Despite all the changes in communications channels that we’ve seen over the past few years, the phone call and audio conference remain some of the key ways for organizations to get work done. However, many of these conversations are sub-optimal due to the technology delivering the audio.
For instance, there are examples of individuals ignoring their desk phones and using their mobile phones for most calls. It could be argued this an example of the ‘consumerization of IT,’ whereby the preference for consumer-type experiences is creeping into the office.
Mobile phones are not necessarily the best tool for large volumes of in-depth calls. For a start, there’s the higher cost of making mobile calls compared to the cost of a desk phone call. Today’s mobile phones still have limited battery life, especially if being used as multi-channel devices, so it’s not uncommon to miss an important call due to a dead battery. However, the biggest issue with mobile phones is the availability of a strong signal. This is something that gets worse in a busy office with lots of mobile devices trying to connect to a limited capacity cell. Users also tend to yell into their mobile phones more than they do with desk phones, potentially disturbing nearby workers.
One of the reasons that desk phones still have a lot of life left in them is because of the drawbacks of trying to use mobile phones. There’s nothing worse than trying to discuss an important topic one-on-one or in conference, only for the other user to drop off due to spotty mobile network coverage, battery life or other similar issues.
Also, the general audio quality with a mobile phone is far poorer than a desk phone, so the ability to pick up all the nuances of the call is vastly reduced. This is exacerbated when callers are from different cultures, have varying accents or may not be speaking in their first language.
There’s a psychological angle here as well—what sort of concentration levels can you expect when a speaker on a conference call keeps cutting out or completely dropping off? Workers may become frustrated, disengaged or leave the call completely.
The solution to these audio issues is to invest in an advanced business communications platform, along with the latest handsets to deliver the features required for in-depth business conversations and conferences. When selecting a business phone system and the accompanying desk phones, make sure you specify the following:
1. Mobile integration – Allows mobile calls to be taken on the desk phone, effectively upscaling the audio quality.
2. HD audio – Choose the best quality audio device available, with full duplex speakerphone. A sealed acoustic chamber is recommended for the speaker phone, which is really important to avoid feedback loops and stopping tiny vibrations from interfering with the audio.
3. Avatars integrated into the desk phone – The ability to see an image of the person calling makes the call feel more personal and can help improve rapport on calls.
4. Latest Bluetooth technologies – By choosing a device with a recent version of Bluetooth integrated, users benefit from crystal clear calls when using a Bluetooth handset or headset, separate speakerphone or similar. The latest Bluetooth ensures excellent range, fast data rates and extremely low power consumption.