Financial queries. Legal matters. Medical advice. These are the conversations in your life where being able to hear the other person on the call perfectly is vital.
You might accept dogs barking, chattering housemates, ringing phones, and roadworks in the background of your weekly catchup with friends - but when the subject might massively impact your future, it’s an entirely different scenario.
This is why call centres dealing with sensitive phone conversations such as governmental departments, emergency services, or legal topics have the biggest need to ensure their call centres or remote agent environments are conducive to background noise-free conversations.
Read on to find out why removing background noise is critical from a customer, agent, and organisational perspective.
When dealing with topics such as taxes, healthcare, or judicial issues, it’s important that every word in the conversation is heard correctly. In a survey we ran asking the general public about their experiences with customer service calls, 74% had been on a call where the agent couldn’t hear them properly due to noise around them (the customer), and 77% had experienced a call where they couldn’t hear the agent due to noise around them (the agents).
These stats highlight a huge proportion of customer service calls that could result in mistakes and misunderstandings due to noise on either end. This might not always lead to serious consequences, but it’s far more likely to get a misdiagnosis on an online health call, a legal issue from a governmental department call, or more dire ramifications on a police call if the audio quality isn’t clear.
In these situations, if a solution like a background noise cancellation app can help increase the accuracy and time to resolution of these calls, then the advantages are considerable to all parties: any negative outcome is potentially devastating for the caller and legally dangerous for the organisation.
Background noise can cause stress. A 2011 study found that households in ambient noise-heavy areas such as flight paths and traffic were considerably more likely to take medication used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). If in addition, the conversations between your agents with the contacts calling in are of a stressful nature — such as questions or issues over taxes or legal proceedings — you can see how quickly a call can become unnecessarily fraught, decreasing the chance of a positive outcome.
The stress isn’t just from the customer’s side either. 69% of agents we surveyed last year said that background noise had a negative impact on their mental wellbeing. Meanwhile a study by Remark Group found that 57% of UK office workers consider noise to negatively impact their workplace wellbeing. In an industry with the worst turnover rate of any industry at 30-45%, calls can be affected further by agents with low patience, or the constant churn of experience out of the call centre.
Removing the background noise from both ends of the call with background noise cancellation apps like IRIS Clarity (try it for free for 7 days) allows you to reduce unnecessary extra stress to already sensitive conversations. This can help both the customer and agent’s wellbeing during these calls, and improve the chances of resolving issues the first time around.
The final reason that removing background noise is important for call centres dealing with clients in emergency services, healthcare, governmental departments, and legal entities is the important and hot-button issue of privacy.
When speaking to an agent at a call centre with highly confidential information about yourself on their screen, it's understandable that you want only that agent to see that information. This illusion of confidentiality is shattered when you start to hear other agents in the call centre talking to their own customers about their issues. After all, if you can hear the responses to their questions, they can probably hear yours. And if those responses include your name and some personal information, your sensitive information can quickly spread, which is a massive data privacy concern.
This adds to the stress mentioned previously — as customers worry about controlling what the agent might say out loud and risks making the customer uncomfortable and closed off. In situations where being open and honest is key to the conversation, like a lot of sensitive calls are, this can create a big barrier to a positive outcome.
The best audio for the biggest conversations
Whilst headsets and noise-absorbing partitions can help with certain background noise issues, the bi-directionality of background noise cancellation apps like IRIS Clarity is the only solution to all of these problems. By removing the noise around the agent for the customers, and noise around the customer for agents, you create a perfect bubble of productivity for each conversation in your call centre.
Whilst perfect audio is important to all conversations, it's critical for those conversations that mean the most. If your call centre deals with calls from governmental departments, emergency services, or financial/legal organisations, get in touch with us and we’ll show you how IRIS Clarity can help or you can start a free trial.