So you’ve been using the same Conference Call Provider for years now and after reviewing your annual spend, you find yourself wondering if you are really are paying far too much for the service you are getting. Is it time to look for a new provider? Is the administrative effort and time it takes to move to a new provider, really worth it? Here are 7 ways to tell.
1. You are experiencing reoccurring connection issues
Good conference call providers use a series of clever and comprehensive monitoring systems in conjunction with a sophisticated incident database to detect and resolve (most) connectivity problems before they impact your call. This should help them to better fix the issues in real time and come up with a resolution process that prevents this issue from occurring again.
If your provider is frequently failing to deliver a good service with many participants dropping out of your call, and your provider hasn't taken the time to investigate the problem thoroughly and fix the issue, this is a cause for concern.
2. It takes far too long to join a conference call
If the average wage in the UK is £27,600 and the average person works 40 hours per week, that works out to £13.27 per hour or a cost of £0.22 per minute wasted trying to join a difficult to use conference call service. Every minute spent trying to download software or misdialling unnecessarily long PIN numbers is wasted time and effort and that's on top of the cost of the call.
Not every meeting requires a PIN number (but this should be optional), and some conference call providers such as Speakserve offer a smart dial-out function, which calls your participants automatically as it's about to begin, so they can join the call on time, every time.
If your teams are spending too much time trying to navigate a difficult to use service or are continuing to feel the effects of late joiners and reduced productivity, this is a problem you can address by switching providers.
3. You have a subscription or fixed cost model
Chances are you will have a subscription or fixed fee contract with your conference call provider, yet you’re not a huge multinational corporation. Smaller businesses need a conference call provider that is more flexible and can able to adapt to their changing needs. If your conference call provider is unable to provide a PAYG service or help you to review your usage against your account so that you can ensure that you are receiving the most cost-effective pricing, or contract terms, then you may need to look elsewhere.
4. It's difficult to speak directly with a dedicated support person
There should be some levels of automation and process within any growing technology business, but this should never be at the cost of good customer experience. If you find it difficult to talk directly to a knowledgeable support person or even reach out to a dedicated account manager that has some intimate knowledge of your business and your people, you will often find yourself frustratingly explaining past correspondence over and over.
If this is the case, it may be time to move on.
Your conference call provider should provide you with a personalised service and offer you an experience that shows that the support team are familiar with your business’ needs and understand your processes beyond the immediate call.
5. Your participants are paying hidden charges
Long gone are the days that conference call providers should be offering premium rate numbers or hiding participant access charges and bridging fees ( especially for mobile). But, many providers (such as Powwownow) offer a conference call service where each participant invited to join the call is charged as well as the client. This is known as a shared cost model. Not only does this look bad on the conference call provider, this often has a negative experience for your participants who will be shocked to see extra call charges of up to £0.57 per minute added to their monthly mobile bills.
If your conference call provider's costing is not transparent or your contract states that your participants are paying extra conference bridges fees, meeting charges or access charges to join your calls, then it may be time to look for a new provider who can offer a centralised model. This means that you can be sure that all costs will appear on one bill where you are the only one paying for the cost of the call.
Request access to our cost comparison sheet by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. This compares the rates and charges of some of the largest conference call providers and highlights how they charge these extra fees.
6. Lack of availability in the locations you need
As your business grows and develops into new markets and locations, your conference call provider should be able provide you with coverage in locations you need across the globe. If your conference call provider is unable to offer accessibility to the locations your require and have no plans to source a number for you with a high quality connection, then you should be wondering why.
A great conference call provider should be continually expanding their international coverage, if you see that your provider is offering new locations then you should also pay close attention to the number of local or freephone numbers in their countries as this will helps to keep your costs down.
7. Your calls often make you sound like you are underwater, or a robot
We've all experienced that dreaded echo and robotic sounding voice that results from bad audio quality. But, if this happens frequently, this should be a major red flag for your business. This is often caused by a poor VoIP connection and especially true of a conference call provider that does not run on a tier one telephony network.
So, I'm ready to change what do I do next?
If you're ready to make a switch, we would suggest compiling a list of conference call providers to assess against your requirements. We've put together a short guide to comparing your conference call providers to make this even easier here, and can also offer a personalised quote.
If you need further assistance creating a list of conference call requirements for your business, or should you wish to talk through how to make sense of your current conferencing provision and bills, then please do not hesitate to contact us directly email@example.com or give us a call on 0800 9805155.
More from the Speakserve blog:
- Local & Freephone Dial-in Numbers: Explained
- Who's On My Conference Call? The Importance of Privacy
- Why Should You Be Thinking About Pre-Registration For Your Event Calls?
- 6 Smart Ways To Improve Your Next Earnings Call