Reinventing HCAHPS surveys to improve patient experience

The current crisis has forced healthcare organizations to adapt overnight to deliver patient-centric care. While telehealth or video conferencing solutions have replaced the conventional in-person appointments, healthcare providers need to keep their patients updated with medical advice that is easy-to-understand. 

The biggest challenge that most of the healthcare providers are facing is - How to successfully manage the patient experience in these uncertain times? How to effectively capture the patient feedback and drive improvement by acting upon it? Let’s take a look:


Why HCAHPS surveys matter?

Designed specifically to measure patient feedback, HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) surveys help to gain insights into the patient’s experience with the care they received at a hospital. Consisting of 32 questions, these HCAHPS surveys enable the Patient Experience Leaders (PELs) to effectively understand their patients' perspectives with robust and actionable feedback. Moreover, the HCAHPS survey results are publicly reported which empowers individuals to make informed decisions related to healthcare (like choosing a hospital for them).

Why do organizations need to go beyond HCAHPS?

While HCAHPS surveys have effortlessly captured patient experience since their inception, they have not kept pace with the technological developments that are important to most patients nowadays. With the shift in patients’ expectations, it’s time to revamp the HCAHPS surveys for improving the patient care experience. Here are some factors why HCAHPS surveys need to be overhauled:

Lack of digital modes

The absence of digital survey modes (like emails or mobile applications) in HCAHPS surveys acts as a hindrance in capturing patient experience. As these surveys are available in IVR, phone, and physical mail only, it becomes difficult to reach out to patients from minority populations. In fact, the lack of digital modes makes HCAHPS surveys incapable of capturing feedback from younger patients, mainly millennials. Leverage Voxco’s omnichannel survey solutions for transforming every touchpoint into positive patient experience.

Delay in feedback

After getting discharged from the hospital, an HCAHPS survey is shared with the patient in between 48 hours to 6 weeks and the submitted responses then take 9 to 21 months to reflect on the hospital's portal. Ideally, the survey should be shared with the patient at the time of discharge to gain real-time insights into the patient's experience. Also, the time lag between submission of the survey and public reporting needs to be reduced to make the data more relevant & useful.

Length & language of the survey

The response rate of HCAHPS surveys has fallen with time as most of the patients get frustrated with its length and the language of the questions asked. While the validity of a survey gets eroded with lower response rates, it's essential to keep the surveys short and engaging. The addition of supplemental questions by hospitals (for improving internal quality) might result in the falling response rates, investing in non-HCAHPS surveys could help to track additional patient metrics. Use Voxco's multilingual non-HCAHPS web surveys to tide over such limitations.

Changes in patient preferences & hospital models

The advancement of technology in healthcare has completely transformed patients’ choices and expectations. In today’s time, most of the patients prefer to switch hospitals due to poor digital communication with their health professionals.
As patients come across many health professionals during their period of hospitalization, it becomes confusing for them to understand who is a doctor, a physician, a nurse, or an assistant. This makes it difficult to capture patient experience accurately while making the HCAHPS scores less relevant. 

When it comes to improving patient care experience, HCAHPS surveys need to be re-evaluated and updated with time for staying relevant to both patients and hospitals. Need patient experience solutions that can help you with HCAHPS surveys & more? Click here to book a demo! 


Retaining customers in the contactless era – why survey tools may be the answer

Digital purchases and online orders for home deliveries were already on the up and up long before the CoronaVirus made its presence felt.

Social distancing has forced eateries to close dine-in services and traditional brick and mortar stores have also been forced to shut their outlets for the time being. 

This upheaval has essentially turned traditional indicators for a good customer experience ineffective. For many companies, product experience as we know it has changed as well. There’s no getting around the fact that almost every encounter (right up to delivery, in the case of tangible goods) that a potential customer has with your product or service will now be digital. 

While scientists are working tirelessly to ‘flatten the curve’ for Covid-19 infections, here’s what you should keep in mind to keep your business ahead of the curve:

Conduct customer experience surveys at each touchpoint

Your first interaction with your regular or potentially new customers is likely to be online. You need to make sure they have a positive interaction at any given touchpoint of your business.

