You’ve figured out why you need reservationless audio conference calling and now it’s time to choose a provider. So what do you do….a quick Google search? Sure…that will turn up approximately 7 zillion options that all claim to be the best reservationless provider in the industry. The truth is while reservationless audio conference calling is used by everyone all over the world and seems pretty easy, there are many key factors that differentiate the good conferencing providers from the ones you should steer clear of.
In this post we’re going to take a close look at those key differentiators so you can make an educated decision on your next reservationless audio conference calling provider.
I still laugh (cringe) when I speak to prospective clients that are searching for a new reservationless audio conference calling provider and they tell me their current service requires them to make a reservation each time they need to have a call. I can understand the need to make a reservation for a large operator assisted conference call, but not your day-to-day conferencing service. The whole point of reservationless conferencing is that you don’t need to make a reservation to host a call! It’s an on-demand platform that is available 24/7 and just waiting for you to dial in and start a conference call. So please….step 1 is making sure that the provider you’re talking to has a solution available that requires no reservations.
Unlimited User Accounts
This is another head scratcher I come across more often than you’d think. Folks, what’s worse than being on a conference call with Bob in IT who never remembers his passcode? I’ll tell you what’s worse….sharing an audio conference calling user account with him! There are still conferencing providers out there that charge extra money for each audio user account which forces sharing scenarios with Bob. It’s the 90’s people…you don’t have to live this way anymore! (It’s 2015 but 90’s just felt right.) At Lighthouse Conferencing, we provide each and every one of your colleagues with their own reservationless audio conference calling user account with unique passcodes at no extra charge. Gone are the days of trying to keep a calendar straight with multiple people just to host a conference call.
Features Features Features!
Many reservationless conference calling users, if not most, simply launch their calls and host their meetings without getting fancy. Sure, they may step it up every now and again and record the call or use the Roll Call feature to hear who’s joined….but usually it’s pretty straight forward. However, every now and again you run into the power users, the conference bro’s, the cowboys (and cowgirls!) of the reservationless conferencing world. These are men and women who like to get in there and utilize all the features they can. (I secretly believe these are the people that have a minimum of three computer monitors on their desk as well.) I’m talking about features beyond your standard Name Announce, Record, Volume up/down, etc. These users log in to the Lighthouse Conferencing web portal and launch the call by having the system dial out to them (pro move right there). Now, they have a ton of features available to them with the click of mouse, including:
- Active Talker
- Dial out to add participants
- Break out room control
- Screen participants in your waiting room with the option to accept or reject
- Dismiss in-meeting participants
- Lock your meeting
- Sign in using Facebook or LinkedIn account to personalize meeting room
See what I mean? Serious options. Aside from using the web portal to host their meetings you can also add/delete user accounts within your organization as an Admin, access post conference summary reports of previous meetings, and much more.
Straight Forward Invoicing
For anyone who has ever been in charge of the billing for their organization’s reservationless audio conference calling account….this is arguably the most important thing in the world. Invoicing for reservationless conferencing has a reputation for being convoluted, confusing, frustrating and painstaking to decipher. That is why simplified billing that is straightforward and easy to understand is such a key component for any conferencing provider. At Lighthouse, we have various invoicing formats that are tailored to make life easy for our clients. For instance, law firms that rely heavily on matter numbers love that we are able to provide specific matter numbers to each of their calls so bill-back is made simple and quick. We will also customize the format of your invoices should one of our templates not be exactly what you’re looking for. At Lighthouse, we’ve heard the complaints and war stories of new clients coming over from previous providers and we have taken wish lists and turned them into reality.
Audio Integration With Web Conferencing Platforms
Almost everyday we have reservationless audio conference calling users reach out to us and ask if there’s a way for their web conferencing solution to work with their audio accounts. They want to be able to have their web platform communicate with their audio platform instead of trying to manage the two separately and still host a productive webinar. This is big and there are not a lot of conferencing providers that can raise their hand when asked if they can do this. Let’s take Adobe Connect, for example. Adobe Connect is an industry leader in web conferencing and webinar hosting. Millions of people are on Adobe Connect meetings every single day as hosts, presenters or participants and may not realize that the awesome visuals and crystal clear audio are actually two separate components. The reason for this is because Lighthouse Conferencing is able to seamlessly integrate our reservationless audio accounts with Adobe Connect host meeting rooms. That means the host is able to control the audio of the meeting right there in her webinar room. This integration is a game changer for those who need to run webinars.
International Toll Free Capability
When researching reservationless audio conference calling providers make sure that they are able to provide international toll free capabilities. At Lighthouse Conferencing we have toll free dial-in numbers for hundreds of countries located around the world so when the Hong Kong, Singapore, London and Sydney offices all need to be on an important call they can easily join without incurring carrier charges. While many providers offer this capability be sure to take a closer look at their rates because they can vary dramatically and that call to Tanzania may end up costing an arm and a leg!
This is usually an after thought for most organizations that are looking for a new conferencing provider….right until the point when they need it most. Then, it becomes the most important factor on the list. It doesn’t matter which conferencing provider you choose….dropped calls happen to every single one of them. It’s unavoidable. However, it’s what happens after your dropped call that makes the difference. What happens if your super important participant gets dropped right in the middle of her presentation and can’t seem to get back on? Are you stuck on an island or do you have support just waiting to jump on the call? At Lighthouse, all you have to do is press *0 on your keypad and a live operator will join your call instantaneously to not only diagnose what went wrong, but to fix the situation and get your participant back on the call asap. Let’s see free conference calling companies pull that one off! Also, a real difference maker for many Lighthouse Conferencing clients is that they have a dedicated Account Manager that is always a call or email away to help with anything they may need. Spoiler alert….I’m one of those!
Keeping everything we’ve talked about today in mind when you’re choosing a new reservationless audio conference calling provider will definitely help you make the right decision. At Lighthouse Conferencing, we’re looking to be more than just your next provider….our goal is to be your last conferencing partner! Give us a call and try us out….you won’t be disappointed.
To turn blah conference calls into WOW conference calls now
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