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Are Telephone Interviews still useful for Market Research?

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Companies often carry out market research through telephone interviews. Still, it is a technique that is increasingly becoming stagnant in the past. Usually, people do not answer the phone if they do not know who is on the other end, especially if it is a company phone number. 

The best way to get the interviews done is through other means of contact, such as email or networks like LinkedIn or Facebook. This way, it is easier to get answers, and telephone interviews can be arranged when best suits the future interviewee. This can also be used for international interviews, avoiding costs, and easing access to information. 

By this, I mean that it is easier to access people of interest through other means. So when we manage to contact them, we can conduct the interview by phone or video call. It is always better for market research to observe or listen to the interviewee since it uses what they say and what they do not say. Sometimes silence and body language say much more than words. 

On the other hand, it is essential to calculate the time of the telephone interview. It cannot be too long so that the interviewee does not lose interest and stop responding correctly. The questions should not be too intrusive, and they have to be useful for the market research we are carrying out. If we have too many questions, the right thing to do would be to join several of them together or, as the last option, to send written surveys. However, as I have already said, much is lost if we cannot hear the tone and the way the interviewee speaks.

Organizations such as central and local governments sometimes use market studies to determine what people think about environmental policies or urban planning proposals.

How to make market research telephone interviews

Market research interviewers usually collect information through questionnaires (often on a laptop or handheld computer). They ask questions, for example:

  • What brand names or advertisements respondents recognize
  • What products they use
  • How much they like or dislike something
  • Where they usually buy
  • How much they would be willing to pay for a particular item
  • If they would try new types of products

Market research interviewers usually have to interview a specific number of people. This may be a random sample or a selected group, for example, people of a certain age, parents of young children, or people working in a particular business type.

Interviewers have to follow a carefully controlled procedure during each interview. They should be careful to avoid doing or saying anything that might influence the respondents’ responses. Sometimes interviewers must record what the person says precisely, word for word. In other questions or surveys, they must enter the respondents’ answers in code form.

The most important thing is to get the questions right. First, you must indicate what the survey’s objective is so that the interviewee is clear about it. It is necessary to keep the language simple and straightforward at all times. It is also useful to create several blocks of questions. Ideally, there should be three or four blocks of no more than five questions. It is essential to ask the easiest questions at the beginning and always avoid ambiguity.

It is crucial to choose the questions well to obtain relevant information for us. The ideal is to go straight to what we want to know, starting with closed questions leaving some open questions to learn more in-depth the users’ opinions. It is essential that the people who will carry out the telephone interviews understand each question’s purpose and know about the subject, and have the necessary information in case there are doubts on the part of the participants.

As this method is invasive in people’s personal space and time, try to reward them by giving them a final incentive to collaborate in your study. This will help them to participate with a better disposition.

Advantages of telephone interviews

  • It is one of the fastest and easiest methods for the business and the interviewee.
  • The company will not have to worry about transportation costs to conduct paper surveys. Interviewees can be national or international.
  • It is easy to target a particular sector of the public. Market researchers can benefit from conducting a telephone survey because of the large-scale accessibility associated with it. Most of the population has a telephone in their home. People who do not have access to the Internet can be interviewed through their phones.
  • In telephone interviews, participants are more likely to positively respond when they talk to a person they can ask about anything they are not sure about.
  • The quality of the collected information over the phone will be good if the interviewer is trained and guides the interviewee through the survey.
  • Telephone interviews are recorded, which means that the analyst can observe and analyze the interviewers’ behavior or attitude towards specific issues.
  • Anonymous surveys facilitate the accuracy of responses, especially on controversial topics.

Disadvantages of telephone interviews

  • Market research calls are often confused with sales calls. Customers may be upset and decide not to answer the interview.
  • Questions should be expressed briefly and simply if asked over the phone. Otherwise, respondents may not understand the question and may not respond adequately.
  • The timing of the calls is crucial. If companies call at an inappropriate time, they are more likely to disrupt the respondent’s routine. They will be less willing to participate in the interview.
  • Since telephone surveys can disrupt respondents’ personal time, telephone surveys should be completed in no more than 15 minutes. 
  • If there are too many questions, the potential client may become desperate and end the conversation. On the other hand, if you conduct an online interview via email, users can answer the questions whenever they want.

Final thoughts

Through market studies and telephone interviews, we can collect valuable information to know your current and potential customers’ preferences, habits, needs, degree of satisfaction, and lifestyle, providing the necessary information to act accordingly.

These interviews are also advantageous as a prospecting method. It allows you to determine whether current or future market demand for particular services or products your company plans to offer. 

While planning market research, we can suggest that Katrium, as a qualified partner, deliver high-quality market research.