Conducting regular customer experience surveys in the current scenario would give you insights into how well your services are holding up in such trying times.

There’s a possibility that the people you survey these days could be stressed. Conducting customer experience surveys via CATI would allow you to add a human touch to your surveys. CATI surveys are also proving to be better value for money as the lockdown coupled with social distancing has given rise to improved response rates.

Adaptive pricing could be key

With pay cuts, hiring freezes and cancelled appraisals globally in many industries, businesses and institutions – you’ve got to be cognizant about your product or services’ pricing. It’s value proposition before the global lockdown began may not carry through into the present.

You need to query your customers about pricing, and perhaps about what features they would be willing to live without.

This could be especially useful for services or products which have recurring payments. You need to ensure that customer retention won’t be a problem, and querying them on your products perceived value will likely deliver insights that can help your business weather this storm more effectively.

Your product experience can fundamentally change

We’ve talked about restaurants having to shift away from dine-in services. Now food delivery has been quite popular for a while now, and so the transition for them is a little more straightforward. However, there’s other verticals that rely on tangible experiences – hotels, art galleries, gyms etc. and they have a much bigger task at hand. Do you dig down, cut expenses and weather out this storm till revenue starts trickling in or do you diversify?

Airbnb, despite having had to lay off some of their workforce (Keeping a positive employee experience in mind, they did so in the most thoughtful manner, by building an employee talent directory to help their laid off employees find jobs easily), has diversified by offering its users the ability to undertake unique experiences from across the globe – virtually. This has allowed them to adapt their typical customer journey to today’s scenario.

If feasible, you should consider diversification as well, but you need to be sure this is something that your existing customers can get on board with. You might also need to conduct customer experience surveys to find out if users previously not associated with your brand may be willing to give your ideas a go.

Is your infrastructure up to the task?

Let’s say you’ve successfully managed to transition your business model online. You now need to ensure that the product experience your customers have come to expect of your brand carries through as well. Although it’s unreasonable to expect a 100% seamless transition you should still acquire customer feedback about their interactions at various touchpoints with your new operations – verify if the customer

Conducting customer experience surveys would likely fetch unique and actionable insights as everything from the sale itself, to the purchase experience right up to dealing with customer support is going to be subjected to a higher than usual amount of customer activity – even for businesses which were already online before lockdown.

Voxco is trusted by researchers across verticals in 30+ countries. If you want a robust Omnichannel survey software to launch surveys at unparalleled scale, click here.


Product Experience – How each stage is impacted by COVID-19

COVID-19 has made us rethink our way of life – how we work, what we do in our free time and even how we interact with our possessions – well some of them, at the very least.

Adapting one’s product experience to the new normal has become the focus for businesses and institutions globally. With a firm end date nowhere in sight several businesses are already tailoring their products and services to cater to the now, rather than wait for the future.

Educational institutions have been one of the quickest to adapt to COVID-19, with online classes being conducted in full swing across the globe. For regular businesses, especially those dealing with tangible goods in the B2C sector the recalibration will have to be more thorough.

Here’s how COVID-19 has had an impact on different stages of the Product Experience journey, and how businesses can mitigate this impact.

Making the purchase

Most consumer products were already easily available online, and transitioning to an online – only purchase experience was a no-brainer. However, there were a few sectors which had to get on board the e-commerce train, and fast. Promotional events had to be cancelled the world over, with companies shifting their energies to conducting online unveilings for their product launches.

The automobile industry has been one of the worst hit by COVID-19, and why wouldn’t it be? It’s entire business model has been dependent on getting people to visit showrooms, test drive and only then make the purchase.
However, necessity is the mother of invention and dynamic global automobile brands like BMW have responded by creating online showrooms for customers to virtually personalize and experience their vehicles, with several of them offering deliveries as well.

While such measures must be applauded, businesses who are transitioning to a new purchase model need to be sure the user experience while making the purchase is as seamless as possible. It would be a good idea to conduct product experience surveys, especially via CATI to get data driven insights about what target customers are experiencing, and how valid their frustrations are.

