Features to Suit Conference Clients Needs
All businesses have their own individual needs and will benefit from different reservationless conference call features. It’s important that a conference call provider offers choices that work for customers at a reasonable price. There are several points to take into consideration in order to ensure that a business conference call is effective and efficient.
One aspect to take note of is whether the conference call service offers a dial out calling option, as well as a dial in connection. When using a dial in connection, participants call the phone number provided by the leader and enter a participant entry code. The leader informs participants of the date and time of the call and it is up to the participants to call in. With a dial out feature, the leader can dial out to potential participants and bring them into the call. This can be convenient for ready conference calls if there is a last minute decision to include a colleague or client. To conference with someone who does not reside in a country with toll free access numbers available, the leader can simply dial out to reach them for an affordable rate.
An international toll free number can be important when conducting a business conference call that includes individuals located overseas. Those with global connections then have the ability to round up participants from anywhere in the world. Many people don’t want their clients or employees to be charged to participate in the conference call. With a toll free international number, participants will not incur long distance fees. They are able to dial in from their country using that country’s toll free access number. If the leader is in another country they also have the ability to moderate a conference call using the international toll free number. A U.S. number can also be used to dial into a conference from overseas. When using a U.S. toll number to dial into a conference, participants will have to pay any long distance fees incurred from their phone provider. A US toll free number allows those within the United States and Canada to dial in free of charge.
Other features include a one time use call. In most cases customers can reuse their number and access calls. However, for a one time use call the moderator will receive a code to use once. They will then need to acquire a new code for their next conference call or rely on their permanent number. A roll call feature on a ready conference can be convenient as well. Participants say their name when connecting to the call or a subtle beep sounds as each person enters. In some cases, the leader is able to access the roll call privately. If the moderator wants to know if someone has left the conference call prior to continuing with the conversation, the roll call feature gives them greater control over their conference line. For further statistics, a report can be generated automatically after a call for accounting purposes. This includes participant phone number information and number of participants, the minutes used, and other pertinent details.
Saving time and resources is a benefit associated with call recording. Taking notes, constructing an e-mail or memo about the discussion, or attempting to remember the details of a call is time consuming. A recording command code allows the user to initiate a recording themselves on a reservationless conference call while call is in progress. Recordings can then be used to review the content of the call, distribute information to colleagues and clients who weren’t able to participate, and in some cases can be made into transcriptions. The moderator has the ability to make the recording available to anyone they wish. The quality of the recording and the call itself, will be exceptional if a mute/unmute feature is available. The leader can mute his or her own line or mute the lines of other participants to decrease static, noise, and limit interruptions. Participants can also silence their lines in order to reduce background noise, such as speaker phones, cell phones, colleagues, people on a busy street, dogs, children, and other disruptive sounds. The mute command lets them listen without contributing additional noise or distractions.
Perhaps the most important feature that must meet a conference client’s needs is security. The leader should be the only individual with access to the host’s entry code. The host code is the key that starts a conference call. Participants wait on music hold until this code has been entered, at which time the call is connected. Any leading conference call service will require that participants use the entry code to dial in to the call. This ensures that all participants are invited members. Typically, a participant can dial in at any point and join the conference call. However, it’s common that the leader has the ability to lock individuals out for security purposes. For maximum security and quality, it is best to avoid Internet routed VoIP service and opt for a carrier grade service. Until VoIP services have eliminated all of the glitches, the line will be less secure.
There are a variety of different needs among conference clients and the right conference call provider will offer the options to meet them. The bottom line is that all features should allow for secure use and optimum control over conference calls, while saving time, increasing productivity, reducing business expenses, and offering ways to make a business grow.