The conference call is the champion for dispersed offices and the vanquisher of money-sucking business travel. With all its power comes great responsibility on the part of users, and when audio conferencing goes bad, what should be easy turns into a major pain for businesses.
-So, how’s the family? It’s not often that conference calls start on time. A lengthy login process that makes it difficult to join a conference call means it’s almost inevitable that people will “ding” in right after you start, but hey, at least you gain extra time for awkward small talk with the early birds before the meeting.
-Can you hear me now? Audio quality is essential to the success of a conference call, and because this type of meeting depends on it, any disruptions, lost connections or choppy quality put a halt to the entire meeting. Plus, today’s conference call is a mix of smartphones, Wi-Fi users, VoIP lines and more, creating complexity and adding another layer of risk.
-Who’s speaking? The absence of visuals creates a host of dilemmas and mishaps, most noticeably an awkward meeting. Attendees often face confusion about who’s talking, when to pause and even where a question is directed without visual cues for speakers.
-Is anyone listening? Conference calls make it easier for attendees to hide in the background and multi-task, as opposed to video, and they often lack avenues to engage with participants via chat or file sharing. Constant interruptions may mean participants are missing information, and a meeting without an interesting visual presentation may be more difficult to comprehend, as well as harder to hold attention and help guide the agenda.
-Any ideas? To avoid chaos and confusion, conference calls often require a clear agenda, ground rules on asking questions and other limitations to stay on track. Without any flexibility in a meeting, the host and guests can’t easily switch gears and follow new ideas, which may make brainstorming difficult. Without free flowing collaboration, participation and a group space to record ideas, creativity is nearly impossible, and it’s also too easy for one person to dominate a brainstorm over the phone.
-Can you hear me nodding? Facial expressions and movements help the host understand and gauge how attendees perceive and feel about the presentation. Are they lost, bored or curious about a particular point? Without that instant feedback, it’s harder to make meetings a success.
-Excited? Void of body language, conference calls can also be less personable, which means that motivational speech doesn’t quite inspire and that big company announcement doesn’t amp everyone up quite like you hoped.
-What did we accomplish? Conference calls with constant interruptions and tangents can result in missed objectives, orphaned deliverables and in return, decreased productivity.
Do all these disadvantages mean you should give up on the conference call? Of course not – but you might rethink your solution.
Products like GlobalMeet® Audio, PGi’s high-quality, reliable audio conferencing solution, practically reinvent the conference call. Features like an easy-to-use visual interface easily prevent confusion, interruptions and awkward pauses.
One-click joining eliminates dial-in numbers, passcodes and many of your latecomers. Crystal clear audio quality wipes out choppy, robotic voices and static. You can even integrate your conference call with your existing collaboration tools for better engagement and a better audio experience.
Before you throw in the towel on the conference call, request a demo of GlobalMeet Audio and experience the impact that a superior software solution can have on your meetings.
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