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Reducing Noise in A Call Center

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collegeweb

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My business is growing and I've got what is essentially a call center of 5 cubicles in one room with everyone a phone call. It gets LOUD. So loud that customers respond to words from people in the background or are so frustrated with background noise that they ask us to call them back when it is quieter. What can I do to keep it quieter and the conversations clearer. We already have 60" high L Shape cubicles so we are all pretty well blocked off. And we have $75 headsets.

Any better headsets? Acoustical foam? Plants?
 

Omega

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Mute the mic when you're not talking to your customer?Or completely wall off each cubicle.
 

Get Right

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Soft surfaces do the best. Carpet, soft backed chairs, acoustic baffles. Also - make sure you don't pin up paper over all the cubicles - it eliminates the sound absorption of the cubicles.
 

Jon L

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Soft surfaces do the best. Carpet, soft backed chairs, acoustic baffles. Also - make sure you don't pin up paper over all the cubicles - it eliminates the sound absorption of the cubicles.
This plus sound deadening material on the ceiling - sound reflects off ceilings so easily - even the acoustic tile that people use. Carpet (even regular office carpet, but they do make sound deadening carpet too) on the ceiling would work wonders.
 

Mineralogic

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My business is growing and I've got what is essentially a call center of 5 cubicles in one room with everyone a phone call. It gets LOUD. So loud that customers respond to words from people in the background or are so frustrated with background noise that they ask us to call them back when it is quieter. What can I do to keep it quieter and the conversations clearer. We already have 60" high L Shape cubicles so we are all pretty well blocked off. And we have $75 headsets.

Any better headsets? Acoustical foam? Plants?

yikes, very hard to work on the phone with so much distraction
 

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Fred Chevry

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Throat mics don't pick up ambient sound. Military, airplane pilots and myself driving my truck windows/sunroof open use it to have normal phone conversations [emoji14]

uploadfromtaptalk1448377730753.jpguploadfromtaptalk1448377735063.jpg

Sent from my LG-D852G using Tapatalk
 

Impressive M

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i got too excited looking at the thread and wanted to give my opinion, because i am currently running a 70 seats call center out of 4000 sq feet office. Having said that, everything i had on mind was already discussed here and you just can't ignore any of them, for me, here are the most important factors:
Ceiling - it's the most ignored voice absorver in call center industry.
Carpet
Noise cancellation headsets
Mute the headset when not talking
Very little paper on the cubicles

There isn't really alot more you can do other than adding extra square footage

Oh and don't foget when you get to more than 10 people on the phone, there is going to be one Loud Larry that everyone will hate. ALWAYS HAPPENS!
 

John Robert

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Bluetooth headsets so they can wander places, soft things with weird angles to disperse sound (cardboard/egg cartons/etc), a better layout to limit sound reflection.
 

Tweeve11

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I know this sounds obvious and pretty stupid, but when I worked at Ruffalo Cody (which operates a vast majority of college and university call centers across the US) there was a massive emphasis on "selling voices"

We were always coached to speak in a specific tone and volume of voice.

So maybe try encouraging your callers to speak at lower voice volumes?
 

Entire

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Throat mic is a good idea but that little ear piece will bother everyone and and they will go back to normal headsets. If you get one of those make sure its comfortable for long periods of time.
If you use bluetooth heads-sets make sure you label them clearly.. when one disconnects because someone went to their car and took a nap for example, you want to make sure they can reconnect quickly.
for the best noise reduction, your going to have to upgrade the headsets themselves. example , a Sennheiser's CC 510 which is about $150 each I believe..
If you are not able to get the headsets upgraded, look into a Jabra audio enhancer This box has a tap to mute button agents can pop to kill all noise on their end, and a roll to change volume they will enjoy when customers get loud. It connects to any existing headset & is really good at minimizing noise level automatically. -- although word of warning, I was on a high quality headset so I don't know how it would work on a cheaper pair.
are you running fans? turn them off and fix the AC.
agents using clack clackity keyboards? you would be amazed how loud that noise can get.. the Dell 104 silent keyboard (19.99 each) will fix that problem.
don't tape egg cartons.. that will encourage bugs.
 
G

GuestUser202

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When I worked in a call center environment at IBM, they had white noise pumping through the call center. They swear it helped. Might be something to research. I can also attest to the ceiling height. Drop ceilings seem to help dramatically...at least from my experience.
 

ExCubeCommando

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When I worked in a call center environment at IBM, they had white noise pumping through the call center. They swear it helped. Might be something to research. I can also attest to the ceiling height. Drop ceilings seem to help dramatically...at least from my experience.

Did you work in Boulder? I was there from 2000 to 2009. I worked a helpdesk for Amtrak account for about 5 years, then went to the printer division which I never really cared for. My group got outsourced to a company called Apex Computer systems (IBM printer division sold to Ricoh). I got laid off from Apex in 2011, started my own business and haven't looked back. That was my 'taste' of corporate life, and I have NO desire to go back to this environment.
 

Ubermensch

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My business is growing and I've got what is essentially a call center of 5 cubicles in one room with everyone a phone call. It gets LOUD. So loud that customers respond to words from people in the background or are so frustrated with background noise that they ask us to call them back when it is quieter. What can I do to keep it quieter and the conversations clearer. We already have 60" high L Shape cubicles so we are all pretty well blocked off. And we have $75 headsets.

Any better headsets? Acoustical foam? Plants?

How much are you paying the callers?

Why not let them work remotely?

Why not hire remote telemarketers in the first place?

