What Users Request Most in a Contact Center Headset
Illustration by Nick Barrett

Sennheiser has been in the business of creating high-performance audio for more than 70 years, and is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of headphones, microphones, audioconferencing solutions, and wireless transmission systems. The company has created a line of premium headsets and audioconferencing systems that utilize technologies originally researched and developed for devices such as hearing aids and professional recording equipment. These high-quality solutions for the office have been “value-engineered,” or competitively priced for a range of markets, making them an attractive offering for unified communications, contact centers and open-office environments.

To be an appropriate fit for these environments, audio solutions must meet a variety of criteria that justifies their purchase. So, what are the most sought-after and valued characteristics of these headsets and audioconferencing devices?

Sennheiser recently commissioned a survey via Spiceworks, asking 150 IT decision-makers about their purchasing habits regarding audio equipment. The survey was designed to identify the factors that motivate IT managers and purchasing agents to select a headset. The results align with many of the features and qualities that Sennheiser embodies in its product line.

The top consideration among respondents? Reliability. Almost three-quarters (72%) of the respondents named this as the top criteria for deciding upon a headset brand. Additional considerations were given to audio equipment that provides a superior value (52%) and ROI, in addition to robust service and support options (39%). They identified headset lifespan (47%), sound quality (42%), and cost (36%) as the most important factors in determining whether a headset purchase will increase ROI for their organization.

Here’s a breakdown of the characteristics that respondents said most motivated their headset purchases:

Comfort

If a headset feels uncomfortable, the odds increase that employees will be reluctant to wear them long-term. Such refusal to wear the device for sustained periods engenders unnecessary downtime and often leads to low job satisfaction and employee “churn,” which impacts productivity.

Reliability

Audio technology shouldn’t be relegated to a “throw-away” peripheral. Office equipment should be built to last. If agents are expected to do their jobs to the best of their abilities, those agents require a device they can count on. In addition to durability, business owners also defined reliability in terms of consistent, superior voice clarity during calls.

Service and Support

IT decision makers are keenly aware of the critical nature of managing and supporting an office full of headsets. Easy management and serviceability are key considerations. Respondents tended to prefer headsets that are enabled for automatic firmware updates and that offer solid warranties. Therefore, software upgrades are automated, and units can be quickly replaced if technical problems arise, reducing both downtime for the employees and labor on behalf of the IT team.

Value/ROI

IT managers confirmed that “low-shelf” audio solutions don’t present the quality and variety of tools that allow users to perform to capacity. If agents are not supplied with efficient tools, they often stop using their equipment—which denigrates the business owner’s investment in a sophisticated unified communications system.

Reputation

Purchasers trust an established brand with an entrenched industry track record for superior quality and durability. They seek out manufacturers that are known for innovation, dependability and ease-of-use.

When choosing a headset for a unified communications or other telephony environment, these factors will provide a guide to help users equip a reliable, proficient modern office, leveraging premium audio as a tool to increase productivity, expand mobility and establish ROI.

Dawn Birr

Dawn Birr is Channel Manager, Americas, for Sennheiser’s Enterprise Solutions business. She has been with Sennheiser for 17 years and has worked in live sound, audio recording and integrated systems during that time. She is an advisory board member for The Women’s International Music Network and is a member of Soundgirls.org.
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