If someone calls you up and says they're from a market research company, don't hang up straight away.Yes it sounds counter-intuitive, and I know you don't care - unless it's like the Government or the Polees, if it's someone you don't know you, just don't want to answer the phone and I get it, that's cool. Parents also (rightfully, I believe) teach their kids not to release sensitive information to strangers on the opposite end of the line and that sort of method rarely fails, really. And then there are people who are genuinely not interested in what a market research company has to offer. But keep in mind that the person on the other end has been hung up on countless times before and even though they're getting paid for it, it wouldn't kill people to be polite. The point I'm trying to get across right now is not to say yes to every annoying person that rings you up, but not to dismiss someone before even giving them a chance to explain themselves, no matter how disinterested you are.
For a market research company, we have clients who come to us because they want to know something, so we conduct the research for them and then present it to them in a format they'll understand. As a market research interviewer, it's our job to carry out the actual task of it - we call people and ask them if they can kindly lend us two or five or ten or (sometimes) forty minutes of your time. It's also not always limited to the phones either - things like focus groups and taste testings are rarer, but they happen too. Most of the time, clients are companies/corporations/firms/whatever from 'both the public and private sector' who just want to know the effectiveness of their product or their advertising or perhaps even local councils who routinely do a feedback survey from the residents of their area (this one is hung up on by a lot less people because most people hear '____ Local City Council' and sit up and listen. [Thank god.]) It's unfortunate that most people automatically hang up nowadays because they usually assume it's a telemarketer, which ruins it for us market research interviewers because there's almost always something in it for you too. Telemarketers and market researchers share the same mode of communication - primarily what we call 'cold-calling' over the phone - and often we're mistaken for the former.That being said though, I'm very much obligated to tell you that most of the time it probably will just be a quick survey which doesn't have an incentive. They're QUICK, though, so it ends fairly soon and it's not like you're bored the entire time - you're answering questions, you're thinking, and you're invited to give your input and opinions in a place where it'll actually count, AND for the longer surveys like the 40 min ones there is usually an incentive. Even so, incentive doesn't always entice people to stay on the phone; too many phony schemes out there and too many reports about people who have gotten ripped off have long made everyone very suspicious about people offering them money over the phone haha. It does make it harder for us market researchers to get the research that we need when this seems to be the overarching attitude that we get over the phone so I thought that a change in culture might be the best way to tackle it. (And my best means for 'changing culture' has been to turn to my humble blog, like I always have been, so hopefully this post has some effect on my readers.)
Anyway, I hope this hurriedly thrown-together blog post clears some things up for you guys. By hanging up on us outright, you are doing yourself a disservice. Why not stay on the line, ask questions (in a non aggressive way plz LOL omfg), and learn something rather than closing yourself up to something without knowing what you're saying no to?JUST SOME FOOD FOR THOUGHT! In any case, the next time someone calls you, just be polite - that's all I ask. You might be frustrated at the call, but at the end of the day you're dealing with a person with feelings who has a family and friends who care about them.