How to choose a conference calling provider

What to look for in a conference call provider – questions to ask

When you’re hoping to find a new conference call provider, what should you look for? What services will make a difference to your business? Whether you host several calls a day or one per month, it’s important to take the time to find the right provider before committing money and time setting up their services.

We recommend considering the following items when choosing a conferencing provider:

  • Call Quality

Nothing is worse than when a call drops right in the middle of an important meeting, or when participants have trouble entering the call or hearing each other. And even when you’re just connecting casually with colleagues, it’s can be time-consuming to dial in to a call repeatedly if the service doesn’t work well.

Make sure your call vendor’s service works well consistently. Try it out with a friend or coworker before an important call, from both a landline and cell phone. And if you’re testing internet calling, make sure that it works on your device and the sound quality is top-notch.

  • Plan Flexibility

In life, the only thing we know for certain is that things change. What happens if you add a new team member or need to host a call above your typical capacity limit? Check with your provider to make sure that your needs can be met with reasonable accommodation and flexibility.

  • Rates

Cost matters, but so does value. What services are included in your plan? Are there any extra fees or surcharges? Make sure you know what your first bill will look like before you sign up.

  • Customization

If customizing your call experience is important to you, find out if you can customize your greeting, dial-in number, and calendar invitations. These details can make a difference in impressing your clients.

  • Call Management & Recording

How much of the call itself can you control? Is recording included? Can you mute callers and request names upon entry? Find out if it’s easy to run a question & answer session during your call. What other useful features are included – and which ones require an extra fee?

  • Customer Service & Wait Times

We all know how frustrating automated phone trees and long wait times can be. When you call support, will they answer? How long does it take to reach a real person? Are online support options available? You’ll probably need support at some point, and it’s nice to know if you’ll be able to reach someone quickly.