Best Conference Call Services
Businesses of all sizes these days count on reliable communication solutions to ensure they can operate effectively; one way to increase your ability to communicate effectively in 2016 is with the best conference call service.
Businesses are always looking for new ways to increase efficiency and work smarter. I've taken a look at some of the best webinar software to help in that endeavor. Here are the top options.
Best Conference Call Service: What to Consider
To ensure you can make an informed decision about the conference calling service you choose for your business, you should research and consider several important factors. These are just some of the questions you should be asking when it becomes time to find a conference call company.
1. How often and how many people will use it?
Perhaps your company needs to conduct regular daily or weekly web meetings with a large number of people calling in. Alternatively, instead of regular meetings, the nature of your business may require just irregular, spur-of-the-moment "touching base" face-to-face communication with a small group of selected participants.
The number of participants is a major factor in pricing, so the business will need to determine the largest amount of people that will be on any one call. Once the number of participants has been determined, the choices in systems can be narrowed down because some of the conference calling services can only accommodate up to a specific amount of members at any one time.
2. How interactive are the features of the package and what interactive features are necessary for your business?
You will need to determine if your business will benefit from features like shared "whiteboard" space, real-time polling questions, or interactive document sharing. For example, some services offer the ability to conduct an on-screen poll where participants can answer in real time. Your company may find it necessary to provide downloadable files to each participant on the call or make it possible for members to comment through the web. On the other hand, some companies merely need the simplicity of an audio call with no interaction other than allowing participants to take turns speaking.
3. What features and tools come with the teleconference plan?
Determine what features your company will need to operate efficiently and find the service that fits those needs, instead of attempting to make your businesses needs fit into a service's features. Selecting a service merely because it has "cool" features may lead to confusion and wasted money. Choose the system that has the necessary tools your company needs, and make plans to reevaluate your needs periodically.
4. How does the service manage each call?
Some services have the ability to record calls or to allow the host to see detailed descriptions of each caller logged in. Depending on your industry or business, this may or may not be essential to your meetings. It is always best to examine how the conference call service handles each call and whether or not it falls in line with your company's needs.
5. How is the level of help and support that is available to users?
When conducting an interactive conference call with several participants, many of whom can be anywhere in the world, there is bound to be a technical hiccup from time to time. An unexpected system breakdown can reduce your day's intended productivity and throw your schedule off.
If the conference call service offers speedy support, quick troubleshooting response times and the ability to get you up and running quickly, that could be a major deciding factor in deciding which system to use. You also want to inquire about the training and support available for new users of the system.
6. What's the cost of the conference call service and how does it relate to your budget?
The benefits should be quantified and should justify the cost of the system. For example, does productivity increase, and by how much? Many systems have a no or low-cost trial period that will allow you test the service out and determine within a few weeks if it would be helpful to your business. That will keep you from wasting money and help you identify the most important features you need.
7. What is the reputation of the provider based on consumer reviews?
In addition to doing the technical research when deciding what system to purchase, the company should check with similar businesses and find out what they liked, what they did not like, and their general thoughts on the service they used. The user experience of other companies can provide a perspective that can't be found anywhere else.
All of these factors should be taken into account when choosing a conference calling service, as you can then ensure you pick a plan and provider that is going to benefit your business and be worth the cost.
It's also important to understand your company's needs and examine each service with regard the features you are looking for. One size does not fit all, and if you just get the latest "hot item", you may end up paying too much for features you don't need.
You may even end up getting a service that is not worth the effort it takes to learn how to use it. To get more information, read the articles on conference calling and have a look at my reviews on the best conference call services.
Benefits of the Best Conference Call Service
Way back in the not-so-distance past, businesses relied primarily on traditional phones for the majority of their communication needs. These days, however, they use everything from email and social media platforms to the best web conferencing and VoIP solutions.
Each of these methods makes it easier and faster to interact with talented workers or business partners no matter where in the world they are, and they are starting to become required tools for any business who wants to grow beyond their local city or state. Let's explore what and how the best web conferencing software technology can do this.
Businesses continue to expand, and improved technology makes the world seem smaller, oftentimes attendees to a business meeting do not need to be in the same room or even in the same country. One of the solutions making this possible is the use of a conference calling service.
