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Your Handy Guide On Setting Up Survey Phone Call Campaigns For Market Research

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Published: Jan 10, 2022

Telephone surveys are one of the most common research methodologies used for market research, and the reason is apparent. 

  • They provide you with immediate responses and insights. 
  • They help you cover a wider geographic area more cost-effectively. 
  • Telephone surveys provide better control over the response quality by allowing interviewers to clarify questions, examine respondent behavior, etc. 

But you don’t reap these benefits by simply picking up the phone and calling people. A perfect process with the right tools is what you need. 

So how do you make survey phone calls that help you perfect the process and reap these benefits? That’s what we’ll cover in this post.

How to conduct survey phone calls

The process of conducting a telephone survey entails the following steps. This is assuming that you already have your survey questions ready.  

Set up a campaign on your calling tool. 

To make survey phone calls, you need a call center tool. The right software will be equipped with features that make outreach and data collection smoother. You won’t have to:

  • Spend time manually looking up and dialing numbers. 
  • Note down answers and then enter them again in a shared sheet. 
  • Manually divide lists among agents. 

Apart from making the process more efficient, a tool also eliminates any room for human error, such as skipping a contact or calling them twice. 

Create a phone survey script.

A calling script helps guide the conversation and ensures surveyors don’t miss out on crucial points. The script is displayed on the dashboard in a calling tool, so it’s easy to follow.

Here’s a sample of how this works in CallHub:

script-display-calling-dashboard

For survey calls, make sure the script includes: 

  • An introduction to the surveyor and the organization. 
  • The relationship between the organization and respondent (if any).
  • Why the survey would be of interest to the respondent. 
  • Disclaimer of how you’ll use the data. 
  • The questionnaire you have prepared, of course.

Learn more about crafting effective phone survey scripts here.

Assign people to make calls.

Next, you schedule your calling campaign in your tool and assign calling agents. Each agent can then log into the campaign whenever required and make calls. 

Some calling tools like CallHub let you set the hours during which the campaign is live (and people can make calls). This helps maintain calling compliance during your survey phone calls. 

Follow the script and collect responses. 

Surveyors ask the questions and collect responses from contacts. A few tips to make sure these calls go as planned: 

  • Have surveyors practice the script beforehand, so it sounds more natural.
  • Practice phone etiquettes to ensure a positive experience for the respondent. 
  • Record calls so you can revisit them in case you missed something. 
  • Practice active listening to keep track of a respondent’s interest and clarity about the questions. This gives you control over the quality of the data collected. 

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Analyze responses. 

Before setting up the campaign, integrate your calling tool with your CRM to enable a two-way flow of data. So when you collect responses, they are automatically exported to the CRM. 

Your CRM provides reports to analyze responses and gather insights. 

Since survey phone calls are an integral aspect of the research process, check your tool’s analytics and monitor campaign performance. 

CallHub’s analytics dashboard gives you insights like: 

  • The number of contacts you reached. 
  • The number of conversations agents had.
  • Unique contacts called, and 
  • Agent activity (when they signed in, how many calls they made, top performers, etc.)

Use these insights to understand what works well and what doesn’t— to inform future campaigns. 

To give you a quick summary, here’s what the process of making survey phone calls should be like: 

survey-phone-calls-process

Must-have features to make survey phone calls.

A calling tool is critical to making survey phone calls. Your software must be equipped with the following essential features to ensure the process is smooth. 

Multiple dialer options

While a calling tool eliminates the need to manually dial numbers, it should do more than that. With different dialer options, you get control over the following: 

  1. Speed of calling. 
  2. Time surveyors spend having conversations.

You can choose a relevant dialer based on the 

  • Size of your contact list, 
  • Number of people making calls, 
  • Quality of the contact list, and 
  • The type of surveys you’re conducting. 

For example, in CallHub, you can choose between three auto-dialers. 

How it worksBest suited for
Power DialerThe next call is dialed after the caller clicks on a button to indicate they are free. Qualitative surveys in which the conversation duration can’t be predicted and the contact list is small. 
Auto DialerCalls are dialed as soon as an agent finishes a call. You can also control the dialing rate to dial more than one number per agent if you have a low answer rate.  Suitable for qualitative and quantitative surveys with smaller conversation durations. 
Predictive DialerThis dialer calculates the dial rate and when to make the next call based on the pick-up rate, drop call rate, etc. The dialer ensures that the caller is connected to another live call as soon as a call ends. This dialer is most suitable for quantitative surveys for an extensive contact list with brief conversation durations. 

Learn more about how to choose the best dialer for you here.  

Custom script display on calling dashboard

Most calling tools display a script that surveyors can read through. But for survey phone calls, your tool should allow you to create a custom script with three essential aspects: 

  1. Personalization: This is generally achieved with merge tags (like {first_name}) that automatically pull data from your CRM and replace the placeholder with relevant information.
  2. Note-taking text box: To help you collect answers for qualitative surveys and make general notes about a call. 
  3. Multiple choice answers: To directly mark the option the respondent chooses in quantitative surveys. This saves the surveyors’ time on noting responses. 

Here’s an example of such a script from CallHub’s calling dashboard. 

survey-phone-call-script-display

CRM integration

Your CRM is the central depository for all data. When making survey phone calls, your calling tool should pull data from the CRM to personalize the calling script. 

Moreover, the data you collect during these calls should also be exported to the CRM for analysis. 

Hence, your calling tool must have a two-way integration with your CRM. Even if it doesn’t have a direct integration, you should be able to achieve this with an intermediary tool. 

