Category Archives: Conference call

Comparing Conference Call Services for Business

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Running a business is no easy task. Sometimes you have so many things on your mind you can’t even get one thing done, let alone squeeze in time for a meeting somewhere. That’s what’s so great about conference calls. In this day and age, you can save time and money for your business with an online call, even if your employees or clients are thousands of miles away. Keeping that in mind, you also want the best quality for your business. Let’s break down the different conference call options so you can decide which suits you best.

The Free Version

Free conference calls are great. Who wants to pay an extra bill when running a business? All you have to do is sign up and use the service. It’s that simple. With Internet access and just a couple clicks you get on a conference call in no time. The thing is, this so called “free” service might have an extra twist.

For starters, the number you’re usually given isn’t a toll free number. This basically means that the people calling into the conference may get charged for the call. No serious business wants that going on. Also, long distance fees might not be included in the service, plus you may have to pay taxes. Last but not least, free conference calls tend to have low quality sound. It’s probably not good for your business image to sound choppy or distant every time you’re on a conference call.

With upgraded conference call services you get many benefits that are designed for professionals. Let’s see why.

Go Pro

If you’re looking for the utmost in business performance, you may want to try paying for a quality conference call service. Immediately after you sign up, you get a toll free number. This allows you to receive calls with the peace of mind that no one gets charged extra.Your calls also will have a clear actual phone line connection avoiding all kinds of extra irritating noises. Calling abroad is included in the service, so you can easily connect with over 50 countries.

Also, with an upgraded conference call service, you can get an intuitive web based dashboard. This allows you to manage every call, run multiple meetings at once as well as activate toll-free dial in numbers and download invoices on demand. Free conference calls will most likely not include this kind of software, let alone be as effective.

Some Questions to Ask

Before you sign up for anything, free or otherwise, ask these questions:

  • What’s availability like? Is the service available over 99% of the time?
  • How can you invite people to a call? Is email and SMS invite possible?
  • Does the service offer a way to get live feedback during the call?
  • Can people dial in via Skype or other platforms?
  • Is call recording available?

If you don’t get a “yes” to each of these questions, you may be settling for a package that makes your brand look less than professional.

How Much Do You Care?

At the end of the day, it all comes down to how much you care about your business. While going the free route will save you money now, it could hurt business later. If you look at the big picture, quality communication leads to better results. A professional conference call service improves your image and pleases clients wherever they might call in from.

 

V.C. for myGC

Conference Calls Are Getting Out Of Hand

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Conference Calls Are Getting Out Of Hand

Ever been unexpectedly interrupted in the middle of an important conference call? Most people have. Today, a lot of important communication happens from the comfort of our homes. This may lead to difficulties when trying to find a quiet place to talk. Being interrupted by your kid running around in a dirty diaper could easily happen. When it comes to chaotic interruptions, life can show no mercy. The possibilities are infinite.

If You’re Home Make Sure It’s Alone

All is good when you’re working from home. Nothing beats using your laptop on a comfy couch with the snacks you want and a carefree vibe. But what happens if your family suddenly comes home? You’re kids barge in, run around, laugh, and throw pillows at each other while your dog barks. Plus, your partner yells out “I’m home!” in a funny embarrassing tone. Just imagine what the people on the other end of the call will think.

Even In The Bathroom

Comfort can be a double edged sword, and in some cases make you take things a little too lightly. Say you’re in the middle of a call and feel the urge to use the restroom. Some might not even think about getting up to do their thing, even while a conference call is still going! Think of a bunch of people in suits on the other end hearing loud flushing noises on the call. Do you really want that happening?

They Can Still Hear You

What if you have to go to the grocery store, and you stay on a conference call while you’re driving? Maybe all of a sudden some little girl on a bike flies right in front of your car, and you almost hit her. Of course she keeps going without a care, but you scream your lungs out and forget everyone can still hear you. You’ll probably sound insane.

Take Into Account

Unexpected things happen in life and that’s just how it is. Still, there are some things you should take into account before an important conference call:

  • Make sure there are no other people around to distract you.
  • Pick a quiet and private place to avoid external noises.
  • Get other things out of the way beforehand and fully engage with the call.
  • Take into account where you are and where people on the other end might be.
  • Stay in the same spot until the conversation is over.

Save The Flushing For Later

In the end, you can’t avoid all distractions. Just make sure your kids aren’t running in to your home office while you’re talking. Also, leave cooking, taking out the trash and such for later. You want to seem like you’re paying attention to the call, not unclogging a toilet filled with who knows what. Come on, at least be somewhat professional.

V.C. for  myGC

Free Conference calls

Are Free Conference Calls Really Worth It? | MyGlobalConference

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Are Free Conference Calls Really Worth It?

