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How Can You Increase Your IVR Survey Response Rates.

I was recently consulting with a healthcare research group - we develop and host about a dozen surveys per year for them. They were experiencing a 10% response rate on a particular project, when the average is 30%. They chose IVR specifically because of the demographics they were targeting, and where access to the internet was limited.

The survey invitation was part of a benefits package information kit sent out to 15,000 employees and the package contained about 30 pages. I'm sure you are familiar with this type of package. Embedded in the package there was an invitation to participate in an employee survey. This survey was very important to the organization, as it was going to be used for planning changes in the benefits package offered to employees.

Needless to say, the 10% response was not what they expected, and certainly was not representative of their employee base; therefore it was of little use in planning their benefits strategy change. They were very disappointed, I would be.

The first reaction, by the benefits team, was "Our employees don't use IVR", and this is why so few responded. Of course, as soon I heard where the invitation was inserted; basic marketing 101 told me where the problem was.

Since the client had already invested in developing the survey, and had pre-paid for some transactional services, I suggested that they conduct a small pilot, a mailing to 200 employees. This was a simple post-card invitation, with the survey toll-free number, and access code, plus a compelling reason to call ("We are making changes to your benefits plan, and your opinion is important to us."). Printing and mailing were cost-effective and the response rate jumped to 65%. Needless to say the client was ecstatic, and the next week, they mailed to all 15,000 postcards, achieving a 62% participation rate and a 98% completion rate. Applying basic marketing principals to promoting surveys, became part of our clients practice, and escalated the average survey participation rate for employee surveys from 30% to over 50% where IVR access was provided.

You can download the complete guide for free at:

To Your Success,
Barnard L. Crespi
Datatel Inc/Datatel Communications Inc.

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Standard Life

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