New Study Proves Value of UC-optimised Headsets

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New research shows that UC-optimised headsets are a vital tool for organisations wishing to reap the full benefits of Unified Communications and increase return on investment (ROI). The first comprehensive study of its type, carried out by the University of London using Jabra UC-optimised headsets, demonstrates conclusively that the headsets produce dramatic improvements in productivity, sound quality and user experience, when compared to handset use.

The research was carried out at Newport City Homes, a multi-site, not-for-profit organisation, following the implementation of Unified Communications with Microsoft Office Communicator system at its three sites in Wales. The study evaluated the performance of customer-facing employees using a handset and a Jabra UC-optimised headset for a period of four weeks.

The study – available to download at www.jabra.co – found that the UC-optimised headsets significantly increased both user productivity and the quality of customer engagement as a result of users’ ability to switch between the real-time UC communications channels and collaborate with colleagues during calls; 95% of participants found it easy to switch between different UC functions during calls, compared to just 43% with handsets. With both hands free, users can quickly utilise functionality such as conference calls, instant messaging and shared desktops.

This ability to multi-task during calls resulted in dramatic productivity gains and a much-improved customer experience by shortening call time, call wrap-up and total time spent on the phone. The Jabra UC-optimised headsets reduced typical call length by up to 50% and the overall time to handle a customer call by 33%, compared with handset use. Users who typically made 20 calls a day realised up to two hours of productivity savings. Customers experience a far more efficient level of service as a result.

The wideband call quality of the Jabra UC-optimised headsets also made it much easier for users to hear and be heard by customers: 95% said they believed the poor quality sound delivered by the handsets had a negative effect on customer relationships; while 81% agreed that the sound quality of the new headset leads to better customer relationships.

Dr Max Blumberg of Goldsmith College, University of London who directed the study, commented, “The two-wave panel investigation strongly suggests that that UC-optimised headsets not only dramatically improve the user and customer experience, but also produce measurable productivity gains. In a service environment, the improved quality of customer interactions is likely to be as important as the reduction in call length and wrap time.”

Darren Lloyd, IS Manager at Newport City Homes, added, “Perhaps one of the most important findings of this study is that 95% of participants said they were satisfied with their headset compared to just 54% who were satisfied with their previous handset. This statistic reflects the ability of UC-optimised benefits to empower our staff to realise the full potential of the real-time communications and collaboration features of UC. Investment in quality headsets is a must for any organisation wanting to unlock the ROI potential of UC.”

Andrew Doyle, Jabra Sales Director at GN Netcom, concluded, “We believe this is an important study and a valuable resource for any organisation wanting to optimise its UC investment. Our aim is to produce a high-quality headset that is fully-optimised for the UC environment and we are obviously delighted with the outcome of this study, which proves that superior sound quality produces important business benefits.”