Who doesn’t like free service? We enjoy all kinds of free stuff on the Internet everyday. The thing is, after a while we usually run in to some kind of inconvenience. We end up paying hidden costs or experiencing various technical problems here and there. So what about free conference calls, are they worth it?

Quality Matters

There’s nothing more irritating than extra noise, choppy voices or echoes when talking on the phone. What if you’re in the middle of an important call and the person on the other end can’t hear you? Quality matters, and it’s better to pay for a good service than to seem unprofessional.

Sometimes at the beginning of a free conference call, a message mentions the service name. You don’t want to have this going on if you’re trying to look like a full fledged business. Paid services get rid of unwanted announcements, allowing you to maintain your professional status.

Are They Really Free?

The truth is, free isn’t an accurate term for these services. Something more like almost free sounds better. At the end of the day, there are some sneaky costs you might be overlooking. Here are some things to take into account when using a free conference call service:

  • It’s based on toll numbers, not “toll-free”.
  • Long distance calls, taxes and other fees aren’t included.
  • It’s limited to a certain amount of minutes.
  • Customers may also pay extra fees.

The last point is very important. One thing is not having a great connection, but transfering a cost to a client without them knowing it is a huge mistake. How would you feel if you found out someone made you pay for something without your consent?

In It For The Long Run

If you run a business, you want things to work as smooth as possible. Free conference calls are low cost and convenient on a short term basis, but what about in the long run? Your business can’t run on young interns forever. That’s why you hire paid employees.

It’s the same with conference calls. When you pay for a premium service, you gain a lot more than you lose with a free one. Here are some benefits a paid conference call service provides:

  • Authentic and solid phone line connection.
  • Advanced infrastructure.
  • Ensured 99.999% system availability.
  • Dozens of local access numbers for conferences in any country.
  • Automatic invite via Email, SMS or Calendar.
  • Calling-in is Toll-Free or charged as a local call.

You Might As Well

In the end, free conference calls aren’t 100% free, so why even bother? They may satisfy the average user or may be a good option to get started, but it won’t give you much on a larger scale. If you’re looking to run a business in a professional manner, get on board with a professional conference call service.

V.C. for  myGC

Why use Toll-free numbers for conference calls?

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In all industries, we’ve seen changes and disruptions creeping in slowly over the years. Not sparing the telecommunications industry is the rise of technology supporting long distance calls and the way we hold conference calls.

Not only did the way we conduct conference calls change, the way we worked has also changed dramatically over the years. Working remotely has been the trend and will continue to be in the years to come. In fact, it is estimated that 70% of companies worldwide are promoting flexible working styles and an estimated of 1.3 billion workers are already working remotely across the globe.

An increase in worldwide calling plans has also been noticed – Businesses now rely more on remote telecommunications than ever before. These days, as plenty of businesses rely on IP telephony, the majority of call providers have included domestic and long distance calls as part of their packages. You can find out more about them by clicking here.

Getting a toll-free number has its advantages – Participants can join a conference call for free anywhere in the country which makes participants less hesitant to dial in. Calling a toll-free number is also seen as a form of professional courtesy from the host (the one inviting to the conference call) who picks up the bill which can have a positive impact on brand image, or simply increase attendance rates to the conference call.

If you would like to register for your free calling account, click this link here!

Nigel Sim for myGC

Essential & Advanced Conference Call Features

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So you’re thinking about setting up a conference call system for your business. What features are you going to include? Some are essential and every company needs them. Others might be optional and depend on your organization’s size and complexity. Let’s find out more.

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The Essential Conference Call Features

There are some things you can’t live without. Sunshine and chocolate are two. The others are toll free, local and VoIP dial-in access for your conference calls. This ensures that no participant is left out regardless of geographic location.

Now let’s look at some other features that are more or less optional but are nice to have.

Email Notification, Calendar Integration & SMS

One pretty much essential feature invites people to attend a conference by email. We all have busy schedules today and these reminders help keep attendees on the ball. You can also give them a brief preview of what the conference is about.

For those that use Gmail, Outlook or similar online resource, the email reminder can also integrate into their calendars. Got someone really distracted? You can also ping them with an SMS reminder.

Audio Recording

It’s hard to take detailed notes during a busy conference call. Instead, you should pay attention to the conversation. This is why recording is extremely helpful. You also might have organizational regulations that require conversation recording. Make sure you inform participants that you are recording the conversation.

Call History Detail

This feature lets you know at a glance things like timing of people joining, phone numbers and cost of conference. For employers, it might be useful to know who shows up on time. Also, the cost analysis helps you streamline your conference call use.

Participant Announcement

This feature prompts participants to record their name, and then they are announced when they join. It’s best if you can turn this feature on or off.

