Mystery Caller – November 2013

Mystery-Caller---Detective

This month our mysterious caller wants to know about headsets that are optimised for Microsoft Lync. He is using Lync in the office but needs some new headsets which will last and give him all the functionality he needs. Does he need to go for specifically optimised headsets or are the basic headsets out there still up to the task? What are the advantages of going with a Lync optimised headset over the regular headsets out there? These are some of the questions our caller is looking to answer.

Trident Professional IT Services

I initially got through to a polite girl called Amy who arranged a call back. Within the hour I got a call back from David who listened carefully to the request and asked me what kind of headsets I was currently using. I had to dodge a few awkward questions regarding the business but it was nice to see David trying to get a feel of what we did. He asked what type of headsets we were after and if we had a price bracket. I just wanted to know if I needed a Lync optimised headset or a regular headset. David told me that once you got up to the £30 ish pound mark it didn’t really matter what headset you used as they were all much of a muchness. His company use Lync and he used a Plantronics headset which wasn’t Lync optimised and it worked fine. I have to say that the voice clarity was excellent throughout the call and couldn’t fault him on that. David was very polite in taking me through a few options and offered to put a quote together so that I could take a look at prices. He also mentioned that the top brands all had good headsets and Logitech might be another avenue we wish to explore.

Highlights: Polite, honest and had some interesting opinions about the Lync optimised headsets

Lowlights:  He didn’t get into the functionality we needed in any great depth.

Scores

Helpfulness – 3/5

Manner – 4/5

Knowledge – 3/5

Understanding – 3/5

Sales Technique – 4/5

Clarity – 3/5

Total – 20/30 Not bad. This call was a bit of a revelation which might shake a few feathers in the industry. David basically suggested that Lync optimised headsets were not at all required to get a good result from the service. He was using a bog standard Plantronics headset and I had to agree with him that his call was extremely clear. He pushed well on the sales side too which I liked and didn’t try and sell me something at the top end of the market.

FLR Spectron

I got through to a Stuart after being on hold for a short time and explained what I was after. Stuart wasted no time in asking me some questions about what handsets we had on our desks and how our current headsets were plugged into those handsets. Stuart didn’t have a lot of good knowledge but he clearly knew where to go to find out. He said he would call me back and ten minutes later he did. He said they could supply two types of headset, Plantronics and their own branded headset FLR. The FLR was the cheaper option. Stuart said he needed to check what he could offer us with the phones we had and said he would call back again once he knew for sure. Unfortunately this call didn’t happen. It was disappointing to not get any definitive answers from Stuart about what the best course of action would be but to his credit he was keen to find out from his clued up colleagues.

Highlights: Friendly and eager to find out information for me

Lowlights: No call back that day, lack of knowledge

Scores

Helpfulness – 3/5

Manner – 4/5

Knowledge – 1/5

Understanding – 2/5

Sales Technique – 2/5

Clarity – 2/5

Total – 14/30 Low end. This was unfortunate for Stuart and if I were to hazard a gues then I would say he was new to sales or perhaps the request was a bit to niche for the company. Unfortunately for Stuart I have given low scores just because after two conversations and one call back, still waiting on the second call back, I am really no further forward with my request.

Nexus Telecom

I was very quickly passed to a Rebekka who wasted no time in asking me a few questions regarding the system we were using and what type of lines we had coming into the building. Apparently this made a difference to which headsets should be used. Rebekka had good technical knowledge around how the headsets were connected through the deskphones and explained it came down to a few things when choosing which to go for. User preference was the major factor and in their office they had a mixture of headsets from wired to wireless. It also makes a difference to how your employees like to work, do they like roaming around the office and making tea whilst still on the phone or are they more desk bound? The obvious advantages of wireless headsets are that the potential for efficiency is obviously increased. I did continually ask about the Lync optimisation side of the argument but didn’t really get a straight answer. Instead I was recommended two brands, Radius for wireless headsets and Plantronics for wired headsets. She did press me for details on the handsets we were currently using and the lines as there may be compatibility issues with the headsets. We briefly discussed the differences in quality of the wired versus wireless headsets and Rebekka told me that the person I spoke to first was on a wired headset and she was using a wireless so I could judge for myself…there wasn’t a lot of difference to be honest. She also hinted that paying for the most expensive headsets out there probably wouldn’t be any more beneficial than getting a solid model in the mid range. Rebekka was very polite and although she couldn’t give me prices for the Radius headsets straight away she took some details so she could put a quote together.

Highlights: Great knowledge, polite and inquisitive about business application

Lowlights: Dodged the Lync question

Scores

Helpfulness – 2/5

Manner – 4/5

Knowledge – 4/5

Understanding – 3/5

Sales Technique – 3/5

Clarity – 3/5

Total 19/30 Middling to good. Although Rebekka had great knowledge she kind of side stepped the Lync optimisation piece of the puzzle. Whether this was a significant sidestep or not remains to be seen. Rebekka was very polite and asked me some good questions about what was in place already so she could recommend the right kit. She uses Radius kit herself but unfortunately didn’t have the prices to hand. In all a fairly decent call.

Round up

This was a topic that we have had some debate about previously. If I am using Microsoft Lync do I need an optimised Lync headset or can I use a ‘regular’ headset and get the same performance. I’m sure the manufacturers will be on the phone shortly listing the benefits Lync optimised headsets come with over others in the market. From the select few I spoke to there didn’t seem to be an overwhealming desire to sell me a Lync optimised headset and Trident are even a Microsoft Gold partner! David asked me straight out what I thought of the voice quality when we were on the phone and he was using a bog standard Plantronics headset over Lync. I had to give first place to Trident just because of the honesty of the sell. Although Rebekka at Nexus had better knowledge she just sidestepped the Lync specific questions too much. I have to make a side note about FLR Spectron, I did get a call back at 11am the next day. Unfortunately for them everyone else was able to give me the information I needed straight off the bat.

Scores

1st Trident Professional IT Services 20/30

2nd Nexus Telecom 19/30

3rd FLR Spectron 14/30

 

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