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IVR Survey : Interesting IVR application

Telephonic survey has been quite common now a days and many people may have been called up by representatives from various companies where they try to collect information, feedback, opinion about their products or services. Here, a caller will have a set of questions which she asks the person who answers the call about the product which they are using and tick options as per their choices.

Normally, these kind of surveys have fixed set of questions and fixed set of answers to choose by the called party. So, outbound IVR can be used for conducting automated surveys with fixed set of questions and multiple options, answer to which would be chosen by the called party either by pressing keys or by speaking out the choice. This kind of automated telephonic survey is known as interactive voice response system ( IVR) surveys.

Difference between predictive dialer and IVR surveys

Both predictive dialer and IVR surveys make outbound calls automatically and their similarity ends there as both of them them perform different functions. Normal predictive dialer would dial a number from a database and transfer the call to any human agent, but in IVR survey application, the IVR ‘prompts’ the called party few fixed questions, store their responses either in DTMF (Dual Tone Multiple Frequency) key pressing ( Telephone key) form or voice recording without any human agent involvement.

Few benefits of IVR survey

There are various traditional methods of conducting a survey like mail, email survey, web site survey, live interview, SMS ( short messaging service). But IVR survey offers few unique advantages over other survey methods.

1. It is fast
Most probably, IVR survey would be fastest way of conducting survey which is limited only by capacity of the IVR system in terms of number of ports. Since it is completely automated, its results can be viewed, monitored live by many people on website. So, the survey data collection is very fast while using IVR survey method.

2. Data collection types
Using IVR survey, one may collect data in two forms, it allows the called party to choose one answer of multiple choices and can record their response in voices. Allowing recording of voice is a great way of getting unbiased and completely new feedback from customers.

3. Coverage of large geographical area in short time
It can cover large geographical area in short time which is not possible with traditional method of conducting survey like mail, or personal interview. Though SMS can also cover large geographical area, but SMS can not accommodate voice response as well as long surveys.

4. Data presentation and analysis
Since IVR survey is completely automated, collected sample data could be exchanged, formatted analysed quickly which no other survey method can provide. IVR survey application could be intelligent enough to ask different questions based on replies on previous questions. So, IVR survey can generate useful customer feedback with complex set of relevant questions.

5. People can participate without any inhibitions

Since in IVR survey, no human asks questions, many people would reply any kind of questions without any inhibitions once they are assured of privacy of their replies. IVR survey would surely do better in such questionnaires where personal questions are asked like sexual orientation/habits. India today ( English weekly magazine published in India), outlook ( Another English weekly magazine published in India) etc. magazines conducts and publishes various this kind of surveys every year. IVR survey could be used effectively in such surveys.

Disadvantages of IVR survey

Many people just do not like to answer questions asked by ‘machines’! Also many people would be apprehensive about their privacy.

Outbound IVR could be designed to conduct surveys. This kind of IVR survey could be a hosted IVR solutions where companies could design their surveys as per their requirements. There are many IVR companies providing IVR survey application.

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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Nicole January 18, 2010, 7:06 pm

    Great post Uttam! Some companies are also using inbound IVR for their customers complete surveys by providing them with a toll-free number to phone in to.

    Another great benefit of using IVR for surveys and polling is that it avoids the limits of online surveying. Those with reading, writing or IT literacy difficulties and those with visual impairments may be excluded from your demographics with online surveying. Using IVR for surveying is especially important in areas where the literacy rate is very low.

  • Uttam Pegu January 19, 2010, 11:53 am

    Hi Nicole, thanks for the valuable input about IVR benefits. IT literacy difficulty is an issue which only IVR can remove.

  • Anil Gupta January 28, 2010, 12:32 pm

    Uttam – one of the other advantage is how businesses can integrate the results into their database directly. Thats #1 reason why people are moving from live attendants to the machines.

    Also, I don’t completely agree that humans do not want to talk to machines while giving out answers but if kept the right way – callers love it.

    However, building surveys have been always expensive and difficult on telephony platform.

    At Invox, we took them as challenges. Our users type their questions and choose their answer types and Invox will build the survey for them. Within 5 mins – you have your survey.


  • Uttam Pegu January 31, 2010, 10:42 am

    Hi Anil,
    Thank you for pointing out the advantage. I totally agree with you.

    With advent of visual tools, like Invox, and Hosted IVR, I think telephonic survey would be used more and more as both cost and time for implementation would reduce.

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