Telephone conference call services can be easily obtained and it’s very simple to get started. You can get can set-up in no time and enjoy your first conference call today. There are a number of programs available and can you use the following questions to decide what type of plan works best for you.
1) Do you want a toll free number for everyone to dial in on, or would a non-toll free number work just as well? Toll free service is a little more expensive than non-toll free service, so if you are on a budget, you might be better off just dialing a long distance number to access your conference bridge. Besides, most people have free long distance anyway (i.e. cell phones or they get free long distance bundled with their local phone service) so it wouldn’t cost any more to call dialing a long distance number. However, if you want to provide the convenience of a toll free number for customers or prospects, then the small additional cost is well worth it.
2) Will you be using your conferencing services quite a bit, or just occasionally? If you are going to use phone conference call services a lot, it will be to your great advantage to sign up for a fixed or flat rate plan that will provide you unlimited use. That will give you access 24/7 and you can talk as much as you want, anytime you want. With no per minute charges, you can save a small fortune. On the other hand, a flat rate teleconference service will charge you whether you use the service or not, so if you end up not using the service for a month, you will still pay. One way to avoid paying those overage charges is to get a conference program that you use on a pay-as-you-go basis. You’ll be overcharged and you only pay for what you use, when you use it. This is ideal for those who use conferencing a lot one month, but not the next.
3) Would you like everyone to call into the conference themselves, or would you prefer to have professional operators call everyone and put them into the conference for you? The vast majority of conference call users (99%) get reservationless conference service and can use the service anytime they want. Everyone, the host and guests included, dial the phone and get into the conference bridge themselves with no operator assistance or help. However, there may be time you want professional operators to “dial-out” to everyone and put them into your conference. Folks just have to answer the phone to join your conference. Operator calls are more expensive but for professional or high level conference calls, it is well worth the extra charge.
4) Does the amount of time you spend on conference calls vary to month to month, or is it predictable and steady? If you have a good idea how many minutes of conferencing you average every month, you might be able to substantially cut your expenses by considering a toll free service that gives you a discount rate by buying a bundle of minutes. This works just like your cell phone plan — you pay X number of dollars per month for so many minutes. If you go over those minutes, you pay an extra charge. On the other hand, if you don’t use the minutes in your plan, you still pay. So if you are a heavy user, you can get the discounted minutes. But you if have sporadic and unpredictable use, you are much better off with the pay-as-you-go per minute plans.
There is no reason to get roped into long term commitments or contracts. And most vendors do not charge a set up fee so it doesn’t cost anything to set up an account. With a little planning and foresight, you can choose the plan and service that is right for you. Making phone conference call services part of your routine operations could be one of the best decisions you will ever make.