If you’re faced with the task of training new employees, it will no doubt involve training that includes communication. Communication, for the purpose of this blog will be limited to typical business communications such as phone, softphone and video conferencing.
Business communications today has gone through a transformation. What used to be business as usual is no longer the case. In fact, anything but that.
The covid pandemic has changed the way we communicate. At the very least, it has modified our methods and without question, accelerated the use of Softphones over desk phones as well as elevated our use of video conferencing.
As a Manager who’s responsible for training existing employees and new hires, it’s important to deliver the right information when it comes to the use of the tools and technology for business communication.
This blog will not go down the path of recommended best practices for training. What it will do is to provide you some basic information on the do’s and don’t of headset usage.
This will help to get your employees off on the right foot when it comes to using headsets correctly. And yes, there are wrong ways to use a headset. With that said, let’s jump right into this.
The Do’s and Don’ts of using wired headsets
Use it, don't abuse it. When using a wired headset, wired phone headset, wired Bluetooth headset or any other type of headset, treat the item with care.
A wired headset, by definition, contains a cord. This cord is a lot more fragile than what you might think. All that can be seen is a single cable which can easily lead you to feel it’s stout and able to withstand use and abuse.
In truth, that seemingly single cable in actuality is a multi-strand cable instead. The inner cables housed inside of it are very thin and easily fractured. Twisting the cable around your finger is a bad idea. Closing
the cable in your desk drawer is clearly a bad idea. Rolling your office chair over the wired headset cable is enough to cause it to go into cardiac arrest. Treat your wired headset with care and be mindful of the vulnerabilities of the cable.
Using, not abusing also applies to how you treat your headset overall, and not just the cord. Throwing it down, banging it on the desk, tossing it across the room all qualify as wired headset abuse.
The last thing you want is to see your likeness on a billboard for these deeds done while at work. Imagine the shame?
Be kind to your headset and it will be kind to you in return.
Don’t forget the clip. A wired headset will sometimes come with a clothing clip. This is a small black clip commonly located somewhere on the wired headset cord. Some people prefer to remove it. I, for one, feel that’s a mistake.
A clothing clip truly serves a purpose and not just something to get in the way. When you put the wired headset on, the cord hangs down.and can easily get snagged on to something nearby.
When you use the clothing clip, it helps to avoid seeing your headset getting launched off your head while in the middle of an important business call if it hangs up on something.
You see, the clothing clip helps to keep the cord attached to you. If it snags or hangs up on something, it will tend to first pull against the clip and not on the headset directly. This gives you a far better chance of keeping the headset on and not being detached from your call from an airborne bound headset.
If your wired headset comes with a clothing clip, use it.
Where the microphone meets the mouth. When you place a wired headset on your head, you’ll find that the microphone can be in any number of places. It might rest halfway up the side of your cheek. It might be tickling your throat, or, it might be reaching outwards as though trying to grab a scooby snack.
Location, location, location applies to more than searching for a good spot for your next Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise. In the context of wired headsets, where you place the microphone can make a huge difference in how good, or not so good, you sound. So where’s the magical place to position your microphone so you don’t end up sounding like Darth Vader?
Two fingers width from the corner of your mouth
Place the microphone so that it measures approximately two fingers width from the corner of your mouth.
- Place your index finger and middle finger together
- Place your index finger against the corner of your mouth
- Slide the microphone boom arm so that it’s positioned in this spot. 4. Once positioned, confirm it’s in the correct spot by checking a second time with your index finger and middle finger.
If your microphone is positioned anywhere else, you run the risk of not being heard clearly, or your voice could be muffled. When this happens, many people conclude that their headset is defective. A simple readjustment of the wired headset microphone boom arm can resolve a lot of audio quality issues.
Place your wired headset microphone so that it’s positioned approximately two fingers width from the corner of your mouth.
Noise can be distracting. As we work together in an office, and yes, after the pandemic, we will slowly find ourselves back in the office, be mindful of the volume of our voice.
