Using a Third-Party for Phone Surveys

Using a third-party for phone surveys is the best assurance in gathering unbiased, high-quality insights. Plus, it is beneficial to rely on industry experts to execute all moving parts of a qualitative study.

For instance, a third-party phone survey company like Drive Research can provide qualitative recruitment, interviewing, scheduling, and reporting services. There is no need to hire several sub-contractors or rely on internal resources to get the job done.

In this blog post, our market research company will walk through our step by step process for conducting phone surveys by outlining a recent project. This should provide great insight into what to expect from working with a third-party.

Interested in conducting a phone survey with a third-party? Our market research company is ready to help. Contact Drive Research by emailing info@driveresearch.com or filling out a form, here.

Using a Third-Party for Phone Surveys | Market Research Company


Step 1: Identifying Objectives for the Phone Survey

A management consulting firm specializing in consumers facing offerings in the utility sector contacted Drive Research to conduct a market research study. After singing a proposal, our third-party phone survey company scheduled a kickoff meeting for the project.

Here is where we learned more about the objectives and audience of the market research study.

The market research study focused on two audiences:

  1. Small business decision-makers in the United States
  2. Residential decision-makers in the United States

The market research study helped the client understand the SMB and residential audience, and how their feelings and behaviors related to the COVID-19 impact with regards to energy and utilities.

Most importantly, the data and findings from the market research provided the management consulting firm with unbiased, credible, and representative views to guide future decisions.

Our market research company recommended both a qualitative methodology (phone surveys) and a quantitative survey.

The combination of qualitative and quantitative will offer a full 360-degree perspective of the SMB and residential audiences.

Whereas a survey helps measure metrics, phone surveys dive deep into the emotions, drivers, and other contexts to help gather specific information.


Step 2: Determining the Approach to Phone Surveys

Drive Research developed an interview guide to be used when conducting the interviews. Doing so helped lead the phone interview and allowed the interviewer to know what critical questions needed to be asked.

Once the interview guide was completed, recruitment and scheduling for the interviews began.

Those qualified and confirmed were sent a Zoom link, which allowed both parties (interviewer and interviewee) to share screens if the participant was comfortable with a video interview. These interviewers were mostly conducted via phone.

On average, the phone interviews lasted 35 to 45 minutes.


Step 3: Recruiting for the Phone Surveys

Recruiting for Small Business Decision-Makers

Our phone survey firm recruited 50, one-on-one interviews with a mix of small business (SMB) owners across the United States. This included a combination of industries with narrower geographies and designated market areas (DMAs).

To recruit this audience, Drive Research used a combination of paid social media advertisements and a third-party panel vendor.

Potential phone survey participants were asked to complete a recruitment screener survey. This survey is a standard step in all our qualitative recruitment projects. It helps verify participants’ credentials to assure they fully qualify for the study.

Recruiting for Residential Decision-Makers

This qualitative market research focused on 50, individualized one-on-one conversations with low-income household decision-makers.

To recruit this audience, our third-party research firm used a combination of paid social media advertisements and a third-party panel.

Similar to the SMB audience, residential decision-makers were asked to complete a screener survey to verify their credentials and qualify for the phone survey.


Step 4: Conducting the Online Survey

The quantitative survey sought to understand how the pandemic relates to and will impact relationships with utility companies and how utility companies can better serve customers during this period.

The online survey was targeted to small business decision-makers (5 to 250 employees) who were knowledgeable of their office or utility bills.

Respondents were a mix of job titles such as:

  • Owner/Founder or President/CEO/COO
  • Administrative
  • Accounting/Finance
  • Human Resources

The survey included 27 questions and took respondents an average of 7 to 11 minutes to complete. It received 411 responses.

The online survey was successful in answering pertinent questions for the client. This included:

  • How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your business?
  • Which of the following has your business experienced because of the COVID-19 pandemic (disruptions in cash flow, reduction in staff, etc.)?
  • Please rate the financial stability of your business during the following periods.
  • Has your business taken advantage of any small business loans or other types of government assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • Please rank your priority for paying the following business expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Step 5: Analysis, Report, & Debrief of the Phone Survey

Both the phone survey and online survey projects were compiled into individual PowerPoint documents.

Each comprehensive market research report included:

  • Background of the approach and objectives
  • Key findings
  • Recommendations
  • An infographic
  • An appendix of question-by-question results and cross-tabulations

The management consulting firm also received an Excel CSV file of all responses with a banner run of all questions broken down by audiences for the survey.

For the phone survey, the client received all video and audio recordings. Additionally, several cross-tabulations were included in the full report such as geography, company size, etc.


Step 6: Debrief Meeting of the Phone Survey Results

Our market research company met with the client after the report was delivered. This allowed the management consulting firm to request any additional insights or edits.

More significantly, the debrief meeting reflects a thorough interpretation of the data and results.

This is an important step for our team. It involves your dedicated project team from Drive Research presenting the findings to assure every data point is understood.

We offer our expert recommendations for how our clients can utilize this information to their advantage.

For this project, our market research firm added more value than just a market research report. We assisted the client in hosting a webinar where they were able to present and repurpose the findings to their target audience.


Interested in conducting phone surveys? Contact Drive Research.

Drive Research is a full-service market research company. Our experts have years of experience executing both quantitative and qualitative studies. If your team is interested in conducting a phone survey our firm is ready to help.

Contact us through any of the four ways below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at info@driveresearch.com
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

emily carroll about the author

Emily Carroll

A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Coordinator. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

Learn more about Emily, here.


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