Product Interaction

COVID-19 has put several companies in a unique situation – usage patterns for many products have been completely upended by the pandemic. Take Zoom for example – it’s become the go to platform for schools and businesses to conduct classes as well meetings in a really short timeframe.
Companies need to survey customers, scrutinize product usage patterns and validate if their product experience is in line with customer expectations.

Product evolution

Gathering rich qualitative feedback (via phone & face to face surveys) might help glean insights which weren’t even being considered for eg. Arriving at a product feature or spinoff product/service existing users are willing to pay for or an existing pain point which is impacting user retention.

Product Support

With a global lockdown in place and most employees working from home, providing after sales support has become an incredibly difficult task. Most businesses have resorted to extending product warranties to cover the duration of the lockdown, but it would be wise to conduct user research via surveys to gain insight into customer thinking. For those businesses which are able to provide support online, it’s essential to know if the customer’s interaction with the support teams was of a level befitting their brand.

Where do we go from here?

Aggressive pricing

There’s no doubt the world economy’s taken a hit. Businesses need to be cognizant about the eventuality that people are going to hold off from making big purchases at this time. Their product strategy must now change accordingly, especially in regards to pricing. Potential customers need to be extensively surveyed to understand at what price point they would be willing to purchase your products or services at this time.

A Product Experience that’s tailored to homes

We don’t know when social distancing will go away and businesses are going to have to adapt for the long term. Contactless deliveries have quickly become the norm for so many products – food, medicines, groceries and lately, automobiles.
Platforms which sold movie and concert tickets are already in the process of aligning themselves to meet demand virtually, and it is vital they get accurate feedback about customer experiences throughout the entire process. Airbnb is one such platform that’s quickly diversified it’s portfolio – it’s now offering a plethora of experiences that let users explore different cultures virtually.

Voxco is trusted by researchers across verticals in 30+ countries. If you want a robust Omnichannel survey software to launch surveys at unparalleled scale, please click here.


Getting Product experience right – How user research pays!

Identifying how good your Product Experience is, is no small task. You need to be sure that you are offering the best possible product experience or risk losing your user base.

User research is the practice of putting what would likely be your end users in contact with your products or services to gauge their response.

By conducting user research, you can better understand how positive the average customer experience is and whether or not the product or service is performing as you intended. This can be invaluable for finding product shortcomings and targeting improvements. Another benefit of user research is that users can help you discover new ways in which your product can add value.

Here’s how User Research helps:

Prioritise which product features should be rolled out first.

Conducting product experience surveys to get feedback right from the potential user base is useful in identifying which features need to be prioritized.

Testing concepts & designs

Planning a revamp and not sure how well it’ll be received? Getting feedback via user research on new product designs before making any major investments in product development would be wise.
In such a scenario, get feedback from your existing users as well as your general target audience – you don’t want to alienate one group at the expense of another.

Product evolution

Gathering rich qualitative feedback (via phone & face to face surveys) might help glean insights which weren’t even being considered for eg. Arriving at a product feature or spinoff product/service existing users are willing to pay for or an existing pain point which is impacting user retention.

Perceived value

It’s one thing to have an idea of what your product should cost and another to know what value users assign to your product. Determining what users consider a fair price is a tough ask, but CATI and face to face surveys can really help map the customer’s mind effectively.

Product marketing

Marketing and Advertising are expensive necessities. Product experience surveys can help you understand how & where you should direct your marketing efforts to be more effective. They can also help decide which features should be highlighted in branding & marketing.

Product market fit

Your product may be successful in the market, but has it found the mainstream popularity you envisioned it with? Conducting user research via surveys such as CSAT and CES can help you gain insights into what your early adopters and new users truly feel about the product and its place in the market.

Get that Perfect User Interface

Getting user feedback via product research surveys is one of the best ways to chip away at your users’ frustrations with your UI and achieve an intuitive interface which satisfies even the most discerning customer.

