People chattering. Phones ringing. Keyboards clacking. Fax machines running tirelessly.
Call centers are full of such distracting sounds. And a noisy environment can make you seem unprofessional, leading to more noise complaints and unhappy customers.
Poor call quality makes for inefficient calls that can result in losing customers. On top of this, they also make it more difficult for agents to resolve customer issues faster and actually enjoy their work.
Thankfully, there are over 20 effective ways to reduce background noise in a call center. If you want to create a quieter environment where your agents can be more productive, read on.
Keep in mind you don’t have to use all of these tricks at the same time. Sometimes, one or two methods will do the job. To make it easier for you to end the noise problem, we’ve covered common situations for each of the tips.
1. Increase Space Between Call Center Agents
To reduce background noise in your call center, make sure there’s more space between your agents. Realistically, though, I know that’s not always possible, especially if you’re trying to maximize the number of employees you can fit into one office.
One idea is to start expanding your office or allow agents to work from home. Thankfully, there are more ideas below if this suggestion isn’t feasible. Keep these in mind if you want to turn customer service experience into a strong lever for business growth.
2. Use Noise-Canceling Apps
The quickest and simplest way that you can reduce background noise in a call center without doing any modifications to your office space is to use a noise-canceling app like Krisp.
Simply install the app, and it works automatically in the background and offers two-way noise cancelation. That means that your customers will not hear background noise coming from your call center, and likewise, your agent will not hear background noise coming from your customer’s telephone line.
Krisp works alongside any software that you currently have and can also work alongside the headsets that you use. Additionally, it helps block all echoes and surrounding voices that don’t belong to the main speaker.
You can test it right now in real-time through this interactive app:
3. Install Acoustic Panels
Most often seen on the walls of recording studios, these sponge-like black panels work well to divert sound waves and reduce background noise in a call center too. Acoustic panels are placed on the walls to absorb sound, reducing echoes in the room and making it quieter.
However, acoustic panels on the walls are just one option. If you have high ceilings that are also causing a lot of echoes, you can purchase acoustic ceiling clouds or hanging baffles. These are fabric-wrapped items that hang from your ceiling and absorb sound.
4. Choose the Right Headset That Prevents Exposure to Noise
The headset is one of the most crucial pieces of equipment for a call center employee. Having a headset with noise canceling and a good microphone is essential in any modern call center.
Look for a headset with a cardioid microphone; this picks up only what’s directly in front of it (the call agent) and should not pick up sounds in the background.
Need help deciding on a good one? Check out our picks for the best call center headsets.
5. Invest in Sound Masking Technology
When you think of sound masking, you might think of white noise, but they’re actually not the same thing. Sound masking technology involves engineering a sound that will result in a unique blend of frequencies that makes background conversation unintelligible.
Installed correctly, sound masking equipment may still allow you to hear people talking — but you will not be able to make out what’s being said. This is crucial for call centers where sensitive information is being discussed on the telephone.
If you want to get sound masking technology installed at your call center, technicians will put speakers in or above your ceiling tiles that will emit this “white noise” type of sound. The sound it emits should not be disruptive; it may not even be noticeable. But when it’s turned on, it will mask conversations to maintain privacy.
6. Put Up Partitions Between Call Center Agents
Most call centers consist of cubicles with multiple employees lined up side by side. This is essential for making use of the space and fitting as many employees as possible into one office.
However, this also makes for a lot of noise. One way around this is to put flexible office dividers or partitions made of sound-absorbing material between each of your call center operators. Many call centers do this, and it can work really well — even when you have employees sitting right next to each other in cubicles.
7. Get Silent Keyboards
A classic call center sound that you might want to block out when you’re on calls is the tapping of keyboards.
To fix this, you can purchase silent keyboards that don’t make the click-clacking sound of traditional ones. Consider getting these for your call center to cut down on background noise.
8. Pick the Right Call Center Software
Of course, another essential piece of equipment is call center software.
To cut down on noise, try to get software that includes incoming call notifications that pop up on the computer screen and ring through to the headset so you don’t get a room full of 20 phones ringing at the same time.
9. Reconsider Your Flooring To Reduce Background Noise in a Call Center
To make your office quieter, redo or add to your flooring. Adding area rugs can help absorb sound so the office doesn’t echo.
The flooring material itself can make a huge difference in the amount of sound bouncing off the ground in your office. Soft fabrics absorb sound. So installing carpet in your call center might be a better choice than tile or hardwood flooring.
10. Train Agents on Appropriate Voice Volume
Another way you can reduce background noise in a call center is to train call center operators on appropriate voice volume. Some people naturally talk more loudly than others. But, with the right kind of microphone and by following these noise reduction tips, this really should not be necessary.
