Posted on September 20, 2018 by Casey Houser
Selecting the best conference call service for your business can feel daunting. It doesn’t have to be.
Today, we’ll try to make that task a little easier by breaking down three important factors you should take into consideration before choosing a conference calling provider.
Keep in mind the size of your business, your meeting schedule, and the current setup of your phone system as we walk through this issue.
Your Business’s Size and Meeting Schedule
Conference calling isn’t just for large organizations. Although big companies have many opportunities to connect more than two people in a meeting, startups with only a CEO and CTO conduct their fair share of conferences as well.
Either of those style companies could hold meetings several times a week or only once a month. Moreover, such meetings, no matter how frequent, could contain as few as three or potentially hundreds of employees or business officials.
Your own company will probably fall in between those extremes with regard to size and meeting frequency. What your unique situation reveals is the type of load you’ll place on a conferencing system.
When you want to determine the best conference call service for your business, you need to be specific about the load your company, large or small, will demand of its conferencing hardware and software.
Does Your Current Phone System Include Conferencing?
Like the size and meeting frequency of your business, the possibilities here reach beyond a simple binary answer. “Yes, but…” or “No, but…” probably come to mind when you think about the conferencing system you use and your motivations for finding a new service. For simplicity, let’s break it down into three broad possibilities:
- We pay an additional provider for conferencing.
- Our provider charges an extra fee for conferencing.
- We don’t currently have conferencing.
In all cases, you will want to ask yourself: “What is the way forward from here?” Our Dash Business Phone System can address the struggles you may have with your current situation and give you an affordable, quick-to-set-up path forward.
If you pay another provider for conferencing, your business is probably spending more than it should. With Dash, it isn’t necessary to use two providers for basic phone service and conferencing. We bundle all our core phone plan features with Conferencing for a low standard fee.
With any Dash plan, Conferencing is free. We don’t charge you extra for this essential feature.
Whether your small businesses or enterprise wants to switch providers or begin your first-ever hosted voice contract, we’re standing by. You can easily gain all the benefits listed above and learn more about our offering by visiting the Dash Signup Page, emailing our sales team, or starting an online chat with a sales representative.
Picture the Best Conference Call Service for You
You should now be more aware of your business’s basic requirements for a conferencing phone system. The size of your outfit informs your meeting schedule, which ultimately has created your current situation regarding how your employees handle calls.
If possible, try to work within your situation by choosing a service provider that can fit your budget and offer key features such as call recording, a mobile app, and of course conferencing. VirtualPBX will work with your business to give you the calling features you need at a price that won’t make you faint. We hope you’ll choose us when considering a new conference call provider.
Want to have your current phone system include a Yealink CP960 Conference Phone? Enter our Conference Phone Giveaway before the Oct. 2 deadline to win!
Posted on September 18, 2018 by Casey Houser
A call recorder can make its presence felt in many areas of your business. Whether you’re a five-person outfit with no physical storefront or a support center with more than 100 employees, the addition of recordings can have a positive impact on your everyday operations.
The benefits of call recording start with employee training sessions. New hires can hear, first hand, how interactions take place between your current staff and customers. They can begin their new positions on the right foot by learning from the best.
What are some of the experiences trainees can witness in recordings? Let’s check out a few.
No matter the type of market you’re involved in, customers always have stories to tell. Sometimes they’re excited, and sometimes angry; regardless of their mood, stories that come straight from the customer are the undiluted result of the experience your brand offers.
New hires can learn a lot from the time when a customer has a great experience with your product. And they can learn just as much from the individual who wants to cancel their service because a feature didn’t work as they expected.
These are the lessons that will translate to improved future customer experiences. From their first days, your new hires can experience, virtually, the joys and pain points customers have expressed. Then they can recognize those same situations in their own interactions on the job.
Up the Ladder to Management
It’s possible that customers will speak to many employees at your business in a single call. A caller, for instance, may begin with a support representative and make their way to sales before finally reaching a manager.
Your newest employees in any of those positions (support, sales, or management) can gain a lot of information from hearing the customer journey. Your training can address the time it took for each transfer to take place and the tone in which each individual spoke to the customer. This can help your employees better understand that customers may have to jump through many hoops – and may be understandably frustrated – by the time they get to their final destinations.
Sometimes, it can also be helpful to show trainees what it’s like when a customer has been upgraded from one service to another. If you have three tiers of an online service, it is inevitable that some customer will choose to move up the ladder. New hires can hear exactly how that happens.