Voxco is trusted by researchers across verticals in 30+ countries. If you want a robust Omnichannel survey software to launch surveys at unparalleled scale, please click here.


In times of crisis, CATI surveys are turning out to be lifelines

COVID-19 has forced governments across the world to enact a lockdown. Economic activity aside, the lockdown has affected everyone's daily routine, their social life and the way they work (A massive chunk of the global workforce has had to transition to a work from home scenario in a very short time frame).

These factors have made people far more willing to respond to CATI surveys as they seek more human contact. Phone surveys can not only reassure respondents but also help researchers get more accurate data & insights if they stay mindful of this behavioural shift. 

Expect better productivity, and more value for money

Siena College recently conducted a poll of New Yorkers about the Coronavirus, and found that on an average, respondents were spending more time on their surveys. This, along with the improvement in response rates makes it an extremely productive period for conducting CATI surveys. There’s going to be a lot less time wasted on calls that lead nowhere and you can expect a larger pool of respondents. 

More respondents = more accurate data, as you won’t have to extrapolate your data to account for diverse or otherwise unreachable demographics.


Even though people are more willing to participate in your surveys, there’s a few things you can keep in mind to really make the most of this period:

Empathize with respondents as best you can - especially CATI

Humans are social creatures but we've been forced  indoors during these uncertain times. It's natural for us to feel worried or anxious about the coming months. While people are more than willing to pick up the phone, interviewers conducting CATI Surveys should understand that listening deeply and offering a few reassuring words about the future would go a long way in establishing authentic communication. 

Pick the right tools

Researchers have reported an improvement in drop off rates as well as response rates for both CATI surveys and online surveys. You can choose one or both depending on your objectives and field of interest. With that being said, Phone surveys have the advantage of a human touch.


With the US General election on the horizon, there’s a lot on people’s minds, making them far more likely to pick up the phone and stay on till the end of the poll. That's rich data right there so phone surveys would be better suited. As for online surveys, there can be no better proof of their effectiveness than the US govt making their CENSUS 2020 available as an online questionnaire.

Expect better participation, and tailor your questions accordingly

With a huge chunk of the global workforce staying at home, you can expect better availability i.e higher response rates. However, this may require you to tweak your phone and online surveys a little as people might end up spending more time or offering more info than you had anticipated. Remember there are going to be respondents who are new to the process and are potentially an excellent source for insights in the future as well so it's worth the effort.

Spread a little cheer - Incentivize

This isn’t the first time that online survey tools have been used to conduct political polls or government or those related to government services (Here’s a piece on phone survey software being used to collect data at scale during the US mid term poll!). However, the sheer scale of the US 2020 Census is a proof of concept of the versatility that modern survey platforms, social and market research tools have on offer. It is now possible to conduct surveys across any medium, at any scale, and glean actionable insights from the data generated, the US 2020 Census being a case in point.

Voxco is trusted by researchers across verticals in 30+ countries. Our omnichannel platform features robust CATI survey software which can empower you to launch surveys at unparalleled scale.


Demystifying election polling: How survey data can give you insights

Election year is upon us, and with it come a million questions & insights about how the United States, and by extension, the world will change.

An election year is an excellent time to gather data from people about the issues that are closest to them, and can be an excellent source of insights about anything ranging from candidate prospects to the state of the economy. 

Before you decide on what polls you want to carry out, you need to be sure of how you want to carry them out as well. How you conduct your research (be it through in person questioning or polling survey software) can affect the quality of insights you get depending on your demographic. There’s a few options out there which can give exactly the insights you’re looking for –

Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI)

Modern polling survey platforms have greatly expanded CATI Surveys’ abilities to be able to handle an extremely large number of respondents and quickly upload their responses to the cloud for analysis.

Election polling, especially exit polls need a lot of fieldwork, and CATI surveys are exceptionally good at that, with the best platforms having the ability to monitor multiple interviewers remotely. Siena college successfully employed a CATI solution and conducted an incredible 3 million phone calls for almost a 100 live polls to accurately publish live poll results during the 2018 Midterm elections.

