Distractions are no light matter in an outsourcing business, especially for a call center in the Philippines. And among these distractions, background noise is the most inevitable, perhaps the most difficult to eradicate.
In fact, a market research conducted by uSamp stated a business loses over $10,000 per worker each year just because of productivity issues that are commonly brought by background noise present in a call center operations floor. The research firm added that more than 50 percent of 500 call center employees squander over an hour every day because of call center-related interruptions.
Moreover, background noise can cost you more than productivity, as it could also affect your employees’ professional growth and performance improvement.
The truth about background noise
In a business where telephones are the most important service delivery tool, background noise is the biggest hindrance to a smooth, free-flowing operation. Unnecessary noise around the call center representative can do a lot of harmful things to the call transaction. First, it can irritate the customer on the other line, as the noise makes it hard for him to convey his problems to the agent. Second, it would be hard for the CSR himself to hear or understand what the customer is saying, making it uneasy for him to clearly think of ways to address the customer’s problem.
Eliminating background noise
Office design plays a big role in eliminating unnecessary noise in the operation floor. First, a cubicle must be designed in a way that it encloses the sound coming from the CSR (voice, keyboard typing, and extra movement) so that it would not go across the other station. Cubicles must also be put up at a proper distance from each other. In most contact centers, voice departments are secluded in a separate soundproof office to avoid distracting non-voice and back office departments.
Additionally, call centers must plan the arrangement and distance of teams and departments from each other. For instance, putting five multilingual departments side by side might result to a mishmash of five different languages.
Pathways must be away from stations, as employees going on a break might create noise out of unavoidable chitchats. Moreover, holding quick huddles near voice departments must be strictly prohibited because the noise huddling could also affect working employees.
Noise not only comes from the people around the CSR, but also from a faulty headset. That’s why it’s important to have call equipment and systems checked and upgraded on a regular basis.