When there is background noise on a call, it can be a challenge for all parties to communicate effectively. It is important to take steps to alleviate background noise, in order to make the customer experience as best as possible. So, what can be done and what do we do at Connect?
Ask operators to keep their voices down
One of the biggest issues can be the high volume of each person’s voice. It can be challenging to hear when the office has become a place of vocal competition. If all of those in the call centre strive to keep their voices low, there is no need to yell over each other. Sometines the worst offender may not even realise they are being louder than everyone else and a gentle word from a team leader maybe all that’s needed to fix the problem.
When a call centre is too loud, and the customer can hear that there are many conversations going on at once, it is likely to make the call centre seem less professional. At Connect we’ve found that having headsets with just one earpiece can cause some operators to speak more loudly (I can’t hear you very well so I’ll shout as well!) so we offer headsets with 2 earpieces as well. In order to maintain a positive image while also maintaining positive customer experience, we try to keep the call centre as quiet as possible.
No breaks on the call centre floor
Provide a separate location for break time. If workers are having personal conversations in the same place that operators are trying to work with people on the phone, it can be difficult to avoid noise competition. Laughter and personal conversation is welcomed but it can also be loud, but the worst offenders are wrappers and food. The crinkling and crunching can be extremely noisy and hard to talk over the sound of. If there is a way to create a break room for operators, this is the best option. Being able to close the door and keep the conversation away is simplest and most efficient.
Separate as much as possible
Even if simply placing thin objects, such as art pieces, between each operator, can alleviate the issue of background noise. If two people are not speaking directly next to each other with no separation, it is more likely the customers will not hear the conversations of other operators. If it is possible, create physical partitions. This will reduce background noise most notably in comparison to other options.
At Connect we do not group operators close together; we have small pods of 2 or 3 operators at most.
Email and chat for coworkers
By having operators contact each other through email or web chats, there is less necessity for operators to shout across the office. This will make it easier for other staff to not need to worry about the actions of coworkers as well.
Whilst we encourage social interaction as much as possible we do also request that problems or questions are dealt with via the phone or through our in-house ticketing system.
Review the noise level
In order to see how the background noise is, be sure to playback calls and listen. Can you hear other operators speaking? Does it sound professional? It is important to know what the customer’s experience is with the call centre, in order to better the experience for them moving forward.
We monitor and review noise levels on a weekly basis both within the centre but also by listening to a random selection of calls.