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Accommodating Employees with Hearing Impairment in a Call Center

If you run your own business, it’s crucial that you’re staying compliant with rules and regulations set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act, also known as the ADA. At its heart, this act clearly establishes that businesses must “provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services for people with disabilities.” Regardless of whether they’re working within an office or a movie theatre if a business is not in compliance with these regulations, it can spell serious trouble for that company’s future. As such, it’s important to find ways to help your employees do their work in spite of any disability they might have. That being said, those sorts of accommodations can look radically different, depending on your industry and the size of your company, so it’s important to do some research before diving in.

 

Running a call center, of course, comes with its own challenges during a normal workweek. However, if you’ve employed someone who’s hard of hearing or has a hearing impairment, it’s important that you’ve thoroughly thought through the sorts of accommodations you’ll need to provide them, to help them stay productive. Here are two key strategies to think about as you work to make your call center more suitable for an employee with a hearing impairment.

 

 

Provide hearing aids to your employee if they handle voice calls.

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If your employee doesn’t already have a hearing aid, it may be pertinent to provide them with a reliable one, if you have them taking phone calls as part of their work in your call center. When it comes to picking the right hearing aid, it’s important to discuss the possibilities with the employee in question, particularly if they’re self-conscious about their hearing problem. They may also have certain preferences regarding comfort and style that are important to take into consideration, before you make a purchase of a hearing aid.

 

When it comes to the brands to offer your staff, Phonak hearing aids are definitely worth considering. They provide clear, impressive audio quality for better hearing, and can even be paired to a smartphone device via Bluetooth connections. This makes them much more future-proof than old-school hearing aids and might ultimately mean that your call center agent can stay productive and have a better handle on their customers’ requests.

Implement an omnichannel call center solution.

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While implementing hearing aids is a good way to help an individual employee, there are other, more widespread solutions that can play a bigger role in helping all of your customer support team. One way to do this is to adopt an omnichannel call center software solution in your business. A major benefit of using an omnichannel system is that different agents can field customer requests using different communication mediums, at once. This means that if there’s an employee who would rather not handle voice calls or video chats, they can instead field queries from clients via SMS message, email, or even live web chat communication channels.

 

Another big benefit of using an omnichannel call center platform is that many systems offered to enterprises can be used remotely via the cloud. The ability to offer your staff members the chance to work from home can be a major benefit for employees with hearing issues. This is because, rather than needing to come into the office, which could be noisy or distracting, your employees can access your remote call center software and work from the comfort (and quiet) of their own home. Being able to hire employees with customer experience, but may have since suffered hearing loss, to be remote call center agents thus ensures that you have the ability to expand your team appropriately while still catering to each member of your support team’s individual needs.