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Pollsters: IVR Polling Becoming a Challenge
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Pollsters: IVR Polling Becoming a Challenge

November 03, 2014

  By Michelle Amodio, TMCnet Contributor

Robo-polling is a growing industry, particularly where politics are involved. With that time of year upon us, campaign managers are in search of the highest robo-poll participation to get a better grasp on constituents and gain real results.

Interactive voice response (IVR) is being increasingly used for political polling because it can reach a large number of people quickly and cheaply. Computers are programmed with a questionnaire and calls are made automatically. Respondents hear a recording and are invited to input their responses via the keypad. Of course, it’s not without its challenges, as top-tier pollsters say that it’s becoming harder to conduct high-quality polls using random sampling, and that fewer landlines and caller ID are to blame for some of the issues.

With landline use on the decline while caller ID is able to screen unwanted calls, pollsters aren’t getting the response rates they once were able to obtain.

IVR has an edge on traditional telephone polling in several ways. One is the ease of assembling a very large sample. As hundreds of automated calls can take place simultaneously – whereas live-caller polling firms are limited to the number of interviewers they have on staff – tens of thousands of calls can be made in a matter of hours. This makes it possible to build significantly larger samples in less time than with live callers. Of course, none of this is any good if people are unwilling to answer or are unable to be reached.

Of course, the law is something to consider when it comes to making IVR calls as well.

“A key limitation of IVR polling is the federal law which disallows automated calls to mobile phones. Studies have shown that 40 percent of households are cell-phone-only, which puts a large segment of the population outside the range of IVR pollsters,” according to CommonWealth magazine. “IVR pollsters try to ensure accurate results by making sure that the respondents they do reach match the demographics of their target population through careful selection or weighting of the results. Some large IVR pollsters such as Rasmussen and Public Policy Polling have been supplementing their calls with panels of Internet users to reach cell-only respondents.”

The lower cost and comparable performance of IVR polling with other methods ensures that it is likely to remain a mainstay of political polling.

Users should tap reliable IVR solutions for their political polling needs. Genesys’ (News - Alert) Outbound IVR Solution integrates with web-based CRM systems like and is built on the Genesys CX Platform for fast setup, allowing Outbound IVR campaigns to be built and deployed in minutes.

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