Online/Web Surveys

Web surveys are another reliable method of collecting data from diverse demographics in a short time-frame. A modern polling survey software can easily and quickly integrate the results generated by web surveys for analysis and generate reliable, intelligent insights. Web surveys can be useful in reliably getting a wide range of opinions from a wide demographic.

So what kind of polls can one conduct?

Exit poll

Let’s start with a biggie – The Exit poll. It’s a monumental task to conduct an exit poll, and an even bigger challenge to get accurate results.

 Exit polls can be an incredible source of data when done accurately, and can help you understand demographics better. However, it’s resource intensive to prevent inaccuracies.

Opinion Poll

Opinion polls are usually constructed to find out the opinions of a certain demographic by asking a series of questions and then extrapolating generalities from responses.

Opinion polls using polling survey software are extremely quick to conduct and easy for people to respond to, which can allow researchers to reach a wider audience and generate a lot of data for them to play around with.

However, even though there is plenty of data to glean from, the accuracy of the insights you are able to get is completely dependent on the sample size of respondents used.

Feedback Poll

A feedback poll in elections is quite similar to its other use cases (retail, service sectors) – Usually conducted on behalf of candidates or political parties to gauge respondent feedback.

This feedback can be about individual policies, their overall performance and to get an idea about how a particular demographic views policies that are yet to be implemented and can allow candidates and parties to benchmark their performance.

However, it can be a small challenge to get respondents for feedback polls, especially for political ones as many people may not be inclined to give honest feedback due to privacy concerns.

Voxco is trusted by researchers across verticals in 30+ countries. If you want a robust Multichannel or CATI polling survey software to launch surveys at unparalleled scale


Elevating Customer Experience with CATI

Customer experience is in the spotlight for most companies these days and for good reason – It is the final piece of the equation which separates a good business from the very best in any industry.

CATI surveys have a few attributes which are uniquely suited to getting insights that can drive positive changes in Customer Experience and make them worthy of consideration for any researcher looking to get a complete picture from a demographic. CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing) has long been a staple for conducting research, and can generate data for researchers quite effectively. 

A few CATI benefits which are uniquely suited for gathering data to measure and improve CX:

Remote Locations are not an issue

Nothing can tell you what’s on the customer’s mind better than the customer themselves, but in many cases it’s not easy to reach respondents – like in areas with poor internet connectivity. 

CATI helps researchers mitigate that issue, as most people have access to a telephone or mobile, almost all the time. 

Some advanced CATI Survey platforms can enable researchers to make adjustments to survey questions and parameters on the fly, rather than following a one size fits all approach. This approach allows for getting more accurate data about your respondent’s existing customer experience. 

Low Sample size? No problem

In demographics where the sample size is small, interviewers can call multiple times until the respondent is reached or has time to take part in the survey, resulting in a lower drop-off rate and that all questions are answered.

The interviewer!

Perhaps the attribute that truly separates CATI from other survey techniques is the interviewer themselves. An experienced interviewer who is persuasive and attentive will be able to glean more accurate insights and dig deeper into threads that he or she may feel hold value – something that is just not possible otherwise.

You’ve gathered the data, analyzed it and gleaned insights from it as best you can – Now what you can expect?

Improved CX Metrics across the board

Getting survey data via CATI is likely to get you intelligent insights enabling you to target your respondent’s requirements far more effectively. This means better NPS scores over time, increased customer engagement, a better bottom line and a loyal customer base. 

In-depth data when required

Sometimes, basic questions aren’t enough to generate the insights you need, and in those cases CATI Surveys allow researchers to conduct deep-dive research into interesting threads uncovered during the survey itself, getting you the “why” along with the “what”.

Cover more demographics

CATI allows researchers to cover any gaps in their target audience – what this means is that the data generated can help you build a more well rounded Customer Experience which covers a wide range of demographics, instead of you having to find that out through trial and error. 

Voxco is trusted by Global brands across 30+ countries for their customer experience programs. We’d love to help meet your survey goals.


What do Modern CATI Surveys offer in the Digital Era?

