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A spotlight on: Explain’s CATI Research Centre

A spotlight on: Explain’s CATI Research Centre

Based in the North East, Explain is one of the UK’s leading market research agencies, committed to providing actionable insights to their clients.

Not only does the team consist of people with diverse research and marketing skills, from data analysts to qualitative moderators, but Explain’s Research Centre is home to 45 Market Research Society (MRS) trained telephone interviewers, all with cross-sector experience.

So, what does this mean in practice?

The in-house telephone interviewing team are equipped with state-of-the-art Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing (CATI) software and equipment and use this to follow questionnaires developed in partnership with clients to meet their objectives. Across the team, they call hundreds of telephone numbers a day; in the 2018/19 year alone they dialed 687,000 numbers!

Much of Explain’s CATI work is contracted and conducted weekly, monthly or quarterly, but the Research Centre also runs a series of ad hoc projects throughout the year.  These range from large scale projects such as public perceptions of NHS organisations, to weekly calls to understand satisfaction with power cuts for each of the Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) in the UK and satisfaction with housing providers.  The team are highly experienced at speaking with a range of audiences, from vulnerable or hard to reach customers to senior business decision makers.

But what differentiates Explain’s Research Centre from other agencies?

Conducting research over the phone requires much more than a great telephone manner.

Emma Hopkins, Research Director at Explain said: “Our team work with a common goal of exceeding client expectations. Explain only employs people who are passionate about the brand, its values and the service provided. We carry out a rigorous recruitment policy selecting people on abilities, skills and the contribution they can make to Explain.”

“Our training and quality processes ensure that research is carried out to an extremely high standard, driving up standards within the industry.”

Underpinning all the work carried out in the Research Centre is both quality and compliance, with one to one meetings and quality monitoring results provided to each interviewer on a weekly basis. In 2018/2019, Explain’s interviewers delivered productivity scores of 96% and quality scores of 98%.  

“The team is also engaged via a regular programme of training workshops covering various aspects of their role, from refresher training to ‘literals’ workshops.”

“Interviewers are supervised at all times and performance and quality is tracked closely by the management team and team leaders.  All calls are recorded, and staff undergo weekly quality monitoring with a sample of up to 10% of calls listened to and benchmarked against a set of standards.”

What’s next for Explain’s CATI team?

After recently celebrating Explain’s 25th anniversary, Emma noted that growth of the Research Centre will continue on an upward trajectory, welcoming new clients and opportunities.

 “We’d love to see the Research Centre continue to grow, keeping a keen eye on innovation and technology so we can ensure we are always ahead of the game and able to offer our clients the best and most cost-effective solutions for their needs.”

“We also do not want to lose the close-knit family feel of the team, so keeping this in mind as we grow is vital too.”

How can Explain help you?

The team will be happy to meet with you to discuss any business challenges or research requirements you have, and how Explain’s highly skilled team can support with these.  Based on client satisfaction interviews, our current Net Promoter Score is 80; a handful of testimonials are available on the Explain website to demonstrate what our clients think about the quality of our work, and references are available on request.

If you would like to have a chat about how Explain can support you and your organisation with telephone research or other engagement methods, please contact the team on 0191 261 5261 or info@explainresearch.co.uk.