Phone Surveys

In general, telephone surveys are the second fastest method of surveying large groups of people. However, they have two distinct disadvantages. The first disadvantage is that phone surveying is relatively expensive compared to both electronic and scannable surveys. The second disadvantage is that a confluence of modern trends is resulting in phone surveys being less representative of the general population.

A large, and growing, number of people use technologies such as Caller ID and answering machines to screen their calls so these segments do not participate in surveys.

In early 2006, 7% of the US population used a cell phone as their only phone (Pew Research) and the size of this segment is growing. Federal law prohibits the use of automated dialing machines to knowingly call cell phone numbers.

A growing number of people are clearly communicating that they do not wish to be contacted via telephone. As of 1999, 30% of all residential numbers were unlisted (American Statistical Association, 1999). As of 2004, 57% of all American households had registered their phones on the national Do Not Call registry (Harris Interactive). While pollsters are legally allowed to call these numbers, most households are declining to participate. This makes phone surveys very suspect when it comes to obtaining a representative sample of the general public.

In some situations (for example, you need to survey a large number of people in a hurry and your target group tends not to use the internet), phone surveys are appropriate. In these cases, Heartland Market Research LLC will be glad to work with you to manage the tradeoffs involved with phone surveying. However, if we feel phone surveying is not appropriate for your situation, you may be assured that we will certainly bring this to your attention.

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Research Specialties

Electronic Surveys

The fastest and least expensive method to survey large groups of people.

Scannable Surveys

Relatively inexpensive method to survey large groups of people.

Phone Surveys

Relatively expensive, but very configurable, method to survey people

Focus Groups

Best used in initial and final stages of a project.