Telephone survey: Pros and Cons Telephone survey

Discover the Dynamics of Telephone Surveys: Pros, Cons, & Best Practices


Table of Contents

What is a telephone survey?

Companies conduct telephone surveys or interviews to keep track of customer satisfaction/feedback, new product ideas, and valuable insights into the market. Interviewers make use of the questionnaire and gather required data in a methodical approach. 

Telephone surveys help the brands to know where they stand in the market and against their competitors as well. The employees from customer care call centres make use of the customer phone numbers of a sample population and call them to conduct a short interview. This methodical approach includes determining research goals and objectives, making use of questionnaires, having the right sampling strategy and data gathering through interviews and later interpreting and analysing them.

Telephone survey: Pros and Cons Telephone survey

That being said, the coin of telephone interviews also has two sides – its pros and cons. After taking a look at them, you can decide if using telephone surveys as your mode of data collection will be efficient for your business or not.

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Pros of telephone surveys

Telephone surveys have been preferred largely by many brands as their source of data. 

Here are the reasons why:

  • Telephone surveys are much more accessible than any other online survey. The reason being there are still a lot of people who don’t have access to the internet. Even if they have it, most of them don’t know how to use the research panels. In that case, telephones are widely owned by almost everyone, be it mobile phones or landlines. Hence, telephone surveys will always be one step ahead. 
  • Telephone surveys hold control over the quality of the responses. The interviewer will know what the responder wants to say and how he wants to say it by examining his/her voice patterns. They can determine if the responders are understanding the questions if they are taking too long to answer if the interview is boring them and all the inconveniences at the customer end and solve them on the spot. 
  • Open end is the best feature in the telephone surveys that allows the respondents to freely express themselves. Typing a long paragraph and covering every detail can be pretty tiresome and most of the people avoid doing that. This leads to unintended data in the results, which is avoided in telephone surveys. 
  • Telephone surveys also cover a wide geographic area. Small business owners can connect to their customers in all of the areas through phones. This is also possible due to the power of accessibility that telephone surveys have over any other surveys.
  • This surveys is also cost as well as time effective. For any small business owner, covering 300 surveys through telephone surveys and through any other form of survey is going to be different. Telephone surveys cost comparatively less than any other survey method. In mail surveys, participants are not even guaranteed to respond to the survey, hence increasing the time and cost budget.  

Explore all the survey question types
possible on Voxco

Explore all the survey question types possible on Voxco

Cons of telephone surveys

Given the pros, telephone surveys also have the other side of the coin, its cons.

Here are some points about why telephone surveys might not the right choice for you:

  • Telephone surveys are disruptive. Unlike online surveys, where customers can choose a right time to attend the survey, telephone survey kind of makes them sit through the entire process. And this can be pretty irritating from the customer point of view. 
  • Call-screening affects the telephone surveys the most. A busy person might have a habit of receiving the calls from the known numbers. Rest all others go to direct voicemails. In such cases, interviewer may never reach to the person. Instead it has a chance of backfiring by irritating the customers even more.
  • In some cases businesses can find it hard to connect to customers through telephone surveys. This is due to the disadvantage it holds when the interviewer cannot actually see the customer’s facial expressions and gestures. This doesn’t give them a chance to study whether they are saying what they really mean or not. 
  • Telephone surveys gives you a less on-call window. This imposes limitations on complex questions. You cannot get the customer to stay on the phone very long – at most for 5-10 minutes. After that they either hang-up the call or start to give irrelevant answers. 
  • Telephone surveys can cost a lot than online surveys. This is because this method requires a whole set-up of operation including computers, employees and other things.

See Voxco survey software in action with a Free demo.

See Voxco survey software in action with a Free demo.

Points to Remember When Administering a Telephone Survey

  • Break down long surveys. Long interviews that too on a call can be pretty boring and tiresome. People might want to hang-up or it will make them uninterested. Rather breakdown the topic into sub-topics and try to make them interesting. 
  • Teach the interviewers on how to conduct an interview in a creative manner which can get the most responses out of the sample population. 
  • Patience is the key. Understand that not every customer is straightforward and knows all about the brand. Give them time to answer the questions.
  • Be prepared to interview different set of samples other than the one you already selected. In case some of them don’t pick the call, you should have a list of other customers to call. It is said that if your daily target is interviewing 30 people, you should have a list of people at least 7 times of your target respondents. 
  • Surveys questions should be limited and specific. Long and confusing surveys will drive the customers away from responding. 
  • Treat the respondents with respect. Give them the benefit of inconvenience for attending the survey according to your time. Have patience and let them take their time.

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