Our contact center staff is on the front lines every day. Plantronics uses the term “Brand Ambassadors,” as these staff members are the face of your company to the outside world. They are the first, and sometimes final, point of contact for customers.
We are in the middle of the “most wonderful time of the year“ and you are probably looking around your call center right now and wondering if you’ve done everything you possibly could have to ensure a successful, positive holiday season for your staff, and in turn, for your customers. Long hours, sleep-deprived customers and staff, and faulty equipment can contribute to poor morale.
Whether you are at this point in the year completely immersed in the holiday season in your contact center, or just gaining steam, one of the most important pieces of equipment your staff uses is their headset. Are they working with broken-down, pieced-together-with-Scotch-tape headsets? Or, are you equipping them with a quality headset that’s comfortable and one they feel confident with using every day?
Our recommendation for staff members who are on the phone for the majority of their work day: thePlantronics EncorePro HW520. Plantronics took the best from the SupraPlus family and updated the technology, fit and comfort level into a stylish, lightweight headset with high quality sound.
Plantronics has made the good even better with the newest iteration of the Edge Bluetooth headset, the Voyager 3200 UC.
It is diminutive in size, yet the mic was able to pick up everything we said; our callers couldn't believe we were talking to them on a Bluetooth headset. The mic muffled and/or blocked out people talking in the office (depending upon the volume of their voice), so that callers could not hear exactly what was being said around us. In our testing, the 40 mph winds (no kidding!) raged around us, and they were picked up by the mic, but not so much that we could not be heard on the other end.
The Voyager 3200 UC comes with 3 different sizes of ear gels for a personalized fit, and a lightweight ear hook. We did not test it with the ear hook, because it felt stable enough in-ear that we didn't worry about it falling off while walking around. Once we were out of range of the iPhone, the headset "spoke" with the notification that the device was out of range.
The portable charging case with strap to hang it from a belt loop, bag handle, or purse strap, is a great addition to this headset. Not only does it store the headset, and charge it on-the-go, the case also houses the USB dongle in the front - simply open the small "door" on the front and that's where the dongle is stored. Battery charge levels are easy to discern at a glance;
simply swipe a finger down the front of the case (on either side of the headset) and up to 3 blue lights will light up showing a full charge.
Take advantage of the Plantronics software-enabled functionality in 2 ways:
•The Hub mobile app locates your lost headset, changes languages, wirelessly update firmware, personalize settings and alerts, and enable smart sensor capabilities.
•Use Plantronics Hub desktop software to view headset battery meter, change language, update firmware, enable softphone call control, or personalize settings and alerts.
There are so many features packed into this small device, it's hard to share all of them here. Do you have a question about the Plantronics Voyager 3200 UC, or a different Bluetooth headset? Give us a call at 1-866-998-9991 and we can guide you to the device of your dreams.
While some professions require ongoing training for recertification and licensing, such as pharmacy technicians, medical professionals, and accountants, it is truly beneficial for all industries to consider staff training and development as part of their mission. Why? The benefits seem to outweigh the drawbacks, and lead to positive outcomes for both employer and employees.
Here are just a few of the benefits to providing ongoing training and development:
•Staff Retention. Employees see the investment that their organization makes when they provide training opportunities. The employees feel that they can contribute to the organization by attending the training and learning about the ideas presented to them. Hiring new staff, and training them, is a much bigger investment to an organization, compared with a day (or even a week) of sending current employees to a training opportunity.
•Increase skills and productivity. When employees know more, they do more. And, they do it better. For example, providing excellent customer care can get a boost from learning new ways to handle customers and situations. Computer and technical skills can be polished and enhanced with training in the newest technologies and processes available.
•Less supervision. Employees who are confident in their job duties can be trusted to handle those responsibilities independently. This frees supervisors to focus on other areas.
•Increase morale and motivation. Happy employees are successful employees. In a study by the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, researchers found that happy employees are 12% more productive than those who are not. When employees see the investment a company makes in the employee's career, this makes them feel valued and appreciated.
