Conference calls are the unavoidable bane of business people’s existence. What’s pitched usually pitched as the key to connectivity and collaboration across time and space usually translate into what many feel like is wasted time.
By one estimate, businesses in the U.S. and U.K. waste some $34 billion worth of business time on conference calls.
The biggest frustration? Challenges with PINs and dial-in services and a lack of web components. But 86 percent of respondents in the review linked to above said they would move on to better technology if they could guarantee it was reliable and easy to use.
What can be a frustrating experience, can be an efficient moment that moves things forward and allows all stakeholders to participate regardless of time and location.
The best way to have good conference calls all the time is to ensure that users are focused on the conference, not call — dial into the meeting not meeting just to dial.
Here’s a guide to some of the features of the best conference call services.
Make Time for Business Mindfulness
That’s a silly way to say that a lot of time and money can be saved on the front end of shopping around for conference call services providers.
Here are a few guiding questions to get started:
- Are frequent, large, long-distance, or technically complicated calls a regular and requisite function of your business?
- Has your telecomms provider been, at all, a source of frustrations for your conference call efforts?
- Could your calls be improved with a better call platform?
If you answered yes to any of these, it may be time to find a conference calls provider.
What to Look at to Find the Best Conference Call Services
Here’s a run down and a quick explanation of vital features for stellar conference call service.
Reservationless calls allow you to host conference calls at any time without scheduling them with a central authority in advance. This is great for spontaneous and agile organizations to communicate within and for fast-moving external communications.
Operated-assisted calls are self-defined. But having a professional operator to handle the call set up, administer the call, coordinate Q&A and control the call overall simplifies the call itself greatly. This is especially helpful for well-attended calls.
Cost structures vary widely but can be an advantage for a business. Be on the lookout or annual and monthly charges. Also, be mindful of per caller, call length and call frequency charges. Frequent conference call users will likely find savings in all-in monthly or annual subscription charges while less frequent users will benefit from lower subscription charges and higher per-use charges.
Call controls also vary widely. But the wide variety of options makes the Telecomms market like a salad bar. Take all that you want and nothing you don’t. Automation features like greetings and call controls can cut the need for an operator. Online or other web-based options can seamlessly integrate web sharing and VOIP only users.
Use Tech to Make Your Call Worth It
There are innumerable options to up a company’s conference call services and turn a dreaded business function into a valuable tool.
Be sure to hit up our other tech-focused articles to the side and below to open your mind to the wonders that technology offers even the smallest business.
More on this topic: The Ultimate Guide To Buying a Second-Hand Phone