Maximum Number of Participants

The best conference call services allow you to have up to 100 participants or more. Really big numbers might be more for calling in to hear a speaker… or if you have a ton of friends. One hundred people talking at once can get kind of annoying, so play nice and take turns please.

Dashboard

Now this is a really nifty feature if you can get it. The conference call dashboard gives you real time data such as who’s connected and the name of who’s talking (in case you forgot). You can mute, unmute and even remove people from your conference. Need to call someone from your conference to get them involved? Do it directly from your dashboard. How cool is that?

Conclusion

When picking conference call features, consider your organization’s size and specific needs. Also, make sure your provider can meet your demands as you grow.

Set up a global conference call that offers a wide range of options to fit your business needs. Sign up for free now.

V.H.C for myGC

5 Tips to Lead Effective Conference Calls

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When the recession hit in 2008, companies starting cutting costs by bringing down the number of face to face meetings. This eventually forced staff into using conference calls as an alternative mode of communication. However, most did not receive proper guidance on how to lead such calls and therefore have a lackluster approach towards them.

To be sure that your colleagues and bosses aren’t getting bored or multi-tasking during your call, these tips below will help you achieve the objective of your call.

Practice, practice, practice.

Always practice using the conferencing software that you intend to use for the actual call. Set up a practice call with yourself and learn all the features that come with the software. There is nothing scarier than not knowing how to use the software when you’re the host. Learn important functions such as muting and un-muting callers.

Always have a backup plan.

We all know how technology fail on us right at the very moment we need them. Always send the call’s agenda, dialing or webinar information way ahead of the actual call time. In the event that the software or hardware decides to fail on you, you can always guide your participants over to the documents you sent over previously.

If it’s a group, prepare a room.

If you’re part of a group that is supposed to be physically present together and host the call, prepare a room with a proper speaker telephone with enough speakers for everyone. Always test the speaker telephone one day before the actual call as well as other equipment such as projectors that you may need.

Be early.

Well, not too early. Start the conference call at least ten minutes ahead of the actual call time so that you can welcome each caller as they dial in and take their attendance. Always ask whether all participants have received the information that you sent over previously and have them ready it.

 Touch on basic etiquette.

To ensure that your call is successful, briefly run through some basic conference call etiquette to ensure that there wouldn’t be a caller who will unexpectedly derail it. Ask callers to put their phones on mute and avoid being in areas with a lot of background noise. They should only un-mute their phones when they have something to say and never ever put their phones on hold.

Mobile phones that are silent should be placed further away as any notifications will cause a loud buzzing sound. If the call requires strict attendance, let callers know that you will pause the call at any moment a person joins so that you can take their attendance. Inform callers to speak loudly and clearly with their name at the front so that everyone will know who is talking.

Use these five tips to lead an effective conference call and continue to build your knowledge by experiencing more calls. These tips here will help you kick off and ensure that your callers are engaged and actively participating in your call. Good luck!

Nigel Sim for myGC

When A Toll Free Conference Call Might Cost You More

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A toll free conference call means free, right? Well not exactly. For someone dialing a toll free number, yes it’s free. For the conference call administrator though, there are user charges. This is the same for every conference call service. So what are the best ways to reduce costs? We’re glad you asked.

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Toll Free Still Has A Cost

When a person dials into a conference call they can do it one of two ways: through a local number or toll free. In both cases, the meeting administrator gets charged, but the administrative charge for toll free conference call services is higher.

Clients & Partners First – But Be Smart

Of course, you want to treat your clients and partners with kid gloves. If you organize a conference call, you’re not going to stick them with a big phone bill. So you give them a toll free number, right? Not so fast! If you also give them the option of a local call number, you could save money in conference call costs. Being generous doesn’t have to mean being wasteful.

Consider Your Options Carefully

In some cases, you might want to go with only local call in numbers. Most clients won’t be upset about this as local phone charges might be minimal or even zero. However, if your operation is global, you should consider giving participants a choice between local and toll free. In some countries, local calls might not be that cheap. When in doubt, it’s probably best to give clients a choice. Sending chocolates never hurts either.

Free – Free Option

In some cases, you can even get free dial-in without administrative charges. This can happen when people are calling in using a VoIP connection. Skype, GTalk or WebRTC are examples of this type of internet call in. For some international users, these platforms are the method of choice since it keeps their costs low.

Some providers allow you to have a limited number of users that can dial-in for free over VoIP without any administrative charge. After you exceed this limit, a charge kicks in, but it’s still usually much lower than the local or toll free administrative costs.

Toll Free Is Still The Standard

In nearly every business situation, if you are hosting a conference call, the toll free option is the standard. If you go with a provider that can’t offer this service, then you probably should look elsewhere.

