It’s easy to get used to the noise in your office. You might not realize it but the customers who call your call centre may find it noisy and irritating. It can be very distracting.
Make a test call to determine how much background noise can be heard during a call. Listen for background chatter, desk fans causing excess noise and even the agent wearing/removing his headset.
If you do detect some noise, here are a few ways to eliminate or reduce them.
In the workplace
Install acoustic ceiling tiles
Get some advice from an engineer who builds a recording studio. They will be able to tell you which kind of acoustic tiles you can install to reduce noise.
Install an adjustable white noise system
A white noise system can diminish noise. Choose an adjustable system so you can set it according to the call volume you receive.
It’s a good idea to invest in padded cubicles so agents are more isolated from the rest of the team. This prevents idle chatter. Customers also won’t hear other calls going on. Install a higher front panel that can absorb sound.
Setup glass cubicles or partitions to isolate each agent and prevent idle chatter.
The architecture of your office can help reduce sound. Doors and corridors can be strategically managed. Close off work areas from public areas.
Install water features and plants around the office. Water creates a soothing sound that gives a relaxed environment. The water features and plants are also great at absorbing sound. The sound of water is always better than ringing phones or office chatter.
Artwork canvasses that are hung on fabric screens or walls can also reduce background noise plus they add to the aesthetic appeal of your office.
Keep agent voices down
Train your agents to keep their voices down. They should always be aware and respectful of their peers who are engaged on the phone.
Strictly no discussions in the work area
Be very strict with this rule. No conversations should happen in front, behind or anywhere near an agent who is currently engaged in a call. Idle chatter in the background is a sign of unprofessionalism.
Discourage agents from talking about their personal lives in the work area. They can discuss that during breaks, away from the workplace.
Assign a break room
Agents should not be loitering in the work area when they are on break. Assign a break room where they can go. Enforce a no eating, no texting, no chatting in their cubicles rule. Set up a snack bar to encourage your agents to go to the break room. Fill it up with coffee, juice, tea, snacks, energy bars, etc. The energy boost will work wonders on your agents.
Seat same-shift agents together
You can expect people to be noisy when they come in or leave for shift. Seat agents who have the same schedules together to reduce noise. They can talk after their shift without disturbing other agents.
If you have a noisy agent or you think an agent is too loud, play his call back to him. This recording will help him realize how much he is disrupting the workplace.
Install an office chat that agents can use instead of shouting from across the room or getting up to talk to a manager. This prevents unnecessary noise and accessing personal contacts.
Emailing is a tried and tested secure and quiet way to communicate. If you really don’t like a web chat system, use this.
Enforce a no smartphone rule in the work area. It will eliminate phone noises and will keep personal conversations out of the office.
Invest in good quality headphones
Headphones that have a built-in noise reduction system are more expensive but worth the price. Your clients will enjoy a better call experience.
Turn up the volume of the agent’s own voice feedback
Turn up the volume of the agent’s own voice feedback in his headset to lower his voice volume.
One of the reasons customers hate calling or receiving calls from a call centre is background noise. Who wants to hear other people talking when you are having a serious conversation?
Another problem that may arise is a breach of customer privacy. If you are not careful, some confidential information may be leaked due to poor call and noise management. There are very strict regulations regarding protecting a customer’s personal details. If you are not careful, you might get into trouble.
Call a professional to fix the noise level in your office. It is a good investment. You will sound professional. Your customers will also trust you to handle their personal and confidential details.