Research is becoming increasingly digital & new survey methodologies keep emerging to meet the demands of today’s always-connected culture. Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing or CATI Surveys, however, have been around for a while now, and offer a unique blend of modern tech with the old school personal touch.

Modern survey platforms offering CATI Survey solutions take advantage of today’s enhanced connectivity solutions and allow researchers to reach a much wider demographic, which can include those

  • Who are in remote locations with poor Internet connectivity 
  • Who have not switched to laptops/smartphones 
  • Prefer phones 

CATI surveys allow researchers to include a wide audience, as their target demographic simply needs to have access to a phone, be it mobile or landline.

Survey platforms offering CATI Surveys have evolved to take full advantage of today’s tech advancements, which include

The Cloud

Your personal photos, saved passwords, app purchase history – all of it can and is stored in the cloud, always accessible at a moment’s notice. Today’s survey software offers cloud-based dialers.

That opens a whole new range of possibilities for researchers, with improvements in:


With a cloud-based dialer, Researchers can easily sync their data – making it simple to collaborate with teammates and work more efficiently.

Not to mention, your survey data going to the cloud makes it that much easier to analyze and derive insights from. CATI Survey platforms which are linked to the cloud definitely ease the data collection process, with the best ones even allowing researchers to track live results from the field.


Hosting data on your own premises can be exhausting and expensive and puts all your survey data at risk in the event of a disaster. Cloud-based CATI surveys eliminate this issue entirely with your data being stored in a co-located data center.


Not having to host all your data by yourself is a sure shot way to cut down on operating cost over time.


One of the major benefits offered by cloud services is the ability to scale and cloud-based CATI surveys are no different, allowing researchers to scale the scope of their surveys on the fly.

Personal Surveys can get better data

CATI surveys at their core are personal/human in nature which can be an advantage. Every company is keen to focus on their customer experience, and CATI allows researchers to deliver the best Survey Experience to their respondents.
A personal touch can get better data as well as lead to building your brand, should the interviewer be skilled enough. 

Target a more varied audience

As the respondent simply needs to be able to operate a telephone, CATI allows researchers to target older demographics as well as those in remote locations without stable internet connectivity and syncs their data effectively over the cloud – enabling you to see the bigger picture, especially when managed using Multichannel survey software.

This also goes a long way in building your brand as well, as customers will no doubt appreciate your intent to get their opinion despite certain challenges. It also goes to show just how important fieldwork still is for generating robust survey data.

Choosing the right survey platform isn’t easy, and choosing how to survey your respondents is harder still. Comprehensive survey platforms allow for mixed-mode surveys, but this makes it important to pair survey methodologies which can fill each other’s blind spots – CATI surveys are especially good at this bit, filling a gap in data collection that would otherwise negatively affect the quality of your data.


Voxco is trusted by Global brands across 30+ countries for their customer experience programs. We’d love to help meet your survey goals.

Cloud Hosting: 5 Things You Need to Know for Phone Survey Software

When organizations shop around for a phone survey software solution, the question of where hosting should take place is often a key consideration.

When organizations shop around for a phone survey software solution, the question of where hosting should take place is often a key consideration. When that inquiry comes up, we like to open the discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of both – hosting in the cloud or on premise.

Depending on the organization’s goals, lessening the IT overhead and maintenance for hosting may be an ideal set up. For others, with a dedicated IT team and specific compliance requirements, hosting their survey software and collected data on premise is required. It’s important that organizations make this decision carefully and in an informed manner.

There are certainly many notable benefits for on premise hosting as well! Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming blog post.

For today, we’ll discuss the ideal hosting option for those requiring a low maintenance option.

What is a cloud hosted phone survey system?

In contrast to keeping all CATI survey technology equipment in office and maintaining the hardware, it is now possible to have your phone survey software (including the CATI dialer) hosted in the cloud in a secure data center.

We decided to chat with our colleague, Guthrie Rebel at Sandler Partners, who has been a long-time Voxco partner to chat about the benefits of in-cloud hosting.

