sly : marketing

How Reliable Are Phone Surveys?

Yesterday, I received a phone call from a telemarketer. It sounded like a fairly young girl. It was the third time she had called me this week. I had been busy the two times before, so even though I was eating dinner, I wanted to talk to her. I wanted to be nice to her, I knew that she was only doing her job. People can be rude when they understand that a telemarketer just called them. I didn’t want to be that guy.

She was not trying to sell me anything, that was a relief.

It usually takes me less than a minute to say no (in a nice way), when someone tries to sell me someting over the phone. I never buy from telemarketers, I am not saying that I never will, but so far, I can’t remember a single time when I have bought something from a person who presented the product while talking to me on the phone. It’s just that it’s really hard to convince me to buy just by talking to me on the phone, it’s so impersonal.

She was calling from the largest telemarketing company in Norway and she told me that she wanted me to answer a survey. She just needed 10 minutes, all she wanted was some answers. I find phone surveys rather interesting. By answering, I try to guess who paid for them. It keeps me entertained during the conversation.

What I find most interesting about phone surveys are the fact that media and campanies trust them. How’s that possible?

I had to answer about 40 questions, it might have been less, but it seemed like even more. It took a lot more than 10 minutes for me to answer the questions, probably closer to 20 minutes. I had to answer questions about what kind of TV commercials I recognized from the past months, and even though I probably had some time to think, I couldn’t think straight. This girl was waiting for my answer, and my kids were loud and ready for me to quit the conversation, they wanted me to finish dinner and play. Therefore, I couldn’t really think of any commercial I had watched lately, and the same happened when she asked about radio. I couldn’t figure out if I had heard any of the commercials the past months. I guess I probably had.

I was finished with stage 1. Yes, I felt like a winner.

And I was ready for stage 2.

What was the first two words that came to my mind when I thought about competition?

That was a tricky one.

I answered sports and money, and it was true, that was the first two words that came to my mind. Not sure if she had expected this, but that was all that I could tell her.

Now, did I find competition to be a healthy part of society? Did I find competition healthy when it comes to schools, businesses, industry in general, supermarkets, farmers?

Was I suppose to answer all this without having the time to think? Ok, I probably still had time to think, I just couldn’t. This girl was waiting, my kids were still waiting, a lot louder now. And me, I just wanted to finish.

A few minutes later, it was time for me to answer some statements. I guessed  this had to be stage 3. Did I agree or disagree with the following…

I answered fast. I was probably the fastest guy ever to answer her survey. I wanted her to say; wow, you’re probably the fastest guy I have ever talked to. I wanted her to laugh.

Finally, it was all over.

She didn’t tell me that she thought I was fast, she didn’t laugh. All she did was ask me if I would please answer another survey.



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