The Springerville Herald Case Study



The marketing department team studying new home-delivery subscriptions wondered whether the telmarketing process could be improved to increase the number of home-delivery subscriptions sold. After several brainstorming sessions involving many individuals familiar with all aspects of the telemarketing process, including individuals who provide training for the callers and several of the callers themselves, it was decided that it was necessary to find ways to increase the length of the phone calls because it was clear that the longer a caller speaks to a respondent, the greater is the chance that a newspaper subscription will be sold.

Initially, the team decided it wanted to investigate the impact that time of call might have on subscription sales. Under current arrangements, calls were made in the evening hours between 5 P.M. and 9 P.M., Monday through Friday. The team wanted to compare length of calls made early in the evening (i.e., between 5 P.M. and 7 P.M.) and those made later in the evening (i.e., between 7 P.M. and 9 P.M.) to determine whether one of these time periods was more conducive to lengthier calls and, correspondingly, to increased subscription sales. The team selected a sample of 30 female callers who staff the telephone bank on Wednesday evenings and randomly assigned 15 of them to the “early” group and 15 to the “later” group. The callers knew that the team was observing their efforts that evening but didn’t know which particular call would be monitored. The callers had been trained to make their telephone presentations in a structured manner. They were to read from a script and their greeting was personal and informal (“Hi, this is Mary Jones from the Springerville Herald – may I speak to Bill Richards?”)

Measurements were taken on the length of call (operationally defined as the difference, in seconds, between the time the person answers the phone and the time he or she hangs up). The results were as follows:

Early Late

41.3 40.6

39.3 33.3

37.4 39.6

33.6 35.7

38.5 31.3

32.6 36.8

37.3 36.3

40.6 40.7

33.3 38.0

39.6 43.6

35.7 43.8

31.3 34.9

36.8 35.7

36.3 47.4

1. Analyze these data and report your findings. Please discuss the reason you selected a particular statistical test to compare the two independent groups of callers.

2. Suppose that instead of the research design described above, there were only 15 callers sampled and each caller was to be monitored twice in the evening – once in the early time period and once in the later time period. Suppose that each row above represents a particular caller’s two measurements.

Reanalyze these data, do the appropriate statistical testing and present your findings.


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