What is a Decibel (dB)?

A decibel, abbreviated dB, is a unit of measurement for the intensity of sounds. A very faint sound might have a decibel level of 0 while loud concerts may reach 120 decibels or more. Typical conversations are around 60 decibels, while whispered ones might be 15 decibels. Being exposed to 85 decibels of noise for an extended period of time will damage a person's hearing. A 140-decibel sound will cause immediate hearing damage.

Call centers worry about decibels, in a somewhat indirect way, because they are concerned with background noise. The call center floor can be a noisy place because there are so many people talking at once. The noise level can be affected by the density of agents per square foot, the type of surfaces on furnishings, and what materials are used on walls, ceilings, and floors.

Call centers try to minimize the decibel level of background noise because it can affect the quality of customer calls. Mitigating background noise is a quick fix call centers can do to improve the customer experience.

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