We’ve all seen it, or should I say heard it, a thousand times on our weekly conference call. Dogs barking and babies crying in the background. Ben in IT thinks his line is muted but we can hear him telling Carl about his plans for that ‘67 mustang in the garage. The host, Cindy, just can’t figure out how to start recording the call. And Ed? Where is Ed? Don’t tell me he can’t find the dial-in info again….it’s the same every week! If only someone could dial out to him!
It’s headaches like these, and many more, that turn what should be a smooth and routine conference call into the very thing everyone dreads having to attend each week. And this is why you need an operator assisted conference call…so you can take back your meeting and your audience!
In this post we’ll talk about common struggles organizations like yours experience with their day-to-day conference calls. We’ll get into how an operator assisted format not only addresses and fixes those challenges, but how it can also save you time (which we all know equals $$$) and heartache by doing the heavy lifting for you resulting in a better meeting experience.
Now, we could probably sit here for half the day and count on two hands (and by two I mean ten) all of the things that frustrate us (not including content) about the conference calls we host and/or attend on a regular basis. While that would be a fun break from the day I thought we would take a look at the top 3 complaints that we routinely hear from new customers looking to improve their conference life. And on the flip-side, how a Lighthouse operator assisted conference call will turn your meeting frown….upside down.
1) “I wish there was an easy way to invite participants to my call, provide the dial-in information, and track the registration…all in one shot.”
Well….there is. After you’ve scheduled your call you have the ability to utilize the built in registration component to invite participants to your meeting via email. Once they register they’ll receive the dial-in information and unique PIN to join the meeting….and even a reminder email before the call for those who may be forgetful. This unique PIN instantly identifies the participant when they dial-in. On the back end, you’ll be able to monitor the registration to see who will or will not be there so on the day of the call you’re not left guessing who your audience will be. The best part….no extra charge for the registration tool!
2) “I never know who is on my call when I’m ready to begin. I either have to say ‘Hi, who just joined us’ every time I hear a beep, or do a roll call with a bunch of muted lines. I wish there was a way to know who’s on the call already.”
This is arguably our most “popular” complaint from prospective clients. Most of our operator assisted conference call hosts/speakers choose to dial in to a pre-conference room 10 or 15 minutes early so they can chat with the lead operator and get organized before the call begins. The speaker is also able to see a live view of the meeting room where attendees are waiting for the call to begin while you relax in your comfy pre-conference room. So now there’s no wondering if the perpetually late Dan in Marketing has joined yet (spolier: he hasn’t). This is also a great opportunity to take attendance and see if there is anyone that might need to be dialed out to by the operator so there is no more wasting time waiting for people to join.
3) “Towards the end of every call we have a Q&A session that is more like the wild west than a productive Q&A. Instead of everyone talking over each other asking 5 questions at the same time I wish there was a structured way we could do this.”
It’s a tale as old as time. The speaker innocently asks, “Does anyone have any questions?”, and just like that the next 10 seconds are filled with 15 different people simultaneously saying their name and asking a question. The speaker rolls his eyes, puts his palm on his forehead and contemplates “accidentally” disconnecting. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Imagine a world where the speaker informs the lead operator that he or she is ready for questions and the operator instructs the participants how to virtually raise their hand. The speaker uses the live view of the call to see who has a question and can prioritize the order of importance with the operator. Because let’s face it, not all questions are created equal and Carol, the VP from Sales, has a more important question than Chuck who is notorious for asking “how is the weather on your side of the country today?”. A well facilitated Q&A session is worth it’s weight in gold. Not only does it save time and hassle because you don’t have to sort through the chaos of multiple people speaking, but it also allows for a more professional environment where participants won’t throw their hands in there air and give up on asking their question. More structure equals more productivity when it comes to Q&A on a conference call.
Hopefully this has helped create a silver lining in the gloomy skies that have become your recent conference calls. From large All-Hands calls and Association Board Meetings to Investor Relations calls and International Web Conferences, Lighthouse Conferencing’s operator assisted conference call platform is the cure for your meeting blues.
To learn more about how we can help turn your conference call life into something that doesn’t give you the yips, click here. Or even if you simply have a funny conferencing story (like the one above with Ben from IT) we’d love to hear it!
To turn blah conference calls into WOW conference calls now
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