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INBOUND ASSISTANCE: WHAT IT IS AND WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS FOR COMPANIES

Inbound employees are taking care of customers while at the same time, becoming ambassadors of corporate values are the cornerstone of a winning inbound service.
Thanks to inbound assistance, the company has the opportunity to establish unique relationships with its consumers. If it can build, brick by brick, an authentic conversation with its customers, it will create their loyalty by improving their brand perception. And it will obtain other indirect benefits, such as the acquisition of new customers. What exactly is an inbound activity? Let’s explore the topic from its definition.


What is Inbound?


In general, inbound is an English term which, translated into Italian, means “inbound.” Inbound is opposed to outbound. More generally, if we look in the dictionary for the meaning of inbound, we find this definition: “information or assistance provided by an organization’s or company’s call center on a user call.” In other words, inbound is a customer support service that handles incoming calls, providing information, and solving problems of various kinds.

Call Center Operator

On the contrary, in the outbound call center, the operators are the people who make the calls. Furthermore, the numbers to call are provided directly by the company. They are in the form of massive databases containing personal data, contact details, and other relevant information. Besides, the outbound call center operator has the task of calling the various contacts, with different purposes depending on the reality in which it operates. The most common are telemarketing (offers and promotions), teleselling (sales, cross-selling and upselling), making appointments with sales staff (lead generation), market research, and opinion polls.
To do this, a call center is required, consisting of people – the so-called call center operators. They are equipped with technological devices to quickly and efficiently manage requests and reports from users received by telephone call.


An inbound contact center carries out the typical call center activities – i.e., the management of incoming calls. Together with customer service through complementary communication channels, such as e-mail, chat, and social messages. In this way, the customer who needs to get in touch with the company can choose the communication channel he prefers to express his needs and establish an immediate and direct relationship, potentially of trust, with that reality.


The company that uses an external contact center gains efficiency and increases its turnover because it only takes care of requests that require the direct intervention of the competent department and can devote more resources to improving its offer.
As can be seen, the contact center is the expression of an increasingly customer-oriented corporate culture, which focuses on customers’ needs.

The activities of an inbound contact center

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In fact, the contact center represents one of the first doors of access to the corporate universe; it is one of the most critical touchpoints and affects customer experience quality. That is the overall experience that the consumer lives by relating and interacting with the brand. A good customer experience positively influences customer satisfaction and builds customer loyalty. This translates into greater credibility, acquisition of new customers, and maintenance of existing ones.

What are the services of an efficient and therefore effective inbound contact center?


Inbound customer service is concerned with:

  • Inbound call management, to assist consumers with information and more details about a product or service.
  • Help desk services, provided by specialized operators who use software to solve technical problems reported by ticket.
  • Complaints management, i.e., formal complaints made by consumers verbally or in writing when they believe they have been the victim of damage or injustice.
  • Recall service, “recall” a customer already present in the company database to follow up a previous conversation.
  • Secretarial service, useful mainly to make appointments and collect data on the interlocutor.


On the whole, the operator of an inbound contact center is the link between business and consumers. He must be able to listen and understand the needs of customers, to respond with kindness, and give them concrete solutions by transmitting the values of the company for which he works. When companies decide to outsource a service, these competencies are essential in a contact center’s operators.


The advantages of an inbound contact center


Accordingly, we have said that the strength of an inbound contact center is to focus on customer needs. We see the main advantages for a customer (and consequently for the brand) managed with a corporate inbound system.

  • Using the preferred communication channel: the customer can choose how to interact with the company, according to his preferences and digital culture level. He can freely decide which tool or technology to use, from telephone to e-mail, to obtain information, ask for help, make reports. In two words: receive assistance.
  • Reduction of waiting times: today, the customer is more demanding than before and seeks immediate and concrete answers to solve his problems. Often contacting the company call center is the last option considered; the customer prefers to look for solutions on the net, use live chat on websites, write instant messages on social profiles.
  • Customization of the conversation: the tool chosen by the customer to communicate with the company determines the form and characteristics of the dialogue that develops with physical and virtual assistants. Thus, the customer can benefit from personalized contact methods and receive assistance tailored to requests or problems.

Value for companies

The three points listed above imply several advantages for companies as well.
Supervising different communication channels is an added value for a company. Surely, this ensures more excellent service requests and a greater probability of satisfying them.
The company guarantees its customers (and potential customers) quick, precise, and flexible answers, filling absences. It takes advantage of the automation of some steps. For example, acquiring the ID of order – to better follow them where human intervention is indispensable.

The company thus makes better use of department resources and can increase its productivity.


The company monitors the taking in charge and manages the request and continuously analyzes the traffic recorded during the interactions on the different channels, compared to the other departments. It intervenes to optimize the consumer experience. Furthermore, it benefits from satisfied customers who reward it with positive reviews and online and offline conversations.


The company gains competitiveness when it manages to establish a lasting relationship on the channels chosen by its customers. Thanks to listening, it can innovate the market with the introduction of new products and services.


Contact center in outsourcing: yes or no?


It is very convenient for companies to outsource a contact center, offering a service performed by third parties.