Although this type of situation may be specific to sales teams, any member of your staff can benefit from hearing the upgrade process. It can expose a customer’s motivations for a switch and the manner in which a sales associate negotiated the deal.
All From a Call Recorder
The situations described above can find daylight through the use of a call recorder. Employees can gain access to the myriad experiences customers will have as they work with your business – both in good times and bad.
As a Dash system administrator, you can search for recordings in our Call Recording Manager. Files can be sorted by date, length of recording, and caller ID.
Let your newest hires absorb the gamut so they can replicate the best moments you have to offer. When you add Call Recording to your training regimen, your customers will certainly be happier as a result, and your staff will become ready for anything the job will throw their way.
Posted on September 13, 2018 by Casey Houser
What’s the biggest benefit that teleconferencing offers your business? For our dispersed workforce here at VirtualPBX, it offers our team members the ability to work from anywhere and still remain productive throughout the day.
We conduct sales meetings, discuss product announcements, and even enjoy some water cooler-type discussion through virtual meetings that reach from New York to California. Our get-togethers are typically short and productive. They function in a manner that keeps team members informed but allows them to quickly get back to the core duties of their positions. These benefits highlight why the global web conferencing market was worth almost $5 billion in 2016 and is expected to nearly triple in value in the coming decade.
Conferencing makes remote work possible for our team, and our use of conferences helps us better understand why it’s essential to many other companies just like our own. This is why we stand behind our Dash Business Phone Plans that allow users to hold both three-way conversations and audio conferences.
Consider these tidbits about how conferencing helps us function daily as a business with dozens of remote employees.
Daily Check-In Meetings
One recurring type of meeting many groups have in our company are check-in meetings. They allow individual departments – say, five employees – to discuss what they’re working on today and how those tasks could impact the group and the company.
As just one example, the marketing department’s daily check-in usually includes a discussion about how its activities inside the company are performing in the outside world. Regarding social media, this includes talk about metrics (Follows, Shares) from the websites we utilize most often (Facebook, Twitter). And concerning marketing activities like email newsletters, the department may talk about click-through rates or bounces.
Weekly Product Updates
Even more team members attend our weekly meetings about the VirtualPBX Product Roadmap. Heads of multiple departments may take time here to speak about how their sub-teams are affecting the various products we create, including Dash.
For instance, team leads in Engineering may talk about the development of a new Dash feature, which will inform Marketing about the type of content it should create. Then Sales can be ready to address the new product features customers may ask about in initial sales calls. The information sharing in these meetings is essential for our cross-department communication.
Efficiency in Teleconferencing
Ultimately, what we see in our meetings – whether they happen every day or week – is a transfer of essential information that doesn’t take any more time than it should. Many of us hop into conferences from remote locations, so we don’t waste any time traveling to meeting rooms or having to physically separate ourselves from our workstations.
Teleconferencing has given us the ability to run an effective operation without forcing all our employees to work from the same physical location. It may take some getting used to, but any company with the right mindset can make remote work, bolstered by conferences, a strong part of their own workplace.
When you do decide to incorporate more conferences into your regular schedule, you could complete them on a new Yealink CP960. Want one for free? You’ll have to enter our Conference Phone Giveaway by clicking the banner below.
Posted on September 11, 2018 by Casey Houser
Now that our Dash Business Phone System offers call recording for free, you may want some more detail about how to record a phone call that passes through your business.
Whether or not you’re new to Dash, you’ll be joining the legion of businesses that now seek call recording as a primary feature in their business phone configurations. The need for call recording, according to Software Advice, has even surpassed call routing as a desired feature, and rightly so, given the compliance regulations that now govern nearly all financial institutions and call centers.
The good news is that this process only takes a few minutes to set up. Before we’re done today, we’ll have covered the basics of Recording permissions that affect individuals and Ring Groups in Dash. If you need any more guidance, refer to the Dash Support Guide.
As an Individual: How to Record a Phone Call
In Dash, call recording is turned off by default. System administrators can activate recording for any user by editing the appropriate settings. From the Dash Dashboard:
- Click the Users tab (left-hand side of your screen)
- Locate the desired user whose calls you want recorded
- Click the User Features option (far-right column) in the user’s row
Now you’ll see a screen that looks like this:
Select the Customized Call Recording option to open a screen with inbound and outbound recording preferences. You can choose to turn on recording for internal and external calls. The following options, shown in the following screenshot, are available to all your users.
