Conference call, Conference calls are one of the main productivity tools of modern work. Meeting regularly with colleagues, customers, partners, and suppliers is the basis of every business: before 2020, up to 30% of workers participated in at least 5 hours of meetings a week; in the last year, the meetings have further increased by 13% (Source: Harvard Business School) as an effect of intelligent working, becoming virtual more often than not.
Agile work requires simple tools, reliable and effective, and can guarantee adequate collaboration between people and teams who often no longer share the same physical space.
Not all meetings are effective.
Companies are wondering how to make simple and productive conference calls. Not all of them are: sometimes we are faced with organizational difficulties; in other cases, the access is not intuitive, but according to the statistics, what irritates the participants is, above all, the poor quality of reception.
Volumes that are too low or high, speech difficult to understand, and continuous interruptions can degrade the productivity of the meeting. Many people also participate in calls while moving from one place to another or working outside the office, introducing annoying ambient noises. Last but not least is the need for a moderator to prevent the voices from overlapping and the meeting turns into wasted time.
Conference Call and Videoconferencing: what to prefer?
In this regard, many people believe that video conferencing replaces conference calls. But this is not always true.
The two services can be used in parallel. A conference call is often more effective when you have meetings between colleagues from the same company who need to focus on a project.
In these cases, it is not essential to appear on the video. Still, it is preferable to collaborate on documents shared through desktop sharing and take advantage of superior audio quality to facilitate dialogue and information exchange.
The advantages of professional conference calls are therefore considerable:
- they favor the frequency of intercourse
- streamline decision-making processes
- they enable rapid collaboration between people wherever they are
- reduce travel costs
- they do not occupy the lines of the company telephone switchboard
- do not require participation in video
- have a high-level audio quality
However, you must be very careful when choosing a conference call service. The free online tools often do not guarantee the right levels of reliability, security, and transparency.
The issue is not secondary given that the quality of the call can significantly impact the image of the company that organizes it, for example, when introducing yourself to a new customer.
How to make productive conference calls: the 4 pillars of the ideal service
Making effective conference calls means, first of all, taking advantage of a professional service that guarantees organizational simplicity, quality of meetings, ad hoc functionality, security, and privacy. In particular, there are 4 pillars to be evaluated:
The best possible audio quality
Ensuring audio quality is essential for a conference call service.
Even if these services are provided in the cloud, the operator must be able to guarantee the same quality of a telephone service without applying compression of the audio stream in order to preserve the clarity of the sound to the maximum.
Guarantees of security and privacy of the participants
Security is a central issue. The moderator must be able to close the meeting by preventing new access, must receive real-time information on the number of participants, and always know who is entering and leaving the room. To this must be added the possibility to change the access PIN to your virtual room whenever the moderator deems it appropriate.
Ease of activation and meeting access
The moderator must be able to activate the meeting in a few moments and take advantage of a dedicated room or room without the need for a reservation. Participants must also access with a simple and intuitive procedure, regardless of the place of connection and the device used. The operator should also provide real-time support service should the need arise. The login guide should be available in multiple languages.
Moderation and registration features
Among the moderation features, the possibility of selectively or massively silencing the participants to avoid unpleasant noises, and the registration option with forwarding via e-mail, which is useful for replaying the significant passages at a later time, cannot be missing.
A piece of unified communications
Conference calls are only one of the work and communication tools of this increasingly smart and connected era: every day, in fact, millions of professionals use videoconferencing via the web, but also desktop sharing systems and instant messaging.
The apps that take advantage of the fixed-mobile convergence can also be very useful, allowing you to use the fixed number of the office even on your smartphone and to combine calls on fixed and mobile networks in a Conference call with a few clicks.
Faced with so many communication tools and channels, each with its own characteristics, companies must adopt an integrated approach, i.e., choose a single service platform that includes them all and guarantees ease of access and adequate service levels. The hypothesis that all these services are provided in an integrated form by your TLC operator is a winner from several points of view, but in particular for the resulting simplification, since the Customer does not have to purchase or learn to use third-party tools. Furthermore, when faced with any technical or organizational problem, the Customer has a single contact to call who is responsible for resolving the issue.