Is Democracy Being Served?

On December 12,we had the opportunity to discuss the economic and social impact of TCPA cell phone dialing rules at the PAPOR Annual Conference in San Francisco. Here’s a recap of what was covered.

Dialing cell phones from RDD or purchased lists is an expensive, time-consuming activity as a result of TCPA regulations put in place 23 years ago. The true cost of the additional labor required to comply with TCPA regulations has been masked. Researchers have felt only a fraction of the real costs because call centers are reluctant to pass along the full costs, choosing instead to charge only a 25-50% premium for data collection from cell phone respondents vs. respondents with landlines. The rest of the cost difference is buried in squeezed profit margins for call centers.

Even so, the reaction among researchers to this partial mark-up has been to cap cell phone sample to <30% of the study. And they’ve done this even though, as seen in the 2014 mid-term election polling, cell phones make up about 45% of the electorate records. As cell phone sample rises to over 50% of the target audience, something will have to give…will it be study costs or regulatory changes?

This presentation,CFMC at PAPOR 2014_IS DEMOCRACY BEING SERVED, provides more insight into the challenge facing the industry.

Cell Phones, TCPA, Democracy – What’s the deal? CFMC at PAPOR Conference, December 12

Mary McDougall, CEO of CFMC, will give a presentation at the PAPOR Conference in San Francisco on “Is Democracy Being Served? Innovations in Reaching Cell Phone Users in a TCPA-Driven Environment.”

Mary will discuss the impact and cost of compliance with TCPA regulations for reaching cell phone demographics.

Attendees will learn how operational processes must change, technology must enable new approaches, and how researchers must look for cost-effective alternatives to collect data that accurately reflects the opinions of a constituency. Mary will review how researchers are coping with these challenges and how phone survey innovations can help.

The session will be held at 2 p.m. You can find it in the agenda under Panel 5: Innovative Methods and Research.

More information about the 2014 PAPOR ANNUAL CONFERENCE

CFMC’s Dan Rangel Featured in AMA Spotlight

What do buying a Triumph motorcycle, freelancing as a photographer for the Chicago Tribune, and selling marketing research software and services have in common? They’re all things that Dan Rangel, who was featured in the Chicago AMA Member Spotlight, likes to do.

In this AMA Spotlight, Dan shares his career advice for marketing professionals and you will learn about his journey in the marketing research industry – from starting out doing data entry and coding through programming and beyond. He advises people that want to advance in marketing to stay visible online and to actively network.

“Today I am in sales at CFMC,” he said. “The reason I went to CFMC is that it gives me the opportunity to continue to work in research, but on  the software side.  I am learning a lot about what goes under the hood in terms of survey data collection tools and data processing software.”

Dan enjoys working on several projects for ad agencies. He said that CFMC does survey research and the online survey software can contain ad clips, support threshold tests, support concept ad heat maps, and offer other sophisticated methodologies such as conjoint studies. “I find ad research to be a lot of fun, especially pre- and post-ad surveys to find out what the consumer remembers from commercials and other media.”

 Read the article

Qualtrics and CFMC Team to Offer Best-of-Breed Call Center Technology With Powerful Online Survey Engine

PROVO, UT–(Marketwired – Nov 18, 2014) – Conducting multi-channel market research in today’s hyper-competitive markets is a must. Successful organizations understand this imperative and leverage research programs to gather critical insights that inform product development efforts, marketing campaigns, public opinion research, and customer experience programs. As technology advances and new channels emerge, it is essential that researchers identify the most appropriate channels for gathering data and work to combine multiple feedback mechanisms.

To address this need, Qualtrics and CFMC have partnered to provide researchers with the means to reach desired demographics. This partnership combines CFMC’s Survox™ survey call center automation solution with Qualtrics Research Suite to provide flexible, multi-mode options for survey research, allowing users to conduct online and on-phone surveys concurrently or consecutively.

“The CFMC Qualtrics collaboration combines capabilities that allow researchers to meet aggressive quota targets and survey complete rates,” said Jason Kagel, VP Development, CFMC. “Qualtrics Research Suite and Survox help businesses to manage and integrate data seamlessly from both online and phone surveys in a single insight platform. By leveraging this enhanced productivity and improved operational efficiency, organizations can save time, money and gather more of the relevant insights necessary to make data-driven decisions.”

