Which conference call service should you choose?

Free Conference Call

Free Conference Call

Every day, businesses around the country are meeting with clients and staff. Internal and external meetings cover a broad range of issues, from business plans and financial issues to human resource and operational issues. Technology has made organising meetings and bringing people together easier. Conference calls are an alternative to in-person meetings, allowing participants to participate in a meeting by telephone. Advances in video and computer technology have also made web and video conferencing possible, further enhancing the experience of remote meetings.

Free Conference Call Benefits

Conference calling reduces costs for businesses. Free conference call services eliminate the need for businesses to host their own conference bridge and associated equipment. Similarly, in-person meetings often require participants to travel, which also costs businesses money. The physical infrastructure needed for in-person meetings such as conference rooms and other amenities add further additional costs.

Face-to-face meetings may also be difficult to arrange, especially when organisers try to find a time and location that meets the needs of participants that may be located in various cities or countries. Arranging conference calls provides more flexibility by allowing meeting participants to contribute from their home or office, or another location. Rather than travel to a common site, conference calling allows businesses to meet with their staff or clients remotely. This saves time and money.

Free Conference Call Services

In addition to free conference call options, a wide range of conference call services are available to businesses. For example, premium services at an additional cost provides users with advanced meeting features. Each type of service delivers features and options that are customised to the individual needs of each business, regardless of their size or meeting requirements.

Free conference call services allow meeting organisers to hold meetings without access fees to organisers or participants. Conference calling service providers offer a conference bridge without cost to clients. As part of the service, businesses are given an access code for participants to use when calling a dedicated number. Meeting participants are only charged local or long distance telephone charges, which can vary depending on the caller’s location and the service provider.

Different conference calling plans provide varied features. Certain service providers offer multiple conferencing plans, each with basic to advanced features included. Typically, free conference call services offer a unique access or PIN number that allows users to dial in and create a meeting. Access codes are also provided for participants and in some cases moderators. Additional moderator functions such as a live call dashboard to track meeting participants, as well as agenda, recording and scheduling options may also be included. Certain free services may set limits on meeting duration and the number of participants allowed on individual calls.

In addition to free conference call services, further options are available by some service providers at a cost. Flat rate conferencing for example can help keep calling costs associated with free conference call services at a minimum. Flat rate, prepaid and pay-as-you-go plans cover the cost of phone calls for a specific time period or amount. This is particularly useful for businesses who organise frequent and long meetings when calling charges can be a burden on meeting participants and organisers. Premium services are also available, which include a range of features and functions to help facilitate discussion and enhance meeting experiences. For example, premium plans may include file sharing options, video and web-based interfaces, chat and polling functions, web-based facilitation tools, and moderator tools.

Choosing a Free Conference Call Provider

Given the range of features and options available with free conference call services, it’s important to understand exactly what is included. For example, some free services may set caps on meeting participants and other services may include free moderator features. Conference Call Review helps businesses assess the implications of each conference call service provider. Overall ratings for paid and free conference call services are presented to help businesses make a decision on which option will best meet specific needs. Unbiased and helpful information related to features and service quality is provided for conference call services in the UK. Our reviews also compare and evaluate costs of free conference call services.

Comparing free conference call plans and service providers is a useful way to determine the quality of the service. Being informed ensures businesses provide the best possible experience for meeting participants. In order to deliver professional and efficient conference calling options to clients and staff, businesses need to know whether a service provider has a track record of maintaining good customer service. They also need to know whether a service consistently delivers a high standard of sound quality, reliable connections and secure services.

At the time of writing this article, we recommend Minglur as the pick of the bunch for the free conference call services, GoToMeeting is also highly rated but they do charge a monthly fee.

Resources

Here is a nice video explaining the benefits of a Google Apps integrated free conference call service. And just in case you are still in any doubt, here is Wikipedia’s definition of a conference call.

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