Headset Purchasing Tips

10 Tips on Choosing Headsets for your Contact Center

Also see: Which Headset Is Right For my Phone?

Your business relies on clear, effective communications, and the headset is the most important link between your agents and your customers. Selecting headsets is an important decision for your business.

To assist you in the process, consider the following guidelines to consider when purchasing headsets. 
  • What is the noise level?
    Determine your contact center's noise level in decibels so you can select the appropriate headsets. Investing in features that you may not need, or compromising on those you do, can leave you with headsets that aren't suited to your particular call center environment. Below are some general guidelines for the headset features required for different noise levels:
Noise Level/Work Application

Headset Features Needed

Over 75dB

  • Binaural receiver
  • Noise-canceling microphone
65 - 75dB
Agent needs an open ear to be in tune with surrounding environment or to confer with a colleague
  • Monaural receiver or over-the-ear style
  • Noise-canceling microphone

Under 65dB
Agent needs both ears covered to concentrate on the customer's voice and block out noise

  • Binaural receiver
  • Voice tube microphone

Under 65dB
Agent needs an open ear to be in tune with surrounding environment or to confer with a colleague

  • Monaural receiver or over-the-ear style
  • Voice tube microphone
  • Know your vendor.
    Treat your headset vendor as you would any other critical business partner. Consider the vendor's experience, understanding of contact centers, support offerings and financial stability.
  • Product range.
    Determine whether your vendor offers a full range of products. Comfortable agents are productive, and there are many headset styles to meet individual needs. It's never a "one size fits all" situation. Consider cordless options for coaches or supervisors to allow them to move freely from agent to agent for training or handling "escalation calls" from customers.
  • Standardize.
    Purchase all your headsets from a single manufacturer. This will enable you to get the lowest cost on equipment as well as help facilitate service and support transactions.
  • Inventory management.
    Order and store only enough replacement headsets required for regular wear and tear from your agents. Choose a vendor that responds quickly to repair and replacement issues, and provides a robust warranty. Also consider a vendor that provides headset inventory tracking system.
  • Process management.
    Who will manage your headsets? Assign a specialist or office manager who can own the process and start to implement procedures. Having proper procedures and systems in place will save you money, allowing you to run your center with fewer headsets.
  • Sales and support.
    Identify a headset supply chain that will provide you 24-hour multi-language support (via phone, e-mail or webchat) to make sure that your headsets work around the clock.
  • Agent training.
    Make headset use, care and maintenance a part of your regular new agent orientation or training to maximize your headset investment. Some vendors provide onsite training, computer-based training, training videos and interactive tutorials.
  • Total cost of ownership.
    Analyze your headset expenses over a two-to-four year period, not just the up-front purchase price. The purchase price accounts for only half of the costs over timeó;repairs, spare parts, shrinkage, and mismanaged inventories comprise the remainder of the expenses. Identify all costs up front so you have a complete picture of your financial investment.
  • The sound of the future.
    Make sure that your headset vendor will continue to invest in the best solutions for today and tomorrow. Your contact center can take advantage of the latest technology to improve communications with your customers.

Above all, contact centers require headsets with superior comfort, sound innovation and reliability. Saving a few bucks on your headset purchase today may result in far bigger maintenance expenses in the future. Rely on Plantronics to meet your contact center needs with a variety of high-performance styles that have stood the test of time.

Also see:

-Plantronics Compatibility Guide
Which Headset Is Right For Me?