The best times to call in a mobile phone survey

Paula Vicente

Instituto Universitario de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL)

Introduction

Minimising the effort taken to complete an interview in order to reduce costs and increase response rates without introducing bias is a key objective in any survey. This goal is entirely met when an interview is obtained from each sampled unit with a single call attempt. However, this is a utopian scenario for in reality interviewers may fail to get an interview from a sample unit either because they cannot establish contact with the unit, or because the unit refuses to cooperate or is incapable of participating in the survey (Groves et al. 2004, p. 170). Making contact with the sample units is the most critical challenge for a good response rate since it is relatively easy for a well-trained interviewer to get people’s cooperation once contact has been made (e.g. Weeks et al. 1980; Brick et al. 1996).