Business partners and clients expect this type of courtesy, so give them what they want. That said, you still might be able to save some money by offering simultaneous local and VoIP connection options.

Want a conference call service that gives you local, toll free and VoIP options? MyGlobalConference gives you more choices. Get connected with us today.

V.H.C for myGC

Conference Call Terminology – Making Sense of The Jargon

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So your company needs conference call services, right? But what’s with all the strange terminology like “admin” and “dial-out”? Why can’t they just speak plain English? Well don’t worry. We’re here to demystify the jargon for you.

Sometimes conference calls are identified by other names. So if you hear confcall, teleconference or audioconference, they’re all talking about the same thing. Basically it’s more than two people on a phone call at once.

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Now let’s take a look at the conference call terminology.

Admin

The Admin is the administrator, or organizer, of the conference call. This is also the one that receives the conference call billing. The Admin typically has more control over the call, such as inviting participants or muting users. Some systems refer to the Admin as the conference moderator or manager.

Conference Recording

A feature that allows you to record a conference call for playback later. Some systems also allow you to download and share the recording.

Dial-In, Dialing-In

Every conference call has a dial-in number. This is a phone number that connects you to the conference call. Conference call providers have sets of phone numbers that can be used for dial in. In many cases, dial-in numbers can be set up to be local numbers or toll free.

Dial-Out

No this isn’t calling out for pizza or sushi. When an Admin dials-out, this means they call someone outside of the conference to ask them to join the call. This is typically an Admin only capability.

Email Notification

This means that participants get invited to a conference call by email. The email usually has all the details about the call, such as subject, date, time, dial-in and PIN code.

Local Access Number

These are the dial-in numbers to access a conference call. Most providers have access numbers in many countries to avoid international phone call charges.

PIN Code

After a participant dials into the conference call system, it asks for a PIN code/number (also known as the Access Code, Conference Code, Conference ID, Participant Code, etc.). This may be requested for by a message that says, “Enter in Conference.” Every conference call has a unique PIN number that lets you access the call. The PIN number should not be confused with the dial-in number.

Reservationless or Permanent Conference

This is like having your own conference call ready to use at any time, over and over again. The Admin has their own PIN code and another one is available for participants to use at any time. Too bad you can’t have this at your favorite restaurant!

Scheduled Conference

This type of meeting has a set start time for invited participants. The PIN code is unique to this conference only and expires when the meeting ends.

VoIP Conference Access

Instead of calling from a telephone line, some participants might choose to access the call through an Internet based connection (Skype, Google GTalk, Web RTC Dialer, etc.)

Conclusion

So there you have it! All the confusing terms explained. Now you can sound like a pro when it comes to conference calls.

Set up a global conference call in 57+ countries. Register for free today.

 

V.H.C for myGC

How to Improve Your Conference Calls

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Conference calls seem all so amazing when you think about the benefits they bring to your business or meetings. However, when you think of the issues that could well come along with setting up or running one, you will soon realize that participating or organizing a call can be quite challenging.

There are a number of things that you will have to include in your plan to avoid making your call a complete flop. Here are five things you should be absolutely prepared for.

  1. Audience Management

Conference calls only make use of one of your senses – Hearing. You aren’t able to see the people you’re talking or listening to. Unless you keep track of each new caller or leaver, you will definitely be unaware of who your audience are.

  1. Noise

We term noise as anything else that comes from a caller apart from their voice such as typing, machine, road and even paper crushing noises. You get these noises mostly with callers who use a microphone in a device during the call that is multi-directional and very sensitive, such as one you will find in a laptop. The only way you can stop this problem from occurring is to let callers know the etiquettes of a conference call such as muting when it’s not time to speak, prior to joining.

  1. Playing Music on Hold

This is definitely a no-no. People love tuning their phones to suit individual needs. Although it would be nice to let callers that are placed on hold to listen to some Beethoven, this should be made criminal if done during a conference call. Some call participants may decide to put the conference call on hold while attending to something else. However by doing so with music, they would only be adding unwanted ambience to everyone in the conference call. 

  1. Call Leadership

Things can go array quickly if the call does not have a leader. Call leaders are important especially during calls that involve sensible matters where there might be more than one holding the reins. The call leader should ensure that everyone is given ample time to speak and given necessary attention when it calls for it. They should also be able to smooth out any conflicts or topic straying that may arise during the call.

  1. Call Materials

References to documents are often made during conference calls. Sending out erroneous documents or information to participants, can lead to callers being left in the dark on certain points and therefore causing them to lose interest in the call. Such documents and information should be checked and sent to all invited parties way before the call starts.

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We hope our simple tips above to improve your call, will help you along and we wish you all the best of luck!

Nigel Sim for myGC