Collecting data with Survey Solutions over the phone
Online approach utilizing any computer with a web-browser
This approach is most suitable for the interviewers working at a location with stable/responsive internet connectivity. The functionality and interface of the web-interviewer is also described in the pages linked from here. It is recommended that these generic instructions are reviewed and customized by survey administrators for each particular survey. The article is oriented on the agencies already having experience in using Survey Solutions for face-to-face (CAPI) surveys and in need to re-orient their operations for the telephone surveys.
- A phone (any phone will be suitable as long as it is compatible with the cellular provider in your area).
- Any computer (desktop or laptop) with web-browser (Chrome, FireFox, Edge) able to connect to the internet.
- Possibility to connect to the internet and remain online for the duration of the interview.
- Address of the server, interviewer login name and password (these will be communicated to you from the stats office).
- Access to an electric outlet/power to keep powering your computer.
Before you start
Before you start collecting the interviews, check that you can connect to the internet, see the status of the connection, understand when the connection is interrupted, etc. Then start the browser of your choice. It is recommended to use the latest supported version of the browser (do not use beta or experimental versions).
You will not need to install anything on the computer/device you are using. Remember to use only one device and always log out after your work.
On any day when you work, follow this algorithm:
- At the beginning of your shift, connect to the internet, enter the address of the server (synchronization point) to the browser’s address line and proceed to the site. Enter your interviewer’s credentials issued by your office to the login form.
- Once logged in, you will find one or more assignments and possibly rejected interviews. Each is appearing as an item (line in the table) on your dashboard.
- Each item contains a field named PHONE with a phone number.
- It may also contain a person’s name and other identifying information, and possibly a comment on when the number should be dialed. If there is no comment on when to dial, that phone may be called at any time.
- Review your work items and determine which one you can contact next. If you have any interviews rejected by your supervisor, give them the priority, then the started interviews that you haven’t finalized, then all the remaining interviews.
- Open the interview by clicking the OPEN button on the interview (or START NEW for new interviews).
- Take the phone and dial the phone number you are seeing on the interview cover page.
- Listen carefully. You may end up in one of the situations below. You will need to mark this situation in the contact outcome in the interview. (Only frequent situations are listed here, your particular questionnaire may provide additional options). A) The phone is not answered after at least 1 minute of waiting (or the longest allowed by your operator); B) You get a busy signal; C) The phone is answered and immediately hang up; D) The phone is answered by an answering machine; E) The phone is answered by a FAX or a modem device. F) The phone is answered by a person. G) The operator tells you that the phone is not valid or not in service. H) The operator tells you that connection is not possible at this time. Z) All other outcomes.
- Make sure you record the result of the contact attempt in the interview. Depending on the result of the contact attempt you will:
- If the phone is answered by a person (f), proceed with the interview.
- For (a), (b), ( c), (d), and (h) try to reach the same number at a later time.
- For (e), (g), and (z) you reach the end of this interview. Make sure you mark it as completed.
- If you’ve marked the interview as completed, proceed to the next work item.
- As you are doing the interview, read the texts from the screen that are marked with READ: prompt. Also read the questions and give the respondent time to think about the answer. When the answer is given, record the answer into the field provided under the question or select the appropriate option of categorical questions. Sometimes you may need to read the options, such as with Y/N-multiselect questions.
- As a result of you entering the answers some new questions/sections may appear in the interview or others disappear. Only ask questions that you are seeing suggested by the Interviewer App, even if you remember that you’ve asked different questions of a different respondent.
- Just like in CAPI interviews, you may encounter error messages. For example: “Value X is too large”. Before turning it to the respondent, double-check that the value you’ve entered is indeed the value that the respondent just told you. It may be a simple typing/entry error. Other situations you need to clarify with the respondent. For example: “You have told me earlier that there are 3 members in your household. Yet now you are telling me that 4 members are having fever today. Perhaps, you didn’t count someone as a household member earlier?”
- During the interview the respondent may decide to interrupt the interview. If you may not finish the interview at this time, make a note in the final section that the interview is not finished, ask the respondent when is the nearest convenient time to call back, and record this time in the final section of the interview. If the respondent refuses categorically to finish the interview, make sure that you record the corresponding outcome and any reason/explanation provided (interview is too long, questions are too sensitive, respondent doesn’t see the purpose, etc).
- If at step 14 the interview was finished, or the respondent refused to finish categorically, mark the interview as completed. Remember that you are using a phone to make the calls. Marking the interview as completed will not hang up the phone!
- If you agreed with the respondent to make another call during the current shift it is important that you make the contact attempt at the designated time during the current shift and record the corresponding status, and possibly the next contact appointment.
- Log out from the website at the end of your shift.
- Next time you work, proceed to step #1. You may find some new assignments and some interviews rejected by the supervisors at your dashboard as you keep on working. Not all the interviews that were marked to be continued may be returned to you – your supervisor may decide that they can be better finished by other interviewers.
- Your work as the web-interviewer will require internet connectivity for the whole duration of the interview. Avoid the use of any other software that may compete for the bandwidth (YouTube, messengers, games, music players, etc).
- If at any time you find that you’ve exhausted the allowance for wireless connection (either on the phone you make your phone calls with, or on line you are using for accessing the internet) contact your supervisor and explain.
- It is possible that the respondent will request the interview may be continued on the next day “at any time”. Prepare before the start of the interview with a couple of slots that you know are possible for the next day. This will help arrange a schedule with no conflicting appointments.
- While it is technically possible to log in from two different devices it is not recommended. Choose one device and one browser you are most comfortable with, and stick to working with it.
- It may be technically possible to use the same computer for also making the calls through Skype or other messenger capable of connecting to phone networks. In that case you may not need the phone for making the calls (requirement 1). Make sure this mode provides both sufficient sound quality for maintaining the conversation and reliable connectivity to the data site.