Ask the expert: What is the importance of having expert headsets for your call centre?

Posted by Christopher Bell on 13 Mar 2019 11:00:00 AM

In today’s economic climate it is easy to opt for short-term savings without realising the impact this could have in the long run. When it comes to running a call centre, headsets are a critical factor for success. Find out how Nashua Communications can help not only get expert equipment but also offer valuable services to ensure that your call centre operates successfully.

The success of any call centre is largely dependent on a customer’s experience of a company and that relies on the agent. The wellbeing of the agent will determine that experience and any equipment used should not contribute to, or result in bad customer service. The problem is that good quality and expert equipment, particularly items that are used as often as headsets, are often overlooked in favour of cost saving in the short term, which can end up costing much more in the long run.

Headsets were traditionally viewed as disposable consumables which disempowered the call centres by encouraging wastage and allowing the supply chain to dictate the entire headset procurement process. Nashua Communications has been working with Crystel Headset to provide a revolutionary headset procurement model that turns headsets into trackable assets with a clear return on investment. This has not only resulted in cost saving by eliminating wastage but also frees up important IT and technical department time, reduces repairs and faults to single digits and restores the power back into the hands of the call centre.

Why an out-of-the-box solution can do more harm than good

Despite these benefits, professional call centres often still opt for out-of-the-box headset solutions. This is problematic because retail headsets are not typically made for robust daily use. Spending half the price of a good headset might seem to make good business sense but cheaper headsets may require replacement every 3 to 6 months.

Furthermore, transmitting and receiving sound quality will suffer. A few dropped calls per agent per day due to poor sound quality will result in bad user experiences as well as angry customers - an outcome that will help you quickly realise what the true cost an out-of-box solution is.

What to look for when buying a headset

When it comes to buying a headset, there are 3 non-negotiables you should look for.
  • Sound Quality

    All headsets should have high quality, dual speaker noise cancelling technology. But don’t just take the supplier’s word for it. Insist on on-site testing for all campaigns and all telephony platforms. Suppliers should have a documented on-site test procedure that tests for transmitting, receiving and recording quality as well as agent comfort. Ensure that you carefully review the detailed report on completion of testing, and don’t be afraid to ask any questions

  • Robustness & Durability

Professional headsets should last between 2 to 4 years with daily call centre use. A supplier should be able to demonstrate this and supply data. Twist, turn and check the robustness of the test samples. 

  • Standardised Compatibility 

Telephony platforms require different bottom cable set up and compatibility. Ideally, a supplier should be able to provide a single headset that can be standardised to work on all platforms, with a different bottom cable.

What to ask for from your headset supplier

The selection of the headset is only the first, small step towards a call centres’ success. Nashua Communications recognises that it is the after-sales service that is most critical. Call centres should always ensure that, at the very least, they have the following after- sales offering from their headset supplier:

Opting for a local company has many advantages from shorter turnaround times, faster repairs, fixed pricing that isn’t affected by the exchange rate as well as cheaper costs that don’t compromise on quality.

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Price Planning

Ask for fixed pricing for at least 12 calendar months, especially if you are subjected to Rand/Dollar fluctuations as this can radically affect profitability - a problem you will avoid if you opt for a local manufacturer. Insist on fixed prices, with only a single annual price increase to streamline financial planning.

At Nashua Communications our products are proudly South African and have been manufactured locally for over 20 years, to complement our offering in Unify and Openview headsets. We can offer firm-up pricing for 12 months at a competitive rate that is often between a 30 - 50% cost-saving against imports.

Lead Times

Reputable manufacturers will ensure that you always have stock when you need it. Using a local manufacturer means no delays while waiting for shipments to arrive or for customs to be cleared. Orders should be able to be dispatched within 12 to 72 hours.

Tracking & Traceability

Headsets should be supplied with unique engraved serial numbers.  This enables a headset provider to supply you with an online, up-to-date database of the headsets. Nashua Communications offers a cloud-based asset tracking service. This means that you’ll have 24/7 access to monitor guarantees, repairs, refurbishment and agent allocation. This, in turn, reduces damages and breakages and helps you manage headset investment and ensure returns.  

In addition, headset suppliers that are able to offer you bespoke branding and colours, as we do at Nashua Communications, not only helps build brand awareness but also helps cut down on headset loss and pilfering.  

Repairs

Headsets, through general wear and tear, will require repairs. Broken and damaged headsets should be able to be repaired in a short period of time. Always insist on a 24 to 72 hour repair time. At Nashua Communications, we offer a 24 hour turnaround time on repairs or maintenance.

Make sure headsets are always repaired with original parts and by accredited repair centres as failure to do so could result in loss of warranty. Suppliers should also have easy access to spare parts. All Nashua Communications headsets come with a standard 2-year warranty that can be extended upon request. A supplier should provide you with free “Hospital Stock” which are loan units to use whilst your headsets are in for repair or refurbishment. Nashua Communications also offers this service.

Local Technical Support

Make sure that you have direct and immediate access to skilled local technical support preferably at a senior engineering level. At some stage, you’ll need a technical expert to help solve a challenge, and a salesperson won’t do.

Lastly, none of the above matters without proper health and safety measures.

Health & Wellness

Today in the workplace, organisations must have a health and safety procedure in place. This includes the disinfection of the headset in conjunction with earpiece and microphone sponge replacements, which will complement the health and safety needs of an organisation.

The primary challenges in closed environments are airborne infections or the use of a headset from an infected agent. Most viruses and bacteria are transmitted via touch and wiping the outside of a headset does not disinfect the hidden cavities within a headset.

Nashua communications manufactures headset Ozone Sanitation cabinets that use ozone, a powerful disinfectant that is 3000 times stronger than chlorine, to disinfect headsets. This avoids the need for hazardous chemicals and is effective in reducing harmful bacteria, viral and parasitic contamination by up to 99%.

Regular sanitation of agents’ headsets ensures they are germ-free for re-use. This  reduces the risk of infection and associated agent downtime as a result of illnesses such as colds and flu.

The locally produced Crystel headset paired with Nashua Communication’s service offerings will support the agent in the execution of their very important work and result in better customer service.

 

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