The Contact Center Blog - Read, Learn, Engage

10 Quick Ways to Curb Background Noise in a Call Center for Stress-Free Communication

Background Noise in a Call Center

One of the key problems in many call centers is excessive background noise. This noise often reaches the customer though the phone. It can also make it difficult for your agents to think cohesively. Check out some of the recommended solutions to curb background noise in a call center.

1. The Noise at Work Act should be adhered to
There may be certain legal obligations you need to follow for keeping the background noise in the call center within stipulated limits. The Noise at Work act requires that proper safety measures be implemented to keep the exposure to sound below 85 db on a daily basis for the employees. Keeping the sound in check will lead to a healthy and productive workforce. 

2. Use of mobile phones should be banned
Mobile phones are another nuisance on the work floor of a call center. Imagine a situation where one of your agents is having her lunch and her mobile phone is constantly ringing in the call center.
So to counter such situations, you can create a policy that will make sure all your agents switch off their mobile phones when they are not at their workstation for some time. This should raise the concentration level of the other agents on the floor.

3. Use handsets with noise canceling capabilities
The last few years have witnessed drastic developments in the field of handset technology. Today, sophisticated handsets are available in the market that are equipped with wireless and noise cancelling capabilities. These features can be quite useful in a call center setup.

4. A two-ear headset should be used inside a call center
Call center can have a really noisy environment and be really busy at times. As it is, many agents have trouble being continuously on the telephone. Background noise, if not curbed can make it difficult to comprehend what is being spoken around an agent.
A binaural or duo handset is appropriate because it brings down the noise and makes sure the conversation is crystal clear. If a duo handset is used by an agent, he or she can concentrate fully on their calls and need not raise the pitch to hear the caller at the other end. 

5. Use plants in the call center
Placing large plants in the office can help you deflect the noise. However, make sure your call center is not over crowded with plants or it will look like an office from the eighties. 

6. Meetings should never be held on the floor of a call center
It is a good practice to separate business in a call center setup. Establishing separate boardrooms for conducting all types of meetings is definitely a good idea. When a meeting is conducted on a call center’s floor, it can be irritating for all those agents who are on call. 

7. All noise machines should be placed in a separate room
If agents are made to sit near the fax machines or a photocopier, they may get hassled by constant beeps from these machines, informing that they are out of papers. This can cause even the most patient agent to get irritated.
Similar kind of noises can be created by a vending or coffee machine. This another reason why the layout of your call center should be given serious consideration.
Make sure that all your office appliances are placed at your office’s back or may be in a separate room so that agents need not have to bear such loud and irritating sounds.

8. Having a separate cubicle is not a bad idea
When you remove the partition, it may give the floor of your call center an open look and feel but can also increase the level of background noise in the call center.
Cubicles can not only help in bringing down the background noises, they can also introduce a sense of privacy. The cubicles can be equipped with noise-reducing foam. Moreover, the sitting distances between the agents can be introduced for reducing the noise level.

9. Treat your call center like you would treat a library
A well-organized call center like the one at Sun Microsystems feels similar to a library. Keeping silence in the floor should be implemented stringently as is being done in a library so that agents can have the required concentration to solve the clients’ technical or non-technical problems.

10. Reduce density of your call center staff
An expensive but effective way to curb background noises in your call center is to reduce the density of employees. Ideally, each agent in a call center should have more than 120 sq feet for himself. It will enable people to have more space to breathe and the environment in a call center will be more relaxed.

Topics: Call Center Agents