Unified Communications Featured Article

Proper Headsets Can Drive ROI

June 23, 2014

Analysis of unified communications often reveals the nature in which businesses reach out to customers and conduct communications within their own firms. When it comes to contact centers, that analysis does not change much, but recent Frost and Sullivan research has brought to light a part of the UC market that is often overlooked: contact center and office (CC&O) headsets.

The research, titled Analysis of the Global Contact Center and Office Headset Market, reveals that the CC&O headset market earned revenue equaling $1.06 billion in 2013. Furthermore, Frost and Sullivan estimates the market could more than double its revenue to $2.45 billion by 2020. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 12.7 percent during that period.

Those numbers represent sales of headsets—simple devices that are not always paid enough attention. Yet, such devices can work wonders for the businesses that invest in them. Good headsets can “improve sound quality, reduce background noise and boost comfort in a voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) call,” a Frost and Sullivan news release states. And it is those headsets, those that support UC-based functions like VoIP, that are driving the market and can produce a return on investment for businesses that use them. Frost and Sullivan expects UC-enabled headsets to account for 42 percent of the CC&O headset market by 2020.

The research points out that many businesses are investing in lower-end headsets that cannot take advantage of everything UC has to offer. Such headsets may produce a lower sound quality than name brands, or they may not contain all the features of more expensive units. This can bar contact center representatives and their customers from experiencing the full range of UC capabilities, and that can ultimately affect the bottom line.

Employees who are happier will tend to be more productive, and they will work harder to make sales and keep their customers happy. In turn, customers that receive a positive experience when speaking to a representative will be more likely to purchase products or stay loyal to their brands. That drives business revenue for contact centers and their parent businesses alike. The impact headsets can have may reach beyond what most people expect, but as businesses invest more in UC capabilities, they need to work with the best tools that can fully support those capabilities.

The UC industry grew 31 percent last year, and analysts predict that it will continue to grow another seven percent through 2018. Although the rise of WebRTC and other similar technologies threaten this growth, Frost and Sullivan's predictions for the headset market could prove that threat to be less substantial than it might seem outright. However, for UC to beat out the rise of Web-based technologies, businesses will have to back the headset industry, as well as the whole of UC, to keep it trending upward.

Edited by Maurice Nagle