Guthrie Rebel

Sandler Partners

Benefits of hosting phone survey tools in the cloud

1. Cost

Of course, it almost goes without saying that budget weighs heavily into the decision for hosting software. It depends whether your organizational priorities are to take on capital expenditures or operational expenditures.

For on premise hosting, consider that you must pay up front for the equipment and then the maintenance that follows. With cloud hosting, payment is on a licensing basis as a manageable monthly fee.

2. Flexible & scalable

Being unencumbered by hardware can allow your organization to be more agile, moving with the ebb and flow of business. For example: many of our clients in the polling/elections industry have four or five months of high-volume surveys during election season and, after that peak, they go back to “regular” volume.

Having the ability to easily ramp up your operations and then wind them down as needed is a huge benefit for organizations – regardless of the vertical you work in.

3. Security

When hosting software on premise, organizations need to take careful consideration for things like backup generators or UPS batteries. You should plan to have full redundancies of power, AC, and ample bandwidth to make sure your hosting operations stay safe. It takes a lot of dedicated resources to do so.

Unfortunately, sometimes we have to think the unthinkable. In a natural disaster event leading to power outages or flooding: will your data be compromised? Hosting your software in the cloud means that your data lives in a co-located data center, with full security infrastructure and risk mitigation.

4. Infrastructure

On the topic of cloud infrastructure, data centers have infrastructure stacks that are fully redundant all the way through – firewalls, switches, storage, etc. Storing data safely is their central offering, so you can trust that they think about the details. This keeps business risks and downtime to an all time minimum.

When hosting on premise, anyone can potentially walk into your server room (if proper security measures are not taken, it’s possible that your business has got this covered). With cloud hosting, the only individuals allowed to enter the data center are authorized personnel. So, you know that your information is being treated with the utmost respect.

5. Compliance

In the cloud, data is encrypted at rest. When you collect data on premise, it is your responsibility to ensure data is being treated properly. On premise hosting also requires organizations to do reporting and ensuring compliance for their data processing (for example: SOC2 reports).

The reality of this is that it’s very expensive for companies to do this on their own. In addition to this, we need to consider all the internal framework required to ensure compliance with HIPAA, HITRUST, and other kinds of regulations – which, again, could be already built into your operations, but data centers are experienced in all kinds of compliance.


Our Guide To Improving Survey Response Rates

Today’s Research Landscape

Many research organizations — from market researchers, public opinion, polling, corporate researchers, and beyond — are facing a decline in survey response rates.

AAPOR, the American Association for Public Opinion Research, frames the situation well: “[…] Largely due to increasing refusals, response rates across all modes of survey administration have declined, in some cases precipitously.”

Whether we attribute this decline to shortening attention spans, shifting of social behaviours, bombardment marketing communications, or other factors, researchers need to place heavy emphasis on ensuring the quality of their survey results.

Response rates are critical for the integrity of the research results. Low response rates can decrease the statistical validity of the collected data and undermine the overall study.

Your surveys are just one of the many messages your respondents receives on a daily basis, so how can organizations cut through the clutter?

While this paints a bleak picture, it is absolutely possible to drive response rates upwards and maintain the quality of the survey data collected.

This guide has been formulated to provide advice for researchers across all industries that wish to increase their response rates and place a focus on the respondent experience.

Web-Based Online Surveys (CAWI)

Researchers need to follow suit to build a respondent experience that feels personalized to the individual.

Of course, the emphasis there is on the word “feels”. It is simply not possible for researchers to build surveys for one respondent at a time. In the case of online surveys, heavy importance must be placed on advanced tactics like: sophisticated logic, advanced skip patterns, and engaging multimedia incorporation — made possible by professional survey software.

Design Surveys for Visual Impact

It may seem innately obvious, but many survey programmers often forget the importance of making your survey aesthetically pleasing. In short, the visual formatting of the survey heavily contributes to the respondent experience.

Sprucing up the aesthetics of your survey can be done in a few quick ways: changing colors and adding logos to match branding, embedding multimedia files like images and video, and using dynamic backgrounds to make the survey pop.