Powerful Insights, Centralized Control
The Survox™/Qualtrics solution leverages the efficiencies of CFMC’s Survent® platform, Survox™ Dialer and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) capabilities to centralize sample management across modes. This provides operational control of interviewer productivity and quota completion.

With Qualtrics and CFMC, researchers can repurpose existing Qualtrics surveys as phone surveys. Both online and on-phone survey responses are stored in a centralized location for cross-mode evaluation. All analysis and reporting are conducted via the powerful capabilities built into Qualtrics Research Suite while sample data are stored, and call center operations are managed by CFMC’s Survox solution.

Augmenting online research with phone-based outreach provides a variety of advantages including reaching respondents by their preferred communication vehicle. Additionally, the phone offers an optimal vehicle to qualify respondents for in-depth interviews or web studies. Conversely, interview subjects can be qualified with an online survey and then contacted by phone for an in-depth interview or focus group.

Interviewer-led studies via phone afford the opportunity to probe responses, resulting in more clarity and meaningful early insights.

Key features and benefits of the Qualtrics and CFMC partnership include:

  • First-rate Flexibility: The Qualtrics user interface enables easy creation of both phone and online surveys, storing all responses in one location for multi-mode analysis.
  • Multi-mode Freedom: Begin surveys online first and add phone or gather online and on-phone data concurrently, enabling quick quota attainment.
  • Cost-effective Data Collection: With multi-mode data collection, researchers can benefit from the cost savings of online research and the demographic targeting of on-phone.
  • Automated IVR Features: IVR and inbound/outbound call blending empowers researchers to capture valuable returned calls and route them to the appropriate interviewer quickly. This functionality includes dual-stream recording for interviews, multi-language capabilities, live audio monitoring, audio playback for review, and automated outbound predictive dialing.
  • Multiple Deployment Options: CFMC’s Survox solution is available as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering or as a subscription license for hosting in client-owned data centers.

“For market researchers, gathering data does not have to be costly or time-consuming,” said Jeff Harvey, Director, Global Alliances & Partners, Qualtrics. “Qualtrics partnership with CFMC provides organizations with the flexibility to gather data using multiple communication vehicles. Historically, Qualtrics Research Suite has offered multi-channel data collection, but the addition of the phone channel increases both the speed and quality of the insights for our customers.”

To learn more, visit the Qualtrics Innovation Exchange.

Qualtrics on Social: Qualtrics BlogFacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagram and Google+

About CFMC
CFMC provides survey data collection solutions and services for market research and opinion polling companies of all sizes, including one-third of the Honomichl Top 25. We focus on organizations that have precise quota requirements, time-sensitive data collection processes, or require complex survey designs. The Survent® survey management platform and the Survox™ call center automation solutions enable sample management, survey programming and execution, operational reporting, and client data preparation across a mix of data collection modes — phone, web, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) mobile, and heterogeneous vendor solutions. More details are available at

About Qualtrics
Qualtrics is a rapidly growing software-as-a-service company and the provider of the world’s leading insight platform. 6,600 enterprises worldwide, including half of the Fortune 100 and 99 of the top 100 business schools rely on Qualtrics technology. Our solutions make it fast and easy to capture customer, employee, and market insights in one place. These insights help our clients make informed, data-driven business decisions. Global enterprises, academic institutions, and government agencies use Qualtrics to collect, analyze, and act on voice of the customer, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, 360-degree reviews, brand, market, product concept, and employee feedback. To learn more, and for a free account, please visit



Christine Randle

Visit to learn more about the solution. For more info, visit

Nov 3 – Nov 14 Mary McDougall Hosts Women in Research Forum

Mary McDougall
Beginning Monday, November 3, Mary McDougall, CEO of CFMC, will host the Office Hours Forum, sponsored by Women in Research.

Join the discussion by joining Mary on the Women in Research website. Here are a few of the hot topics to get you started:

  • Staff vs. line positions – Why it’s important to take on P&L responsibility
  • Building your internal and external network – The importance of bringing thought leadership INTO your employer
  • Sweating the hard stuff – Raising your hand to take on more
  • Leaning in (a la MSNBC, not necessarily the book)

Got a compelling question about research, issues, and trends? Ask Mary via the Office Hours Forum.

Six Market Research Horror Scenarios to Avoid

CFMC Customer Success

Halloween is approaching. It’s a time to buy candy, watch a scary movie, and get dressed up as your favorite action hero. But while you’re thinking about sorting through your kids’ candy to pull out some of your favorite treats, have you ever considered what could be happening in your survey call center that could give you nightmares? Here are six scenarios that might make you shiver with fear. But don’t worry. We’ll tell you how to solve them.

  1. The Frightful Natural Disaster

It’s a dark and scary night when phone lines are down, especially when a hurricane hits. During disasters, each time your dialer makes a call trying to reach a survey participant, it could get a fast busy signal. You don’t want the dialer to keep calling and having it put an unnecessary load on the emergency system, especially since the calls won’t even go through. Oh, the horror! There’s nothing to fear, though, as long as your sample management platform has the ability to automatically tell the system to temporarily stop dialing numbers in the affected areas and it should also be smart enough to “flip the switch” when the numbers can be called again.

  1. End of Study Nightmare

It’s near the end of a study and just a few quota groups are left out of the hundreds that were there at the beginning. You don’t want to waste time and money dialing numbers in quota groups that have already been filled. Your sample management platform should know exactly which numbers to dial so your interviewers don’t waste time calling unneeded sample — a frightfully expensive scenario. This problem can be solved by matching the quota groups that are left to only the number of interviewers needed to handle these calls.

  1. Night of the Slow-Walking Web

The deadline is mounting and you haven’t reached your desired demographic with your online study. You still need to reach an older population. The clock is ticking. It’s time to be more flexible, go multi-mode, and bring in the real super hero [secret weapon?]…Phone. Your software should be able to combine online and on-phone research and if this solution is integrated with IVR – so much the better!

  1. Trick or Treat? The Saga of Unanswered Returned Calls.

Too many inbound calls are hitting your call center. The calls are not getting answered fast enough and respondents are becoming frustrated and hanging up. You’ve worked diligently reach the right demographics, and those people calling back from cell phones represent a precious opportunity to complete the study early. Although it’s not really a trick, you can make sure you don’t miss those calls by integrating inbound/outbound call blending into your operations. They’ll be answered and routed to next appropriate available interviewer immediately, too. That’s the treat – capturing those valuable calls from cell phone dialers and getting much closer to quota completion.

  1. Data Disappears Into the Night

It’s late. It’s cold. The trick-or-treaters have gone home. You’re headed back to your desk to catch up on some work, only to discover all the data collected over the last three days has disappeared leaving only a ghostly apparition behind. Your survey management platform should have the ability to quickly recover the lost data so you can still meet your client’s deadline before the sun comes up.

  1. Tackling the Monster Project

You’ve seen the big monster projects. They are the types of projects that your staff just doesn’t have the time, resources, or skillset to tackle. It could include surveys with too many processes and rules around how the sample and the data must flow. To compound the challenge, your client may feed you sample records daily. You need to manage this data and perform various import routines with the data and contact information for those respondents. Or, maybe you have to develop a conjoint study and need help getting started. There’s nothing to fear. It’s time to call in services to do the programming, design work, and more. They will help you tame the monster.


Being prepared on Halloween can mean many things to people. For researchers, it can involve avoiding these six nightmare scenarios. Your solutions should be able to meet your market research and opinion polling needs — no matter how complex. Your operations should be highly flexible so you can respond to whatever trick or treat comes your way. And when you need assistance, Client Services can help you take control of any monster project or other daunting scenario that you encounter.


We can help you avoid these six nightmares and other research challenges that could keep you awake at night. For more information, visit and learn about the Survent® platform, Survox™ Dialer, and CFMC Client Services.

Five Ways to Improve Your Surveys – A Free Assessment

Would you like to streamline your tracker or improve surveys with dynamic media? Are you interested in enhancing your respondent’s survey experience and increase response rates? Want to make the most of a multi-mode survey and ensure that your surveys are mobile-ready?

Now’s your opportunity to get a free assessment from a CFMC Services expert on best practices. Each member of our team has extensive experience in programming and managing projects for leading research providers.

Contact us by completing the Free Survey Assessment Request Form by December 1, 2014, for this free offer and let us know which of the following areas you’d like us to assess.

Assessments Available:

  • Enhance Mobile Readiness
  • Streamline Your Tracker
  • Improve Ad Surveys with Dynamic Media Ads
  • Improve Your Qualitative CLT Experience
  • Create a True Multi-Mode Solution

Don’t delay. Contact CFMC today!