CallHub integrates with most major CRMs like Salesforce, NationBuilder, etc. You can use Zapier to integrate it with your CRM for others that aren’t on the list.   

Dynamic caller ID

People are four times more likely to pick up a call from a local number. With the dynamic caller ID feature, you can display a local number on the respondent’s phone— irrespective of where you’re located. 

If you’re making calls in other geographic locations, the tool should automatically rent a local number for you and display it. This is especially helpful when you’re making cold calls for surveys.

DNC list

A DNC list (or Do Not Call list) stores numbers of people who have requested not to be contacted. Once this request is made, you must honor it to maintain calling compliance

Calling tools, like CallHub, ensure that no more calls are made to that number for the existing or even for future campaigns. 

Good to have features to make survey phone calls

These features may not be as necessary as the ones above, but they can ramp up the performance and efficiency of your efforts when getting people to take your survey.  

Text from call center

This feature lets you send out a text right from the calling dashboard. You can either send this text to the number you’re calling or enter a new number (handy when calling landline numbers). 

You can use this to send: 

  • Thank-you texts after survey phone calls to nurture a relationship with respondents. 
  • Surveys to fill out (if you’re leveraging calls to just convince them to fill one out). 
  • Surveys to distribute among their network to get more respondents. 

Here’s what the feature looks like in CallHub.

text-from-call-center

Call recording

Recording all calls is a good idea for two significant reasons: 

  • It allows you to go over calls for training and quality assurance.
  • You can confirm responses or revisit calls you may not have taken notes for. 

Ideally, you should be able to access and listen to these recordings in the tool or download it to your device to share them. 

In CallHub, recordings are available in your campaign’s “Results” tab. Under this, navigate to the call you wish to revisit and click on the “Notes” option. 

access-survey-phone-call-recording

Clicking this opens another window: 

call-recording-callhub

Clicking on the “Audio Recording” text plays the recording within the tool. You can even copy the link and paste it into your browser to download it. 

Agent analytics

Tracking metrics for your campaign’s performance is essential. But you can get a better picture of your campaigns’ efficiency if you have insights on each caller’s performance too.

Your calling tool, at the very least, should help you track:

  • Times and dates when agents sign into the campaign. 
  • The number of calls each surveyor made. 
  • The number of hours they spend making these survey phone calls. 
  • The performance of an agent against others. 

In CallHub, these insights are shown as graphs and charts, making analysis easier.

survey-phone-call-agent-analytics

Having these insights can help you figure out the strengths and weaknesses of your callers so you can prioritize your training and strategies accordingly. 

TCPA compliant dialer

Also known as a Fastclick dialer, it helps you make phone calls to cell phone numbers that haven’t consented to receive calls. 

Calls are initiated manually with a dedicated agent clicking a button with this dialer. The tool, however, takes care of queuing calls and routing them to free agents. This helps you make calls to mobiles at speeds comparable to auto-dialers while staying compliant. 

Learn more about the Fastclick dialer here

Answering machine detection

This feature can save your time by eliminating the need to drop a voicemail manually. 

When your calling tool detects an answering machine, it automatically drops a voicemail (which you record and save while creating the campaign) and dials the next number. 

It allows surveyors to focus on live phone calls rather than wasting time on these numbers. 

How to set up a survey phone call campaign on your tool

Let’s take a quick look at setting up a campaign on your calling tool. We’ll walk you through CallHub’s dashboard as an example. 

1. Login and upload contacts.

First, log in to your CallHub account. You can sign up here for free and get started if you don’t have one. 

Next, select the “Phonebook” option in the sidebar to add your contacts. You can either upload a file or import them from your CRM. 

uplaoding-phonebook-callhub

2. Add your calling script.

Once you’ve uploaded your contacts, select the “Create” option under the “Call Center” box to start setting up (screenshot attached below). 

After naming your campaign, you’ll have to add your script. Make sure your survey questionnaire is ready before this since you’ll be adding the questions here. 

In CallHub, you have three options here: 

  • Campaign brief: Use this to add a welcome or instructional text for surveyors who sign in.   
  • Questions: This allows you to add different types of survey questions. You can even import them from your CRM. 
  • Call dispositions: These tags describe the outcome of the call. You have several default dispositions like No answer, Answering Machine, Not interested, etc., but you can add custom ones as well.
add-survey-phone-call-script

3. Targeting

You select the phonebook(s) with the target contacts at this stage. You also set a number to make calls from and choose the dialer you want. In CallHub, you can also enable the answering machine detection feature here. 

survey-phone-calls-targeting

4. Assign agents

Now here is where you assign agents to make calls. In CallHub, you can either select the agents who are already added to your account or assign them later. 

To add them at this stage, search for the names and select the ones you want. 

You can also enable the option to record all calls here and set a maximum duration for calls. 

assigning-survey-callers

5. Set schedule 

Lastly, you set a schedule for the campaign to go live. Set the days and times of operations as per your state’s mandated cold calling hours and click finish. No one will be able to make calls before or after these set hours. 

Once you click finish, the campaign goes live (based on the schedule).

The steps after this are pretty straightforward. Your agents sign in to their accounts and start making calls and collecting responses. 

And that’s pretty much all you need to make survey phone calls. All this information and, of course, a comprehensive calling solution to help you make these calls. 

Since you’re here, why not give CallHub a try? We have a 14-day free trial period which is sufficient for you to run a quick survey campaign and get hands-on experience on the tool. Also, we check all the boxes for both the must-have and good-to-have features above. 😉  

Sign up here and give it a try. 

Featured image source: Photo by PhotoMIX Company from Pexels

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