Conference calls can be a convenient (and more preferred) alternative to an in-person meeting. From meetings with anywhere from two to dozens of attendees, anyone logging in from any remote location can see and hear each other as if they were in the same room.
Compatibility is also important. Most of the top paid conference calling services are compatible with both Windows and Mac computers. Make sure a service is compatible with your devices before buying.
Best Free Conference Call Service
With some research, it's also possible to find the best free conference call service. In fact, if you are looking to just include a few participants you may be able to simply use your regular phone. Some services even offer free screen sharing and other more advanced features. However, if call quality and reliability are a concern, a paid service is much more dependable. The size of your phone conference is also a factor.
Even the best free web conferencing services usually limit the amount of participants you are able to have in a call at the same time, while some paid services allow you to include up to 300 participants call into your conference call number at the same time.
It's also important to consider what you want to do on a call. If you want to use a desktop sharing function to show participants what you are looking at to walk them through a program or powerpoint, a paid service is necessary.
Paid services also typically offer conference call iPhone and Android apps that allow you to call into meetings and participate in video chats from your phone. These apps typically offer more interactivity than simply dialing into the conference call number.
Best Conference Call Service with Webinar Software
Today's conference calling and webinar services offer much more than a simple audio call between a few participants. Different services offer different features and capabilities. The top services offer the ability to have a conference call between 125 and 300 people. Some offer the ability to customize your phone number, integrate with Outlook and conduct surveys.
Different services also have varying levels of call quality and ease of use, so it is important to take a look at each provider and decide which qualities are the most important to you.
The Best Conference Call Service
So who are some of the best conference call services? There are several excellent services you can choose from when you are ready to begin your search. Listed below are some of the top providers. They have ranked in the top five of either professional reviews, user reviews, or both.
- The service offers total ease and simplicity for users
- You can access a wide range of tools and resources including articles, training videos, and tutorials
- Comes with excellent audio quality for an enhanced experience
- A variety of features available w
- No automated invite feature available with this service
ConferenceCalling.com is a service known for its ease of use and simplicity as well as its wide range of features and tools. It boasts excellent audio quality and great training resources like articles and videos. For its price, ConferenceCalling.com includes great tools for web control and reporting.
- Offers access to high quality audio and video conferencing facilities
- This service comes with a host of advanced interactive features
- Offers file sharing facilities as well as record and replay features
- You can easily switch presenter control using thi
- There is no operator assistance available with this conference calling service
Webex is a popular choice among businesses seeking to save time and increase convenience when holding meetings and conferences. They offer online meeting and video conferencing of up to seven people and come with a host of advanced interactive features.
- Range of interactive features and excellent audio features
- Record and replay facility for those who miss the meeting
- Automated invite feature for increased ease and convenience
- Comes with file sharing features for an enhanced experience
- Offers access
- Missing some of the more advanced features that some of its competitors offer
Intercall is another top-rated conference call service, ranking among the top 3. This service also boasts fantastic support and training like instructional guides and articles for best use. Intercall allows recording and playback in addition to the standard conference calling features. It also has competitive file sharing features.
- Excellent conferencing experience when using an iPad
- Service offers a range of valuable features for businesses
- Competitive prices for a reliable service
- The ability to switch who is hosting the meeting just by clicking a button
- A variety of tools and
- Lacks some of the advanced features that some of its rivals offer
- Recording facility does not work when using the Mac operating system
GoToMeeting is a well-known provider that works great with an iPad, but lacks some of the most advanced features of its competitors. It is designed for small group meetings and is listed among the top five best services, second to Webex, in professional ratings.
- Customizable screen to reflect the theme or colors of your business
- An ideal service for medium sized enterprises
- Service offers a range of features, including a number of advanced features
- Offers ease of use
- Utilizes Google Translate
- The service does not offer the ability to lock archived meetings so that they can only be accessed by designated users with the relevant password
ClickMeeting is very user-friendly and customizable. It is suited for medium size companies and provides users with a chat translator facility. ClickMeeting has features like the ability to translate a meeting transcript into one of over fifty languages. This is invaluable when you are meeting with contractors and employees from all over the world and having to overcome the language barrier.
