If you’re in the market for a new office headset, there’s a lot of things you need to consider beyond the product itself. Your search should include details about the vendor you’ll contract with who will provide the headsets to you and your company.
This blog will go over 9 key points you should consider before taking steps to enter into a vendor relationship for your company’s office headsets.
On average, the headsets you purchase today should be in use for about five years. Some organizations may extend their usage beyond five years, while others a bit less. If you work in a Call Center, for example, and the headsets are shared and used 24/7, then you should expect a shorter useful life.
By contrast, if the wired office headset, or wireless office headset is used in a more traditional office environment, then you would likely see the useful life extend to five years or beyond.
As a result, it’s important to select a good vendor partner so that you have a good overall experience
Consideration #1 - Years in Business
Before you enter into a relationship with an office headset vendor, you’ll want to check how long the vendor has been in business. In most cases, the longer the better. If you work with a company that’s new and without a lengthy track record, you’ll be exposing yourself to greater risk.
A vendor with a past record of being in business for a long time gives you a longer time line to evaluate their performance. This will give you a better understanding of the business and how they might perform for you.
You can find out how long a vendor has been in business by visiting their website, the Better Business Bureau or other on-line sources in order to learn more about their length of time in business.
Consideration #2 - Headset specialist or headset generalist
In doing your due diligence, you’ll discover that providers of headsets come in two categories; specialists and generalists.
Headset generalists not only provide headsets, but many other products that are often related. For example, a vendor might specialize in office phone systems where they provide phone service as well as phone hardware. As a side offering, they might provide headsets more as a customer service, rather than office headsets being their focus.
Companies that focus on computer sales may also include headsets as a side offering as well. Other examples include big box stores that offer thousands of products, some of which are headsets.
The common theme among all of these providers is they don’t focus on, nor specialize in Plantronics headsets or any other brand of office headset. As a result, they commonly lack the necessary product knowledge to give you a good tailored headset recommendation.
They also lack the headset experience and knowledge needed to assist you with setup support and troubleshooting. Both are valuable, especially in times of need.
A headset specialist is the exact opposite of a generalist. When you work with a headset specialist, you’re working with a company that provides headsets as their primary area of focus.
These companies know headsets because that’s pretty much all they do. They can provide you with office headset recommendations tailored to your exact needs. Additionally, they can assist you with setup and help with troubleshooting as needed.
Given a choice,working with a headset specialist will give you a far better experience in the short term and long term as well.
Consideration #3 - Ratings & Reviews
We live in an on-line era which can be very helpful when it comes to gathering the 411 on products and companies.
Online sources can be helpful in better knowing what you can expect when selecting a particular product or company to contract with. Helpful sources include:
- Better Business Bureau
You can also gain insights into a company's performance by speaking with your industry contacts. They too can be a wealth of information to help narrow down your vendor search.
Consideration #4 - Fair & Reasonable pricing
A vendor can be the perfect fit but if their prices are sky high, that can leave you still looking.
Most companies today are seeking the best value rather than the best price only. There are many benefits available to companies when they seek out the best overall value. In most cases, these benefits are unavailable when the lowest price is the only deciding factor.
If you want to make life easy for you and for your staff, look for a vendor that offers areas of value. Value can take the form of knowledge, experience, expertise, focus, service offerings, great and responsive communication and more.
Nobody wants their calls to go unanswered or unreturned. Nobody wants to ask for advice and receive none in return. Nobody wants to have to figure things out on their own, and for sure, nobody wants to be left without a headset during busy times.
These are things to consider when a vendor's price comes into the conversation. There are times when paying a little more can yield significantly more value in return.
Consideration #5 - Work with a vendor that’s responsive
Ever found yourself waiting for a return phone call or email, only to be disappointed with how long it took? Ever needed to exchange a product or do a return but had difficulties with the company? Most would agree that we’ve all been there.
When it comes to being responsive, there is a difference between vendors. Like with any company, some are better at this over others. So how can you know if a vendor is responsive or not?
Read on-line reviews. Assuming that the reviews haven’t been pre-screened, they should give you a sense about a company and their responsiveness. People are pretty honest when it comes to calling companies out, so this would be a good place to start.
Talk with Industry contacts. You can also talk with industry peers in order to find out who they contract with for their headsets, and what’s been their experience. This can be a great place for information when looking for a vendor to contract with for an office headset, or wireless headset for phone.
