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The Life of a Polling Institute Caller

Updated on August 31, 2013
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What is it Like to be a Poller?

Have you ever wondered what it is like for a person who dials a phone all day, calling people in the middle of dinner, getting yelled at, asking for people to take time out of their busy schedules to volunteer to take a ten minute survey? Working for a polling institute is a fairly easy job, sitting in a cubicle in front of a computer and dialing random phone numbers, but the job has a rough aspect of getting yelled at, hung up on, listening to the maddening dial tone and endless ringing. One has to develop a tough skin, a serious sense of humor, adapt to become extremely friendly, laugh, joke, listen to people, talk without stumbling, stuttering, or slurring, and learn how to listen to the phone ring endlessly without going completely insane.

What Does a Polling Institute Worker Do?

Having a job at a polling institute is not as easy as it may seem, a polling institute working is responsible for calling many people while they are in the middle of dinner, about to run out the door, or trying to relax after a long day. A poller is responsible for making phone calls, being friendly and personable over the phone, coercing people to volunteer to take a survey for about ten minutes, keeping people focused at the task at hand, as well as developing a tough skin for all of the rude, mean, and hostile people in the world, all the while being patient and keeping calm when things get tough.

Keep Calm and Call On

Keeping calm, cool, and collected while working in the call center of a polling institute is probably the most difficult task an interviewer has to deal with during the work day. Most people do not answer the phone when they see an unknown number pop up on their caller ID, therefore the caller sits on the phone and listens to the endless ringing (which would make anyone go a little crazy). There are also a lot of people who do answer the phone, scream, bitch and moan only to hang up on the interviewer, leaving the caller feeling a little miserable. These scenarios can not be brought into the next call (just in case the next phone number leads to a completed survey), so the caller must breathe, focus, and call the next number that is in the database. One must always remember that there are many rude and malicious people in the world and the caller must sift through these people to find the rare people that will answer the phone and will be polite, nice and take the survey.

Smile and Dial

It is very important for the polling institute caller to smile and dial. It has been proven that when a person smiles, it is immediately recognized even if the person cannot see the other. A smile is contagious and it will make the person on the other end of the line smile as well. A smile will better ones chances of completing a survey. When one smiles and dials it not only betters the chance of completing a survey, but it also makes the caller feel better all around. Smiling throughout the work day, especially in a call center environment is important to maintain sanity. Smiling while one dials while taking polls will prevent depression, anger, and madness and highly increase ones chances of being successful in getting people to complete the survey.

No Mumbling, Bumbling or Stumbling

When talking on the phone and trying to convince strangers to offer their precious time to volunteer to take a survey, one must not stumble over their words, trip over their tongue, and one cannot mumble. The interviewer must be clear, concise, and quick. The poller must have a calm tone and read the questions clearly and carefully so that the person taking the survey hears and understands the question the first time so they can give a clear answer to what is being asked. If the interviewer is clear, the survey will only take a few minutes out of the volunteers time and the volunteer will be less likely to become hostile and annoyed.

Be Friendly, Be Genuine

One reason why not all polling institute interviewers have been replaced by robots in the modern day world is because it is more likely that a person will agree and complete the survey or poll when a personable, friendly, real and genuine person calls and asks for a few minutes of their time. It is very important for a poller to be genuine, happy, friendly, and personable while asking for volunteers to take the survey and while conducting said survey. A monotone voice that sounds almost robotic is more than likely to be hung up on, while a bubbly, bouncy, and outgoing personality will be perceived well and will have more success in the call center. A poller should always be friendly and use their personality to their advantage while making calls. Working at a polling institute is not always the easiest or best job, but smiling and being genuinely happy while doing it will make the job seem more enjoyable for everyone involved.

The Perks and the Quirks

Every job has pros and cons that go along with the work, and believe it or not there are a lot of perks to working at a call center at a polling institute, and yes, of course there are many quirks when working at a polling institute conducting surveys.

The Perks

There are many perks when one decides to work at a polling institute. The largest perk when conducting surveys with complete strangers is that it can be a very interesting learning experience. The poller is able to learn and hear a wide range of different perspectives and thoughts on the same subject. It is interesting to see how different people view certain subjects in life. Another perk when working in a call center at a polling institute is that some days the interviewer gets paid to do nothing. Even though it can be a little maddening to listen to the phone ring for hours, sometimes it is just nice to get paid to sit. Working at a polling institute is also fabulous work experience to add to ones resume. Phone skills are incredibly important, and learning how to approach a conversation and learning how to speak to different people on the phone is crucial in life. One also learns how to effectively speak to others so that one is easily understood without having to repeat oneself. Working at a polling institute is actually a great learning experience for anyone who is willing to give it a try.

The Quirks

Some days it can be extremely difficult to realize the perks of working at a call center conducting surveys because with the good comes the bad. Besides getting hung up on, listening to the phone ring, and being yelled at, one must also try very hard to be polite when the person on the other end of the phone is being rude. One has to try hard to be patient and sit in a cubical for a long period of time. It may be an easy job, but it is also very tedious and repetitive, and one could very easily lose their mind while working in the call center of a polling institute.


Would you work at a polling institute conducting surveys?

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© 2013 Jami Johnson

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    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Don't think I would like that job but it would be great for all these people who must have a phone at their ear every waking moment. I would think it would be right up their alley. lol

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