Market research, especially data collection is the backbone of each decision making process, especially on C-level. Having the right data at the right time has always been crucial for remaining competitive. However, as technology advanced, the process of collecting data has also experienced its own evolution. The emergence of computers and the internet have triggered proliferation of various market research methods.
CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing) has remained widely used even after online surveys were developed. Despite of time flexibility, lower costs and wide geographical converge of online surveys, CATI research was recognized as more reliable. The presence of an interviewer in CATI surveys ensured for more efficient data collection, more accurate questionnaire administration, and reduced risk of errors.
Nevertheless, note that, successful CATI projects require a level of expertise, staff and infrastructure that can pose as challenging for even the most resourceful organizations.
The alternative is outsourcing your CATI research to a specialized service provider which creates benefits which go beyond cost savings and enable greater efficiency, reduced overheads and focus on core activities, as we see next.
1. Financial benefits
The most obvious costs of CATI data collection are related to software and hardware investments as well as costs of keeping the telephony infrastructure. There are also some hidden costs such as depreciation of hardware, maintenance and repairs of the equipment, as well as m2 cost of renting or buying additional office space.
If your core business is not research or data collection you are facing some serious overheads and under optimal usage of space and technology.
The other aspect of the cost component is recruitment, hiring and training of new interviewers which emerged as most challenging. Not, only that this process takes up financial resources, but also requires great dedication of human resources.
To summarize, by outsourcing your CATI research, you do not only save on infrastructure implementation and maintenance, but also on development costs related both with systems and employees. Companies using outsourcing in this field have reported 40% decrease of their costs.
2. Access to expertise and innovation
The activity of collecting, coordinating and supervision of CATI data collection is time consuming and requires problem solving skills. This is why most companies that think about becoming more efficient, decide to go with an experienced service provider, somebody who knows the ins and outs of the challenges and pitfalls of the CATI research process. In addition, service providers have stuff with experience in call center management, good communication and organization skills, as well as persistence to obtain the needed data. Moreover, outsourcing companies specializing in this field always stay up to date with newest technologies and trends constantly improving in quality, while keeping costs low.
Finally, outsourcing survey processes boosts efficiency and profits.
3. Freeing up of resources
Outsourcing CATI research primarily frees up resources in the HR department for recruitment and training, but also removes the burden of the day to day running of survey administration. Moreover, outsourcing CATI data collection allows project stuff to concentrate on analyzing and critically appraising the data, as well as other more strategic activities.
4. Reduced risks
Outsourcing CATI data collection mainly minimizes financial and operational risks. Financial aspects of the CATI research method have been already tackled in this article. The operational risk, on the other side, is related to technical failures, like a server outage, or it could be caused by the people or processes of the company. For instance, the human department may not be able to select the right candidate due to unfamiliarity of CATI data collection which can hinder the research process. By outsourcing you eliminate this threat and transfer the risk to the service provider.
In conclusion, technology advances and internet enabled devices have empowered collaboration between companies. This has shown particularly beneficial for small and medium sized companies with limited resources and the research department is no exception. Third parties that specialize in data collection and research activity are likely to have a lower cost base and operate more effective, given their focus and scale. Partnering with such service provider creates a competitive advantage for your own company.
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