Telephone interviews are often used by companies to carry out market research. However, this is a technique increasingly stuck in the past. Generally, people don’t answer the phone if they don’t know who is on the other end, especially if it’s a business phone number.
The best way to get interviews done is through email or networks like LinkedIn or Facebook. This way, it is easier to get answers and phone interviews can be arranged when it is most convenient for the future interviewee. It can also be used for international interviews, thus avoiding costs and facilitating access to information.
When we get in touch with people, we can conduct an interview by phone or video call. Market research is always better to observe or listen to the interviewee. Sometimes silence and body language say a lot more than words.
Time For The Telephone Interview
It is important to calculate the time of the phone interview. It should not be too long, so that the interviewee does not lose interest and stop answering correctly. The questions must not be too intrusive and must be useful for the market research we are doing. If we have too many questions, it would be good to merge them together or as a last resort to send written queries.
What Are Market Research Telephone Interviews?
Market research interviewers usually collect information using 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 certain number of people. This can be a random sample or a selected group, for example people of a certain age, parents of young children or people working in a certain company.
Interviewers must follow a strictly controlled procedure during each interview. They should be careful and not influence the respondents’ answers. The answers are either recorded, or written.
The Right Questions
The most important element is to get the questions right. First, you have to say what the goal of the survey is, so that the interviewee can understand it. It is necessary to always keep the language simple and straightforward. It is also useful to create several blocks of questions. Ideally there would be three or four blocks with a maximum of five questions. It is important to ask the easiest questions at the beginning and always avoid ambiguities.
It is crucial to choose the questions well in order to get relevant information. The ideal is to go straight to what we want to know, starting with closed-ended questions and leaving some open questions to get more opinions. It is essential that the people conducting the telephone interviews understand the purpose of each question and know about the topic and have the necessary information in case the participants have doubts.
Because this method is invasive of people’s personal space and time, try to reward them with a final incentive to cooperate with your research.
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.
- 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.
- In phone interviews, participants are more likely to respond positively when they are talking to someone they can ask about anything they are unsure 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 interviewees’ behavior or attitude towards certain issues.
- Anonymous surveys facilitate the accuracy of answers, 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 inconvenient times, they are more likely to disrupt the respondent’s routine.
- As telephone surveys can interfere with respondents’ personal time, telephone surveys should be completed in no more than 15 minutes.
- If there are too many questions, the potential customer may become desperate and stop the conversation. On the other hand, if you conduct an online interview via email, users can answer questions whenever they want.
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.