Consideration #6 - Product selection
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Look for a vendor that offers different office headset models and brands. This will give you more buying choices and as a result, a greater chance of finding the perfect wired office headset or wireless office headset.
When you buy insurance, for example, you stand a better chance of finding a good policy if you have a few companies to choose from. When you’re looking for an office headset, there is a difference between manufacturers.
Though some feel that office headsets are all pretty much the same, that’s actually not true. Differences do exist from manufacturer to manufacturer and include differences such as comfort, sound quality, warranty, price, features, support and more.
Consideration #7 - Headset Trade-in
If your company is like most, you probably have a box of old headsets stored away somewhere. Typically, these just collect dust and take up valuable space. Still, what can you do with old headsets that are broken or not needed?
- Throw them out. Not our recommendation as that just adds to our already overcrowded landfill.
- Keep them. If they’re broken or not needed, they’re just taking up space you could use for other things
- Donate them. Yes, that’s an option if you can find someone that can use them. A sort of redeployment. The recipient would then have to troubleshoot each headset and become familiar with how to set up, use and troubleshoot them.
- E-Waste them to a certified recycler. This is a good and environmentally friendly option, but it will cost you money to dispose of these office headsets.
None of the options above are overly attractive. That is unless the vendor you choose offers a headset trade-in program. You can turn these space consuming, unwanted old headsets into cash or credit that you can apply towards new ones. So whether you’re in need of a wired headset or a Plantronics headset model, receiving trade-in value for your old models can help lower your costs.
Many headset vendors don’t offer a trade-in program, but some do. Typically the ones that do fall into the headset specialist category, so make sure to ask if this is a program they offer.
Consideration #8 - Alternative ways to acquire office headsets
Not everyone has unlimited funds in their budget. If things are economically tight, make sure to ask the vendor if they offer alternative ways to acquire headsets besides payment in full, up front. A couple of examples of this could include:
- 90 days same as cash. This would be a zero interest payment plan that takes the price of the office headsets and spreads it out over a 3 month period in 3 equal payments. This kind of program would generally offer this payment schedule at zero percent interest.
- Headset rental. Though not commonly offered, there are vendors that rent office headsets. The advantage to renting is you get to conserve your cash that you can use for other things in your business. You also aren’t stuck with a specific
model which can be important in those cases where communication needs change suddenly. An office headset rental will likely include replacement accessories like replacement ear cushions and wireless office headset batteries. And, being a rental is an agreement and not a contract, you can cancel it more easily.
Again, if you’re facing some financial challenges, make sure to ask your headset vendor if they have alternate ways of acquiring the office headsets you need. You might just find not only the perfect office headset, but the perfect way to acquire them too.
Consideration #9 - Warranty & Returns
Not all warranties are created equal, and in most would agree, the longer the warranty, the better.
As one of the pieces to your headset vendor selection puzzle, make sure to ask about warranties and returns. Truly, they’re not all the same as they can vary.
- Length. How long is the warranty and the return period? There are differences in the length, so make sure to ask.
- Shipping. If you need to submit a warranty or returns claim, who pays for the shipping? The customer? The vendor? Both? If you don’t know, make sure to
ask because it can save you some money, especially if you’re working with a lot of office headsets.
- Advance replacements. Does the vendor require that your wired headset or wireless office headset be received before a replacement can be sent? If so, that will leave you without a headset for a longer than necessary period of time.
Ask the vendor if the warranty and returns include advance replacements. If so, it’s a better deal for you because the vendor will send you out a replacement before they receive the defective unit. You get a faster exchange and spend far less time waiting.
- Method of shipping. Does the vendor send out replacements using a slow delivery method, or something faster? It’s worth asking so you’ll know what to expect.
Make sure to ask as this is often overlooked and can play a meaningful role in those moments when you’re needing exchange services.
Consideration #10 - The Likeability Factor
Though this is very subjective, it does play a role in most people’s decision making process. That is, how likeable are the people that you engage with from the vendor company? Though this may seem insignificant, these are the people you’ll be talking and interacting with over the course of the next five or so years.
It’s been said that people buy from those they like. If there’s any truth to this line of thought, then weighing likeability does make sense.
Whether you take into consideration all of these points or just some of them, it really doesn’t matter. The main thing is for you to be aware of them, and to use the information in a way that’s most beneficial to you.
Hopefully you found this blog helpful. If you have questions and would like to contact us directly, don’t hesitate to do so. We’ll be glad to answer your questions and help in any way we can.
You might also benefit from the videos on our Youtube channel, here.