This week we will be finish our list of the top key conferencing features for consulting and law firms. Well let’s get right into it, number six!
6 Optimized Video Conferencing
We are seeing more and more interest about this. One of the things that is typical and consistent with law firms and attorneys is that they typically don’t have a high comfort level with webcam based video tools.
There are very easy ways to accommodate all of a firms needs with video conferencing. You will likely want to make that available to all of your high level partners within the firm, because it is much less expensive than it used to be. It’s much easier to provide on a consistent basis, and people are becoming more and more expecting of that. Either within the firm or on your client side.
7 Streamlined Web Conferencing
Web conferencing is another thing of course, that’s what we’re doing now and most calls are now also incorporating some level of web sharing, whether it’s a document that you’re reviewing, or a PowerPoint in this case. The interface is very streamlined.
Many people are used to webinars or web-conferencing at this point, but what we’ll see with consulting companies is that they’re often a little bit more tech savvy and are comfortable. They are doing it on a regular basis on a business development or customer side. With law firms however, the attorneys often can be somewhat old-school and not as savvy about using the different types of tools.
One of the things we offer is a number of different tools for this. We’re not locked into one specific interface. What we have found is that the different tools on the market today do have, like anything, pros and cons. We find that some are a particular good fit with some firms and some types of users and others with other types of firms. Don’t feel like you should need to have to accommodate the tool. You really want to be focused on accommodating the different users within your firm and a variety of tools for the different types of users and needs.
For example, marketing and doing webinars is sometimes a very different situation than just a client and partner web-conference where they’re reviewing a document. Look for not having any type of plugin required. Look for having a permanent and fixed link. For example, in the invite that we send out for our webinars, the link for the web-conference is going to be the exact same thing whether we have the call tomorrow or next week. It shouldn’t have to change and get system generated each time. It should very simple.
8 Quick Drop into Conference
Next is a quick drop right into conference, we talked about this a little bit already. This is another part of our what we call our VIP account. All the end user needs to do is dial the 800 number. No conference ID was needed, the system places you right into the call, and clearly that does mean that the 800 number is private and specific only for my use as an individual.
That’s a nice benefit to have, it is an exclusive service that we provide, and it certainly designates people as a VIP. Not only is it nice and easy, but it’s extremely fast. You get into the call in about 15 seconds, which people certainly appreciate when they’re high level within the firm, and not wasting anyone’s time.
9 Fixed 4-Digit Conference IDs
But for larger firms when you’ve got a number of different users, whether it’s 50 users or a couple of hundred users, then generally most people are going to have a conference ID. When they do have a conference ID don’t force them to dial 10 digit conference ID’s. It’s so cumbersome, it’s difficult to put in, and your participants on the other side find it difficult. Often, they’ll mess it up and then they have to enter it in again and because they’re so long; you can’t remember them. So you always have to find and research the invite for the call and figure out which conference ID to put in. We provide just 4 digit ID’s. You want to be able to get that potentially with other providers or they’ll force you to use 10 now. A 4 digit ID is nice because it’s easy to remember. You could make it their phone number as well, their extension. Then it’s even easier.
10 Single Code Entry
Some people also don’t like to have different pins and passwords and other things. Again, for partners at consulting companies and law firms what we find is that they want it simple. They want just a single code to enter into the call and you should be able to provide that as well. What that means is that the host code is going to be different from the participant code. This is also very nice if you got multiple hosts and want to be able to be designate more than one speaker on a call.
11 Power Features
Often times, firms like this do bill back the end customer. Be honest if you currently print the bills out and hunt people down. You should be able to get a csv file that imports directly into your accounting software and this will certainly minimize any type of administrative time involved. You should also be able to record the calls automatically.
A lot of law firms like accounts set up specifically for depositions for example, and then the entire call is automatically recorded. It’s very simple to download an mp3 file after the fact. Executive calls with firms like to have this so they have a record of those high level calls as well. You should be able to have a mandatory entry of a client matter number if you utilize that, so that the bypass option can actually be turned off. This will allow you to actually ensure that you are capturing those numbers from the host.
You can even set the number of minimum digits that you want to capture. Whether your client matter numbers are six digits or twelve digits, you should be able to set that so you ensure that you capture all of those digits. Lastly I want to talk about how especially for larger firms can lower the costs for internal calls. We provide a different rate, and in some cases, no charge rates for calls between partners and employees, as opposed to end client calls, external types of calls. That can be a significant savings as well.
The takeaways, hopefully that speed is very, very critical. You need to have a professional tool that promotes your brand on every single call. If you’ve got any questions, don’t hesitate. We do have a library of eBooks on topics like this. If you want to learn more check them out here: