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Are Great Headsets Necessary for Call Centers?

TMCnews Featured Article

July 13, 2010

Are Great Headsets Necessary for Call Centers?

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Probably not. And hey, it's not really necessary to give 'em comfortable chairs, level desks, working computers or uncontaminated drinking water, either, if that's how you feel about it.

Ha ha. Just kidding. OSHA'll get you if the drinking water's contaminated.

Your choice of headsets includes binaural, monaural, voice tube, sound tube, wireless headsets and headset systems.

As you might know, headsets were an invention, born out of necessity, to prevent the fatigue and strain caused when agents work all day on the phone, according to OPC Marketing: "In order to free both hands for operating equipment, handwriting messages, and filing papers, operators of yesteryear could not hold a telephone handset with one hand, but would pinch the device between an upraised shoulder and sideways tilted head."

You've seen it in old movies and TV shows, the secretary squinching up her neck to hold the receiver while frantically motioning to her boss that his wife was on the phone, and that is was her birthday - the wife's - and that he had exactly six minutes to run out and buy something with 30 minutes' worth of thought and effort because the secretary was tired of buying presents for his wife.

So when the neck and shoulder became tired and sore, agents would be off to the chiropractor, who, let's face it, are great people, but supporting chiropractors is not why you're in business, is it?

Or - even worse - "the strain would be transmitted to the sales call, leading to unproductive selling." Because if you're neck's killing you, the last thing you want to deal with is the general public. Who are pains in the neck anyway (rim shot).

Today, of course, nearly all call centers require agents to use headsets. And virtually all feature noise-canceling properties and come in a variety of styles with different options:

A mute switch is a common and handy feature. Volume controls allow users to adjust audio levels to their own liking and preference.
Bottom line: Good headsets increase productivity, improve agent comfort, and reduce workplace injuries caused by long-term use of telephone handsets. They might not be as good television, but in real life they're the way to go.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David's articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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