Fed up with all the noise surrounding you these days? Here’s something that may brighten your day. A new article just out in the April edition of The Atlantic entitled “The Future Will Be Quiet” looks at new technologies that will help make our noisy cities and suburbs quieter, such as quiet pavement and self-driving cars that could eliminate the need for sirens and horns. This may be music to your ears since noise in our everyday lives has become a problem. So much so, the article points out “Researchers at the University of Michigan estimate that about one-third of Americans are exposed to harmful noise, and might be at risk of noise-related health problems.”
It’s not only noise out of doors that is causing stress and distraction. Today’s modern offices are hardly a place to escape from the din. With their open office space environments, today’s offices have become nosier than ever. Noise in the workplace is not only impacting workers’ productivity (The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) found that 70 percent of office workers believe their productivity would be higher if their environment was less noisy), it can impact customer relations.
Can you hear me now?
Background noise can seriously hinder communication with your small business customer or prospect. For starters, background noise is transmitted down the phone so your customer may have trouble hearing you clearly. Since noise is distracting, you may not be giving your customer the degree of attention required, which leads to misunderstandings and your inability to collect needed information accurately. There’s also the issue of protecting customer information on a screen. In a noisy environment, your voice may rise as you try to convey the information you are reading so that others in range may hear you.
If noise is impacting your small business customer connections, it’s time to make some changes. Customer service is as important to your small business brand as your products and services. In today’s highly socially connected world, negative customer service experiences can be broadcast across the country and continents in a matter of minutes and that can impact your revenue. Data from Forrester Research shows how improving customer experience scores from ‘below’ to ‘above average’ affects loyalty, which in turn affects revenue in three categories.
- Repurchase: Incremental purchases from existing customers in the same year
- Switching: Revenue saved by lower churn
- Recommendation: News sales driven by word of mouth
Make sound changes for better customer service
Improve your acoustics: There are small-scale alterations that can be made to improve the working environment for your team. Changing ceiling tiles to absorb sound, adding soft coverings to walls, and using lower barriers between people, are all quick and cost-effective measures.
Deploy noise cancelling headsets. Noise cancelling headsets cancel out background noise to assure audio clarity for you and your listeners. Headsets give your customer service team more control over the environment in a number of other ways.
- Hands-free capabilities: Headsets provide hands-free capabilities while you are on a call to input something on your computer or locate a document on your desk or in a drawer or to engage in chat while you are conferencing.
- Manage multiple communication devices: Headsets can help manage multiple modes of communications – office phone, smartphone and softphone service, such as Skype or Google Voice.
- Move around freely: Wireless headsets enable you to get up from your desk and move freely throughout the office and remain on a call when you need to locate a file, pick up something from the printer, confer with a colleague, find a more private location or even grab a cup of coffee.
Review Plantronics solutions to find the perfect headset for your team working in the office, on the road or in a home office: http://www.plantronics.com/us/solutions/small-medium-business/.