After working as a call center agent for about 3.5 years, I was recently promoted to the post of senior operations manager. Within a week of my job as a manager, I replaced all the existing headsets with new ones. Why, you ask? Because I, myself, had grown sick of that bulky, poor quality headphone given to me during my tenure as an agent.
Only the people who work in call centers will know what an insanely noisy place our offices are. There are hundreds of people speaking loudly on phone all day long. I can imagine the pain of my agents who have to make business calls for hours amongst this commotion.
However, equipping your agents with a good headphone on a limited budget can be a difficult task. That’s why I am going to use my personal experience and knowledge to help you find the best headset for business calls to boost productivity and ensure the optimal comfort for your hard working agents.
What to Look for When Buying Headsets for Call Center?
Talking on a bulky, ill-fitting headset for endless hours while maintaining composure is every call center agent’s nightmare. And, let’s be honest, our productivity can’t be at its best when we are this much uncomfortable.
The best headsets for business calls should be lightweight and ergonomically design. The headband should be well adjustable and have padding underneath to minimize fatigue.
If it’s not light enough, sooner or letter, you will end up with headache and muscle tension. And if doesn’t fit well, be ready welcome bad posture in your life.
Wired or Wireless?
A topic I have thought about a lot before placing my headset order. Before we come to the conclusion, let us weigh in the pros and cons of both types.
If you are opting for wired sets, the advantages are:
- No need to charge.
- No fear of connection dropouts.
And the disadvantages are:
- You will always have to be physically connected to your PC/hard phone.
- Those horrible tangled cables!
Wireless options are much more flexible. You can roam around in your office, grab a bite or coffee while making a cold call. If charging the device from time-to-time sounds like a hassle, invest in a device with 11-12 hours of battery life.
On the downside, even though wireless headphones are more comfortable and easier to use, it costs significantly more. So unless you have a hefty budget, better stick to the wired options.
Monoaural vs Duo/ Binaural
Another dilemma I had to work my way through while making up my mind. Duo headsets are essential if you work in an overcrowded call center. These headsets are well-padded for comfort and block a good amount of ambient noise.
As a result, neither the agent nor the customer has to go “sorry? Pardon? Say again? Can you hear me?” again and again. But, they are expensive.
Mono headsets are cheaper and do a decent job in a less crowded environment. You can also talk to your fellow agents without taking your headphone off when you are on call.
Headset Wearing Styles
Call center headsets are mostly available in three styles:
This is the most common type and available in both monoaural and binaural versions. The next is neckband style and finally, in-ear phones. While choosing the headset-wearing style, you will have to remember that comfort is a very personal thing.
If you can, try and offer your agents to choose their preferred style of headsets. The quicker they adapt to the headset of their choice, the better it is for his productivity.
Noise Cancellation Technology
Call centers are a white collar equivalent of a fish market. So, do your employees a favor and get them the best noise canceling headset with microphone. In order to ensure that your voice is crystal clear on the phone, the headset should effectively block out ambient noise.
If it doesn’t, the customers might have to shout out loud to make sure you can hear them properly. For best noise filtering, I would suggest you find devices equipped with air-shock filters. It helps you cancel out sharp breathing noise for maximum voice clarity.
Standard vs Ultra-Noise Cancelling Headsets
The standard ones provide basic noise cancelation and can mute the external noise up to 11 dB. On the other hand, ultra NC headsets can dampen outside noise by 13 dB and also lets your voice pass through the mic easily for better for clarity. If your employees sit too close to each while taking business calls, a UNC headphone would indeed be a better option.
There are two types of mics to consider- SoundTube and noise canceling. SoundTube microphones do not block ambient noise. So you better off use it only in less crowded offices.
On the other hand, mechanical noise filtering tech is a godsend for large, crowded call centers. This technology is incorporated on the mic’s tip and creates an illusion that you are talking in a relatively silent environment.
Although these are costlier than SoundTubes, the investment will guarantee customer satisfaction. For your customers won’t have to scream in order to be heard. And you know,
Customer satisfaction= money.
Having to adjust the mic every minute in order to make your sound clear is super annoying. Your headset should either have a flexible gooseneck mic or a boom mic for maximum comfort and efficiency.
The Noise at Work Directive stated in 2006 that employees shouldn’t be exposed to more than 87 dB(A) in the workplace. In order to comply with this legislation, you should look for headsets that can mute a sudden burst of loud noise before they can reach our ears. This will not only protect the hearing ability of your agents but also keep them comfortable and focused on their job.
Amplifier- Necessary or Not?
An amplifier is this context is used for matching the audio quality of the input device (telephones) to the output device (headset). If your call center has multiple phone systems with different wiring and sound quality, an amplifier is necessary to make the voice calls sound crystal clear.
Last update on 2019-04-23 at 05:14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API