We’ll help you understand why IVR surveys by phone are the most efficient and cost-effective way to collect customer feedback and market research. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) enables automated communications with survey respondents over the phone. They can engage with the survey with their phone’s keypad or through voice recognition. With a speech-to-text integration, even open-ended responses are possible. We’ll walk you through some of the basics of what is the IVR meaning, basic survey considerings, and even more advanced ideas such as skip logic. But first, here are some hand statistics on why you should be considering IVR surveys by phone:
IVR Voice Surveys Are:
Immediate Feedback: Quickly identify problem areas, making positive and impactful changes possible
Automated Administration: Eliminates interviewer bias, allowing you to collect more meaningful & honest data
Immediate Alerts: For negative responses via SMS, e-mail, fax, or instant message. Make quick & impactful changes
Multiple Languages: Available to increase the number of potential respondents
Comprehensive Reporting: Tools simplify the data analysis process
Starting Out With Voice Surveys
Most customer satisfaction or market research surveys begin in the written form intended for either paper or web delivery. This format typically won’t work well in an interactive voice survey. Your participants will need both brief instructions and engaging flow to ensure accurate responses. Here a few examples of what to consider:
This survey will be used by “Your Company Name” to improve your customer service experience.
This survey will ensure your anonymity and strictest confidence. Please listen to the entire question before responding.
If you’d like to have the question repeated, Press 9. If you’d like to repeat the instructions, Press 0.
Q2 How well did our representative address your concerns?
Q3 How professional was our representative (or title)?
Q4 How knowledgeable was our representative (or title)?
In many cases, you’ll need to consider a multilingual survey. If you don’t have your source of translation, your IVR survey provider will have a reference. Be sure to sign off on the English (or other originating languages) version of your survey before sending it out for translation.
Read your script out loud to others on your team. Have your team act-out responses to the questions. Even have them simulate repeating the question or instructions.
Clients often ask us, “Is there an ideal survey length to maximize the completion rate?” In our experience, there is no such thing as an “ideal” call length. But as a rule-of-thumb, the shorter it is, the higher the completion rate. But even that all depends on how well you can answer these critical questions to the participant:
- Why am I doing this survey?
- I’m busy, how long is this going to take?
- What are you doing with the information?
- Is my participation confidential?
And of course, “what is there in it for me?” We generally don’t encourage reward based participation for customer satisfaction surveys. However, for market research surveys, incentives may encourage participants to stay engaged.
Your voice talent is a crucial consideration. Reading a survey script requires a different pace and tone than that for broadcast or IVR prompts. You need someone who knows how to make the survey flow engaging, simple, and enjoyable. Your IVR survey vendor will certainly have options for you to review. Or, if you have your own “voice of the brand” talent, have them spend some time with your vendor to understand the nuances of voice surveys.
Skip logic is a function of IVR surveys that permits respondents to skip to a specific question. The logic depends on how a participant answers a previous question. It is essential that you make a note of this, as your IVR service provider will want to know this in advance. It impacts the effort involved, and each option will need testing. Here is an example of a post-call customer satisfaction survey that demonstrates this useful function:
The follow-up questions would be:
Your survey may require the caller to provide an answer to an open-ended question. For example, you may ask:
“After the tone, please state why you have selected this overall satisfaction rating choice. Please complete your answer by pressing the pound or hash key.”
Modern IVR survey systems will have the option to convert the responses from recorded speech to text, along with supporting WAV files. In many cases, the text may be provided as CSV files for import into a spreadsheet or database for more analysis.
When you engage the services of an IVR service provider or your in-house resource, they will ask you, “How do you want your data fields named and in what order?” Formatting is especially crucial if you already have a pre-defined format on a data analysis tool.
If you are working from scratch, don’t worry, a full-service IVR service provider would be able to provide you with some useful guidelines and take you through the process.
There are several options to deliver your survey data to you:
FTP/Portal: This basic import tool allows you to log-on to a portal or FTP site, and import all your survey results as a digital file directly to your computer. This method is simple and will require no IT resources at your end. Since you have already agreed on the database format, you will be able to import this file directly into your data analysis tool.
Real-time Data Exchange: This method allows an IVR service providers’ platform to connect with your Internet-enabled database. It is more sophisticated and will be especially useful if you are:
- conducting a concurrent web survey
- delivering results to your clients (internal or external) in real-time
- validating participants in real-time against your in-house web-enabled database
- managing any part of the call logic from an in-house application.
We also recommend this method for ongoing surveys. This method is traditionally implemented as an HTTP/Post XML transaction, initiated by the IVR, and posted to your web server. Your IVR service provider can discuss the various options to implement this, which will reduce the time that your IT staff will need to invest in the development process.
We hope this basic introduction to IVR voice surveys helped demystify the subject and give you a starting point. If you’d like to get in touch with us to learn more, contact us, and one of survey experts will get in touch soon.