Selecting a Conference Call Provider

Competition has made the days of no-choice phone service a distant memory.  Conference calling options are just as diverse.  When choosing the right conference call company for your company, you need to make a careful evaluation.  Here are a few things to evaluate:

·         Current Needs.  As with every change in technology, it is important to start with your company’s current needs.  The first step in choosing a conference call provider is to have team members track the number of minutes they spend on conference calls as well as the technology they use or prefer (audio, video, data, VoIP, etc.).
·         Determine the Right Plan.  After reviewing the current usage, you can figure out your mix of service.  For example, if your business uses 200 minutes of video calls a month, it is unnecessary to purchase 1,000 minutes of VoIP.  It is important to make a liberal estimate so that any occasional use of more minutes will not produce overage charges − it is better to have a plan with a little too many minutes than too little.
·         Upgrades or Downgrades.  Be sure that it will be easy to upgrade or downgrade as needed.  
·         Do the Research.  Take the time to research which companies have the latest technology in the areas you need as well as personal customer service.  
·         Trial Period.  Any reputable company will allow firms to have a brief trial period to use the system.  
·         Hidden Charges.  Watch out for hidden charges.  It is important not to get caught into an expensive, long-term trap.  If a conference call provider provides dozens of pages of fine print, then look elsewhere.  Everything should be clear and simple to understand.
·         Monthly Plans.  The best options are usually flat rate monthly plans with unlimited minutes.  After all, it is unprofessional to have employees count minutes when they are talking to potential clients and business partners.
·         U.S. Calling.  If your business is U.S. based, be sure they have phone numbers and long-distance service in any part of the country that your business may need to call.
·         International Calling.  If you work with clients around the globe, choose a conference call provider that is truly international. 

It’s your call on who you choose for a conference calling service.  Just make sure you do the research before making a long-term commitment.

Squeezed Tip courtesy of a leading provider of web, audio and video conferencing information site