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6 Steps on how to conduct an effective telephone survey


1. Develop a sampling strategy

When developing a sampling strategy, you should consider:

  • Who your clients want you to interview?
  • How will you obtain the contact information for these specific people?            
  • How would you like to organise the sample?             

Tip: Take into consideration when you draw your sample for your survey if you have a sufficient amount of telephone numbers to get the number of completions you want.


2. Develop a survey

When developing a survey, you firstly should think of the goals and objectives you want to achieve before beginning to think of any specific questions. It would help if you considered structuring your survey in these five sections:

   1.  Introduction

   2. Screener

   3. Survey Questions

   4. Demographic questions

   5. Conclusion


3. Conduct a pilot test

It is essential to pilot test the survey, ideally by experienced interviewers, to catch any problems with the study before collecting any data. Highlighted below are things that vital to look for during your test pilot:

  • Typo’s
  • Inconsistencies in the questionnaire
  • Any additional response options needed
  • Bias or leading words
  • Difficult phrasing
  • Sample problems
  • Estimated durations


4. Conduct the telephone interviews

When conducting the surveys, you must consider your telemarketers interviewing techniques, for instance, methods that will convince people to complete the study and strategies for getting high-quality data during the interview and techniques for probing respondents when faced with open-ended questions.


5. Enter the data

With computer-assisted telephone interviewing platforms (CATI), the telemarketer has a specific set of questions from the script to ask the respondent. When the interviewee gives you a response, you immediately enter this set of information into the database and make sure you enter each answer just as you heard it to ensure accurate data analysis and interpretation.

Tip: You may find it helpful to pace the interview by alternating between simple and lengthier questions to allow yourself time to record the answers accurately.


6. Analyse the data and feedback

The last step to conducting an effective market research telephone survey is by analysing the data you have collected from completing the surveys. The analysis of survey responses aims to uncover and understand the bigger picture by using data to describe what it means to discover your findings.

Once they have this information, they can then utilise it to impact essential decisions within their business.


To find out more about how JEM can use their market research expertise to help your business, please call us on 01933 271717 or email us at

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