Eliminate the physical call center and you eliminate the noise of the physical call center.

Is there some particular aspect of your business that necessitates that you have a physical call center?
 
G

GuestUser202

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Did you work in Boulder? I was there from 2000 to 2009. I worked a helpdesk for Amtrak account for about 5 years, then went to the printer division which I never really cared for. My group got outsourced to a company called Apex Computer systems (IBM printer division sold to Ricoh). I got laid off from Apex in 2011, started my own business and haven't looked back. That was my 'taste' of corporate life, and I have NO desire to go back to this environment.
Haha! Yes! I did work in Boulder!! I heard the whole Ricoh/Apex story a few times. I was there from 7/09-12/09. I saw very quickly I was going no where with that place and left after only 5 months. Didn't start my own business at that point, but I didn't have Mr. DeMarco either. I know, not an excuse, but nevertheless, it seems I needed a little push from someone and because of Mr. DeMarco, I am getting a HUGE push from A LOT of people!!
 
G

GuestUser202

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How much are you paying the callers?

Why not let them work remotely?

Why not hire remote telemarketers in the first place?

Eliminate the physical call center and you eliminate the noise of the physical call center.

Is there some particular aspect of your business that necessitates that you have a physical call center?
Remote work has its own complications and costs associated with it. Corporate America is constantly hiring/laying off remote workers. When a company needs to downsize, remotes are the 1st to go. One of the biggest concerns about remote workers is the lack of supervision. And honestly, if I cannot control every aspect of MY business, I won't do it.
 

Ubermensch

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Remote work has its own complications and costs associated with it. Corporate America is constantly hiring/laying off remote workers. When a company needs to downsize, remotes are the 1st to go. One of the biggest concerns about remote workers is the lack of supervision. And honestly, if I cannot control every aspect of MY business, I won't do it.

You know that old quote about immigrants doing work that Americans won't do? People usually think of this type of work as cleaning toilets, janitorial work, low-level or entry-level jobs that involve manual labor.

However, the concept applies to telemarketing as well.

I hustle like an immigrant, and I want people who hustle like one, too.


Cardone says the point of the hustle is to take care of yourself, your children, your dreams.

LOL, at 2:30 - 3:00, he says I'm going out to hire an illegal immigrant TODAY!

5:30: Immigrants are three times more likely than Americans to become millionaires. Why? The hustle!

6:15 - 6:25 - Cardone points out that immigration is a great thing, because "if Jay-Z were still in Africa, I wouldn't even know about rap!" LMFAOOOOO!! :smoking::rockon:

He said that the best employees are immigrants because they hustle, they show up, they don't complain, they don't bitch, they don't call in sick and... they don't get in car wrecks (because they don't have cars).

While Cardone is just joking, he makes a good point. Hire immigrants for basic jobs - if you can - because they are often better workers.

If we're talking about telemarketers, then you should definitely take a look at hiring foreign employees directly and individually, or hiring a foreign call center. Either way, it's cheaper and better than having Americans make those same calls.

The efficacy of remote works depend son the worker and on the general nature of the task.

"Corporate America is constantly/laying off remote workers" may be a factually accurate statement, but you didn't show how it applies specifically to hiring telemarketers.

A more relevant trend in corporate America - for the purpose of this thread - is the act of American corporations officially moving their incorporation locales to foreign jurisdictions. And it's no secret that American corporations intelligently save money by hiring talented labor overseas, instead of overpaying for less quality work from American workers.

I would much rather hire a solid telemarketer- and pay $4 to $10 per hour - than pay lazy, entitlement-minded employees in the United States.

In fact, I recently hired a Philippines-based telemarketing group I am, quite frankly, shocked at how clearly both the male and female callers speak English.

I'm so done with hiring Americans to do work in America. Overpriced, not worth it.

@collegeweb

Why not just hire a telemarketing group to do what your overpriced American employees are doing? The right telemarketing firm will charge you no more than $10 per hour, and you won't have to manage them or pay taxes.

You can hire a firm to do either B2B or B2C. The right firm will send you recordings and call reports for all of the calls. They'll probably let you start out with ONE CALLER, just to test their services. You should be able to negotiate this test down to $5 per hour, which means you can get 40 hours of calling for $200. That's not bad. In fact, that's pretty damn good.
 
Last edited:

Eaden

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Working myself in a call center, here are some ideas easy to implement, and most importantly, easy to get used to (because, it may be a super idea, like the throat mikes, if it is not accepted, it will not work) (for example, I know I could not get used to wearing a headset on my throat 8 hours a day, 5/7):
1 - light, comfortable, noise cancellation (if affordable), with a loooong cable to be able to stand and walk a little away from the desk, headset. (no offense for the bluetooth, but working in a technical support, you do not want to deal with batteries and Bluetooth settings going wild)
2 - good quality chairs (nobody likes being sit on a squealing/cracking chair all day long), and it is damn important ergonomically (pain in the back = more sick time)
3 - flat walls (you can find cubicle separations doubled with acoustic mousse, really efficient)
4 - good quality carpet on the floor (careful of allergies when they are of bad quality)
5 - high ceiling (if possible) + acoustic mousse (cf. picture): maybe the cheapest, most efficient and quick to implement solution of all.
Hope it helped. :)
6 - have more than 50 cm between two advisors (cf. beautiful-pro-paint-designed picture)
I hope it will help! Be kind to your advisors! :)
 

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Tim7674

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A technology called RNR (Reference-based noise reduction) can be of help in this situation. This technology can correlate the audio of the multiple agents in order to attenuate the background voices from each call.
 

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