Audioconferences – Myths and Truths
Googling “conference call” makes your head spin. Google offers a barrage of offers. How do you determine the service that best suits your needs? Under the adage “knowledge is power,” this article examines some myths and truths about conference calls. Try searching for “Web 2.0 Audio Conferencing”
Myth #1: Some conference call services are free! Truth: Someone is paying. Make sure your call is not disconnected.
How to hold a “free” provider accountable? you can’t. If you are not charged for the service, then the provider receives the revenue to run the service in some other way. Audio conferencing platforms have real and ongoing overhead costs that someone is paying. Before you decide to rely on the services of a “free” provider, determine their revenue model. Otherwise, you may have to cancel an important meeting because your “free” provider decided to go on vacation. Audio conferencing providers may offer “free” services for a number of reasons, including:
- Sell your name to third parties. Ask: What happens if the name-selling business revenue model fails; Is reliability important?
- Advertising sale. Ask: What happens if ad revenue declines? Will the lights go out in the service?
- Getting a sponsor to pay because the sponsor receives some other benefit from the provider. Ask: What if the sponsorship drops? Where does that leave me?
- Hoping you upgrade to your value added services. Ask: Do these services improve my productivity or slow me down? Do cheap and free services really cost me more in the end anyway?
For business-critical communications, where dropped and poor-quality calls mean delayed or canceled meetings, the cost of lost time is far more costly to your bottom line than the cost of calls.
Myth #2: Your conference call provider bundles all of their services into one price. Truth: Read the fine print. The devil is in the details.
While this is true with some providers, this is generally not true. Some prominent providers advertise a low per-minute rate and then require the customer to pay for an operator for calls of more than 15 people. This type of “bait and switch” tactic means that the average rate paid per minute is actually much higher than the low “carrot and stick” rate customers thought they were paying. Some providers choose not to play a trick on their customers. Unless you enjoy the game of bait and switch, you should consider honest providers who actually have a single price rating for their services.
Myth #3: All conference call providers are the same. Truth: This used to be true, but not anymore.
In the old days, audio conferencing used to be about connecting cables. Most of the audio conferencing technology still in wide use today uses this old technology “under the covers.” This is why the features are limited to just one flavor: plain vanilla. That is, it obtains a call PIN and a dial number and calls at the agreed time. With the advent of the web, new technologies are emerging that combine the best of traditional audio conferencing with new web-based productivity features. These services can make your audio conference calls much more efficient and effective. These are the providers to look for. This means sorting through the maze to find them. Try searching for “Web 2.0 Audio Conferencing.”
© Copyright 2011. Leader Phone® and Michael McKibben. All rights reserved.