servers. This is in direct conflict with many Canadian Privacy Acts.

We’re proudly Canadian, and have been for over 25 years. So we understand Federal and Provincial Privacy Acts and how they relate to safeguarding our Canadian clients’ data, including the secure access of personal respondent data. Voxco’s secure servers host our Canadian clients’ data here in Canada, but with Voxco your data will never be accessed by any party in the United States.

We’re currently providing survey tools and secure-access data hosting to Federal and Provincial governments, universities, and Canada’s largest research firms. Many of them have chosen us because Voxco offers industry-leading survey software with the added confidence of knowing that your data is securely stored in Canada, only accessed by Canadian parties.

Let us know if we can help you keep your Canadian survey data in Canada.

Read More »

Online surveys are not enough

Voxco-9020

Part 2: Get surveys noticed in the offline world

You don’t have to read Part 1 of this blog series to be aware of the worrying issue facing market researchers: online surveys are being ignored in growing numbers thanks to survey fatigue in respondents. While online remains an essential part of any survey program, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to ensure that they are getting noticed – they’re just too easy for respondents to ignore.

So how can your survey stand out? By changing channels completely, and using the personal touch of an interviewer. There’s something to be said about the old-school survey method: it’s harder to say no to a real person’s interview request than it is to ignore one of hundreds of web links seen online each day. There is a reason face-to-face interviewing is often referred to as ‘intercept.’ You are literally intercepting a respondent in the middle of their day and getting noticed.

Adapt. Existing survey methods are in decline, and only the flexible will survive. Managing effective survey programs in 2016 requires you to complement online surveys with offline channels that can help create a more representative tapestry of insights. Here are some of the major advantages of complementing online surveys with other, interviewer-lead channels:

Read More »

5 Reasons to support the 2016 Canadian Census

Why Marketers Should Support the 2016 Canadian Census

When Justin Trudeau’s newly formed majority government announced the reinstatement of the mandatory long-form census in its very first Liberal caucus meeting, researchers and businesses across Canada celebrated. The mandatory long-form census was a huge step back in the right direction for lovers of data across the nation that Voxco calls home.

Here’s a great article by Jan Kestle, Chair of CMA’s Customer Insights & Analytics Council, first published on the Canadian Marketing Association website here:

Starting at the beginning of May, Canadians are being asked to complete the 2016 Census. And there is good news for businesses, consumers and citizens alike.

As you’ll recall for the 2011 Census, the mandatory long-form census was replaced by a voluntary survey. This move resulted in a non-response bias that meant a lot of small-area data for 2011 could not be released—including data on income, education, labour force activity and special populations like immigrants and aboriginal peoples. The loss of the long-form census was a significant blow to policy makers, researchers, data scientists and marketing professionals.

But today we can breathe a sigh of relief because the mandatory long-form census is back, and the complexity of the Canadian population will once again be documented in a comprehensive and statistically sound way. Support for the restoration of a “proper” census came from all corners of Canadian society and has reinforced the fact that the Census of Canada is a national treasure to be protected and supported.

Read More »

Let us help you.

Discover how we can help YOUR organization solve its current survey needs.