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October 13, 2009

Contact Center Headsets: High Quality Drives Agent Satisfaction, Performance

By Patrick Barnard, Group Managing Editor, TMCnet


As many companies have discovered, agent satisfaction in the contact center is strongly related to the quality of service that is delivered. Agents who are equipped with the proper technology, proper furnishings and an aesthetically pleasing environment tend to perform better than agents who are not – and companies that fail to pay attention to the details of the agent’s job run the risk of having poor agent satisfaction and, as a result, higher attrition rates.

One area where contact centers are advised not to skimp is the headsets their agents use on a daily basis to carry out interactions with customers. Not only do the headsets need to be comfortable enough to wear for long periods of time, they also need to deliver superior sound quality, so that every word, every utterance of a customer’s speech can be heard clearly.

This is a critical factor for enabling agents to better understand what customers are saying, which improves communication and speeds customer service. Companies that purchase inexpensive, cheaply-made headsets pay the price in a variety of ways: The headsets fall off; need to be constantly adjusted; deliver poor sound quality and have a much higher failure rate – all of which can result in interruptions during live customer interactions, resulting in a very poor image for a company and its brand.
 
Sennheiser has been a leader in the contact center headsets market for decades. The Germany-based company, which was founded in 1945 and now has a U.S. division, makes durable, high quality headsets for contact center agents working a wide range of industries – outbound and inbound – as evidenced in the quality of craftsmanship if its CC line of headsets.

Take, for example, the CC 550, the company’s top-of-the-line, over the head, binaural headset designed for contact center agents. This headset sports extra-large ear caps to block out of background noise, increasing concentration and efficiency. It also has an ultra noise cancelling microphone, to block out the “chit-chat” of the other agents as well as other background noise. It also includes Sennheiser's exclusive ActiveGard protection technology, which protects agents’ ears against sudden spikes in volume, called acoustic bursts, which can damage hearing.

The CC 550 delivers precise sound to both ears for optimal understanding. Its durable construction makes it perfect for the contact center, where headsets are “high mileage” and are known to take a serious beating. The headset’s 300-degree adjustable microphone boom allows the microphone to be positioned exactly for optimal speech clarity. Teflon washer support increases positioning accuracy, stability and ensure optimal durability.
In addition, unique comfort pads in the headband and specially padded ear caps distribute pressure and ensure remarkable comfort -- even during extended wearing time. This is critical since contact center agents sometimes need to wear headsets for four, six or even eight hours at a time.

The CC 550 comes with a carry bag; three colored identification clips; leatherette ear pads; acoustic foam ear pads; a clothing clip and a microphone windscreen.

To learn more about the CC 500 and other high quality contact center headsets and accessories from Sennheiser, click here.

Patrick Barnard is a contributing writer for TMCnet. To read more of Patrick’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard



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