Getting the best or highest quality conference call depends on several factors. Among the most complaints from conference call users are:
- Can’t get through to the dial-in number and get busy signals or dead air.
- Static on the line.
- Poor quality transmission including breaks in the conversation.
- Bleeding or hearing conversations of other conference calls.
Optimizing and getting the best or highest quality conference calls can be accomplished by:
- Choosing a reasonably priced conference call company that has a reputation for quality and service. In the conference call world you get what you pay for. There are free conference call services but unfortunately there are times when the long distance carriers do not deliver calls to those services and block users. It is against the law, but it happens.
- Using a landline and a long distance company that uses fiber-optic transmission. Quality can be degraded by using cell phones which may simply have bad connections, or phones that are on digital VOIP cable connections. The vast majority of conference bridges are analog, and incoming digital calls may be difficult to handle. There are “VOIP friendly” conference bridges that you can use, but still, there can be problems when merging the analog and digital technologies. The easy solution is just to have everyone call the conference from an old fashioned landline. If that’s not possible, the second best alternative is to use a cell phone with a good connection. And lastly, a phone with a digital cable connection.
- Using the mute function for participants. This not only eliminates annoying background noise (co-workers, fire sirens, dogs barking, etc.) but also eliminates noises from bad connections. Conference leaders (also called hosts or moderators) can call into the conference using a separate passcode and have the ability to automatically mute the participants (also called conferees or guests) by pressing a specified code on their phone’s keypad during the conference. If you have a call with say, 10 people, and 3 of those 10 people will be doing most of the talking, those 3 people can call in on the moderator passcode and the other 7 people can be automatically muted. And remember, participants can certainly mute themselves as well, and many phones have a mute button.
Just taking those three actions will significantly improve the quality of your calls. If your business or organization success depends on making a good impression, then you’ll want to make sure you have the highest and best quality conferences available.