You're about to start a conference call and "Forgetful Frank" still hasn't arrive. Usually you call to remind him but this time it's different.
You look at the live call screen and notice an inconspicuous box located on the left hand side. It's the web out-dial box and you intuitively know what it's for. You type in Frank's phone number and click "GO" to see what happens.
You continue talking as if nothing has happened. Seconds later, Frank's bellowing voice greets everyone on the call. Amazingly your meeting starts on time.
Allow me to explain this time-saving feature.
The AccuConference Web Out-Dial is an automated calling application that is controlled by your computer that invites participants to join a conference call. The system can dial your entire contact list separately or all at once.
When your participants pick up their phone they receive three options:
Press 1 > to join the conference
Press 2 > to be called back in 5 minutes
Press 3 > to decline this invitation
The Web Out-Dial is like conference call cruise control… simply hit the button and then sit back to relax. No longer will your participants need to remember the exact time or codes for your call.
ost your conference call attendance and save time. Visit our conference call features page to find out more about Web Out-Dial.
1. Sell your consulting services – meet with multiple people at the same time to maximize your time. Provide exclusive access by creating customized passcodes that expire after every use.
2. Host a special event – find a guest speaker that your customers would pay to hear. It could be a sales guro or motivational speaker, an author, politician, or industry spokesperson. Use online registration pages to track attendance and to distribute codes.
3. Record your calls – download your high-profile conference call recordings and make them available on CD for a price. The CD could contain sales and marketing strategies, industry-specific consulting, or be a recording of a popular guest speaker.
4. Blast-dial an important announcement –coming soon, this feature will automatically dial a list of phone numbers. This will let you pre-record important announcement and mass distribute them to current or prospective clients. This in turn will boost your inbound call volume and generate traffic to your website.
5. "Cold-Conference" prospective clients – Invite a list of prospective clients to an exclusive conference call. Provide them valuable information and then top it off with a lucrative sales pitch.
6. Reduce unnecessary business travel – Avoid paying for accommodations, transportation and eating out.
7. Use 800 forwarding – toll free forwarding ensures you never miss an important sales call. Having a toll free number will also increase your call volume and give your company a larger geographic reach.
8. Increase sales – connect with your sales force, regardless of location. Use conference calling to follow-up on prospective leads. Record your sales pitches for training and customer quality.
Have you considered how traffic affects your personal productivity and our nation's economy?
Here is a segment from Wikipedias page on traffic congestion:
"The Texas Transportation Institute estimates that in 2000 the 75 largest metropolitan areas experienced 3.6 billion vehicle-hours of delay, resulting in 5.7 billion US gallons (21.6 billion liters) in wasted fuel and $67.5 billion in lost productivity, or about 0.7% of the nation's GDP."
We've updated your online call scheduler.
- When you schedule a start time for your conference calls, the moderators can call-in 15 minutes beforehand. Participants can call-in 5 minutes beforehand. This will protect you from being overcharged accidentally.
- If you are a moderator and you’re waiting for others to arrive, you hold 15 minutes before the system bumps you off if no one else joins. Again, this will protect you from being overcharged accidentally.
- If you schedule a reoccurring conference (i.e. 3:00PM every Wednesday) then the codes will only work for that specified time. The codes will not be active until the following week on the same time and day.
- If you setup dial-in playback, the codes will still work regardless of the time stamp unless you make the conference inactive.
Call us if you have any questions. And if you're unsure about anything, we will happily walk you through the process.
What I'm about to say probably won't surprise you… are you ready?
People arrive late for meetings.
The other night we were monitoring our call volume and it peaked at 7:05pm. With the hundreds of meetings that occurred last night, the majority had late arrivals. Specifically, we found that 12.1% arrived early and 87.9% arrived within five minutes of the start time. This isn't bad considering they could have arrived a lot later.
Judging by these statistics we've all arrived late one time or another.
So what can we learn from this? The next time you start your meeting, begin on time but don't give out the "meat" of your presentation until five minutes later. And your participants continue to be tardy, have them read Penelope Trunk's blog titled 5 ways to stop being late.
Conference calls are most commonly used by businesses, but they can also be used for social and entertainment purposes. This is sometimes referred to as a party line. Many of our clients use our conference call service to host mini family reunions or to connect with long-time friends. There are other companies who use our lines as a telephone dating service.
The term “party line” dates back to the early / mid 1900’s when multiple residences would share a phone line to save on expense. As a result, people could listen to their neighbor’s telephone calls! The comedic movie classic Pillow Talk, with Rock Hudson and Doris Day, is about a man and woman who share a party line, but they despise each other. Rock’s character decides to disguise his voice to romance her but when she discovers that she’s been tricked, she seeks payback.
Movie tangent aside… if you’re not able to see your family or friends this Memorial Day weekend, try hosting a conference call. And don’t worry, our call security is much better than it was in 1959 so you won’t have any Rock Hudson’s or Doris Day’s on the phone (though some of you might like that!)
Conference call etiquette…who needs it? You do! According to a survey conducted by Wainhouse Research, virtual meetings now outnumber in-person meetings. The study found that virtual meetings save time and money and improve productivity. It also mentioned that conference call technology is growing at a rate of 60% every year.
This is a growing technology so it is important that you understand basic conference call etiquette:
Here is a quick review
Video Conferences should be treated as in-person meetings and therefore you should dress accordingly. Avoid clothes with patterns (such as stripes or prints) because they can sometimes cause interference when the compressed video signal is distributed. You should speak clearly, look at the camera, and don’t leave the room unless you have to.
Audio conference calls have their own challenges. You should always introduce yourself when you speak so that other participants know who is talking. Avoid using a speakerphone and turn off (literally) background noise distractions.
Are your telephone conferences cutting out when you’re listening on your speaker phone? It’s a common occurrence with a simple solution.
Many conference call systems use a feature that mutes everyone to eliminate background noise. But if you or your office uses a speakerphone, then it’s also important to press the mute button. If you don’t, the conference call will intermittently cut-out.
Click here to find out why
Here are some tips for speakerphone users:
- Use the mute button on your speakerphone when you’re not talking
- Test your speakerphone to make sure the volume sounds right.
- Choose a quiet location. Shut door, turn of the cell phone etc.
- Speak directly into the mic
- Speak one person at a time
This is the only time that we’ll suggest commuting as an alternative to conference calling.
Check out the conference bike… it’s a great way to move your company forward.
It’s that time of year when gas prices start creeping up. Yesterday we had someone in our office pay $60 dollars to fill up their mid-size SUV. That’s high considering we’re located in Texas where gas prices are traditionally low.
So since we are in the business of saving people money, here are some helpful links:
You can also earn a $20 gas card for any conferencing referrals. And if you’re considering commute for a business meeting, remember that a tank of gas ($60) is the same as two, hour-long conference calls for five people