• 81% agreed the sound quality of headsets leads to better customer relationships
  • 95% of participants found it easy to switch between UC functions during calls, compared to just 43% with handsets
  • 84% said they could hear callers far more clearly with a headset compared to a handset
  • UC-optimized headsets reduce overall time taken to handle a call by 33%
  • 90% of headset users wouldn’t go back to using a handset given a choice
EGHAM, UK, FEBRUARY 17, 2011 - New research shows that UC-optimized 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-optimized 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 organization, 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-optimized headset for a period of four weeks.

The study found that the UC-optimized 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 utilize 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-optimized 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-optimized 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 UC-optimized 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-optimized 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 organization 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-optimized 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.”

About Jabra

Jabra is the brand of GN Netcom, a subsidiary of GN Store Nord A/S (GN) - listed on NASDAQ OMX. Jabra employs approximately 850 people worldwide and in 2011 produced an annual revenue which amounted to DKK 2,106 million. Jabra is a world leader in the development, manufacturing, and marketing of a broad range of hands-free communications solutions. With a reputation for innovation, reliability, and ease of use that goes back more than two decades, Jabra’s consumer and business divisions produce corded and wireless headsets, plus mobile and in-office speakerphones that empower individuals and businesses through increased freedom of movement, comfort, and functionality.

© 2012 GN Netcom A/S. All rights reserved. Jabra® is a registered trademark of GN Netcom A/S. All other trademarks included herein are the property of their respective owners. (Design and specifications subject to change without notice)