A call center environment is usually very noisy. Agents consistently on the phone with the customers, agents conversing with each other, and so on, contribute to the noise factor. While noise is integral to the collaborative atmosphere of a call center, it may make for an unpleasant experience for the customer, as well as for an agent on a call.
A call center can address this issue by taking measures like installing white noise generators or other noise-canceling devices or increasing the space between the agents or adding sound absorbing material to desks, floors or walls. However, they may not be practical, or economically viable for many of the call centers. The best way to tackle this challenge is by providing quality headsets to the agents. The right headsets will help the agents to deliver a high-level customer service.
Factors to consider while selecting the headset
An efficient headset has many benefits, however, it is important to consider the fact that a particular type of headset may not fit the needs of every user. It will be beneficial to consider the following factors while selecting the headset for your call center.
- Working environment – If your call center has already been designed to minimize the background noise, then you can prioritize other features like design and optimum audio clarity while selecting the headset.
- User experience – If an agent does not have much experience with audio devices/headsets, then you have to ensure that you provide that agent with a headset that is fairly easy to use. Some of the modern headsets have a lot of complicated features.
- Comfort – A call center agent typically spends around 8 hours a day or night taking calls. So it is important to select a headset that is lightweight, and adjustable. A headset designed for comfort will be ideal. Key features to look for are large ear cushions, lightweight headset frames, and leatherette ear cushions for comfort and hygiene.
- Agent roles – Some agents, especially subject matter experts, may have to move around the office a lot to manage a variety of agent requests. A wireless headset with an increased wireless range will be suitable for them as it will help them to move around the floor freely.
- Headsets equipped with sensors – Headsets equipped with sensors can effectively increase call handling and security. They can instantly provide the users with real-time data, which will help the agents to deal with calls efficiently. Also, when an agent is away from their computer, these headsets can detect that they are in an ideal state, and automatically help to lock the computer.
Advances in headset technology
Over the last few years, headset technology has advanced significantly. Features like noise cancelling and wireless capabilities can be a real blessing for a call center environment. For example, noise-cancelling technology allows for crisp communication between the customer and the agent, allowing the agent to manage customer requests in an efficient way, and deliver an exceptional service. Wireless headsets provide the call center agents the flexibility to move around the office. This will help the agents to move from loud areas to quieter ones to have a clear communication with the customer.
Unified Communication (UI) deployment
UC can play a vital role in enhancing call center service levels. So, it is important that you select a headset that is compatible with the UC deployment. For example, a headset that automatically provides and updates the presence information when agents are on call will help to redirect customers to available agents, which means reduced waiting time for customers.
Following are some of the best call center headsets available in the market today.
- Sennheiser CC550 – This headset has an ultra noise canceling microphone that cuts out the background noise, allowing the agents to concentrate fully on the conversation. It has ActiveGuard technology that will help the agents from loud noises. The headset has comfortable leatherette pads.
- Plantronics HW261N – This is a favorite of NASA. They have used it for many of their space missions. Plantronics HW261N is a favorite among call center agents as well, because of its brilliant and comfortable audio capabilities and Wideband Audio for the richness of sound. It also has noise cancelling technology integrated. This headset is durable as well.
- Sennheiser Century SC660 – This is hailed as the ultimate call center headset. It has ActiveGuard technology that offers high acoustic protection. The cables have Kevlar casing. This headset has an amazing sound quality.
- Jabra Biz 2300 – This headset is specifically designed for a call center agent. It features a quick disconnect, a 360-degree boom arm, Leatherette form cushions, and a Kevlar cord. It has simple-to-use controls on the cord.
A headset is the most used piece of equipment in a call center. So it is important that you select a headset that is useful, durable, comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, and versatile.