On the Voxco blog, we have been often focused on increasing response rates through survey design tactics.
That being said, simply “getting through the door” needs to be a key priority for market researchers wanting to drive response rates.
Without building that initial feeling of amicability and trust in phone surveys, the interviewer will have a hard time getting a complete.
Today, we’re covering our top tips for increasing phone survey completes through inspiring trust in potential survey respondents.
1. Listen and Callback
Interviewers’ first instinct may be to get the person on the line to listen to them. However, it’s crucial that interviewers are listening to their potential respondent. Are they busy? Are they engaged with what you’re saying? Should you offer to call them back? These are questions your interviewer needs to be asking themselves.
At a bare minimum, there are two main types of callbacks: a hard callback where it’s clear the correct person was reached but they were too busy, and a soft callback in which it is uncertain whether the right person was reached or even interested. Of course, successful researchers strive to have the least amount of soft callbacks as possible.
2. Pepper in Sociodemographic Questions
It’s very common for researchers to build surveys that ask respondents all their sociodemographic questions right off the bat to filter the respondent as quickly as possible.
But, this may not be the correct approach to building trust and getting quality answers to the more specific questions in the study. The reality is that sociodemographic questions err on the side of personal and may turn respondents off to your study (eg: What is your age? What is your annual income? What is your religion?).
In the case that not all sociodemographic questions are answered, you can still use the semi-completed survey and weight it as less significant than more complete surveys.
3. Surveys are a Conversation NOT an Interrogation
Guiding interviewers to administer surveys with the proper attitude is certainly a challenge for those managing call centers. The idea, of course, is to have the interviewer and interviewee are genuinely interested in the back-and-forth conversation.
Beyond ensuring that your interviewer team is consistently motivated and your call center culture is inspiring, consistent feedback is key. Using a software with built-in reporting features for line items like general monitoring, productivity, and call results will help managers understand the interviewers’ areas for improvement and address them quickly.
4. Step Up to the Plate, High-Converters!
When the time comes for callbacks, work with your high-converting interviewers to communicate with the potential respondents that did not complete. In these cases, the responsibility to re-engage these people rests on the interviewers’ side.
In many circumstances, people refuse to participate in surveys due to the time commitment of doing the survey. However, as two sides of the same coin, people are also inherently interested in giving their opinion on things that they deem important. In that regard, that’s why the interviewer approach is so important to getting the completes your study needs.
5. The Right Tool for the Job
While interviewing methods are a critical part of inspiring interviewee trust and survey completion, it all starts with the right software.
Researchers must ensure that their CATI software has robust callback organizing and scheduling capabilities (by shift, timeslot, etc.). It is also important to have the ability to set and manage complex quotas, in order to assign groups and roles – in the case that you want to employ a high-converting interviewer or an interviewer that speaks a different language.
In addition to these features, Voxco Survey Software has a fully integrated platform, with one unified database for online and phone surveys. Within the CATI software, you can also integrate a cloud-based or on-premise dialer, and an IVR system.