However, the interaction between people, processes, and systems gives origin to the Business Development Center (BDC), aiming to manage the customers’ requests. The BDC has the task to guide and support the flows of acquisition and qualification of all the customers’ demands to elaborate them quickly to simplify the sale phase.


The outsourcing contact center provider, i.e., the company that manages a BDC on behalf of third parties, carries out the following activities:

  • Study the company’s customer service to compensate for weaknesses with its inbound contact center service.
  • Eliminate outstanding requests, monitoring the total fulfillment of claims, to improve customer satisfaction.
  • To filter and entrust customer requests that cannot be processed by the supplier to the appropriate business department.
  • Cluster customer requests to increase productivity and efficiency of business departments.
  • Reduce the number of reminders to the company so that employees work better and are more productive.
  • Improve the company’s image by keeping lines of communication as free as possible and managing waiting times correctly.
  • Continuously monitor data on interactions and generate monthly reports.
  • Propose and integrate tools to develop the company’s commercial activity.


The enterprises that rely on an external contact center sustain costs less elevated than those that maintain an internal contact center. They can delegate to third-party companies the recruitment and training of personnel and enjoy the best technologies available on the market for that sector. For example, a customized CRM for lead management.

Katrium


At the present time, thank Katrium, companies can build strong relationships with their customers. To point out, Katrium is very beneficial for businesses that want to outsource their customer services like a contact center. We build trust and reliability between our client and their customers. What you care about is what Katrium cares about. Moreover, inbound and outbound calls are the right support that Katrium offer for your company. Our spectacular staff is competent to make the target’s surveys and answer a phone call to assist. At Katrium, your goal becomes our Katrium’s goal. Read more about the services we offer at our site.

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Inbound or Outbound Contact Center: What are the differences

The contact center can be an excellent opportunity for earning thanks to the part-time formula that it generally offers. Both for students, as it also allows them to have time to study and follow university courses. Both for homemakers, who perhaps have time for their household chores and the care of their children. Of course, everyone aspires to the inbound contact center that provides customer care because calls are received and not made. So “we just” answer customers to provide information and explanations.

At the same time, outbound is more challenging, as you need to call potential customers to sell products and services in the hope of closing contracts. But the contact center can also be a great business opportunity. That is, we start our own company to take care of it.
This reading will deal with a few contact center bases: What is a call center? What are the differences between inbound and outbound contact centers and the advantages that each has?


Contact center what it is

woman in black blazer sitting on black office chair


Let’s start from the basics: what is a contact center? As its name suggests, it is a call center. People working here are responsible for the sale of products or services and customer service. Until the 90s, this activity was exclusive to large companies in charge of customer care, surveys, or telemarketing. Since the 2000s, thanks to the spread of modern telematics systems, it is possible to start a company in this sector also on its own. Plus, it is possible to work remotely and use collaborators, also operating remotely.


Contact center inbound and outbound differences


What are the differences between an outbound and an inbound contact center? Opting for one or the other can change the way you run your business. An outbound call center is, as mentioned above, selling, and promoting products or services by calling a list of potential customers. The outbound service, although it already existed, has exploded since the late 2000s. In addition to sales, the outbound also deals with political polls, with a view to elections at different institutional levels. Or even questioning the approval of a new service launched a television program, or an entire channel. Usually, an outbound call center’s contract is based on a fixed plus commission based on “closed” deals (i.e., signed by the caller). Rarely is it based only on fixed or only on commissions. The commissions are used to stimulate the operator to conclude more contracts and ensure their usefulness.

The inbound contact center, instead, is responsible for incoming calls. Therefore, the operator must respond to the user who calls for information, to make a complaint or report a malfunction. It is provided, therefore, by companies that provide services or sell products. Usually, the fee for an inbound call center operator is fixed.


Inbound and outbound call centers, which one should open


What type of call center should I open? Inbound or Outbound? Again, it depends. In particular, it depends on the attitudes and organizational skills of those who decide to open one. For example, those who can train, manage, and coordinate a group of vendors may find the outbound type preferable. Those who have a greater attitude toward theoretical-technical training might prefer to start an inbound type in a particular field. However, there is no lack of companies that do both inbound and outbound. However, this requires a fair amount of initial capital, as more employees and more space are needed.


Katrium operates as an outsourcing company that provides diverse types of services. The contact center is a way for the company to reach their customers and do what they want you to do. Not only when they have problems but also for other purposes. Having a good customer relationship through the implementation of the right contact center is the primary goal of Katrium.

Your problem is Katrium’s problem. And the contact center will do anything to solve it and will never leave the customers alone. Outbound calls are also made by the contact center thanks to the help of Katrium. These calls aim to reach specific group targets’ needs to obtain information and, eventually, conduct research. To attain the customers’ trust, companies should build strong relationships with the customers. Katrium can do it by establishing a valuable connection and communication between the customers and the company itself. Each service is thought and tailored to satisfy different companies’ needs, and Katrium will do it for you.