US based Marketing Systems Group and Computers for Marketing Corporation of San Francisco, CA have recently released a new interface between CfMC's WebCATI and the PROøTøS researchPredictive Dialer. This revolutionary interface allows interviewers, physically located away from the centralised interviewing facility, to operate as if they were in the facility itself, using a centralised web-based interviewing system linked to a computerised dialing system.
Ideal for areas of the States where it is difficult to recruit interviewing staff to drive to a central location, this interface provides new flexibility for both interviewers and call centre managers. Interviewers can work for shorter and more varied periods of time, transforming 'drive-time' to paid hours. Recruitment incentives might include free Internet or broadband connections. For management, the pool of prospective qualified interviewers is almost unlimited; expansion does not mean new booth construction; and, 'no show' problems due to weather difficulties could be almost eliminated.
Data collection leaders see this as a boon for recruiting those elusive, educated, stay-at-home parents. Other benefits include the ability to tap pools of healthcare professionals (e.g., nurses) for interviewing physicians and medical specialists; technically conversant interviewers can be a virtual staff; and, in-language interviewing can be conducted by proficient interviewers located almost anywhere.
Operationally, an interviewer signs in at the WebCATI website, PROøTøS then dials their phone - that connection is now just another telephone extension, just like any other station within the central facility, with all the same PROøTøS features and functionality. Not limited to just at-home interviewing, the solution can be implemented to service clusters of small call centres, or even a totally remote or 'virtual' interviewing force, with no 'bricks and mortar' at all.
All articles 2006-18 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.