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Quiet Your Call Center

509187642_d7a2adce85 Even though I had a pretty positive experience when I called AOL the other day, one thing I did notice was how loud their call center seemed. Call centers by nature are loud – it happens and is expected. However, it is a call center designer’s jobs to make it so that noise is not an issue.

In your call center, noise should not be an issue. If it is an issue, you need to re-look how your call center is designed.  Here are some suggestions for reducing noise (from a customer service person – not an architect or interior designer):

Get cubicles or more soundproof partitions. If your call center doesn’t have something that is there for privacy and soundproofing, it should. Putting a whole bunch of people at desks in a room does not work. There has to be some sort of partition designed for sound reduction.

Noise reduction in the room. It is amazing to see how poorly many call centers are designed. If you have a cool glass and steel building, that is terrific, but glass and steel don’t absorb any sound. The ceilings can’t be that high, either. Carpet is a necessity. When designing or choosing the room that your call center is going to be in, keep things like that in mind. If noise is still a problem after some basic changes, there is also other call center equipment you can consider investing in to keep things quiet.

Consider noise canceling headsets. There are plenty of great noise canceling headsets that you can buy from places like Headsets.com (interview here) or your preferred vendor. Noise canceling headsets will greatly reduce the amount of background noise that the customer hears on the other end of the line.

Get good headsets. As an addition to the above point, buy good headsets. Your customer service representatives will be using them all day. For what you pay them in two days ($12 * 8 hours * 2 days = $192), you can buy a really great headset. Top of the line. If they have good headsets, the sound quality and the customer service experience will be better for everyone.

Adjust the volume. Make it so the volume is adjusted properly for the customer service representative. If it is too loud or too soft, the representative might have to yell. This obviously is not ideal.

Give everyone some space. It is crucial to give everyone some space in a cell center. People like their personal space and it will help cut down on noise. I’m not suggesting to put 5 people in a 20,000 square foot call center – just give people enough room so they aren’t on top of each other.

How is your call center designed? How could it be better?

Photo courtesy of kecko.

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