Conduct training to make sure that your call agents know how to appropriately control the volume of their voice so they’re not contributing to excessive background noise in your call center.
11. Have Several Smaller Offices Instead of One Big One
Rather than one large space to put all of your agents, consider getting several smaller, perhaps adjoining, offices. That way, it’s easier to control the noise levels between each smaller space.
If your business model allows for this, consider the hybrid approach, having some agent work from home occasionally or all the time. In fact, remote agents will help you avoid the extra costs of setting up call center offices across the globe. Ultimately, remote offices will allow you to cater to customers in different time zones without worrying about costs or noise.
12. Offer Alternatives to Phone Calls
Is your call center a customer support service center? There are many ways to cut down on the number of calls that customers need to make in order to receive support from you.
Next are some ideas.
- Knowledge base: Expanding your online knowledge base Can reduce the number of questions your customers have in the first place. Be sure to include thorough documentation and answers to commonly asked questions.
- Chatbot: Give your customers the option to chat in real-time with an agent without having to pick up the phone. Chatbots are an excellent option for cutting down phone calls and making your call center quieter.
- Email: Email is yet another silent option for customers who don’t need immediate support. You should, of course, still respond to the email in a reasonable amount of time, such as less than 24 hours.
- Text message: Yet another way to cut down on phone calls is to allow your customers to text you for support. In our daily lives, most of us are more comfortable texting someone versus calling them anyway.
13. Have Separate Conference Rooms
For one-on-ones or group meetings, you need conference rooms in your call center. That way, attendees can move to a quiet space and avoid disrupting any active phone calls.
Pair this with a room booking system so different departments or team members won’t overlap. This way, everyone gets to use these dedicated rooms when they truly need them. This is a great hack to eliminate excess noise from rooms that get a lot of traffic or those where you store noisier office devices.
14. Let Your Agents Work From Home
The number one way to reduce background noise in a call center? Don’t have a call center at all! Of course, I’m kidding. There is one big advantage to having a dedicated office space: maintaining company privacy and security standards across the board.
Many call centers were negatively affected during the pandemic because the downside to allowing agents to work from home is that it can be harder for them to protect sensitive information they’re discussing with callers, such as credit card information.
As long as it is not a security concern, allowing your agents to work from home can be quieter because there aren’t nearly as many people in their house as there are in the call center. Of course, there might be dogs barking or children crying, but that can all be ameliorated with something like a noise-canceling app like Krisp.
15. Move Noise Makers to a Different Room
If the general acoustics of the room are fine but you’ve got a loud office fridge or a photocopying machine that’s used the whole day, move them away. Create rooms specifically for nosier activities, office appliances, and meetups.
This way, you’ll end up having most rooms strictly for taking calls. Don’t forget to install thicker doors in between these spaces. Make use of hallways as much as possible so that noises won’t immediately get in when opening the office doors.
16. Set up an Internal Team Communication Tool
Whether your team is remote, hybrid, or fully on-site, a virtual team communication app is always a good idea. On one end, it helps you reduce unwanted noise from team members chatting or trying to fix a customer’s bug.
Additionally, a similar solution (be it strictly for team collaboration or project management) yields several other benefits no matter what devices you’re using, ranging from:
- Helping your team keep up with company news
- Promoting employee knowledge sharing
- Preventing files and information from getting lost
- Ensuring all tasks/tickets get done on time
- Speeding up collaboration and preventing misunderstanding (especially valid when you’ve got team members all over the world)
- Empowering culture and helping teams bond
17. Go Green!
In other words, use plants to disperse sound. Stay creative and turn your call center into a green oasis that can eventually help you become a go-to employer and have happier employees.
Feel free to overdo it if your team loves the vibe. But keep in mind that having your own little forest does come with extra responsibilities.
18. Regulate How People Move Across the Office
This is a must if you can’t really fix the noise problem with any of the above tips. This move might seem harsh to some employees, so make sure you don’t limit their basic needs and well-being though.
You can create maps of exactly which doors can be used for entering/leaving a space and encourage your team to switch rooms during designated breaks. This will give them a nice change of space so they can maintain their focus. Try some thematic rooms while fixing the noisy environment issue.
19. Remember That Noise at Work Is a Serious Issue
Noise in working environments is actually regulated. So keep this step in mind as a mandatory one if your workplace exceeds the legal noise limits.
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 asks employers to prevent and reduce health and safety due to noise exposure.
The official noise limits are:
- Lower exposure values:
- daily or weekly exposure of 80 dB(A)
- peak sound pressure of 135 dB(C)
- Upper exposure values:
- daily or weekly exposure of 85 dB(A)
- peak sound pressure of 137 dB(C)
Under these legal obligations, employers have to:
- Assess the potential hazards that noise brings to their workplace and carry out regular health tests
- Reduce noise exposure that could be harmful and ensure the legal limits aren’t exceeded
- Provide employees with training and hearing protection when noise reduction methods aren’t enough.
