Every marketing manager knows the importance of taking the pulse of the consumer. In today’s market cold calling your target consumers for telephone surveys can prove a cost effective and accurate way of understanding your consumers. In a world where people are constantly busy it can be highly annoying to get an unsolicited call from an unknown person. It can prove daunting for the caller to overcome this barrier and get the respondent to provide the desired feedback. By focusing on certain aspects of the call, following some do’s and don’ts and paying attention to detail the caller can collect the information they desire and leave a positive impression. Following the 5 steps outlined below will give any telemarketer an edge in converting their calls to relevant feedback.
1. Appropriate greeting:
The first few seconds of the call provide a first impression and set the tone. An effective greeting is one where the caller identifies themself, clearly states the reason for the call, and asks the respondent if they are willing to participate in the survey. If the respondent declines the caller should thank them graciously and hang up. If they are willing to participate in the survey then the call should continue.
2. Listen for peripheral feedback:
Careful attention should be paid to the tone and manner of the response to the survey questions. It is important to understand the emotion that may be hidden under a standard response to a survey question. A successful caller will identify the feelings of the respondent regarding the survey questions and thereby make a more effective judgment about the accuracy of the response. Often the respondent may give a prejudiced response due to the identity of the caller.
3. Probe deeply into respondent’s feelings:
A response that has an unenthusiastic tone often suggests a contradiction between what the respondent has said and how they really feel. It is then the duty of the caller to tactfully ask supplementary questions to get a more accurate picture of the respondent’s true opinion.
4. Judge the respondent’s mood when asking personal questions:
Failing to judge the mood of a respondent can result in hostility and loss of feedback, particularly in regard to questions of a personal nature such as income or age. The caller must give the respondent a heads up before asking such questions. It is also imperative to judge the present mood based on the previous questions asked.
5. Have an effective closing for the call:
The importance of having an effective closing to the survey cannot be overstated. It will set the tone for the whole survey experience. The respondent must feel that their valuable time was not waste but contributed to the objective of the call. The impression the caller leaves will influence the perception of the respondent toward the caller’s product or organization.