So you need to meet easily and quickly with people around the country or around the globe? Conference calling is much smarter and efficient way to communicate, especially when your meeting participants are located internationally.
Once you’ve decided that a conference call is the way to go, you will need to work out which provider to choose. There are many providers out there and not all are created equal, so you want to be sure you pick the right one for your business needs. There are many things to consider when choosing an audio conference provider including price, line quality and customer service. You may think a free conference call provider is all you require, but there’s really no such thing as a “free” audio conference, and the negatives can often outweigh the positives. In this article, we take a look at why a free conference call provider might not be enough.
Some providers will offer "free" services, but free services are often poor quality, unreliable and don't offer the same level of security or functionality as a paid service. If their network routers are experiencing high volumes of traffic, you may experience call 'drop-outs' when conferencing with these providers. We've often heard of customers complaining about dropping out of audio conferences in the middle of very important meetings while using "free" services.
Paid providers, such as Express Virtual Meetings offer dedicated phone lines, meaning your audio quality is crystal-clear, with minimal chance of anyone dropping out. Additionally, paid providers have the ability to accommodate hundreds of participants, with no limit on how many can participate in the call.
There’s really no such thing as a free audio conference. In addition to the low audio quality, most free conference call services have hidden costs that you may not be aware of, such as dialling long-distance numbers.
Some providers only offer free services more a certain amount of participants, and once you go over that limit, you’re heavily charged. This defeats the purpose of the call being free for the first few participants.
While choosing a free conference call provider may seem tempting, they will often hide the fact that the service has hidden fees.
If you’re conferencing and something goes wrong, you need to know you have support at your fingertips. This is especially important if you’re conferencing with a large amount of important guests.
Many conferencing providers (not only free ones) do not offer on-demand phone support, or even any form of support in some cases. If you’re lucky enough to find a free provider that does offer support, it may be outsourced to another country.
Express Virtual Meetings’ support staff are available 24/7 on any day of the year by phone. You will always be answered by one of our Australia-based support staff and you won’t be left on hold.
Free providers often don’t provide the same features as a paid provider. They may offer the ability to communicate with others but lack the ability to customise your conferencing to your liking.
Free conference call providers often lack very important features such as in-built security, the ability to record your call and the convenience of a mobile app. Some providers may offer these features, however, you will often have to pay an expensive subscription fee to access them.
Paid conference call providers offer greater flexibility. This is important as the needs of your business grow, you will need the service tailored to meet your requirements. Choosing a provider that offers the features you require will help you maximise your productivity and growth.
The final say
Free conference call providers may save you money initially, but this is insignificant when compared to the many benefits of choosing a paid provider. If quality, price, support and features is important to you, then a free provider will cause more harm than good, especially when you consider the reputation of your business.
If you’re still having doubts, Express Virtual Meetings offer 7 days of free conferencing with no subscriptions or payment details required. Once your trial period is over, our pay-as-you-go pricing means you can use the service as little or as much you require.
To find out more about choosing the right audio conferencing provider, download our guide.