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Use telephone surveys to gain a competitive edge

Supplement online feedback with powerful one-on-one conversations

Cathy Schmid
Cathy Schmid
EVP Sales and Client Services / Partner

Competitive intelligence gives healthcare and medtech companies an edge in the marketplace. The more you know about your customers and prospects, their day-to-day challenges and business goals, the better you can engage them with relevant messages and helpful solutions.

But, what are the best ways to gather market insights, especially when COVID-19 continues to hamper face-to-face gatherings?

Consider qualitative and quantitative survey options

Many healthcare marketers turn to online surveys. These are great tools for quickly gathering quantitative feedback from large groups of individuals.

Other organizations rely on focus groups and panels. These work well for in-depth group discussions that require a deep-dive into a particular issue.

Telephone interviews are an often overlooked—but very productive—mechanism for gathering market intelligence. In particular, outbound calling can help you develop comprehensive profiles of different segments within your target audience, research new product opportunities and hone your value proposition.

Armed with detailed, firsthand information, you can develop an approach sure to resonate with each type of healthcare organization or decision-maker.

Begin with questions you’d like to answer

No matter which survey mechanism you choose, the process typically begins with questions. What do you want to learn about your target audience? What gaps exist in your knowledge of the marketplace or of your potential buyers?

Here are questions we’ve asked recently, on behalf of our valued medtech clients:

  • What is your biggest challenge with engaging patients?
  • How many medical records do you process every week?
  • What type of oncology testing do you offer?
  • How are you tracking downstream ROI from your patient engagement efforts?
  • What disease states can be studied using your systems?
  • How do you handle your medical receivables?

Once you’ve brainstormed your wish list of questions, you can assess the best way to gather the information. Keep in mind that using multiple methods may be the best way forward.

For example, send an email survey to a large list and ask a series of short, multiple choice questions. Or,  offer an online pop-up survey on your website. Then, conduct in-depth telephone follow-ups with a few dozen individuals on the same topic.

The online survey will provide quantitative data that looks across the market landscape. The telephone interviews will supplement that broad overview with voice of customer insights where you can drill deep on specific questions, or compare perspectives across different market segments.

Harness the power of healthcare customer insights

The power of outbound telephone research comes from capturing verbatim feedback you’re your medtech customers and prospects. There’s nothing more persuasive than hearing from your target decision-makers “in their own words.”

Using a professional medtech or healthcare call center for these outbound calls adds additional value. Specialists like Volkart May speak healthcare fluently, and know exactly how to engage clinicians, administrators and other medical professionals in productive discussions. Unlike internal staff who may have a vested interested in the call’s outcome, an outsourced research provider will keep survey calls objective, so all stakeholders can trust the results.

Digital recordings are a final opportunity that comes with outsourcing. In addition to written reports at the end of a campaign, these audio files let sales, marketing and executive stakeholders hear select portions of conversations. Audio files are ideal for capturing tone, industry vocabulary and other important nuances.

Capture market feedback and generate leads simultaneously

Market feedback is useful at all stages. Many medtech and healthcare organizations use outbound calling and telephone interviews throughout the sales cycle.

Potential uses for telephone surveys in healthcare:

  • Gather decision-maker input on potential new products or services
  • Profile target audiences and define market segments
  • Test market messages, value propositions or offers
  • Identify new market opportunities and competitive threats
  • Measure customer satisfaction and retention

One of the easiest ways to capture ongoing market insights is to embed a handful of research questions into every medtech business development or lead generation engagement. In this way, you’re maximizing your outreach by building a rich healthcare sales pipeline at the same time you’re learning more about your target audience. Volkart May specializes in this approach with all of our lead generation and appointment-setting campaigns.

When you’re ready to capture important medtech insights and fuel more healthcare sales, contact us to discuss your project.

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