20. Go Over Past Conversation Recordings Together With Your Agents
Have your agents listen to exactly what they sound like during calls. This will allow them to pinpoint common disruptors and loud noises so they can identify and avoid them in the future.
This prevention technique for reducing background noise is perfect for getting some of your louder representatives to understand the impact they have on other calls. After all, eliminating excess noises across the entire call center will help them stay productive and stop struggling with certain conversations.
Which Tips Will You Use to Reduce Call Center Background Noise?
There are many ways to cut down on call center background noise — and they don’t have to cost you a fortune!
By far, the easiest and quickest thing you can do is install a noise-canceling app that’ll work alongside your existing software and headsets. You don’t have to make major modifications to your office to make it a quieter, more productive place to be. Plus, you’ll get happier customers and clearer conversations without any audio issues.
Adding carpet, plush furniture, window trimmings and even plants can turn a hard, flat room into a softer, quieter area. Gaps under and around doors can turn into welcome mats for unwanted noise. Electrical outlets and vents are also big problem areas that homeowner may not consider.How can call center reduce background noise? ›
- Increase Space Between Call Center Agents. ...
- Use Noise-Canceling Apps. ...
- Install Acoustic Panels. ...
- Choose the Right Headset That Prevents Exposure to Noise. ...
- Invest in Sound Masking Technology. ...
- Put Up Partitions Between Call Center Agents. ...
- Get Silent Keyboards.
Adding carpet, plush furniture, window trimmings and even plants can turn a hard, flat room into a softer, quieter area. Gaps under and around doors can turn into welcome mats for unwanted noise. Electrical outlets and vents are also big problem areas that homeowner may not consider.Can you block background noise on a call? ›
On mobile devices, select your profile picture > Settings > Calling, then select an option under Noise suppression. The high setting works best in open offices, when there's no conference room to hide in. The low setting can quiet soft yet distracting sounds like the hum of an air conditioner.What is sound masking in call center? ›
Sound masking can reduce the impact of these noises by adding a low-level ambient sound that blends with the background noise and makes it less noticeable. This can help agents focus better on their calls and reduce distractions that can affect their performance.Which noise cancellation is best for calls? ›
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2
They feature best-in-class noise canceling and improved sound, thanks to Bose's new CustomTune sound calibration system that customizes the sound for your ears. Voice-calling performance is also significantly better than that of the original QuietComfort Earbuds.
- Keep the signal wires short.
- Keep the wires away from electrical machinery.
- Use twisted together wires.
- Use differential inputs to remove noise common the both wires.
- Use an integrating A-D converter to reduce mains frequency interference.
- Filter the signal.
From the main Teams window
next to your profile picture. Select Devices on the left and then, under Noise suppression, select an option. Auto (default) The Teams app optimizes for some level of noise suppression and is best for most situations.
The power of a pop filter
The most common way to stop these breathing noises and plosive speech sounds from entering your recording is by using a pop filter. This device is one of the most powerful tools to use with your microphone to achieve professional-quality recordings and clean vocal tracks.
For example, let's say you're washing dishes and talking to someone on the other end of the kitchen. When the water isn't running, you can hear the other person perfectly. If you turn the water on, the noise of the running water "masks" the sound of their voice.
Sound masking systems, also called white noise systems or noise reduction systems, are excellent solutions to this problem. Call centers with white noise sound masking systems offer a better work environment in which distractions are minimized and sensitive information is protected.What are the sound masking options? ›
There are two deployment options for sound masking speakers – Direct field and Indirect field sound masking. Depending on the layout and the structure of your unique space, our design team will provide the best advice to create a comfortable acoustical environment for your workplace.What can I use to cancel noise? ›
Noise cancelling headphones monitor the sound around you, preventing the unwanted noise from ever reaching your ears. Miniature microphones in the earcups or earbuds listen to the outside noise frequencies and emit the exact opposite signal to effectively “cancel out” both sets of sounds when the soundwaves collide.What is passive noise cancellation for calls? ›
What is passive noise cancellation? Passive noise isolation (PNI) or cancellation is when your headphones, earbuds, earphones, or in-ear monitors naturally block outside noise. In other words, your earbuds are isolating you from ambient noise instead of actively using technology to cancel it out.What is passive noise cancellation? ›
Passive Noise Cancellation
Uses well designed ear cups to seal out unwanted noise. This is used for both over-ear headphones and in-ear earphones where the earbud itself will keep surrounding noise out.
Sample answer: The different types of noise include physical, semantic, psychological, and physiological. Each interferes with the process of communication in different ways.What are the 5 types of noise in communication? ›
- 1 Psychological noise.
