Connecting with customers’ needs to be as easy and as clear as possible. Dropped calls, angry customers, and miscommunication aren’t a problem for call centre agents equipped with quality call centre headsets. Are they cost-effective, reliable and durable? Do they have good sound quality, light and comfortable? Do they have a noise-reduction feature, thereby allowing compliance with workplace legislation?
If you spend your day talking to customers on the phone, you’re likely sitting next to others who are doing that, as well. In a busy, open office or packed call centre, too much background chatter could be distracting for you and the person on the other end of the line.
To ensure that your agents achieve their highest productivity levels, they must be using a proper call centre headset. When choosing the right headset for business use, the most important factors to consider are reliability, noise reduction, and comfort. When the headset becomes uncomfortable, there will be a decrease in the agents’ efficiency level. Headsets without a noise reduction feature mean the calls will sound unprofessional, and the agent may lose vital information.
Comfort and Durability
Headsets must be comfortable enough to wear for long periods. The majority of all business headsets have comfortable ear pads. Still, it’s also recommended that the headbands are light and padded, so there is no additional pressure over the top of an agents’ head.
Headset durability is also a huge consideration. All things degrade with continual use, reinforced cords and flexible 360° boom arms all help to protect headsets from damage and make them last longer.
Noise-cancelling headsets filter out up to 75% of background noise, enabling you to hear your caller clearer and they will be able to hear you better without the background noise of a busy office. A customer on the other end of a call will not have to repeat themselves, and agents will not need to reassure the caller that their conversation is being kept private. For noisier environments investing in ultra-noise-cancelling headsets can help to block out even more background noise so that no background conversations can be overheard.
Noise-cancelling technology benefits both the employee and the person on the other end of the line.
You must select the headset that’s right for your business. Most headsets are designed to fit every head shape and size. Users will always have a wide range of preferences that suit their personal needs and job roles, but they also need to suit the business’s needs.
Choosing the headset that works best for your business is vastly dependent on what industry you are in and the type of business you run. Do you require extra security, do you work with financial data or sensitive data? You may need a DECT compatible headset instead of a Bluetooth or wireless headset.
A Comprehensive Warranty
Headsets are a vital tool for a call centre, and they must be able to withstand near-constant use and therefore must be covered by a comprehensive warranty. They must offer world-class after-care and one, two or three-year warranty and replacement policies on all of their products, meaning that a call centre can be confident that their investment is protected.
Everyone wants the very best tech for employees, including headsets. We know that headsets carry considerable benefits in the call centre – they look professional, the agent can work hands-free and take more calls.
But headsets can become very expensive, especially when the call centre has a large number of seats. Buy the best your business can afford with the most features to ensure that your employees work to their highest level of efficiency and are not compromised when it comes to comfort and professionalism.
Call centre agents are like to stand up while projecting their voices to help build rapport, and other agents like to circle their desks a few times to seal a deal, cordless headsets would be ideal for these call centres. This is because they are more manoeuvrable, and most manufacturers offer headsets with long battery life, altogether removing the need for a cord.
Corded headsets don’t necessarily limit manoeuvrability completely. Features like a Quick Disconnect (QD) have a cable with two modular parts; one plugs into the headset and the other plugs into the computer or desk phone. A QD cable allows an agent to continue with the call with their headset not plugged in. Although the agent won’t be able to speak or even hear their customer, they can put them on hold and walk around with their headset while trying to resolve their query.
The first question call centres need to consider when purchasing new headsets is: do the products comply with the legislation? Call centre agents need excellent sound quality for their job and reassurance that headset use hours won’t damage their health.
Studies conducted in noisy industries show a significant risk of hearing damage remains even when daily noise exposures are limited to an average of 85 dB(A) over an 8-hour period.
Authorities, including the ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation), claim that risk becomes negligible only when exposures are 75 – 80 dB(A).
The lowering of the maximum permissible exposure level to 85 dB(A) is under consideration by several states in Australia. It is the maximum recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council. It is also the level specified in New Zealand regulations, the United States of America, United Kingdom and Europe.
Wearing style, as well as comfort, is essential for agents. Call centres need to consider weight, comfort, ergonomics, sound quality, security and the length of time headsets will be worn each day.
Think about the environment that your agents are working in as this can affect what sort of headset you may need.
If agents are on the phone for up to eight hours a day, it may be an ideal opportunity to think about headsets with dual sound in both ears, as this keeps noise levels lower than if the sound is coming from just one ear only.
How you wear a headset is a very personal choice. People prefer different wearing styles, so it’s good to go for something that agents can adapt to suit them.
Businesses will be considering internet protocol (IP) telephony as part of their future technology environment if they haven’t already implemented.
Eventually, telephones will disappear as agents make their calls via their computer. Therefore, it is crucial to choose headsets that can adapt to your technology environment, both now and in the future.
Do your agents use a softphone (PC/laptop/tablet), a desktop phone or both? Will they utilise the internet for calls, using voice over IP (VOIP) in the short or longer-term? If your business is run over IP or is at least considering it, you will need to keep this in mind when deciding which headsets to purchase in the future.
Monaural or Binaural?
For many, whether they have a monaural or binaural headset is a personal choice. A monaural (single earpiece) lets the agent hear clearly, both on the phone and what’s happening around them, ensuring they feel less closed off from their environment.
Binaural headsets (two ear pieces) on the other hand, enable complete concentration on a call and may also lower the background noise in the call centre, as agents who use them tend to talk more quietly. In general, larger call centres tend to use binaural headsets due to the number of interactions around them.
When buying a headset for call centres, you should ideally be sure:
1) They are cost-effective, reliable and durable.
2) They have good sound quality, audibility and amplification achieved with user volume control.
3) Are both lightweight and hygienic, with easily removable ear pads for cleaning or replacement.
4) Replacement parts and support are easily obtained.
5) Have a noise-reduction feature, thereby allowing compliance with workplace legislation.
Connecting with customer’s needs to be as easy and as clear as possible.