A Comprehensive Guide on CATI (Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing) Survey

Ad Testing Guide 15 01
Market research 04 12

Traditional telephone interviews posed a number of challenges for both respondents and interviewers. It didn’t allow interviewers to observe the behavior and body language of the respondents. Also, it required respondents to actually answer the call. Worse, they could hang up at any time.

CATI, short for Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing, has replaced traditional telephone interviews and has helped overcome the challenges that came with those interviews.

Introduction to CATI (Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing) survey

Computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) is a structured telephone surveying method in which interviewers follow a customized script provided by a software application. It not only allows interviewers to collect and edit microdata speedily, but also enables them to make their respondents aware of the importance of accurate data.

The intelligent CATI software has the power to customize the follow up questions based on the responses provided and the information about the participants.

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What does CATI (Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing) mean in market research?

CATI research is known for its high accuracy as the telephone interviewing software automatically analyzes patterns to provide the best possible questions and results for your market research survey.

On top of this, CATI software ensures quick and secure collection of all responses for use later. You don’t have to waste your resources’ time and efforts on data data translation or collection.

CATI surveys are particularly effective in conducting global quantitative research that involves respondents who possess a phone but have no access to a computer. CATI software empowers you to reach such respondents anywhere in the world.

Voxco has an extensive experience of conducting global quantitative research via CATI (telephone interviewing) software

What is the CATI (Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing) survey method?

The CATI telephone interviewing survey method is an innovative research methodology where an interviewer administers a computer-assisted questionnaire or script to the respondent during a phone call via a computer screen.

The software automatically leads the questionnaire flow in a way that matches the responses of the respondent.

This means that the interviewer has no control over the questionnaire script. He is simply a mediator between the respondent and the computer-assisted questionnaire displayed on the screen. But the interviewer can always elaborate the questions or help the respondents understand the questions better to improve the response rate.

Thanks to the intelligent filters and logic conditions, the software displays a multitude of questions in a sequential order, which is what guarantees accuracy in questionnaire administration.

How do you conduct a CATI (Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing) survey?

To conduct a CATI survey, all that an interviewer will need is an Internet connection and a phone. Since the most advanced telephone interviewing software is web-based, no installation is required. 

The interviewer can simply access the survey with any available browsers. This flexibility enables interviewers to work from a place of their convenience, thereby saving their time and costs.

Here's how the computer-assisted telephone Interviewing functions:

  • The interviewer sits in front of a computer screen while a computerized questionnaire is administered to the respondent over the telephone. All he needs to do is follow the instructions displayed on the screen.
  • The computer then dials the telephone number of the respondent to be called, via a command.
  • Once a contact is made, the respondent starts reading and responding to the questions displayed on the computer screen.
  • The interviewer records the survey responses directly into the database in real-time. The best part? The software stops the progress of the interview if a certain answer is not recorded correctly.
  • The data starts getting collected instantly, which means no data loss. The computer-assisted telephone interviewing software’s built-in logic ensures high data accuracy.
  • he software customizes questions for all responses including logically incorrect answers that do not add up to 100 percent.
  • The software’s built-in branching logic helps skip questions that are not applicable to a certain respondent.
  • The deployment of automated dialers lowers the waiting time for the interviewer

Conducting a computer-assisted telephone interviewing survey is simple when you have the right CATI survey software.

What makes CATI survey methodology the right choice?

Here’s why the modern telephone interviewing survey method is right for your research project:

  • Unlike web-only surveys that have no interviewers involved, the personal human touch with a voice interview in the CATI survey methodology leads to better response rates.
  • Skilled interviewers know what it takes to engage the respondent to gather honest responses while the software handles the technical aspects of the process.
  • With CATI survey software, you can do everything from a unified platform and an ordinary web browser. With an easy set-up and no special requirements or training involved, you can simply start building your CATI survey right away.
  • Sophisticated telephone interviewing survey software lets you add and program your questions to match the exact requirements of your research or survey goals.

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Advantages of CATI (Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing) survey

Traditional telephone surveys have different requirements and challenges. 

The advantages of modern CATI survey software are tremendous. Let’s take a look at a few here:

Data quality

The presence of the interviewer in the CATI survey methodology is what prevents errors in the administration of the questionnaire to the respondent, which ultimately leads to improved quality of responses. Also the monitoring of interviewers’ timing and efficiency that CATI software provides, further improves the quality of both the questionnaire and the responses.

Reduced time to carry on interviews

The main reason that these surveys remarkably reduce the time to conduct interviews is that the input responses get saved immediately in the database in real-time. The other reason is that it automatically manages the recall and routing instructions. As a result, the interviewer can focus better on the interview itself, making the whole interviewing process a lot quicker.

Detailed supervision

The telephone interviewing survey software provides automatic reports and live dashboards using which you can track the interview progress at any point.

Cost savings

Unlike the traditional pen and paper interviews, a telephone interview survey doesn’t involve huge management or data processing or transcription costs. A bonus: reduced errors.

Close contact with the respondent

The personal touch of a real interviewer establishes a personal contact with the respondent which is essential, especially if you’re aiming to get honest responses on a thorny subject.

Why choose Voxco for CATI survey software?

Voxco’s computer-assisted telephone interviewing survey software lets you launch CATI Survey projects of unprecedented scale. Its powerful CATI mode can even be combined with its Cloud Dialer and IVR Survey Software.

Here are some of Voxco’s CATI survey software advanced features that will help you see why its sophisticated CATI survey software is the right choice for you:

  • Call Management- Includes features like call monitoring, recording, playback, routing.
  • Click to Dial- Enables you to call respondents instantly with just one click.
  • Automated Workflows- Enables you to improve productivity by deciding cadence in advance.
  • Whisper/Barge in- Lets the supervisor to monitor or takeover any call in real-time.
  • Voxco IVR Software- Enables you to improve efficiency by setting up automated pre-recorded call flow.
  • Call Dialers- Allows you to access Power, Predictive, Preview and Hybrid modes.
  • Quota Management- Lets you manage quotas based on agent history and performance, conveniently.
  • Interviewer Statistics- Allows monitoring interviewers in real time, thereby improving productivity and efficiency.
  • Automatic Call Detection- Improves call time
  • Call Back- Allows efficient call back queue management system, leading to better customer experience.
  • On-Premise/ Cloud Hosting- Provides multiple hosting options according to your requirements.
  • Remote Coaching- Enables you to train interviewers remotely at scale.

With advanced telephone interviewing features, 99.99% uptime, decades of experience, multitude of cloud hosting options, and 450+ global clients in 40+ countries, Voxco has helped hundreds of research companies conduct large scale phone surveys conveniently, with sophisticated CATI survey software.


The CATI survey methodology enables interviewers to move through the interview process effortlessly without any technical skills, allowing them to focus better on the respondent, responses, engagement, and data collection.

Voxco’s CATI survey software allows users to adapt it to suit the specific requirements of the research project or survey.