Background noise in a contact centre is a big problem for staff members and customers alike. Agents who cannot hear what their customers are saying are unlikely to deal with queries effectively enough, and callers don't want to speak to somebody who sounds like they are in the middle of a busy room. While technology and building design both play an important role in this, staff training is equally vital. Here are four things your agents need to know how to do to manage background noise.

Adjust the volume of their microphone and headset

A typical call centre headset and microphone will have various volume settings. While each agent may have preferred standard settings, he or she will probably still always need to increase or decrease the volume to make sure the call flows efficiently, so it's vital that everyone knows how to use the equipment you provide. Show new agents how to make these adjustments, and make sure technical guides are available to new and experienced staff members.

Identify and report faulty equipment

Any piece of contact centre equipment can develop a fault, especially in a busy office where agents share their headsets. Any perception that it takes a long time to resolve a fault may put your agents off reporting the issue, which means they may compensate by shouting or talking loudly because their headset doesn't work properly.

Make sure agents know how report faults, and follow up on reported issues quickly and effectively. Ideally, you should also have a supply of spare headsets, so you can swap out any equipment that's in need of a repair.

Manage the volume of their voices

Call control is vital on every contact into the centre, and your agents need to know what to say and how to say it. An even tone and volume is a good way to sound assured and professional and allows agents to raise their voices slightly if they need to without shouting. Awareness of the volume of your voice is vital in a contact centre, as agents tend to sit close to each other, so trainers and coaches need to constantly review how your employees perform.

Behave appropriately in the contact centre

Increased employee morale boosts productivity, and even the Fair Work Ombudsman shares ideas about how to keep staff members happy. Nonetheless, some activities can create a lot of background noise in a contact centre, so it's vital that your workers know how to behave around other agents. Encourage workers to use breakout areas for private conversations, hold team briefings away from people on the phone, and ask all workers to keep their mobile phones on silent during the day

Background noise can be highly disruptive in a contact centre. Talk to your business phone system provider for other tips about how you can manage this problem.