•Break from day-to-day duties. Taking time away from the daily grind also gives employees the chance to look at situations at work with fresh eyes. Sometimes when sitting in the same spot day after day, year after year, it can be difficult to step back and see the big picture. A day or two away from the workplace can make a huge difference.
Staff development and training could include:
Attending training as an individual, or with a team
Training at the workplace for a few hours, or an entire day
One staff member trains another
An online course
These are just a few of the many training possibilities available. Is staff training and development a priority for your organization? Let us know on the Comments tab, above.
The ability to communicate well is an important life skill. Dictionary.com defines communication this way: to give or interchange thoughts, feelings, information, or the like, by writing, speaking, etc. In a workplace, there are a variety of methods to communicate, and knowing when to use them increases chances for career success.
Meetings. The best use of time should be considered when scheduling a meeting. A clear agenda should be sent to all attendees before the meeting so that everyone is prepared and ready to discuss the topics. This will also keep the meeting on task and keep the meeting length reasonable. Meetings lasting longer than necessary, with no clear agenda or goals, are quite simply a waste of time for all.
Emails. The tone of the wording should be carefully proofread so that the message intent is there, without causing unnecessary drama or strife. Remember that emails are forever accessible; can be forwarded to others; and can be misconstrued, so plain language is the best practice for effective emails.
Training. This is a critical piece of communication in every organization: when something new is introduced, training is essential for complete understanding and employee buy-in. It can be time-consuming; but not necessarily so. Train what you need to train for, and then move on, knowing that you can always go back and revisit if needed. Provide support channels until everyone is confident in the change.
Videoconferencing. We use Easymeeting to work with co-workers outside of our building. There are many options for unified office communications solutions, such as Microsoft Skype for Business, Cisco Jabber and many more. We have found that Vidyo is an effective way to speak "face to face," share information and ideas in a natural conversation, as well as share computer screens to further the conversation.
One on One. Sometimes it makes sense to simply visit the person you need to speak with. This is especially important when sensitive topics are discussed, or bad news is shared. Body language plays a huge role in communicating, and it's best when these "bigger" conversations happen, that they take place face to face.
Do you have any suggestions on how to communicate well in the workplace? Share your ideas above on the Comments tab.
The blog is a great way to share information about us, our products, and other notable topics of interest to business professionals. In that same vein,
the YouTube channel is simply another avenue to share our content. Wouldn't you rather watch a video about a product, than read about it? In fact, research supports that four times as many customers prefer to watch a video! (Animoto, 2015) And, since YouTube has more than 1 billion users worldwide, the time seemed right for us to jump in.
So, what can you expect to see on our channel? First of all, you're going to get product reviews. Honest reviews of products and how they work is one of the main types of videos you'll find on the Avcomm Solutions Channel. We are fortunate to offer high quality headsets, speakerphones, USB videocameras and Busylights. We work directly with our manufacturers to bring in product samples that let us test out products in an office environment - much like yours.
Next, you'll see demos. According to research, 4 out of 5 consumers believe that demo videos are helpful. The support questions that we typically assist with involve the initial set-up of headsets, what cord is needed to connect a headset to a phone, and which headset is right for a work environment/connection type/wearing preference.
Everyone loves a good unboxing video, and you'll see some of those here too. We get our hands on the latest products, and it's always fun to be the first to open the box - almost like it's Christmas! We will share this excitement with you!
The ever popular How-To format will be featured as well. Here are some of our plans: how to change batteries in wireless headsets; how to connect a new headset to your phone; how to pair a Bluetooth headset to a smartphone or tablet; how to adjust the volume on a wireless headset; and much more.
Product comparisons give our viewers the tools they need to help choose the best products. When faced with two similar headsets, which features make the most sense for you and your work environment? What differentiates the products?
Q & A's will enable us to answer some of the most-asked questions that we receive. Many of our questions are repeated by a variety of customers ... leading us to believe this will be a great format for YouTube videos.
What would you like to see on our new YouTube channel? Please leave a Comment by clicking on the "Comments" tab, above. Head over to our YouTube channel before you leave, and be sure to "Subscribe" to the channel by clicking on the red Subscribe button. Thank you!