Telemarketers Talk Too Much

A new study found that using your voice all day while working in a stressful  telemarketing job (read boiler room) will lead to more frequent sick days (due to voice ailments).

Chalk another one up to the “well, duh” category.

The recommended solutions:

  1. Use warm-up vocal exercises
  2. Limit background noise
  3. Encourage staff to drink plenty of water

Vocal warm-up exercises: Unless your agents work from home, this is impractical. Your typical boiler room operation has telemarketing agents coming and going all the time. It just wouldn’t do to have a handful of agents making extremely distracting noises while everyone else is making calls.

The only way to make this work is to have everyone participate in vocal warm ups at specific intervals of the day.

Limit background noise: Say again? What? I can’t hear you.

This is a silly suggestion. Boiler room operations are boiler room operations because they are boiler room operations. The whole point is to churn and burn low-wage agents with minimal overhead. When I had my own 2-floor telemarketing building with 50+ stations, it cost me an arm and a leg to install sound-absorbing carpeting, sound absorbing wall panels, and sound-absorbing cubicle walls. It was a MAJOR expense. No boiler room is going to bother with this.

If you can’t rebuild your call center, at least get noise-cancelling headsets. Professional binaural (over the ear) noise-cancelling headsets cost $150 to $250 each. If you have a large call center, you can negotiate volume discounts.

Drink plenty of water: OK. This one is an easy one. But, how do you make that a policy in your call center? Is your supervisor going to enforce water drinking? Besides, most boiler room call centers do not allow drink or food at the work stations- for a good reason, actually. I don’t know how many keyboards I had to replace in my call center due to spilled coffee.

You can’t very well make all your agents drink water at the same time (or can you?). So, your best bet is to mention the importance of drinking water during the training and placing reminders (posters or stickers)  around the office.

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