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6 Tips for launching a successful automated phone survey

Are you still conducting manual research calls and e-surveys? Check out the 6 steps for launching an automated phone survey and switch to modern solutions.


Jul 19, 2022

On-Time Blog Feature Images How to launch automated phone survey

In the digital age, it can be challenging to get people to fill out surveys. Most are just too busy or don’t want to take the time to answer questions. The good news is that a phone survey might be a more effective alternative in this situations.

A phone survey is a type of research where interviewers call potential contacts or customers and ask them questions about the topic at hand. Depending on what type of business or research services need you have, this information or data will help you make decisions about future marketing, planning or development strategies.

However, conducting these surveys and collecting sizeable amount of actionable data manually might come along with many challenges like loss of time, labour and financial resources. Automated solutions can be of great help to overcome in this situation cost-effectively.

Benefits of Automated Phone Survey

  • It boosts the reach significantly: On-time mobile communication platform has the capacity to perform 18,000 automated calls or messages/hour and more than 3 million calls or messages a month. In addition to outperforming a human caller by a ratio of over 2,500 to 1, it is less prone to errors and more resilient than a human.
  • Accelerates Responses: On-time platform reported an average response rate of 60% from a clientele. Automated phone calls ensure better reach, activation and conversion because it avoids possible human conflicts and negative experiences promoting fast and seamless mobile communications.
  • Its cost-efficient, scalable with better ROI: Humans on average can make 8 calls and hour and automated phone calls can reach over a thousand potential contacts within seconds. This alone speaks volumes of the efficiency of call automation. 

For example, you would want to conduct a customer survey you need to connect with customers at large. With automated voice callers, even a larger company with high volumes can complete the process in less than an hour, where a human would just be getting started. 

  • AI-powered: If your automated solutions provider is AI powered you can make best of machine-learning and the historical data at hand to plan your campaigns smartly. On-time supports with strategising such campaigns which can reach your contacts timely to achieve the best response rates.

But the million-dollar question still remains -

How do we create and launch a successful automated phone survey?

Let us share the key learnings from the countless automated telephone calls conducted by On-time customers.

  1. Create a solid script

  2. Use natural human voice

  3. Be clear about the survey's purpose

  4. Don't forget qualifying questions

  5. Compliment calls with SMS messages

  6. Ask for feedback

1. Create a solid script

Creating a script is essential for any interview. The script should contain the type of information that you want to collect, a list of questions, and any instructions for the callers. When creating a script, it’s important to be straightforward and avoid using jargon or industry-specific terms.

The script will help to prepare and pre-program the automated flow for the phone survey. Try to keep the survey script as short as possible. Unless your respondents are engaged with your survey, attrition usually starts around the 5th question. To avoid this, you need a solid script, to get adequate samples for your questions. Remember, a survey beyond 10 questions is just not reasonable!

2. Use natural human voice

Before launching an automated telephone survey campaign, you need to record the questionnaire with a warm and friendly human voice with natural speech. It should gain the trust of the respondents, so they feel confident and engaged to act.

Be nice and clear in your diction so it doesn’t sound artificial. Use any language you desire or record in your respondents’ native languages.

3. Be clear about the survey's purpose

Communicate the goals and purpose of your phone surveys upfront. Especially if you genuinely need to conduct a longer survey, make sure your respondents are aware and understand your needs.

Ideally, they should also be made aware of an automated voice call. So, the surveys could start along the lines of “Hi, this is an automated call for you!”.

Check out this blog for some other tips to 'How to use automated calls'.

A clear purpose will also help you decide how you want the survey to be structured - quantitative or qualitative in nature. With quantitative research, you want to get information that is measurable and can be summarised in numbers. This is useful for assessing market size and predicting sales or revenues. With qualitative research, you want to get information that is open-ended and can’t be summarised in numbers. This type of research is helpful for gaining an in-depth understanding of customer behaviour.

4. Don't forget qualifying questions

One of the most convenient uses of an automated phone survey is qualification or screening interviews which can be easily and speedily handled by a voice-bot.

Human interviewers can take over important contacts later or calls can be transferred from automation to an interviewer, as required.

A screener is the first survey question that you ask. Its main purpose is to qualify respondents and determine whether they are in the right demographic to take part in the survey. A quality screener question is short and to the point and gets the respondent thinking about your topic. It should also be inclusive and include anyone who could potentially be interested in your survey.

5. Compliment calls with SMS messages

If you decide to launch an automated phone survey service, you don’t need to worry about having one competent and dedicated caller all the time.

Now you can automate the calls from one single number as many times you desire. So, if your potential respondent doesn’t answer the first time simply because they are occupied, you can re-try unanswered calls automatically.

The best practice is to re-try 30-60 minutes apart and not more than 2times day. On-time automated mobile communication platform allows you to design your survey flow with automated calls which can be complimented with SMS messages. This helps to alert your contacts about possible survey campaigns too.

6. Ask for feedback

At the end of the survey, you may want to ask respondents if they would be willing to provide feedback on their experience. You can also check about the survey length, clarity and convenience.

This feedback can help you improve your survey process so that you can collect better data in the future. You can also use this feedback to improve your call-back process.

Choose, experiment and learn

Last but not the least, remember to choose a software that suits your needs and launch a pilot campaign to test its efficiency and survey response rates. On average On-time clientele have reported response rate of 60%-70% with automated calls.

Now you know how to create a successful automated phone survey that gets the data you need. From creating a solid script to asking for feedback, these tips will help you conduct a survey that yields valuable data. However, If you don't have enough time to plan and launch the survey, let our team help you with the process. 

Check out our Research Services page for additional details.


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