The Low-down on Phone Surveys

Ok, here’s the scoop. If you don’t want to do the survey then please realize that “I’m busy now” does not equal “I’m not interested” and in most cases will result in being called back in a couple of days. If you don’t want them to call you back ever ask politely for the name of the company, write it down along with the date and the name of the interview then politely ask them to remove your number from their list. If they ever call you back (you’ll know it’s them because you wrote down their company name) you can sue them.

But if you are turning over a new leaf, as Tracie did today, and decide to take part in the study, then here are some things you’ll want to know. First thing you should do is ask, how long does this survey take. Most of the time the interviewer won’t tell you unless asked. Once you ask they have to tell you. Don’t be intimidated if they tell you it will be 15 or 20 minutes because just because you agree to begin a survey doesn’t mean that at anytime during the survey you can’t just decide that you’ve had enough and politely tell them, “You know what, I’m sorry but I’m just no longer interested in doing this survey” and then you can either tell them they can call back later or not to bother. I should note that the survey cannot be used unless you are on the demographics at the end when you hang up. It doesn’t really matter if demographic questions are answered.

If you don’t know the answer to the question don’t say “Well I’m not really familiar enough … ” or “That question is ambiguous”, just say, “I don’t know”. It’s as easy as that. If you do know the answer but don’t want to give it for whatever reason, either say, “Refuse” or “I don’t want to answer that”. If they pressure you, just repeat, “Refuse”.

It probably doesn’t matter one bit if you give your first and last name, but unless they are entering you into a draw or something else where they are going to need to identify you, there is no reason that a first name wouldn’t do the trick. As far as giving even your first name, well it does make life easier for the supervisor who may or may not verify that interview. It’s just a way for the supervisor to know who to ask for if / when they call you back to see if the interviewer was acting in a professional manner.

When it comes to sharing other information, the first 3 digits of your postal code is enough to let the surveyors know the general area. Anything more than that and they know your location down to the side of the street that you live on, maybe down to as much as two or three houses. And when I say they I mean the people that analyze the surveys not the people doing the surveys – we couldn’t care less. So when it comes to postal codes, if you feel uncomfortable just tell them number letter number refuse refuse refuse. It’s your right; you might as well take it. Again it probably doesn’t really matter one way or another. I know that in one particular survey they like to know your postal code so that they can see how close you are to particular stores and evaluate how well you like their store based on your location and answers. That’s it for survey advice for now, perhaps I’ll add more advice as things come up.

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