Customer success story

National Book Tokens Case Study

73% survey response delivers deep customer insight and market intelligence for National Book Tokens

National Book Tokens are the only gift cards and gift vouchers accepted in bookshops throughout the UK and Ireland, and online. They have been inspiring booklovers since 1932 and are passionate about promoting reading for pleasure and the mental health and wellbeing benefits it brings. The company works with businesses, schools and organisations across the UK and Ireland to reward, motivate and inspire their customers, clients, students, and employees – and help them indulge their passion for reading.


Campaign objective and project background

The Research Division of The Telemarketing Company (TTMC) had carried out several campaigns for National Book Tokens previously. When a new requirement came up, the client approached the agency again as they knew they had the experience and CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing) expertise they needed.

TTMC was engaged to conduct market research within the client’s existing customer base. The company wanted to better understand how independent booksellers were using their free display materials, to help improve their range and gather new intelligence to inform their approach.

Project execution

Agents with the relevant research experience were assigned to the campaign and briefed by the client. The client provided a database of 486 independent bookstores whose owners or managers would be called.

The goal was to maximise use of National Book Token’s display materials, build awareness of the full features of their proposition and gather market intelligence. To get the best return on the client’s investment, TTMC suggested incorporating some ‘light persuasive calling’ whereby agents would identify additional needs or service requirements during the call and create a warm lead. A specific call disposition was created to capture leads so they could be followed up by the client’s customer service team.

A questionnaire was built and loaded into TTMC’s calling platform, incorporating the profiling questions and necessary logic to structure calls appropriately. Questions included:

  • Do you display your National Book Tokens in a National Book Tokens branded display unit?

  • Is so, what type of unit and where is it displayed?

  • If no, what are the barriers to using the display units – lack of space or using other POS?

In addition to the structured questions, open questions were included to gather insight, check additional needs, and highlight current features of National Book Token’s proposition such as bulk loading systems and token expiry dates.

TTMC’s bespoke platform gave the client real-time access to questionnaire responses, which could be downloaded at any time in various formats, either as a complete dataset or filtered on call dispositions. The client’s own record ids were retained within the data to allow data output to be loaded back into their own CRM. A response analysis including a % breakdown of response dispositions was provided as standard with reporting.

Calling progressed quickly and agents were able to reach a high number of contacts within the dataset. Calling small bookshops already aware of the National Book Tokens brand made it easy to reach owners or managers, who were also very open to discuss the client’s proposition. Agents were able to build good rapport and engage contacts in a productive conversation, making them more open to sharing information. As a result, a high number of questionnaires were completed, capturing valuable insight on behalf of the client and refreshing their view of the market.


At the end of the campaign, TTMC completed 355 questionnaires, representing 73% of the original data set. Calling had been very productive with one questionnaire completed every .44 hours. In addition, National Book Tokens’ database had been refreshed and 85 leads created for customers requesting a call back to further discuss their needs.

It was of utmost importance that contact with our customers was professional and polite and our ability to listen to calls reassured us that this would be the case, which it was
Managing Director, Book Tokens Ltd

By engaging TTMC to undertake a phone survey, National Book Tokens were able to reach a much higher percentage of customers than would have been achievable with an online survey. They also benefited from deeper insight as agents were able to drill down and qualify responses during the call and use open questions to capture feedback not covered in the questionnaire. The client now has a much better understanding in a number of key areas, including how their units are used, levels of satisfaction with their offer, potential barriers to usage, as well as a clear snapshot of the usage of EPOS systems within their customer base.

TTMC ran a very smooth campaign for us - the callers were excellent.
Managing Director, Book Tokens Ltd