8 Ways to Reduce Background Noise in a Call Center and Improve Acoustics
Creating acoustical solutions for call centers is never simple, but it’s always worth the investment. If you manage or own a call center, you understand how vital it is to have an environment where clear communication reigns supreme. Let’s dive into the world of call center acoustics and discuss effective ways to reduce distracting noise levels.
What Should the Noise Level Be in a Call Center?
In large call centers, you can have hundreds of agents on the phone simultaneously. One company I worked with had a call center with a large room and large skylights embedded in the ceiling above. This was a fantastic aesthetic, providing significant ambient light, but came with an unintended consequence: the hollows where the lights were embedded turned into echo chambers that amplified the room’s noise level. We worked with the client to wrap the insides of the hollow’s with noise dampening material, and were able to cancel out the reverberation amounting to a far less noisy call center.
If your call center is smaller (between four and twelve agents on the phones at one time), you can still experience some serious background noise issues that can wreak havoc on productivity levels, even if seemingly benign.
Ambient noise is everywhere, but in a call center, it can be disastrous. For context, normal conversations usually hover around 60-70 decibels. This is akin to the background hum in a restaurant. However, any noise level beyond this, say from a loud phone ring or the persistent buzz of machinery, can be incredibly disruptive. It’s crucial to strike the right balance to maximize efficiency.
8 Ways to Reduce Background Noise in Call Centers
Reducing background noise in a call center isn’t always easy, but it’s definitely possible. Here are eight innovative strategies you can use to reduce background noise in your call center:
1. Install Acoustical Solutions to Properly Control Sound
One of the best ways to reduce background noise in a call center is to use products from Acoustical Solutions that have been specifically designed to create better sound environments. Here are some of the products you should consider:
AlphaSorb® Fabric Wrapped Acoustic Panel
Beyond mere functionality, the AlphaSorb® Fabric Wrapped Acoustic Panel combines form and function, for both stunning visuals and unparalleled noise absorption capabilities. It’s especially helpful if your call center agents are positioned near solid walls, and they can also double as tack board.
AlphaSorb® Fabric Wrapped Acoustic Ceiling Cloud
AlphaSorb® Fabric Wrapped Acoustic Ceiling Clouds are installed along the ceiling to capture and dampen overhead sounds, to help ensure less reverberation and echo at the ground-level workspace. If you have active sprinklers in your call center, you’ll need to make sure that the ceiling clouds are spaced far enough apart that they won’t interfere with the fire prevention system.
Whisperwave® Ceiling Cloud
Marrying design and function, Whisperwave® Ceiling Clouds not only uplift your ceiling’s aesthetics, but also its acoustic quality. Like the AlphaSorb® Fabric Wrapped Acoustic Ceiling Cloud, you must be aware of sprinkler systems when installing these ceiling clouds in your call center.
AlphaSorb® Fabric Wrapped Sound Baffle
The AlphaSorb® Fabric Wrapped Sound Baffle has been designed to intercept and control ambient sounds, and they are an asset to any call center aiming for acoustic perfection. Hanging these from the ceiling with display hooks can create a barrier for sound to get trapped, which can significantly help reduce background noise.
Ecosorpt® Cotton Sound Baffle
Sustainability meets acoustics. Crafted from recycled cotton, Ecosorpt® Cotton Sound Baffles not only make an eco-friendly statement, but are also exceptional at sound absorption. Baffles are also an excellent alternative to hanging ceiling clouds because they won’t obscure lighting, but you must remain conscious of sprinkler systems during the installation phase.
PrivacyShield® Desktop Partition
The PrivacyShield® Desktop Partition can act like a personal fortress that blocks out surrounding noises, to enable agents to work in peace. These are especially suited for call centers with smaller cubicle areas where the walls don’t go all the way up.
Here’s a rule of thumb: if you can see a person’s mouth moving with a barrier between you, you are more likely to hear them. You can use these partitions to create barriers between your agents.
Desktop Sound Masking System
The Desktop Sound Masking System is like a personalized sound sanctuary. This system effectively masks disruptive sounds, to help ensure that each agent’s auditory environment is optimized for work. This device emits “pink noise” that can help reduce unwanted noises and also has Bluetooth capabilities.
2. Increasing Space Between Agents
In close quarters, even soft conversations can create a lot of sound. By simply expanding the space between agents, you can reduce the amount of overlapping sound. Think of it as giving each agent their own ‘acoustic territory,’ leading to fewer distractions and better focus.
3. Investing in Quality Headsets
It’s incredible how technology can bridge the gap between noise and clarity. Premium headsets, equipped with advanced noise-canceling features, can help to ensure that an agent’s voice is crisp and clear to effectively eliminate distracting background noise.
4. Investing in Silent Keyboards
Every keystroke can contribute to ambient noise. I highly recommend investing in silent keyboards, which are designed to minimize typing noise. They allow agents to type up reports or update tasks without worrying about adding to the noise.
5. Installing Carpet
Think beyond aesthetics. Carpets have a fibrous structure that acts as a natural sound absorber. Swapping out hard floors for plush carpets can dramatically reduce the echoing of footsteps and ambient sounds, which can make the environment noticeably quieter.
6. Replacing Noisy Appliances and Machines
Older machinery and appliances tend to hum, buzz, or rattle, which can be pretty distracting. Replacing them can be transformative. You can also wrap the machines with our PrivacyShield® Absorptive Soundproofing Blanket Partitions to help reduce excess noise. The unique acoustic fabric differences in the blankets not only trap noise, they are also pretty cool looking if you like an industrial style like I do.
7. Focusing on Training
It’s not just about equipment; it’s also about behavior. Training your agents to speak quieter in the office can dramatically reduce background noise. Additionally, this promotes a calm and customer-friendly conversational tone, which may help with customer disposition.
8. Soundproofing Adjacent Rooms
Every room has its unique sound requirements. Unfortunately, call centers have a few that might require a little extra attention. Conference rooms, break areas, or even server rooms can be sources of intermittent loud noises. Soundproofing these spaces helps to ensure that sound doesn’t intrude on the main call floor.
Elevate the Sound Quality in Your Call Center Today!
A serene call center is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity for creating a productive work environment. Every step you take towards optimizing the acoustics in your call center translates to reduced noise levels, improved productivity, and higher customer satisfaction.
Why wait? Contact Acoustical Solutions today to learn more about how we can help you reduce the background noise in your call center!
To learn more about how Acoustical Solutions can solve your noise control problems, use our contact form, call one of our Acoustical Sales Consultants at (800) 782-5742, or visit us on the web at acousticalsolutions.com.