Tuesday, 30 August 2016

7 Reasons SMS Surveys Could Revitalise Your CATI Programs

7 Reasons SMS Surveys Could Revitalise Your CATI Programs

It’s a market research headache that’s been getting gradually worse for decades: falling response rates for CATI surveys. Obtaining the required number of responses for a phone survey can burn through budgets and schedules, and even compromise the quality of the data you collect.

One agency found that its typical response rate for phone interviews had gone down from 36% in 1997 to 9% in 2012, and that downward spiral is getting worse, as people become increasingly time-poor and frustrated at being bombarded by marketing communications.

If you’re struggling with low completion rates for your CATI programs, then help could be at hand in the form of SMS surveys. SMS can be used in conjunction with a CATI program to improve response rates and cut costs. Here are seven key reasons you should be looking at adding SMS to your next CATI program.

  1. You could increase response rates

People often prefer responding to an SMS than to a phone survey. They can do it anywhere and at any time they choose, rather than the survey requiring an immediate response, making taking part more convenient.

And using SMS also side-steps the increasing aversion to unsolicited phone calls. More and more people are using technology to avoid unwanted calls, but an SMS survey doesn’t rely on a call being answered, and so is more likely to be seen by the respondent.

A 2014 test program conducted by OnePoint Global and a CATI agency, found that response rates doubled on average when various SMS programs were integrated into a CATI program.

  1. SMS is cost-effective

SMS can be beneficial to your budget. Firstly, because SMS is fully automated, it doesn’t require human interviewers, a substantial cost saving.

And because of the higher response rates to SMS surveys, targets can be reached more quickly, saving on the cost of a lengthy project.

  1. SMS surveys can replace short interview CATI programs

While CATI programs still have an important place in market research, especially where longer and more in-depth responses are required, for some types of survey, SMS can be a more efficient option. If you’re running a high-volume, short interview CATI programme, an SMS campaign could partially or even fully replace CATI, potentially increasing response rates and giving you a representative sample.

  1. SMS surveys can run alongside longer CATI interviews

If you are running longer CATI interviews not suitable for delivery on a mobile platform, SMS can still play an important parallel role. SMS can be used to run a short survey in conjunction with longer CATI interviews – for example, to achieve quick results for more urgent parts of a program.

  1. You can use SMS to sweep up non-respondents

SMS can be used as a follow-up to a CATI program, gathering responses from initial non-respondents, making the most of your research and call list.

  1. SMS is a powerful way to screen participants in advance

If a respondent has been approached and screened for willingness to participate in a phone survey in advance, they are much more likely to respond. Not only does contacting people with a preliminary SMS enquiry increase response rates, it can also reduce costs, because interviewers are wasting less time on non-respondents.

  1. SMS is highly effective in developing markets

If your research is global, SMS surveys can be a powerful tool. In developing markets, rates of mobile access are often higher than landline access, and so response rates to an SMS survey will be correspondingly higher. Running an SMS version of a survey in conjunction with a CATI version means you can extract data from different markets and locations depending on local infrastructure and technology.

To find out more about how SMS could reenergise your CATI program, get in touch.

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