July 31, 2017

Research on Response Rates of Older Demographics

Seniors make up a significant portion of healthcare consumers, but as their numbers grow (it’s estimated approximately 2.5 million baby boomers are turning 70 each year) they will also be important consumers for all types of goods and services.

Studies on internet adoption indicate that the older the population, the lower the internet adoption/usage:

  • Half of seniors (49%) indicate they don’t have home broadband service.
  • One-third of seniors indicate they never use the internet.
  • Two-in-five seniors have a physical or health condition that makes reading difficult or challenging.
  • Over 90% of seniors have either a mobile or a landline phone.

While usage studies infer that phone is the best way to contact older demographics, what was missing was hard data on response rates of that demographic when contacted by phone. To fill that void we conducted Research on Research (RoR) of response to phone surveys.

The RoR was compiled from studies in the healthcare vertical. The studies’ audiences were heavily comprised of seniors, but not exclusively—several studies included individuals of all ages with mobility issues. Surveys varied in length from 6 to over 50 questions. All respondents were contacted by phone using Survox IVR to manage the interaction and interview the respondents.

Major findings from the RoR:

  • 20-40% of individuals who answered the phone went on to complete the survey.
  • The highest completion rate was for a short survey targeting only seniors that asked for feedback after using a pharmaceutical service.
  • The longest survey had the lowest drop rate.
  • The lowest completion rate was seen where live agents recruited respondents.

Other observations:

  • Seniors generally cooperated more than other demographics.
  • Agent recruitment generated no better cooperation than automated recruitment.
  • Personalization of the greeting and survey did not yield higher results.
  • There was no correlation between length of survey and drop-off rate.

The RoR indicates that phone surveys are a highly effective way to contact and get response from older demographics. Although the RoR was specific to healthcare consumers, seniors are a growing segment for many consumer segments, making phone a viable method for collecting CX feedback for all verticals.

If you would like to see the complete details of the RoR, you can download the white paper Phone | 2.0, Voice Reimagined.

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