Conference Call Service - Online Meetings for Large Groups
With teleconferencing services, you can arrange meetings and discussions with a group of people who can all tap into the conference call using a specified phone number and passcode. This technology makes life far easier for business users as it means that you can arrange meetings without even having to leave the comfort of your desk.
Some companies are specially equipped for webinar services. They may offer the ability to include large groups of participants and even break into separate sections by splitting the call into two separate rooms. This is ideal for creating a seamless webinar, while still being able to deliver a full seminar experience.
If you have the full range of features from the best screen sharing software and online conferencing, you can bolster your business's meeting productivity. With many teleconference services, you can create a virtual meeting by screen sharing, providing feedback with one touch of a button, sharing and making real-time modifications to documents, and more. This improves communication tremendously and improves efficiency even though attendees are not physically in the same room.
Best Web Conferencing and Teleconference
Many conference call service providers offer these solutions for businesses. As a business, you may need to have to communicate remotely without the fear that the subjects discussed might be intercepted or overheard. Because of this, you need to be able to have an online meeting over a secure connection.
Most of the best web conferencing services secure your video and audio conference with a 128-bit encryption. This level of encryption is the industry standard but some add extra security with a more robust 256-bit encryption.
You may also need to communicate internationally with remote business partners, clients or associates. Services that allow you to make international conference calls are important for companies with a global presence.
They are all different in how they operate, the cost, and what features they have. It is not a good idea to just choose a provider randomly because all systems are not exactly alike. By asking the right questions and doing your research, you can ensure that your business enjoys maximum benefit from this technology.
It is important to look at the features and advantages of using different providers and plans, as this will enable you to make a more informed decision about what conference call service will be a good fit for your business. You can then start enjoying the range of benefits that come from utilizing this type of communication solution within your business.
Advice for Finding the Best Conference Call Service
There are many things to factor in when making your decision on the best conference calling service for your particular company, so take some time to do your research. Organized and thorough research will help you pick the right system for you and save you the time that trial and error will cost.
You can reference our handy advice guides to explore more about the systems. Get answers to a variety of questions and explore the advantages of using a conference call system. You may not even be sure if you need one, so I go through options that can help you decide. For example:
Is a conference calling service worth the money? Maybe you discover that for your business, a conference calling service may not be necessary at this point in your business's growth.
How do you successfully manage your workers who meet with you remotely? Remote workers present a whole different collection of issues to think about. Since they are not always physically present, how do you make sure that everyone is on the same page with procedures? If everyone is in different places and face-to-face isn't always available, how do you make sure that things are being accomplished, and the company is moving forward?
Best Conference Call Service Recap
The value of call conferencing and video conferencing facilities for businesses these days cannot be underestimated. Be sure to examine all the needs of your business and the type of conference calling technology available today.
With the right service and provider, you can save a ton of travel time, and open up limitless new opportunities to work with people from all over the country or the globe. Having a great conference calling system that works for you makes it easy to schedule and participate in planning and strategy meetings. Careful identification of your business's needs and selection of the right system can take your business's efficiency to the next level!
If you want to explore more online solutions for your business, take a look at your options for switching to the best VoIP phone system. These are often cost effective alternatives to landlines.
You can also take a look at our review of the best online backup. This can automate the process of backing up documents so you never lose an important file again.
Best Conference Call Service FAQs
Do I need an internet connection?
Unless you are interested in file sharing, user reports or want one migrated to voice over IP (VoIP), all you need to carry out a conference call is a phone designed with some type of conference system. Different models will range in price, of course. Models are available with 360-degree microphones, HD voice clarity, and various noise reducing features. If possible, the phones with internet connection capabilities are superior in their functions and are more effective in performing multi-dimensional sharing features like sharing documents, for example.
What you need to consider are the immediate needs of your organization and what type of budget you can accommodate.
What is conference calling?
A conference call is a type of phone call which allows more than one individual to listen in. Businesses frequently use conference call services to communicate with multiple parties more easily. Certain services allow customers to call into a meeting using a phone number and unique password which ensures a level of security and confidentiality. Other services can be coupled with a computer or internet connection to share presentations, documents, and other types of file sharing.
