I was hanging out watching football over the weekend and this new commercial for Beats headphones comes on.
Dr. Dre and his new corporate overlords at Apple were showing off the benefit of wireless headphones…the tagline is ‘Now he walks into work LIKE A BOSS!”
Who knew it would become fashionable to walk around with huge headphones on, wireless or not? Then again, there is something to the phrase, ‘what’s old is new again’… it probably won’t be long until bell bottoms are back in style after this extended ‘skinny jean’ phase we’ve been going through. It was also somewhat surprising to see the benefits of ‘wireless headphones’ highlighted as the first big feature (besides just being cool) that Beats is promoting. Real bosses have known about wireless headsets and the benefits they deliver in the workplace for years. Here are some examples:
Wireless Headsets Deliver Intra-Office Mobility, Improve Service, Drive Down Costs
With more and more businesses deploying unified communications solutions, the number of knowledge workers using headsets as their primary audio endpoint is exploding. Depending on the use case, many of these employees can significantly increase their productivity and ability to deliver excellent customer service by utilizing a wireless headset. Sometimes these use cases can deliver real business benefits and dramatic ROI.
I was recently speaking with Deborah Wenger, the COO at headset maker Jabra and she was telling me about a customer that recently transferred their contact center workforce from wired to wireless headsets. “This was a company that supported a number of old devices, and when they were on a call, they often had to put the caller on hold to go examine one of the older products. By moving to a wireless headset, they could maintain the conversation and the total call time was reduced dramatically,” she explained. According to the case study written up about the implementation, when agents moved from tethered to wireless headsets, average talk time declined from an average of 19.2 minutes to 14.2 minutes, a 25.9% improvement.
The metric with the most striking improvement from moving to wireless was calls transferred. Because the agents could walk to see their supervisor or a subject matter expert, they no longer had to transfer the caller (which, as we all know, really slows down a call as we repeat all the information already conveyed). The improvement was 63% overall, from 21.5% of calls transferred to only 8%. The dramatic time savings of 50% per non-transferred call resulted in an ROI of over 1,353% in the first year alone.
For Road Warriors, Seamless Mobility is Critical
The group that would really do Dr. Dre proud from a wireless perspective are the road warriors. These are the folks that spend half their time in the office and the rest of the time on the road, in airports, or with customers. They talk, often with video and in very noisy environments, via their smartphones, computers or tablets and still use the office phone when at their desk. For these folks, having a wireless, noise cancelling headset that can effectively manage the transition between their computer, deskphone or mobile devices regardless of location and which networks are available, is critical.
A use case to consider here would be participating in a web conference while at your desk (with your wireless headset connected to your deskphone), seamlessly transferring the call to your smartphone while you drive to your next appointment and then finishing the call from your tablet so you can see the remaining slides in the deck.
The Way We Work Now
Then, of course, there is music.
Not only do wireless headsets allow knowledge workers to participate in web and video conferences and walk down the hall to grab some files while continuing the call with their customer, they also let them listen to their favorite tunes in ultra high-fidelity. Newer headsets allow workers to easily transfer between devices so that when they are between calls, they can connect to their mobile device and tap into their iTunes library. Throw in some noise cancelling technology and you have your own personal concentration zone.
So, while I was pleased to see Beats promoting the benefits of wireless, Dr. Dre and his team have some catching up to do before they can match the wireless capabilities of headsets in the business world.