When you turn any of the options to On you will gain access to the Format: drop-down menu that allows you to select the format in which your recordings are saved. You can choose either .mp3 and .wav at this time.
The options presented here for individuals also impact their calls in conferences. In Dash, conferences are considered both outbound and internal calls since users dial out to reach a conference but the call never needs to route through the public telephone network.
Therefore, in order to record a conference call, the user would need to have their Outbound Internal option switched to On. This rule applies to both conference hosts and participants.
As a Ring Group: How to Record a Phone Call
The process for adding call recording to an entire ring group is similar to the Individual process described above.
From your Dashboard, follow these steps:
- Click the Groups tab
- Create or locate the Ring Group whose calls you want recorded
- Click the Group Features option in the group’s row
- In the menu that pops up, select Call Recording
Now you should see a menu that looks like one pictured here. When you enable the Recording setting for the group you can again choose the format in which you want the files saved.
One limitation of this approach is that it only enables the recording of inbound calls for a group’s members. If you want Dash to record users’ outbound calls, you have to enable the Outbound settings in their individual User Features options as explained in the previous section of this article.
Accessing Your Recordings
No matter in which context they were recorded, you can find your personal recordings on our Dash Recording Manager. Use your Dash username and password to log in.
The Recording Manager Dashboard lets you sort recordings according to the phone number and date associated with the file. Then you can either listen to the recording in your browser or download individual files to your computer.
You could soon record some of your best conversations while using the Yealink CP960. Enter our giveaway by clicking the banner below.
Posted on September 7, 2018 by Casey Houser
The conference call has long been a staple of global business operations. Long before some of today’s largest companies came into existence, CEOs and stakeholders alike would routinely meet in group calls that traversed the public telephone service across states and countries. Those calls were also expensive and difficult to establish.
A lot has changed since the early days of multi-user calling. You no longer need your own private server to complete intra-office calls, and you no longer need to pay exorbitant fees to join three or more individuals separated by just as many time zones. Like many similar products, our Dash Business Phone System, which offers Conferencing as a primary feature, takes advantage of widespread high-speed internet access to facilitate calls cheaply and at a higher quality than ever before.
This means that more companies can reap the benefits that the (now) simple conference call has to offer. According to a study from Gos International, the audio conferencing market is expected to grow 4.9% from 2016-2020 to a total valuation of $6.2 billion. And this could all happen, Gartner reports, while individual customer spending drops due to the availability of low-cost SIP services.
With all that in mind, let’s break down two of conferencing’s greatest benefits: money savings and workplace efficiency.
Save Money By Saving Time
By replacing an in-person meeting with a conference call, you save your participants a lot of time.
Any attendees who work outside your office will need to walk, taxi, or take a metro to reach your location. Even for a small company, the aggregate time those individuals spend traveling could reach in the dozens of hours for a simple weekly get-together.
Those dozens of hours translate to lost opportunity costs because the attendees could have been working on other tasks during the time they were in transit. If those travelers are your employees, then you’re losing money every time you have a meeting.
This effect even reaches into meetings you might have with stakeholders or potential hires – people whose personal opportunity costs don’t necessarily affect your finances. Consider that, if you pay for someone’s travel, whether it’s by car or plane, that expense could be erased with a conference call.
With only these few examples, it’s straightforward to figure out that time can easily equate to money. When you save your participants time by calling them, you save them and your business money.
Become More Efficient
It won’t take long for you to develop an efficient routine when conducting conference calls. After a handful of virtual meetups, you’ll have a system in place that schedules a meeting time, notifies participants, starts the session, and hopefully runs through your bullet points in record time.
Your regular participants – again, likely your employees – should also have their own routines that move them quickly into and out of any meeting. Then they can get back to work and resume their to-do lists without having to leave their desks.
Such efficiency should lead to shorter, more effective interactisavingons which will become essential in emergency meetings – like ones that take place when a new product feature breaks.
Make a Conference Call in Dash
Our Dash Business Phone System, which now includes Conferencing for free, lets you save money and be more efficient from day one. You can easily provide multiple users with the ability to host a conference. From there, your users can invite participants with a phone number and PIN, which keeps the meeting private and allows for easy access.
If you aren’t using a virtual phone service for your conferencing, or if you haven’t taken advantage of conferences yet in your own office, there’s no better time than the present. Your time is valuable. Make the switch today.
Want to conference call with a new Yealink phone? It’s advanced features like Wi-Fi and touchscreen integration will have you conferencing in style. Click the banner below to enter our Conference Phone Giveaway.