The Economics of Cell Phone Dialing

MRA’s Alert! Magazine recently published an article by Mary McDougall, CEO, CFMC, entitled Compliance and the True Cost of Cellphone Dialing. TCPA compliance affects every researcher because cell phone usage is increasing dramatically, with more than40 percent of households now cell phone only. Moreover, certain demographics can only be reached via cell phones.

TCPA and You

The growth in cell phone usage, particularly among youth and non-white segments, means that TCPA compliance makes the  cost of reaching these important segments disproportionately higher. That’s because TCPA prohibits automated dialing of cell phone numbers (except in emergencies) without the consumer’s prior consent, known as express consent.  So, if you don’t have permission to dial a cell phone you will likely choose labor-intensive dialing methods that severely affect call center productivity.

Is Democracy Being Served?

The article poses the question, “Is democracy being served if certain demographics find it difficult to have their voices heard because public policy researchers and politicians can’t afford to reach them?” If you cannot use automation to help meet quota, what will you have to do to ensure that surveys accurately represent voter demographics? Read the article to learn more about the tools and techniques phone survey research must use.

Industry research indicates that callers from cell phones are 10 times more likely to return calls than callers from land lines. To learn how CFMC is using inbound/outbound call blending to help ensure that you don’t miss those valuable returned calls from cell phones, visit the Survox Dialing page on

Ever Mix Qual and Quant in One Session? Learn how

headertitleline600Are you or your client introducing a new product? Want to get holistic feedback about a product — such as how it smells, looks, tastes, is branded, and priced? Now, imagine if you could conduct just one survey session that combines qualitative and quantitative data collection with the same people. That’s right. We can help you to develop advanced studies with multiple methodologies.Learn how this approach has enabled CFMC and Dedicated Research Services, LLC, to help a client decrease study development costs by nearly 40 percent and timing by one month by combining the three studies into one.

This white paper describes how to:

  • Combine quantitative methods —such as central location testing, online surveys, price sensitivity exercises (e.g. Van Westendorp), and ad testing —with qualitative methods, including focus groups and in-person interviews.
  • Conduct these studies in just one session with the same group of people to improve research qualitycomplete studies fasterand reduce costs.

Get the details in this best practices white paper: The Advantages of Developing Advanced Studies Using Multiple Methodologies.

Contact Dan Rangel,, for more information about how CFMC Services can help.


Request this White Paper

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Confessions of a Stressed-Out Predictive Dialer

If predictive dialers could express their true feelings (instead of letting IVR do all of the talking for them), they’d probably want to discuss their demanding role and the unrelenting need to meet high expectations 24×7. So, for the next few minutes, let’s go inside the mind of Sam, a predictive dialer, who wants to share some of his deepest concerns and how you can help. Here’s what he might tell you:

It’s so stressful being the only predictive dialer in charge of more than 100 interviewer seats. My workload continues to grow and I am asked to find new ways to be more efficient just to keep up. Those TCPA guidelines for cell phones certainly make my head spin. And all I hear from my supervisor, day in and day out, is “We gotta’ meet quota. Hurry up!”

I know that my boss made a major investment when the company purchased me but I’m a little worried that they might get rid of me now that I’m fully written off. They’re used to me, but I struggle keeping up with today’s demands that require more efficient technology. I really need some help, especially at my age. I don’t want to retire yet — just get me some help.

Survox to the Rescue
That’s why I’m pleading with you to have the Survox™ Dialer join our team. Have you heard about her? She’s one busy and very capable dialer. She can even handle up to 400 interviewer seats. On-premise or off, her service scales up and down with ease without any big fees.

Survox sure stands out in a crowd, with alluring features like inbound/outbound call blending to make sure we don’t miss those highly valued callbacks from cell phones. And when it comes to IVR
– well, she does it all. She uses IVR to screen and field calls and conduct surveys. I’ve heard that the interviewers really like her because now they spend more time with respondents and less time waiting to be connected. She can even identify inbound callers and forward the respondent’s information to the interviewers. I wish I could do that.

Did I also tell you that she comes from a great family, who all pitch in to help? That’s right. When you use Survox you can enjoy the multi-mode sample management capabilities of the Survent® survey management platform. Uh huh….She gets her smarts from Survent which make her quota savvy so you don’t have to make calls that you don’t need.

Staying Competitive
Regulations haven’t killed us yet…we just need to work harder and smarter to stay competitive AND compliant. Make all of us happy and have Survox join us. I could really use the help. And some company.


More information about the Survox dialer from CFMC