Employ Image Area Evaluation

Another more advanced visual tactic for engaging survey questions is using an image area evaluator. This can be used for various question types, but is most effective when evaluating concepts that are difficult to communicate in words — like choosing your seat on an airline flight.

This interactive question type isn’t incredibly common, so it’s likely that respondents will be pleasantly surprised and be more likely to respond if they see it.

In fact, you can even use image area evaluators for positive and negative selections, so one question can extract two types of data at the same time.

Apply Skip Logic

Engaging, personalized surveys allow dynamic same-page skipping or even same-table skipping that reacts instantly to respondents’ choices. As researchers, we must seek to eliminate question roadblocks in our survey, where respondents don’t see themselves in the questions that are appearing in front of them.

Manually skipping questions or re-answering that a question is non-applicable will frustrate respondents and increase drop-outs — sometimes dramatically.

Using robust skip logic in your surveys will enhance your dataset and drive completion/response rates.

Sophisticated Branching Logic

Branching is a useful method for moving respondents down specific, pre-planned paths built within the survey. The particular path they take depends on how the respondents answer previous question — like a “choose your own adventure” novel!

This tactic contributes to personalization in the way that it is responsive to the audiences’ actions.

It only presents questions relevant to the respondent and it can follow the natural flow of a conversation, which keeps them engaged.

Piping Tactics for Engagement

Piping is a survey logic tactic that is defined by taking past responses and then echoing them in future questions within the same survey. In turn, respondents feel heard and that their responses have some sort of impact, further fostering their engagement.

Good survey software allows the piping of text, number values, and even images. For example: displaying a respondents’ survey score as they complete the survey.

Telephone Interview-Based Surveys (CATI)

Driving response rates for phone surveys hinges on two key different factors: the skills of the interviewers and the abilities of your phone survey software.

The good news is that the right software features will help you work with your interviewers — features that we will define further below.

There are thousands of survey call centers that use antiquated and unintuitive phone survey software, which impacts the response rates and the quality of the data collected.

Quota Management For Your Data

Firstly, you will want to work with a software that allows you to manage and set virtually any number of strata to match the goals of your research, so your data is as refined as possible.

This features ensure that you are reaching the right people, which will increase your likelihood of a complete. In the event that getting all completes is difficult, the other weighting and balancing features can help keep the data clean.

It’s crucial that you have a software that allows you to do dynamic weighting and load balancing available to you in order to get the desired ratio.

Quota Management For Your Interviewers

You can also use back-end quota management programming to serve interviewers with a particular kind of respondent to connect with. Examples of this may include: an interview needs to be done in a specific language, or the respondent has refused and you need to engage a high-converting interviewer.

As interview refusals increase, it’s become more important than ever to employ methods like these and rely on a strong team of interviewers and robust software to keep delivering results.

Robust Callback Rules

Interviewers instinctively hop on to calls desperate to get the person on the other line to listen to them. That being said, interviewers need to truly listen to the potential respondent.

Are they busy? Do they need to call back later? These are the questions that your interviewer needs to be asking themselves. Perhaps they should be classified as a callback and be contacted again later.

Being able to sort and manage potential respondents within your database with robust callback rules is key to reaching engaged and willing respondents.

Advanced Logic

We often talk about employing advanced logic programming for online surveys, but programming the back-end of your phone surveys is also incredibly important. You can use above-mentioned methods (from the online survey section) like skipping, branching, etc. to make the interviewing process easier for your staff.

In essence, the more “automated” the line of questioning is, the more simple it is for the interviewer to engage the respondent with relevant questions and get the data you need to complete the study.

A Gap In The Market

According to a study conducted by Econsultancy in 2018, just 7% of organizations list personalization as a priority. This means that treating respondents with a personalized experience can set you apart from your competition — driving up completes/responses, and helping you deliver quality data faster.

While most researchers are well aware of the importance of employing robust logic programming into their survey flows, not everyone is onboard yet. Now is the perfect time to start taking your surveys to the next level as a differentiator in the industry.