In the famous boiling frog fable, a frog falls into boiling water, but leaps right out. He survives. Another frog falls into a slowly heating pot. Each heat increment goes unnoticed, so by the time the water boils, the frog is so accustomed to the heat that he stays – and dies.
According to the Harvard Business Review, the call centre industry is in warming water: 53 percent of its call handlers – for many the only link to their customers – are bored, demotivated, or close to burnout. Whilst the cost of call handler replacement runs between $10k – $20k, according to McKinsey, it is more expensive losing customers whose lifetime value exceeds that
Since call handlers are often the only (or most frequent) interaction with prospects and customers, investing in powerful, fully featured headsets lets call handlers please callers more easily. It’s a virtuous circle: happy callers make call handlers feel more valued, who in turn react better to callers.
According to research by Unified Experience Platform E1, 98 percent of employees say that their endpoint is important. Arguably, the one endpoint that affects call handlers’ quality of work most are headsets.
Headsets to call handlers are like pistols to a gunfighter. A good headset can make a call handler sound authoritative; a bad one makes a call handler sound weak through a tinny tone.
How a call handler comes across to a caller can influence a caller’s behaviour. A bad headset reveals background sounds of keyboard rata-tat-tat or babies crying, revealing a less professional call handler and company. So, the caller behaves accordingly – maybe rudely or aggressively.
Good headsets take advantage of clear voice capture (CVC) technology, which filters background noises when the call handler speaks, so the call handler’s voice sounds crystal clear to the caller. Without background keyboard, baby or dog noises, the call handler sounds more authoritative and persuasive. The caller might think the call handler is more senior, in their own office, and so treats the call handler with more respect. With callers and customers behaving positively, call handlers start feeling valued.
According to Victor Fan, MD at innovative UC Headset manufacturer VBeT: “With clear sounding call handlers, there’s no doubt customers react more positively. Queries are resolved faster too.”
Fan added: “That’s why our latest Bluetooth headset, the VT X300 BT, uses high-performance 8th Generation CVC technology in its microphone. You get class-leading voice clarity and HiFi sound from the 20Hz-20KHz 40mm speaker. With a 30m wireless range, call handlers can also be untethered from their desks. They can consult colleagues whilst customers are holding. We like to empower our call handling customers.”
But when it comes to procurement, the easy option for call centre leaders is to pay a premium for a well-known brand. They feel safe, features are sufficient, and they believe they are buying value. But they sometimes fail to discover established brands in other markets.
“Our global customers buy from us because we’ve been investing in research for 20 years and do so year-in year out”, said VBeT’s Victor Fan. “Our laboratories around the World continue to develop noise cancellation and other technologies – it’s how we make our customers’ call handlers sound and react great”
With more research and new headset features becoming available from new emerging headset brands, the seemingly tough move to hybrid call and contact centres should lead to happier callers and more motivated call handlers. Frogs leap for joy as the water cools and revenues surge.