Wired headsets commonly come with noise reducing microphones. These help to filter out unwanted noise so that your callers or customers aren’t able to hear the sounds around you.
Though good, that doesn’t help you to remain focused. Distractions can drain productivity, and some studies suggest that it can take upwards of 20 minutes to regain your full focus once distracted.
Have a heart and share some love with your fellow coworkers by being mindful of your talking volume. Individually voices can be very distracting, but collectively, you’d be surprised the decibel levels that can be reached when a group starts chatting it up.
Be kind to your coworkers by being mindful of the volume at which you speak.
To release or not to release, that is the question. Professional wired headsets that are used with desk phones typically come with a Quick Disconnect (QD) clip. This is the spot that joins the cord from the wired headset to the coil cord that connects to your desk phone.
When you’re on a call, and you find the need to get up and step away from your desk, you have two options:
- You can take your headset off, place it on the desk, and leave. Upon return, you place the headset back on and resume your call. The problem here is if you forget to put the caller on hold, it’s possible that they’ll hear conversations in the background. This might not be what you want your customers to hear.
- Option two would be to grasp the QD (Quick Disconnect), and pull in opposite directions. This accomplishes two things. First, it allows you to leave the headset on without the need to take it off and place it somewhere. Secondly, the act of disconnecting automatically places your call on a “soft” hold. This means that your customer will hear nothing. No sounds at all, including no sounds from your coworkers talking about that bad customer they just got off the phone with.
Now, when you return to your desk, you simply reconnect and you can resume Your call. Easy as that second helping of mashed potatoes. Oh, and this also saves wear and tear on the headset which can add up with continued removal.
If your wired headset has a Quick Disconnect feature, use it as much as possible. It will save wear and tear on your headset and make stepping away from your desk while a call more convenient and secure.
Sound should be consistent. Wired headsets have been available for decades. One thing is for sure, the sound should be consistent. If you discover that your wired headset starts to sound different in any way, that’s a call to action.
A Supervisor or Manager should be notified immediately. This signals that something is wrong. If you’re experiencing a crackling sound, static, cutting in and out, echo, fading or any other abnormal condition, it’s worth checking out. A wired headset that’s functioning properly should sound the same, day in, day out.
And, if your wired headset is still within the warranty, it could be a candidate for an exchange. But, you’ll first want to reach out to the vendor to obtain some troubleshooting assistance.
If your wired headset sounds different, let someone know. It could be failing or developing a problem that may only get worse if let unchecked.
Use your vendor. If you have a vendor that’s an expert, and only focuses on office headsets, then use their available resources. In many cases the help is free which means all you need to do is make the contact.
Got static and your organization can’t figure out the cause? Contact your vendor.
Have some nagging echo that just won’t go away? Contact your vendor.
Have a perplexing question about compatibility? Contact your vendor.
Need some advice about a change you’re considering making? Contact your vendor.
There are a multitude of reasons why you should do this. First of all, it’s free help and free advice. That alone is worth something.
Secondly, why struggle trying to figure things out when you can hand that off to someone who deals with these things every day? Just makes sense for sure.
Don’t be a silent sufferer, use your vendor to help make your life easier. And, if your vendor is unable to provide this kind of help, then it sounds like you’re a prime candidate to be looking for a new one.
If you have a need for advice or troubleshooting, use the resources available from your vendor. Personnel, videos, blogs etc.
If your vendor doesn’t have these resources and expertise at your disposal, then look for a new vendor.
Though using a wired headset is somewhat simplistic, there are nuances that when known, can not only improve the performance of the office headset, but extend the life of the product too.
If your staff embraces these suggestions, you will find that your wired headsets will last longer, which helps to save money, but can help to enhance the daily performance and productivity of your staff.
As always, Headset Advisor staff is here to help. Whether you’re our customer or not. We’re passionate about headsets and have been for almost 30 years. If you’re struggling with a headset issue, or just have a question, don’t hesitate to reach out and we’ll be more than happy to help, free of charge.