Working in the contact centre industry I tend to be fair and considerate when speaking to agents, whether this is questioning a charge from my bank, or chasing my central heating engineer who is 2 hours late! However, because I am fortunate to know and work with some of the ‘best’ contact centres in the country I also expect a certain level of customer service.

When I get cold called, I tend to think they are ‘fair game’ and I cannot help but quiz my caller on; their headsets, if they are wearing them, how long they have worked for their employer, did they know you can buy wireless contact centre headsets and importantly, when wearing a Plantronics headset, did they know their company have invested in the best headset in the market. This quite often takes the agent by surprise. Really, they reply. I then follow with the question – how much do you think your headset cost?

Perhaps it would surprise you that the average value I hear is £15. More worryingly, when agents also have an Audio Processor, they often have no perceived monetary value to this.

Last week thousands of contact centre workers commenced a 48 hour strike. The dispute was over working conditions. Where I recognise this encompassed many issues of monitoring, drives for productivity and recent organisational change, I do firmly believe that often the investment in technology and headsets is undervalued and possibly not communicated. A headset is synonymous with a contact centre worker. However, often agents do not even give them a thought. They are dropped, flexed, cables run over by chairs, often unloved and uncared for.

In 2010 Plantronics UK and Ireland introduced Best Practice Clinics as part of our PlantroCare Services portfolio. Over 60 Best Practice Clinics have been hosted, adopting a train the trainer approach for contact centre managers and supervisors. By helping agents understand their headsets better, we know you will get much more from them. Our onsite programmes will help you drive better audio performance – take a walk round your floor – do all of your agents correctly position their microphones for best acoustics, thus maximise productive calls? With guidance on headset hygiene, we can help you have the right Health and Safety knowledge and procedure in place.

For more information or to book a Best Practice Clinic, call Tracie Marina on 01793 842234