Good Morning and good afternoon to some of you. My name is Brad and thank you for reading this week’s article. We’re going to talk about power conferencing features. This is going to apply primarily to law firms, consulting firms, other types of communications companies that deal a lot with clients.
Let’s get started. We’ve got a lot to cover. First of all, I am going to talk just a brief bit about who I am, some of the challenges and goals law firms and consulting companies often have with conference calls, and then we’re going to spin through a bunch of different power features. That’s the agenda.
I am the President of Adigo. I have got experience at public and private companies. I started a long time ago as a product manager and have been entrepreneurial for the last, 20 years. I started a number of different companies. I am not an attorney and I don’t work for a consulting company, so take everything, as in life, with a grain of salt of course.
Typical Conference Calls For Law Firms & Consulting Companies
We do have a lot of clients that are law firms and a lot of clients that are different types of consulting companies, so we know quite a bit about what’s going on with conference calls in this area. Typically most people don’t look forward to conference calls. The reality is often times, there’s last minute calls. They might be emergency calls. There is always a question, whose service are we using? Are we using the client’s service, or a third party’s service? Is there multiple vendors or people involved, or is it your own firm that’s hosting the call? That’s typically a source of confusion. The attendee list often is not always clear coming up to the call. Consider sending that information and making sure who’s involved and whether they can attend. Often there are schedule changes because of that, and those schedule changes can then impact the ease of ability of everyone changing. Often there are people travelling, so whether it’s internationally or even just domestic, that can impact things as well.
For the typical conference call there could be an opposing side, participating ego on the client’s side, or a lot of deadlines involved, having to rush through things. This clearly presents a scenario where things are difficult and emotions are often high. What that means is that if there are any types of delays getting into a call, trouble by any of the different participants to get into the call, what often will happen then is everyone’s kind of just on eggshells waiting, waiting. The call was supposed to start three minutes ago. What’s going on? Is someone having difficulty? Is it the head honcho on the other side? These all represent distractions. When you’ve got distractions because of the tool, that can often change the focus of the lead presenter. If there are any audio quality issues, whether it’s from the service or just someone on a cell phone, the conversation could be derailed.
There’s frustration and like we just talked about, if this is going to impact the performance of the meeting or the results of the meeting, clearly that’s not something that you want. That can really impact the credibility that you have with your clients as a firm. If your tools are impacting the credibility that you have with your clients as a firm, there are some things you can do? Well, we’re going to talk about a bunch of things over the next few minutes.
1 VIP Accounts
First of all, let’s talk about getting into the call to begin with, at the front end. What you may have noticed on today’s webinar is that the conference line was branded with my name and it was just a phone number. There was no conference ID at all, so you didn’t have to fumble around for the invite. You didn’t have to find out what the 10-digit number was and if it had changed because we changed the time of the call.
We call that our VIP account, and partners at consulting firms and law firms love this because it’s so easy for them to get into a call and they like the prestige and image of having their name associated with their conference line. Really that accomplishes quite a bit, and people like that very much.
2 Firm Branded Toll Free Number
Next is just for what I would call “the regular accounts” within the company. You ought to have the 800 number branded with your firm name so that every time people call into the conference line it says your name and people know immediately that they’ve got the right number. There’s no question about if the information was correct and did they dial the correct number, so make sure that you’re service provides that for you.
3 Directly Dial Out to Participants
Next, be able to dial out directly to participants. Typically when people are traveling there might be someone that is now in a different location or a different country and can’t get into the call or can’t find that information. Rather than continuing to wait around, after three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, have the ability to dial out to them without requiring an operator, and without having to make any preparations in advance with your provider. Be able to just do that right on the fly from your keypad.
This way you know exactly what the status is because you can talk to them directly and you won’t be interrupting the call. An admin can even do that for you from the conference bridge. It’s also a very nice red carpet type of treatment for high profile clients or guests.
In the example where something is unexpected, it’s nice but also many people just prefer that on a normal basis. We do have lots of clients that utilize this on a regular basis with their end clients and really like the ability to do that.
4 Customized Announcements and Prompts
The next one we’ll talk about is Customized Announcements and Prompts. Partners have the ability to choose which prompts and announcements they want to have on their individual account. For example, when you came into this call, no one was interrupted, you don’t hear anything as people have joined or come in late to the call. It’s very professional. People get very frustrated at law firms and at consulting companies where it always makes a beep or tone.
5 Simplified International Conferencing
More and more I am finding that companies are having international participants in their calls. I think that many companies are not necessarily selling abroad, but have some aspect of their business that is international. We are definitely the best in the industry for that. That’s because we have multiple carries for each country, which is very helpful. Often, there’s confusion about where to dial in and what number to utilize. You should be able to have a customized web page, with a country-by-country call in number. That’s going to simplify things quite a bit because, with accents and time zones, an international call is definitely hard enough as it is.
If you have questions about audio conferencing, or would like to set up a free trial to test our conferencing solution, visit our free trial page or call 888-55-ADIGO