- 2 Environmental noise.
- 3 Physical noise.
- 4 Physiological noise.
- 5 Semantic noise.
- Cover Floors with Rugs. ...
- Cover Thin Windows with Heavy Drapes. ...
- Line Shared or Outside Walls with Furniture. ...
- Soundproof the Laundry Room. ...
- Share “On” Time. ...
- Move Devices Away into a Soundproof Area.
- On Windows, press and hold Ctrl+Spacebar. On Mac, press and hold Option+Spacebar. You'll see an alert regarding temporary unmute. Check to make sure you're unmuted.
- When you release the key combination, your mic will be muted again.
By using noise-canceling headsets, you will greatly reduce background noise, which improves the communication between you and your caller. Better communication means less information repeated and more accurate information from your calls for a more productive day.
- Join a meeting or webinar with the PWA or web client.
- In the control toolbar, click Settings .
- Click the Audio. ...
- Under the Audio Profile section, select Zoom optimized audio.
- Select On or Off if you wish to turn on or off Background Noise Suppression.
- Select Start > Settings > System > Sound.
- In Input, select a microphone to see its properties.
- In Input volume, make sure the blue bar adjusts as you speak into the microphone.
- If it doesn't, go to Test your microphone and Start test.
To your microphone, the puff is like a tsunami sound wave. This burst of air is known as a plosive. When you get close, in addition to plosives, microphones also pick up a variety of breathing noises. When you exhale through your nose, the sound can be a low rumble in the microphone.Is it possible to reduce background noise in a video? ›
To remove background noise from a video on your Android or iPhone, you can either download a background noise removal app or use an online noise remover. A great tool for editing videos and enhancing audio on a mobile device is Kapwing.Is there a way to reduce background noise on iPhone? ›
Adjust the mono audio, balance, and phone noise cancellation settings on iPhone. You can adjust mono audio, left-right stereo balance, and phone noise cancellation to suit your needs. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual.Why does background noise bother me so much? ›
You may have hyperacusis if some everyday sounds seem much louder than they should. It can sometimes be painful. You may be affected by sounds like: jingling coins.What is audio reduction noise? ›
Noise reduction is the process that involves taking a signal and eliminating unwanted noise from it. There are various audio noise reduction techniques to remove unwanted sounds. Sound consists of pressure waves running through the air. Many describe it as energy created by vibrations.How do I remove background music from audio? ›
- Upload Audio. Upload your MP3 file to VEED. Drag and drop, it's that simple.
- Remove Background Noise. Click on the audio track, then Settings. On the toolbar, click 'Clean Audio'. ...
- Download. Press 'Export' to download your MP3, and you're done! Quick and straight-forward.
- Upload a video to the tool. Open Clideo's Audio Cutter and upload a recording from your personal device by hitting the “Choose file” button. ...
- Separate video from audio. ...
- Save the extracted audio.
Go to the Effects tab of the iMovie app and select Audio Filters. Click on the Noise Reduction tool and drag the slider to the right to reduce background noise. There's also an equalizer which, if you know what you're doing, can reduce some of the noise.
Open the Settings app and tap Accessibility. Tap Audio/Visual. Tap the toggle switch for Phone Noise Cancellation to turn it on.What do the mic modes do? ›
Look for Mic Mode
Standard is the default setting that Apple uses, a sort of middle ground where the mic picks up your voice but also some of the ambient sound. Wide Spectrum makes the mic pick up everything, with an emphasis on catching the ambient sound too.
- LALAL.AI (Recommended)
- Adobe Premiere Pro.
Digital noise reduction (DNR) refers to the ability of digital hearing aids to use envelope-detection to determine if signals are speech-like or noise-like and make gain adjustments accordingly.What software reduces background noise in video? ›
Audacity. Audacity is free software to remove the background noise in a video. As a free video editor without watermark, it removes background noise effectively. The only drawback is that once the background noise is removed, the original audio can then be replaced with the one you exported from Audacity.Why can't i deal with background noise? ›
Misophonia is a mysterious, newly recognised disorder in which certain everyday sounds can trigger extreme anxiety, rage or panic. At the other end of the spectrum are those with such an extreme aversion to sound that it qualifies as a condition.How do you deal with noise sensitivity? ›
- Don't overprotect against sound. The more you protect your hearing, the more fear you invoke about these sounds. ...
- Systematically expose yourself to the sounds you hate. ...
- Talk to a medical professional. ...
- Minimize your stress. ...
- Get support.
Treatment for noise anxiety involves adopting various coping mechanisms, such as the use of earplugs, as well as cognitive behavior therapy. The mainstay of CBT is exposure therapy, which involves repeated, graduated exposures to trigger sounds and subsequent desensitization and perception reframing.