LONDON, May 19 /PRNewswire/ --

- With Travel Budgets on the Decline, and a Health Threat Further Restricting Travel, a Survey by Plantronics Shows That Sales Representatives get More Intimate With Their Customers When Using a Headset for Telephone Calls

LONDON, May 19 /PRNewswire/ --

Plantronics, Inc. (NYSE: PLT) today unveiled the company's latest market research identifying how headsets shape the experience shared between sales representatives and their customers. With the economic downturn and trimming of travel budgets, companies are becoming increasingly dependent on their salesforces' ability to foster and maintain valuable customer relationships over the phone.

With the pressure mounting, Plantronics has discovered that throughout the UK and Europe, it's clear that for sales and customer, using a headset is the key to creating a comfortable and compelling customer experience.

Conducted by research specialist Opinion Matters/, Plantronics' online survey polled thousands of sales representatives (not contact centre workers) and customers from the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. In each region, both groups reported a vast preference for the use of a headset during sales/customer calls and expressed the importance of headsets in shaping a positive customer experience.

According to the survey, an overwhelming majority of sales respondents from all regions reported feeling better able, in general, to solve customer/client problems and issues and work more efficiently when using a headset as compared to talking over the telephone with only a handset. In addition, the sales representatives questioned felt that using a headset leads to more satisfactory outcomes for their customers, and even rated headsets as a more vital business tool/accessory than a Blackberry.

Similarly, the majority of customers polled throughout the UK and Europe said they believe that professionals using headsets boosts their experience as a customer, and that they actually feel closer to a salesperson when he/she is using a headset. Furthermore, the same customers said they find sales peoples' communication skills more effective when they are using a headset rather than a telephone handset.

As one of the first in our field, the value in using a headset to communicate more efficiently and effectively is a concept we passoniately believe in at Plantronics, said Philip Vanhoutte, Managing Director at Plantronics EMEA. We were stunned with the survey results and feel that sales organizations throughout the UK and EMEA could benefit greatly from using headsets to improve their overall customer experience, especially as their travel budgets continue to suffer in today's rough economic climate.

Other key findings from the survey include:

- Top two reasons for using a headset are to work more efficiently/smarter and to enable quicker access to customer data/info.

- Other key influencers for headset use include its ability to bring the sales/customer rep closer to the customer as well as appear more natural on the call.

- Almost all respondents felt that their jobs would become more difficult and/or the level of service they provide would suffer if the headset were no longer available

- Headsets were rated the third most important business tool vital to performing their job successfully, just under mobile phones and software tools.

- Sales/customer service representatives feel more effective at communicating with their clients and feel the rapport they build with clients / customers when talking to them is stronger when using a headset.

Opinion Matters / is a leading market research organisation, carrying out consumer, corporate and niche market surveys online amongst a 50,000+ member panel. The Plantronics and Opinion Matters / survey was conducted online between 03.02.09 and 12.02.09 amongst a nationally representative sample of adults throughout the UK, France, Germany, Holland and Spain aged 16+. None of the people surveyed were working in a contact centre, where the usage of headsets is the norm . Opinion Matters / follow the codes of the MRS (Market Research Society) and are fully registered and compliant with the Data Protection Registrar.

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Plantronics - The Voice of Unified Communications

Plantronics offers one of the industry's most complete families of corded and wireless products for unified communications. Widely recognised for their sound quality, reliability and comfort, Plantronics' audio solutions help companies extend the benefits of IP communications throughout the extended enterprise, fostering better business communication and efficiency regardless of where professionals are working.

About Plantronics

In 1969, a Plantronics headset carried the historic first words from the moon: That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. Since then, Plantronics has become the headset of choice for mission-critical applications such as air traffic control, 911 dispatch and the New York Stock Exchange. Today, this history of innovation is the basis for every audio product we build for the office, contact center, personal mobile, entertainment and residential markets. The Plantronics family of brands includes Plantronics, Altec Lansing and Clarity.

Altec Lansing, Clarity, GameCom, Plantronics, and Sound Innovation are trademarks or registered trademarks of Plantronics, Inc. Dolby and Pro Logic are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories.

For more information, including specific findings from the research by region or topic, please contact Rowland Haring at GolinHarris on +44(0)20-7067-0476 or by email at For more information, go to http://www.plantronics.comor call +1-800-544-4660.

For more information, including specific findings from the research by region or topic, please contact Rowland Haring at GolinHarris on +44(0)20-7067-0476 or by email at For more information, go to http://www.plantronics.comor call +1-800-544-4660.