Telephone in-depth interviews for smarter cities!
Recently, Testpoint carried out a series of very particular telephone interviews – not the usual interviews in which respondents must choose their answers from a series of options, but a real chat, at least an hour long with several managers of important companies in the field of the optimization of urban services and the reduction of energy consumption.
The objective? Evaluate some important and innovative technological tools for improving service management.
Tourism and garbage:… smart management!
Testpoint recently conducted in-depth telephone interviews with “sustainability managers” in large cities of art, subject to peaks of seasonal tourism, situations that require considerable skill in managing all resources.
The objective was understanding how important it could be for the quality of life in their cities the use of intelligent devices able to make different areas talk to each other such as the consumption of water and energy with waste management, safety and public transport with intelligent management of historical and artistic heritage. Predicting the tourist flow to adapt services: a real challenge!
Towards the future city
Have you ever wondered if it is possible to optimize the water consumption for the irrigation of city parks by crossing the data with the weather service? Or reducing energy consumption for public lighting by using special sensors? Controlling urban traffic, improving public transport, reducing the time needed to find a parking space through the app? Preparing efficiency plans that allow touristic cities to predict the increase in demand for services, such as water and energy in the high season and at the same time optimize waste disposal?
Well yes! There are smart technology tools that allow all this and there are highly specialized managers able to use them.
Testpoint interviewed some of them, using the qualitative telephone interview methodology, on behalf of a company that manufactures this type of device.
We ask one of the participants to tell us about his experience. This is Marco, 55 y.o., from Bologna, sustainability manager, who deals precisely with the optimization of resources and consumption:
“For some years I have been dealing with the optimization of services and energy consumption in my city, in relation to tourist flows. When I was asked to give an interview about my experience, I thought it would be difficult for me to move around at set times to reach the interview site and I was ready to say no.
However, it was immediately clear to me that the interview would take place over the phone in a day and at a time of my choice, and then I gladly accepted. I always find it interesting to talk about my work and I also like to discuss new ideas, proposals and devices to make our cities smarter! The chat lasted about an hour but I must say that time has flown. It was a pleasant and interesting experience that I would definitely be willing to repeat. ”
Why telephone interviews?
As you can certainly imagine, it is not easy to interview high-profile managers who, in different cities of Italy, take care of improving those services that can have an impact on the quality of life of citizens.
The moderator (the person who carries out the interview) should move to the different cities, and ask managers to reach them at certain times in structures dedicated to market research (central location); alternatively, the moderator should make themselves available to carry out the interview at the manager’s office even at impossible times, late in the evening or during the lunch break.
It is easier to organize telephone interviews, by agreeing flexibly times with the managers in the different cities and making sure that the interviews are always carried out by the same moderator, to have a homogeneous work.
These are in-depth, qualitative interviews, in which the moderator follows a discussion guide quite freely and tries to investigate the psychological, motivational aspects behind the company choices.