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December 14, 2007

Q&A: Lowering Headset Costs the Safe, Easy Way

By Stefania Viscusi, Assignment Desk Editor


In today's failing economy, finding ways to save on cost is essential.
When it comes to communications, which play a center role in most everyone's lives, headsets offer improvements in efficiency and productivity, and can also offer cost savings if purchases are made wisely.
In a Q&A session with Sennheiser's Product Manager Eric Palonen, TMCnet gets the scoop on lowering headset costs, despite today's economy.
With so many headset choices how do users know what to go with and does this choice play a factor in lowering costs?

A little research can go a long way-- finding out the proper solution based on absolute needs can determine the best solution, which in the long run will prove to lower costs. For example- most phones on the market can directly connect to our headsets, eliminating the need for a costly amplifier that needs batteries and maintenance. Why pay more when you do not need to?
How does the design of a headset contribute to its cost? Do headsets that are designed with more quality materials and cost more up front, hurt purchasers pockets, or do cheaper-made headsets lend to more cost in the end?

Cost is often an indicator of the quality of the components. Higher quality headsets last longer, and over the life of a call center, pay for themselves over and over by lasting a long time. Our exchangeable earpads and cable systems allow one headset to be used over multiple employee terms and come with a 2 year warranty. A poorly designed headset will need to be replaced many times during a single employee term as it was not designed for the use and abuse typically seen in a contact center.
How can choosing a headset that prevents acoustic shock also help save money?

Contact center agents are exposed to a wide range of audio signals during the day- many of them are harmful. A safe headset, like our best-selling CC and SH lines, prevent those damaging signals from ever reaching the users' ears. They operate below the OSHA legal limit and can help prevent work related injuries due to acoustic shock. The time and money spent on these cases is significant. The adage "better safe than sorry" could not be any more apt, as "sorry" should be spelt with an $.
What are some of the ways Sennheiser has been able to lower the price of their headsets to the customer?

We look at factors like: total cost of ownership, warranty, failure rate and solution costs. By outlining the proper needs and system specifications, we can often introduce a solution that will last longer with less equipment without compromising audio quality, durability or functionality. If you could eliminate a desktop amplifier or clumsy voice tubes over tens, hundreds (or even thousands!) of agents the savings become apparent. We chose to make a headset based on contact center needs so that contact centers could choose the correct headset solution.
Can you offer some tips for making cost sensible headset purchases?

Contact your local Sennheiser dealer to investigate direct connect solutions. Outline your failure rates, costs and extra costs on replacement items (batteries, voice-tubes, earpads, headbands) and take a look at what Sennheiser has done to dramatically reduce the dependence on those items.
Stefania Viscusi is an established writer and avid reader. To see more of her articles, please visit Stefania Viscusi’s columnist page.
Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s Whitepaper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers whitepapers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.
Today’s featured White Paper (News - Alert) is titled VoIP Doesn’t Require Any Phone Equipment Investment, brought to you by Accessline.

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