While it can be tempting to opt for a free conference call service, the negatives often outweigh the positives. Free services are often poor quality, unreliable and don't offer the same level of security or functionality as a paid service. In this article, we take a look at why paid conference calls reign supreme.
Paid calls are usually better quality and more reliable
Free conference calls rely on internet (VoIP) lines to work. These are not dedicated digital lines so there is no guarantee of high-quality sound or a reliable connection during the call. We've discussed the advantages and disadvantages of VoIP in the past.
Common issues with VoIP lines include background noises, crackling, echoes, distortion, quietness and drop-outs. Plus, free providers generally don't offer customer support so if anything goes wrong there's nobody available to help you. Any of these problems can ruin the productivity and flow of your meeting.
The best conferencing companies own their own conference bridging technology so they can ensure top-quality service. This technology is operated at a fraction of its true capacity to guarantee consistent high-quality audio and a flawless connection. In the event that a fault did occur, 24/7 customer support should be available to quickly re-establish the call for you.
Paid conference calls ensure the quality and reliability necessary for any professional conference call, resulting in clearer communication and stronger collaboration between the meeting participants.
Don't risk your international business calls by choosing a free provider
In this day and age, it is not uncommon for businesses of all sizes to work with employees and clients around the world. The best way for dispersed teams to collaborate cheaply and efficiently is to hold a conference call, so it's important these calls run without a hitch.
Paid conferencing services provide both local and international dial-in numbers so you can dial in to conference from anywhere in the world. This results in a global communication service that works just as well for all participants, no matter where they are located.
Free conference calls lack features and functionality
Free conference calls are very basic. They might offer you the ability to communicate with others but they don't allow you to tailor the meeting to your liking. Free conferences lack in-built security, offer minimal features and have severe limitations on the number of guests. Any features that are available are often only accessible via expensive subscriptions.
Paid conference calls offer many useful features. Here are just some:
- In-built security – access codes, ability to lock the meeting, name recognition
- Mobile app – hosts and guests can easily join the conference call from their mobile
- Tailored solutions – ability to mute or unmute and set meeting modes
- Capacity – accommodate large numbers of guests while still maintaining call quality
- Recording – record manually or automatically, with download available
The flexibility that paid conference calls offer is important. As your business grows, you will need to be able to hold tailored meetings that maximize productivity and growth. Choose a provider that offers extra features and services which will help you accomplish this goal.
Paid conference calls will help you host a professional conference
Aside from the direct practical benefits of using a paid conference call service, you should also consider the impact of not using them.
A poor-quality free conference call, full of interruptions and drop-outs, will result in meetings that are effectively a waste of time. Not only that, they will reflect badly on your business and may damage your reputation with clients and partners.
A paid conference call will allow for uninterrupted, secure, high-quality communication. Your meetings will always go to plan, so potential and existing clients will know your business is efficient and professional.
The final verdict
The initial savings that may be gained from using a free service are insignificant when compared to the benefits of using paid conference calls. Using free conference calls can cause more harm than good, especially when you consider the reputation of your business.
For the small price of the line rental, paid conference calls are always the way to go. If you are still having doubts, many conference providers offer a week of free conferencing (with no subscription or downloads required) so you can try out the product with no obligations.
At Express Virtual Meetings we own our conferencing bridge technology so we can offer you high-quality conferencing. We offer 24/7 Australia-based support so you're never alone.