When a Good, Old-Fashioned Telephone Call Still Reigns Supreme

By Tulip Dolphin

When a Good, Old-Fashioned Telephone Call Still Reigns Supreme

“Data” mining is a new buzzword with a bad reputation. Consumers are starting to become wary about the data they share, and governments are responding. In the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is responsible for upholding the information rights of the public. They accept complaints from individuals and work with organizations to make sure they’re in compliance with UK law. The ICO has the authority to issue monetary fines and to issue “stop” orders if an organization is violating the law.

Privacy laws are still evolving, but it’s expected that, among other controls, companies will soon have to get informed consent from consumers before their data is collected. Fortunately, there’s one data collection method that makes it easy to obtain (and record) informed consent and eases consumers’ fears about what data is being captured and how it will be used. In addition, it’s a great way to capture a richer level of information than can be obtained through other methods. What is it? Telephone surveys.

Informed consent
The interactive nature of a phone survey makes it easy to confirm that the respondent is giving informed consent to the sharing of information. The caller can explain exactly how the information will be used, whether the respondent’s name will be attached to the information, how the data will be protected, etc. He can also address any questions or concerns, and you have the recorded phone call itself as an accurate record that consent was indeed given.

Quality control
Another benefit of a phone survey is that trained callers provide a level of quality control that’s not possible through internet and phone surveys. They can note the sincerity of the respondent’s answers and probe any areas of inconsistency. The only survey method with a higher level of quality control is face-to-face, but that comes at a significantly higher cost.

Two-way communication
In static surveys, like through the post or over the internet, the question is what it is. Sometimes the respondents have to guess at the meaning and have no way to get clarification. In a phone survey, the caller can not only clarify the question, he or she can ask probing follow-up questions to collect richer data.

Sometimes people are reluctant to answer sensitive questions, especially in writing. While phone calls are recorded, people generally are less apprehensive about answering a sensitive question orally than in writing. In addition, the caller can “normalize” the behavior in question to make it seem less sensitive. For instance, consider the different spin on these two versions of a question:

● “Studies have shown that smoking leads to lung cancer and other health problems. How many cigarettes would you say you smoke each day?”
● “We’ve heard a lot about how addictive smoking is and how hard it is to cut back, much less quit. How many cigarettes would you say you smoke each day?”

Respondents are much more likely to disclose sensitive information if they’re not worried about being judged.

Phone surveys are an ideal way of obtaining consumer data. They make it easy to comply with privacy regulations, they provide data that’s accurate and rich in nuance, and they can make respondents feel more comfortable sharing personal information. Here at Seawave Media, we’re ready and waiting to help you design a phone survey that will provide exactly the kind of consumer data you need. Our professional telemarketers work the phones every day, so our information is always fresh and relevant. Give us a call today to discuss how we can help your business succeed.

November 3, 2015 / Uncategorized

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When a Good, Old-Fashioned Telephone Call Still Reigns Supreme

In May 2018, the new GDPR regulations become enforceable for all countries operating within the European Union. The new legislation establishes stringent changes to the way companies collect and process data and even more stringent consequences for those companies that fail to make their data fully compliant. And there’s not much chance that Brexit is going to make any difference; the regulations will become firmly established into law by the time we’ve left, and show little chance of being repealed afterwards. So, if you’ve not already optimised your consumer data processing practices, it’s time to start.

Opt-in data changes under the GDPR

One of the most profound changes that the GDPR will establish is in the way that businesses collect data. Whereas before you could operate under an opt-out policy, ensuring customers had to specifically declare that they didn’t want their data processed, now the opposite is the case. An individual now must actively volunteer their data, with tick boxes being the preferred method. Here are some other details the GDPR specifies:
  • As a default, tick boxed should be un-ticked. There should be further options available that allow the user to select the type of marketing correspondence they wish to receive; email, phone or mail.
  • The data subject is permitted to opt out of data processing at any point after opting in.
  • Consenting to data collection should not be a condition of service.
  • Sending someone an email to ask them for marketing permission is not permissible.
These changes will create profound challenges for companies looking to generate leads from marketing. What’s more, there’s a maximum fine of up to 20 million Euros, or four per cent of global turnover payable for a breach of these regulations; a figure that’s easily enough to send smaller firms into administration.

How to demonstrate data compliance

If companies choose to continue processing their own data after May 2018, there are a number of policies they will have to implement in order to demonstrate their GDPR compliance: • Appoint a data protection officer if at all feasible. • Carefully record and document all data processing activities. • Implement data minimisation and ‘pseudononymisation’ guidelines that adhere to the new regulations. In short, the data protection regulations that come into force next year are a minefield. The entire document clocks up just under a hundred individual articles that need to be adhered to.

Fully compliant data experts at Seawave

The team here at Seawave Media have a professional and comprehensive knowledge of the GDPR and other data protection regulations. It’s of vital importance to us that we operate to the highest data protection standards, and provide the most optimised and highest quality data possible within these regulations. Our goal is to ensure every legal box is ticked, while still providing you with high value consumer lifestyle survey leads that deliver a great ROI.

Contact us today to find out more about how we can help optimise your lead marketing strategy, both right now and after the GDPR regulations come through in May next year.