One of the biggest day-to-day problems many call centers face is noise. Let's face it...a call center is a noisy place. With dozens or hundreds of agents in the same room all speaking; background noise pollution can become a serious problem. Reports of call center agents with at least some level of hearing damage are widespread, and many agents find it hard to tune out background noise so they can focus on the customer they are speaking with. Excess noise means that customers and agents have to repeat themselves, which can lengthen the average handle time of calls and lead to customer dissatisfaction.
Many call centers find that the solution is found in a high-quality noise canceling headset that can eliminate background noise from the call, as well as make it easier for the agent and the customer to hear one another. They are also a good way to protect agents' hearing.
There are two kinds of noise-canceling technologies, write Oliver Jones and Martin Schoerkmaier of austriamicrosystems in an article this week for Electronic Design: passive and active. Passive noise cancellation is a mechanical process that involves cushioning the ear with foam, silicone or another sound-absorbing material. Active noise canceling is more complex, as it uses sound generated from a speaker to cancel other sounds arriving at the ear. Two alternatives exist for detecting unwanted sounds; the design exposes the microphone to the noise and isolates it from the speaker, or it places the microphone as close as possible to the speaker, write Jones and Shoerkmaier.
A high quality headset can do both, using both passive and active noise-canceling technologies that help clear the background noise from an agent's hearing and the phone call with the customer. Working together, these technologies can help protect agents' hearing, improve call quality, eliminate errors and misheard information, and cut extra seconds or minutes off each call.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo