phone callOn July 10, 2015, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) announced decisive changes to the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act). Accordingly, in the US, all autodialer calls to mobile numbers without the prior consent of the person being called will be illegal. Representatives of the market research industry such as MRA and CASRO rightly see the need to defend themselves. Finally, TCPA opposes all calls made with autodialers, regardless of the purpose of the calls. The fact that besides telemarketing there are also call centers that try to do representative research is ignored here. The telephone is an irreplaceable means of contact in market and opinion research, especially for ad hoc studies. The number of households that can only be reached via mobile numbers is growing steadily and must be represented in research projects.

In this country, too, the industry is on the defensive and has to defend itself against the application of the law against unfair competition (UWG) in telephone surveys, as there is always insufficient differentiation between telemarketing and market research. In the draft law of the federal government for the amendment of the law against unfair competition of May 21, 2008 (BT-Drucksache 16/10145) it was made clear that the market and opinion research preserving the anonymity of the interviewed persons is not a business act and therefore not in the The scope of the UWG falls (source: https://www.adm-ev.de). Nevertheless, there were judgments from higher regional courts that classified calls for purely market research purposes as inadmissible within the meaning of the UWG. For market researchers, there remains a certain uncertainty and the risk of possibly risking fines when carrying out CATI projects - wrongly, provided that the research work is carried out according to applicable guidelines. You can find detailed information, tips and advice that market research institutes should consider at www.deutsche-marktforscher.de.

With this article, we, as a sales partner for market research software, would also like to make a contribution to ensuring that the concerns of serious market and social research are adequately respected and communicated to the public. Automatic dialers are an essential part of research because they save time, minimize errors, and are compatible with industry standard Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) software that helps researchers conduct telephone interviews properly. For example, compliance with an upper limit for silent calls is regulated by the ADM and the pacing engine of our predictive dialer has been optimized with this in mind. With the correct setting of the dialer, a violation of the guidelines is practically impossible and maximum call center productivity is achieved at the same time. We already talked about how the predictive dialer works in our blog post "Understanding predictive dialing - what's really behind it”Reported in detail.

Now it is about the rights of those people who do not want to be called at all or no longer want to be called for research purposes. Since it is practically impossible to implement the prior consent of the persons for representative, often short-term telephone studies, it is considered best practice in market research to maintain a so-called blacklist or do-not-call list in which every respondent, private or business , can be included on request and can then no longer, or only under certain conditions, be contacted by phone or email. Maintaining such a blacklist should be a must for any market research company. In this area too, our software makes it easier to work.

Nebu Dub InterViewer DNC configuration

blacklist

Dub Quest (click to enlarge)

Nebu provides us with the important Do-Not-Call functionality both in sample management in Dub Quest and in the monitoring tool ManageFrames (both belong to the main Dub InterViewer module). By using the blacklist function, we can create a list of respondents who do not or no longer want to take part in surveys and prevent the use of the email address or telephone number of these respondents in samples.

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Manageframes (click to enlarge)

The system offers helpful filter options here, by telephone number or email address as well as by type of origin. Here we can choose whether it is data from a central authority, legacy data or local lists, or we can add other types of origin. Users can therefore also define the criteria according to which the various types of origin of the blacklist entries should be differentiated. If new items are added, the 'Blacklist management' window opens in which each entry is specified (contact type, type of origin, country code, etc.). Nebu accesses the database, provides assistance and checks the validity of the entries. Entire lists (.xlsx or .csv) can also be imported and exported, with the system checking for errors and generating a report on the results.

blacklist management

Blacklist Management (click to enlarge)

In addition, automatic updates for the blacklists can be set and corresponding new entries can be automatically blocked almost immediately. Nebu offers many other features that are developed and continuously optimized with regard to the requirements of market research. For example, the system can automatically remove all personal data after the interview has been completed. In the meantime, it should be clear that the technical requirements for compliance with the guidelines and laws are more than just given - the software even offers additional auxiliary functions and helps to minimize the risk of human error. In the end, of course, the decisive factor is always the user who also uses these functions.