My name is Christine and I am part of the sales team at Speakserve. A big part of my job is understanding why a potential customer needs a conference call service and advising on the most approriate solution for their business.You can imagine that conference calls are a straight forward-service that is easy to understand but I find the biggest complication for many businesses is knowing how they are being charged and how they can easily compare conference call providers.
During the start of 2018, I have witnesses many more companies approaching us for advice on pricing and help with switching their provider. The common theme has been the use of a conference call service that has been advertised as free or low-cost and has ended up being incredibly expensive with escalating bills that are difficult to keep track of. Companies are usually alerted to the costs when expenses claims show conference charges on mobile phone bills. Employees innocently use their business conferencing account not expecting to be charged on a personal bill. I have had one instance this month when a gentleman had been on business in the US and dialled in to his usual service and found a charge of £60 for an hour-long conference.
It's not ideal having to start with pricing when speaking to a new customer as there are so many more aspects to a conference call that define whether or not a particular service is right for a business, but it seems to me there is a lost of confusion as to the way in which services are priced and the industry needs to be a lot more transparent in the way in which they advertise and charge participants.
Conference calls are now a business necessity with so many people adopting flexible working and a greater amount of international commerce. My biggest challenge is helping customers understand that the key to a successful conference is not only that it is cheap, but that it is organised well with scheduling tools that provider clear instructions to participants. Audio quality needs to be crystal clear so that everyone can hear eachother without having to ask people to repeat themselves constantly and finally that participants have access to widespread local dial-ins, avoiding uneccessary international charges if they are dialling in from a variety of geographical locations. If customers have a smooth conferencing experience ultimatley your company will be saving money as less time is spent wondering if everyone can hear, if they have been able to dial-in to the conference successfully and the meeting goes smoothly without a technical hitch.
The cost of course, will always be important but without professional advice and a help in understanding the conference call features that your business needs, you risk bumbling along with an unsatisfactory call experience and painfully large conferencing bills. Conference calls do not need to be complex, but getting it right from the beginning, will not only save you money long-term but also make sure that anybody you are inviting to your conference call has a great experience, thus safeguarding your professional reputation.
At Speakserve we have developed a 10-point checklist to help you understand the conferencing features that are essential for your business and the pricing model that will provide you with the best value for money. DOWNLOAD IT HERE and get in touch for advice and help with comparing conferencing call costs.