The Future of Cloud Communications: How Headsets Are Revolutionizing Remote Work
This is a guest post by Graham Williams, Strategic Alliances at Jabra.
It’s been said before, and you’ll hear it again: remote work has changed the business landscape. But since 72% of companies struggled with ineffective team communication in 2022,1 I think it’s clear we need to take a new approach to communicating in the remote and hybrid work era.
Cloud communications are essential in enabling remote work. But despite businesses investing in better, more sophisticated UCaaS and CCaaS solutions, one crucial component is often overlooked: the headset.
The right headset can revolutionize the remote work experience, both for your employees and the customers they help. Here’s my take on how headset technology is shaping the future of cloud communications and empowering agents in the remote work era.
How Can Headsets Enhance Cloud Communications?
I’ve seen tons of businesses put time and effort into buying the perfect cloud communications system, then pick just any headset to use with it. That’s like buying a Ferrari and sticking a spare tire on it – you won’t get the highest level of performance.
Think of the right headsets as performance tires for your cloud communications. A good headset will offer features that enhance your business, such as:
Headset technology has evolved. These days, a good headset is more than just a pair of headphones that work on top of your voice platform. At Jabra, we make headsets that analyze voice data to offer insights into every customer service interaction. Voice data can help you decide how to route calls, coach your agents, and much more – but only if your employees use headsets that can capture and analyze this information in real-time.
Noise cancellation is a must for call centers, but especially for your remote agents. Take an agent working in a coffee shop, for example. Too many noises and distractions might make them mute their microphone five times or more during a single call. That may only be around five seconds on mute, but it adds up to a lot of wasted time and money when you multiply five seconds by a million calls.
Modern headsets can use AI to filter out ambient noise and make sure only your agent’s voice comes through the call. So no matter how loud that coffee shop is, the headset lets them work without muting. What it really comes down to is that AI is a stakeholder in voice data.
Watch the difference the right headset can make:
Good headsets empower freedom of movement for your agents. We know now more than ever that people want flexible work options. They want to work in their favorite coffee shop or from an RV on the way to the beach. But even though companies want to offer more freedom, they also need the ability to measure their remote workers’ productivity – and agent retention depends on deploying the tools that make it happen.
Looking Ahead: The Future of Cloud Communication Headsets
Cloud comms are constantly evolving, and headsets are evolving right alongside the industry. Some of the most exciting trends I’ve seen gaining ground lately include:
- Visibility - Cloud communications take desktop phones and the call visibility they provide out of the picture. At Jabra, we’re building visibility into our headsets using third-party integrations to allow businesses to see calls ear to ear again. This means you can gain a better understanding of what’s going on in each call from a voice-quality standpoint, even in the cloud.
- Real-Time Coaching - I know this scenario well: if it gets loud around an agent during a call, they almost always mute. With real-time coaching, our headsets can measure the level of background noise and create a widget letting the agent know if they need to mute, ultimately improving productivity.
- Customer Sentiment - Now that we’re able to secure data from cloud-based calls, we’re creating smarter sentiment analysis. This lets your agents see how a call is progressing in real-time based on the tone of the customer’s voice, and make corrections immediately to improve the customer experience – instead of reviewing speech-to-text after a call is completed.
The cloud communications industry is at the precipice of understanding how business technology affects the human element – agents and supervisors. With this understanding, I believe we can build a future where remote and hybrid workplaces thrive.
In our Hybrid Ways of Working global report, we found a direct link between the amount of autonomy an employee has and their overall experience at work. Employees given full autonomy unanimously reported a better work experience than those without a say in where and when they worked, which is huge for agent retention.
Even though AI-powered headsets are key for offering employee autonomy, I’ve heard from a lot of business leaders who still think of headsets as a piece of plastic that hasn’t changed over the past 15 years. You might think you know about headsets, but it’s time to reevaluate what they can do for your business.
I've personally used our headsets for years, so I know firsthand how easy they make it to work from anywhere. If you want to see for yourself how they can benefit your business, reach out to Jabra today. I also welcome any opportunity to network with others in the cloud comms industry. If you're not a CCA member yet, you can join here – I’d be happy to talk headsets at the next meeting.