Monday, January 26, 2009

What to expect from a telephone survey

In my previous post I outlined when telephone surveys may be chosen over face-to-face (personal) surveys. What should you expect when you are called for a telephone survey?

  1. An interviewer that clearly states his/her first and last name and the company s/he is calling from.
  2. If you are called at an inconvenient time, you may ask to be called at another time. In our case, interviews are conducted from a central location. You may also call back.
  3. While the interviewer may ask your name, the information you provide will be treated confidentially. Your name is important for the research company when double checking the interviewers' work. It will not be released to our client, NEVER.
  4. A questionnaire that is designed to last no longer than 10 minutes. The actual length often depends on how much commentary the respondent delivers. You should know that, at each question, the interviewer can only record one of the options (multiple choice answers) she gives you. She cannot record any other comment. So, it is best to limit yourself to choosing one of the options. At the end of the interview you will always have a chance to make free flowing comments.
  5. You will not be called by a sales representative based on your answers. You will not be asked questions in a manner that suggests that your answers will be used to call you later to sell you something. This is a market research exercise, not an exercise to generate sales leads.

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