Today, nearly all call centers require agents to use headsets. The reasons are numerous, including reducing back and neck strain, keeping hands free for computer work, and cutting down on background noise. Some call centers provide a personal headset, at no charge, to each agent upon hire. Other centers require agents to buy their own headset, either one specified and provided by management or one of the employees’ choosing from an approved list. A third approach is to give agents a headset, but make them be responsible for all repairs and replacements.
There are many of headset vendors from which to choose. Headsets can often be purchased directly from the manufacturer, as well as from their dealer network and distributors. Many distributors carry multiple lines, thereby offering greater options and more variety.
When selecting a headset there are several items to consider:
- Acceptance: If the agents are not supportive of the headset model selected, the amount of fallout generated can quickly escalate into a major management problem.
- Reparability: All headsets will eventually break; can they be easily, quickly, and cost-effectively repaired?
- Warranty: How long is the warranty, what is covered, and when will replacements be provided?
- Customer support: How accessible is the provider?
- Price: Cost is the least important consideration; buying on price alone is a false economy and could easily be the most costly solution in the end.
To find the right headset for your call center, here are some key providers to consider:
VXI Corporation, Inc.
Creative Switching Designs Inc.
Phonemaster Communications, Inc.
[From Connection Magazine – March 2005]