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Calls are changing – are you keeping up with customer demands?

The office is getting smaller, social media is (arguably) making us more connected, and many of our questions can be answered via the internet. Have you thought about the impact this is having on your customers?

When people say that the world is shrinking, they usually don’t mean it literally. But that’s exactly what is happening in almost every part of our lives.

Communications technology might be making distance irrelevant, but people are acutely aware of the way that their own space is diminishing. We’re living and working in ever-smaller spaces. Granted, you may know someone with a McMansion, but more Australians are choosing apartment living over large suburban houses.

The average new home size has dropped to 189.8 square metres – the smallest since 1997. Space per worker in the workplace is shrinking. In the US, each worker has lost 20 square feet of personal space. Squeezing more people into smaller spaces is creating a host of challenges for everyone – from workers struggling with more office noise, to city planners and transport providers who have to manage a higher volume of foot traffic.

The skyrocketing price of rent and city real estate means that businesses are trying to cram more and more people into office spaces. Aside from personal comfort concerns, this can seriously impact ‘call-centric’ workers who are required to spend their days on the phone to customers, whether in sales or customer service.

The quality of phone conversation can be significantly impaired when a high number of people are all situated within the same space, particularly when these employees are all making calls from wireless phones.

As the consumer journey becomes more digitised and a larger portion is facilitated online, the customer calls that are made are becoming longer, more complex and more important. Whilst consumers will initially look online to answer a query or concern, they will escalate it to a phone call if their problem cannot be resolved.

According to Genesys and Telsyte (2017), 62% of consumers still want to speak to an agent on the phone because they feel this provides better service. This means the calls that are made are of a higher priority than ever before.

To deal with this, we’ve seen a shift in businesses, moving the focus from cost to value creation. With this, customer satisfaction has moved centre stage and is the key performance metric for most call-centric workers. However, to deliver on customer satisfaction, employees need the right technology to reduce noise and interruptions.

They also need to be able to solve issues immediately and having greater mobility around the office can be key. This allows them to talk to a colleague or manager that knows the required answer, while still on the line to the customer. In fact, the mobility of a wireless headset can help reduce the average call handling time by up to 26%.

There are two key factors that need to be considered when designing today’s office space and implementing technology for a call-centric business: security and density.

With cybercrime on the rise and data theft being a $1 billion industry, the security of data and voice in customer service is everything. If the safety of your customers’ details is important, look for headsets that comply with FIPS 140-2 standard, as used by the US military and security forces.

You want a product range that delivers encryption between the headset and its docking station, as well as call encryption, to ensure no one is ever able to eavesdrop on the customer’s conversation.

Great phone call quality also requires the calls to run along different radio channels, to ensure they do not interrupt one another, or cause unsavoury interference sounds. This requirement is called ‘high density’.

Rather than banishing call-centric workers to spaces where there are less devices in the same space, look for an enterprise audio solution that features advanced codecs (the device that encodes digital data streams – in this case voice and audio) as this can vastly improve density – often by up to three times.

Facilitating an office space where employees are able to collaborate and communicate more easily is essential for today’s complex customer calls. It also helps to drive employee happiness and wellbeing, and is essential for any business that is invested in improving customer experience.

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