Additional file sharing features include host control, real-time presentation display, desktop/application sharing, user reports, Outlook integration, remote control access, and chat.
Do I need an Internet connection?
Unless you are interested in file sharing, user reports or want one migrated to voice over IP (VoIP), all you need to carry out a conference call is a phone designed with some type of conference system. Different models will range in price, of course. Models are available with 360-degree microphones, HD voice clarity, and various noise reduction features. If possible, choose phones with internet connection capabilities since they are superior in their functions and are more effective at performing multi-dimensional sharing features like sharing documents, for example. What you need to consider are the immediate needs of your organization and what type of budget you can accommodate.
What is conference calling?
A conference call is a type of phone call which allows more than one individual to listen in. Businesses frequently use conference call services to communicate with multiple parties more easily. Certain services allow customers to call into a meeting using a phone number and unique password, which ensures a level of security and confidentiality. Other services can be coupled with a computer or internet connection to share presentations, documents, and other types of file sharing.
Additional file sharing features include host control, real-time presentation display, desktop/application sharing, user reports, Outlook integration, remote control access, and chat.
Do I provide the equipment or does the company?
A quick answer is, it depends. Plenty of well-run companies use their own conference call equipment such as routers, phones and other electronics. But, if you run a small operation or don't want to spend a lot of money upfront, you can rent the equipment. If you plan to use conference call services for the long haul, you'll save money by buying the equipment. Whereas if you rent, you may be able to use higher-end equipment for a lower price in the short-term.
Do I get training?
While secretaries and veterans in the office might not need training, some of the higher-ups may have a hard time using conference call equipment. Not to worry, most providers won't leave you in the cold as you can get training, so you can get the most out of your plan. This means that you can use the equipment without fear or trepidation. Not only that, if you check out the website of your conference call service provider, you are sure to find walkthroughs and information on how to use it all.
Is there a difference in quality?
If you use conference call services, you will want everything to work flawlessly. If not, you may have unreliable service on one or both ends. Not all companies and equipment are created equally so it's important to do your research. That doesn't mean that there are a lot of bad providers out there. It means, if you want the best, you will have to invest a little more money in your services and equipment.
Can I record my calls?
All providers let you record your calls, that way you can revisit them later on. You should not run afoul of state laws, however, and always inform the other party that you are recording the call. Depending on your service provider, you will have multiple options to record the call. You can record from the phone itself by pressing a button or a combination of buttons. Some even let you log in to your account via a web portal, where you can start recording. Finally, if you do a screen share meeting, you can record the call this visually and audibly. All options are user-friendly, and if you have any issues recording, your provider can assist you.
What operating systems and browsers are supported?
If you use a web-based service, you will want all your attendees to be able to talk to each other, with ease. Otherwise, you can lose clients and frustrate everyone. All major operation systems are supported when you use Web-based services. These include Mac, Windows and even sometimes major Linux distributions. Whether you use Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox or Safari, you can connect, record and interact with others. If you need to contact tech support, providers offer solid support so you can set up your calls and ensure that they go smoothly.
Is it user-friendly for my clients?
If you are doing a sales call or have a potential client, or current one for that matter, on the line, you will want things to go well. If you set everything up correctly, which is not hard, you will have a smooth call with your clients. All conference call services are created with the end-user in mind, so they can talk to you with ease, even if you are not a large corporation. By providing the phone number and other pertinent information, you can set up your conference call with your client, and you can have an error-free experience.
Is it easy to get technical support?
While you will receive plenty of training and have access to documentation, you may want more, and a conference call service will provide this. Whether you have problems accessing your accounts or information or you can't set up a call, you can get phone, email and chat support 7 days a week. You will be able to get help from trained professionals who can walk you through the problem, no matter how big or small the problem is. But, don't worry, while technical support is available all the time, most modern conference call systems are user-friendly and don't require much tweaking.
Can people use their cell phones to get in on a conference call?
Many individuals, nowadays, rely primarily on their cell phones as a form of communication. That's not an issue with many conference call services because they can use a toll-free number, or non-toll-free number to connect with ease. Of course, depending on the plan, they may have to pay for minutes or data usage.