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Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing Software (CATI)

The Voxco Guide to CATI Surveys

Dive into our guide to know more and conduct seamless CATI surveys

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Table of Contents

Research is the most important aspect through which a company can gather the relevant data required to make informed decisions. Many research models present in the market have made this data collection process easier and more efficient. 

These research models focus  on deciding the correct topic, picking the right audience with the relevant knowledge base that qualifies them as an appropriate respondent and asking them the right questions to analyse and predict accurately.

With the development of computerized learning and AI, the data collection process has become easier and simplified over the years. 

Brands spend their own sweet time and resources going through multiple research methodologies and conducting feasibility studies to see if the method they choose is viable enough to be implemented.

One such method is CATI or computer assisted telephone interviewing software.

Let us look at it from a deeper point of view

What is CATI?

In layman terms, CATI is a research method which conducts survey research in a telephonic manner guided by a computer. The interviewer makes a call to the respondent and conducts the whole research over the telephone by using a script that is displayed on a computer instead of using the traditional paper printed survey. 

CATI simplifies the data collection by allowing agents to make notes about the respondent’s answers in the computer. Logic functions used by the computer helps make the interviewing process dynamic using question randomization and repetition based on the type of answers provided by a particular respondent and so is customized in that sense. In addition, piping and branching techniques helps to route to and skip questions based on what is relevant for a participant.

CATI offers a better alternative to traditional data collection by mixing the interpersonal touch generated by an interaction between a company personnel and a respondent and an easier way of collecting and sorting data that assists the interviewer in gathering relevant information without any compromise on quality. Moreover, it allows the interviewer to focus on the interaction while leaving the complex work of managing data to the computer. This way, the interviewer gets to build a good conversation with the respondent and the efficiency in data collection improves. Win-win!!

Addressing the big question:

Why CATI?

Scalable

CATI is a useful tool when it comes to collecting responses from respondents that are not easily accessible. It breaks down geographical barriers to make it easy for interviewers to collect data from a respondent anywhere simply by making a phone call. This particular advantage of CATI makes it a better choice as against personal interviewing where a face to face interaction takes place between the respondent and the interviewer. This makes it easier to conduct large scale studies in a short time period without any significant investment.

Customizable

Respondents have a plethora of point of views and these become more varied as the number of respondents go on increasing. Using an intelligent software that allows the survey to be tailor made according to the type of respondent answers is the need of the hour when it comes to collecting the required number of responses within a specified time frame. This provides the benefit of collecting precise data and eliminating any question or aspect that does not apply to the respondent.

Real time monitoring

 CATI software allow real time synchronization and monitoring of data as and when interviews gets completed . This benefit makes it easier to highlight and correct mistakes as well keep a tab on real time progress to see if the study is progressing in the right direction. 

Certain omni-channel survey softwares such as Voxco allows the real time data to appear in a presentable manner such as a dashboard and integrate data from multiple researches to provide a more holistic picture.

Good customer service

For any respondent or customer the interviewer represents the company for the period of the interview. The way an interviewer converses, his manner of speaking and tone can have a big impact on how the customer perceives the company image. By allowing the interviewer to focus only on their interaction with the customer, CATI provides the freedom to the interviewer to pay heed to building a good conversation with customers without being diverted by data collection and management The computer does all the work while the interviewer can concentrate on rapport building activities.

Quicker process

Given that half of the work is managed and handled by the computer software, the process of collecting data through CATI is quicker than other manual methods. Sticking to the script and being concise offers the additional benefit of touching all the pain points in a timely and structured manner so that the required responses get collected and deadlines are met.

Elaboration

 Respondents might not understand certain questions or may feel that the choices offered are ambiguous. Such doubts about the clarity of the survey can easily be resolved through elaboration offered by the interviewer on call. Such clarification is not provided through online surveys which puts CATI as a better choice. The better the understanding of the respondent about the questions, the higher will be the quality of answers provided.

Cons of using CATI

Designing takes time

The process of collecting navigating through the research may be efficient, but designing a questionnaire and entering it into the software can be time consuming. Added to this is the typing speed and correctness of the interviewer. The interviewer needs to be fast in entering the customer’s responses while making sure they do not miss out on any keywords that are essential for achieving the research purpose.

Modifications are difficult to incorporate

 Since piping and branching takes place through the software, it becomes difficult to incorporate changes and update answers if respondents remember a part of the answer later on.

Challenges that CATI counters

Lack of correlation

The issue of not being to establish correlation between two different research topics hampers the quality of decision making that takes place using the data collected. By allowing real time monitoring and dashboard inclusions, the researchers can combine two or more research results to look at the bigger picture and establish a relationship between multiple research studies.

Dissatisfied respondents

Respondents may not complete online surveys due to lack of human touch or the survey length being too long leading to non-response bias. By allowing the interviewer to concentrate on interacting with the respondent, the respondent gets to feel valued , respected as well as the interviewer can make sure that questions are answered to the fullest.

Geographical barriers

Finding the right respondent may be easy but getting in touch with them is difficult. That is the reason why most researchers go for a convenience sampling where respondents are selected on the basis of how easily they are available. With CATI, researchers need not rely on such a method and can carry out nuanced research without worrying about accessibility.

Number of respondents

 Researchers try to scale down on the number of respondents they interview due to time constraints, lack of resources and accessibility issues. With CATI in the picture, accurate data gets collected , respondent accessibility is not an issue sample respondents can be maximized. Smaller samples can lead to inaccurate results due to sampling bias. This possibility is eliminated due to CATI.


Long term relationships get built

 Your customers walk out of a research process satisfied and content with the interaction they had all because their opinions are valued. CATI brings good customer experience on the table so that long term long term relationships are established and customer satisfaction is kept top-notch.

Why Voxco is the right choice for you?

CATI is an important research tool that can help desired end results but the very act of selecting the right software that meets your needs can be little difficult to find. Here’s how Voxco makes a good case for the scale and nature of study that you are looking to conduct:

  • An omni channel platform: Find everything you need at one place by combining our powerful Voxco CATI mode with Voxco’s Cloud Dialer and Voxco IVR, create an integrated phone survey system of unparalleled efficiency.
  • Dynamic survey design tools: The cumbersome part of CATI made easier to create highly complex surveys with advanced question types and multiple conditions.
  • The freedom for interviewers to switch between languages gives a personal touch to the interviewing process.
  • Sophisticated fieldwork management tools: Maximize response rates with fieldwork tools like time zone management, interviewer roles, and smoothing functions.
  • Voxco CATI can be seamlessly integrated with an entire telephony system of your choice:
      • Voxco Dialer offers automated, manual, or hybrid dialling modes to maximize dialling productivity.
      • Optimize interviewing resources by blending inbound and outbound calls, and improve response rates by using Voxco IVR to handle returned calls.

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Hindol Basu 
GM, Voxco Intelligence

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