Meetings with staff, collaborators and colleagues is an essential part of running your business. However, it’s not always possible to hold face-to-face meetings, and for this reason, conference calls come in handy. Conference calls allow large groups of persons to hold meetings remotely via phone calls – without having to resort to video chat software or camera-equipped computers. Since everyone knows how to operate a phone, conference calling eradicates barriers to productive remote meetings.
Following this, not all conference call providers are made equal. Each provider offers a distinctive feature and different tools meant to manage conference calls, right from restricting who can join in the meeting to engaging contributors in a real-time ballot. Perhaps more significantly, these services differ extensively in matters of pricing.
Sourcing for a UK conference call provider may be tricky but consider the following three tips to help you make the best choice.
1. Evaluate their call management systems
Once you start your conference call, you’d want a service that provides you with a broad array of options for conducting your meeting. Choose a platform that offers an interactive Web interface, one that displays details such as muted callers and callers who dropped out of the call.
Another key feature is the capability to record live calls. That way participants may choose to review the discussion later on, and anyone who may have been unable to join the call listens in at a future date.
The leading platforms store conference calls in a database and allow for streaming or downloading at a later date.
Finally, the choice to integrate video chat into your calls is a huge bonus and additional features, like the capacity to set a customized greeting that users will hear as they connect to you. Such features aren’t as important but are great perks that set a businesslike tone for your calls.
2. Assess the interactive capabilities of their systems
Given the right tools, a conference call has the likelihood to be more than just another group phone call. A contemporary interactive conference call system provides functionalities aimed at fostering participation and feedback for participants.
For instance, some services offer capabilities such as conducting a survey or an instant poll to gauge the general opinion of the participants promptly. Members enter their reply using the phone’s dial pad.
Callers may also use the “hand raising” feature that allows them to notify the call moderator that they want to speak at the next available opportunity to avert situations where participants talk over one another.
A majority of platforms include a “whiteboard” component that allowed users to sketch, brainstorm visually and take notes with other users logged in via an online Web portal. The “whiteboard” feature makes an ideal collaboration tool for participants who unable to be in one room with each other.
Another important feature is the capability to share documents, files or your computer desktop with other users, albeit this feature is useful to callers whose PC’s are connected.
3. Assess the provider’s help and support
Conference calls come with their own set of complications. You’ll deal with callers from diverse locations, all using different equipment. Supposing that you elect to use added Web features like video calling, the likelihood of something going wrong increases – and technical complications can wreck your workday.
For this reason, you want a calling platform with first-class help and support features. Top conference call providers offer 24/7 email and telephone support and the capability to troubleshoot by way of a Web chat with the assistance of a customer service assistant.
To help you in getting started, users may learn from video tutorials provided by some calling services.