To Automate or Not to Automate?

After taking my car to a main dealer for a repair recently, an agent rang me to undertake a short post-interaction survey using CATI (Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing). This started me thinking about the relative merits of CATI and outbound automated surveys.

Post event telephone interviews conducted by a person can be particularly useful where responses need to be maximised or there is a complex or lengthy set of questions to be completed. They can also work well in qualitative analysis which requires more detail to be teased out from open questions.

However, as many of our customers find, if the questions are straightforward and especially where large volumes are required an automated outbound survey is a viable and a more cost-effective alternative.

Automated outbound telephone surveys have moved forward significantly in the last few years. Where combined with a good telephony interface there is the capacity for tens of thousands of survey calls to be made and completed each day. Non survey data such as customer account number, type of interaction, call outcome etc can be added to the system to enable full analysis of results including drilling down into the details.

An outbound survey dialler never gets tired, never needs a break, can never be seen to influence results and operates completely within the chosen parameters. An outbound automated survey costs in the region of a factor of ten less than a comparable CATI survey.

Automated surveys aren’t going to replace CATI anytime soon, but if used for short and simple surveys, they could free up valuable resource for taking care of those lengthy and complex interviewing projects. Isn’t it time to consider adding automated surveys to your interviewing mix?