Data Collection & Fraud Detection

The Challenge

The Opportunity

The advent of web and mobile technologies has enabled retailers to capture more customer information and reviews than ever before.

With increasing attention being paid to customer feedback as an essential element for running multi-unit enterprises, there is increasing scrutiny required to ensure data integrity.  The very nature of the web, with the ability to provide anonymous feedback, lends opportunity and temptation for attempts to game  systems of accountability and reward. For many retailers coming out of the recession, the stakes to increase sales and customer satisfaction are high. It can be tempting for individual employees to attempt to artificially modify response counts or performance scores in order to improve the results for their particular location.  With incentives tied to scores, this temptation can be even greater.

Likewise, on occasion customers have been known to try and sway the odds of obtaining an incentive offering in their favor, by taking surveys multiple times.

The Solution

Over the past ten years, Empathica has collected over 200 million surveys through IVR, Web and CATI methodologies. Not only is capturing data this way cost effective, it can also generate the most comprehensive results as the combined technologies provide a more representative sample.

To ensure the highest level of data integrity, we have put a five-level fraud screening process into place.

Level 1: Point of Sale Invitation Certification Codes. A unique access code is applied to each survey response. Each code must match its counterpart on an approved list for participating locations.

Level 2: Business Reporting & Contest Rules. Responses and sweepstakes rules are governed by the brand. By way of example, for several clients we accept a maximum of two survey entries per household per week. Any responses in excess of this threshold are automatically cleansed from the database on a weekly basis.

Level 3: Custom Filters. Empathica will establish custom filters including respondent identifiers such as employee names, location telephone numbers, and local IP addresses which can be added to a specific “black list”.

Level 4: Suspicion Scores. Empathica uses atypical pattern detection to report any suspicious responses.

Level 5: Forensic Audit. At your request, we can conduct a detailed forensic audit of the survey response, including anomalous locations reviewed in detail and contacting respondents to confirm their authenticity.