Business Tips and Advice

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Planning the perfect conference call

Conference calls are becoming a far more common occurrence for businesses today, with many executive members of staff taking part in at least one call a day. These calls can prove difficult for assistants to organise – participants are in different locations and people can accidentally dial a different number or forget the pin for the call. However arranging conference calls need not be a stressful experience, below are a few tips on how organisation can ensure the meeting runs smoothly.

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GabiPlanning the perfect conference call
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What’s the best time for marketing calls?

Telemarketing can be an extremely efficient way to increase sales, but it is a method that comes with a whole host of its own, specific challenges. Unlike with things like print ads, generally emails, and even text messages, timing is absolutely crucial. With other techniques, people can come to your content as and when they are looking for it: when they open a newspaper, switch on the TV or the radio, scroll through their Twitter feeds, or check their phones. But when you’re placing a phone call, you have to have some level of confidence that there will be somebody at the other end of the line with the ability, willingness, and time to answer the phone and have a conversation at that moment. Telemarketing also comes with its own laws, and businesses who choose to ignore or flout these regulations put themselves at risk of incurring fines of £500,000 from Ofcom and the Information Commissioner’s Office, telemarketing’s regulating bodies. Make sure you know the telemarketing rules, and avoid fines.

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GabiWhat’s the best time for marketing calls?
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How screen sharing could improve your conference calls

Screen sharing can be an extremely powerful tool for businesses as it provides the option of hosting online meetings with clients or business associates remotely.

This can not only save time for those involved but also significantly reduce travel costs, allowing companies to set up meetings at the push of a button with participants across the globe.

 

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GabiHow screen sharing could improve your conference calls
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Common conference call mistakes to avoid

Conference calls remain one of the most popular and most powerful communication tools available, and their place as a staple part of most businesses’ communications has been largely unchallenged. A big part of this is doubtless the ease of accessibility which they provide. You don’t need WiFi, you don’t need a camera or any other specialist technology, you don’t even need to be in any specific location – all you need is a telephone, be it landline or handheld. But what you do need is to avoid common conference call mistakes!

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GabiCommon conference call mistakes to avoid
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Can remote working really work?

Recently, we have all heard – with varying levels of excitement – about the possibility of remote working. This means the opportunity for people to carry out certain parts of their work, or a particular set of hours, or even all of their job, away from an office. That means people can work from home, from coffee shops, from hot desks, or even from across the globe.

How can that really be possible? Obviously, technological developments are a crucial factor. Thanks to instant messaging services, and the availability of genuinely free, reliable conference calls through providers like WHYPAY?.

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GabiCan remote working really work?
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Benefits to businesses through the use of conference calls

Conference call services are fundamental telecommunications tools in the realm of business. Whether your company be huge and multi-national or a smaller business, the use of conference calling to contact clients or business partners eliminates hassle and enables you to carry out business procedures without the trouble of having to meet face to face. Below are just a small sample of the benefits conference calls could bring to your business:

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GabiBenefits to businesses through the use of conference calls
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A guide on how to set up a free conference call

Looking for a quick and easy way to set up a free conference call in the UK? You’ve come to the right place, and it won’t cost you a fortune!

The most trusted, reliable and accessible way to hold group telephone calls is to use a dedicated telephone conference call service and you can get started using your mobile in seconds!

Some mobile and landline phones already have a built-in conference call feature that’s free to use, but these can be clunky and often only allow a small number of callers to connect.

WHYPAY? is a hassle-free conference call service with a focus on ease-of-use and excellent call quality. The service is rated 5 stars on Trustpilot by thousands of savvy conference callers. Unlike many other conference call services WHYPAY? uses an 03 dial-in number, saving you a fortune in unnecessary call charges.

Here’s how our free conference call setup works…

How to set up a conference call for free

  1. Pick up your mobile and dial 033 3443 4567 (UK local rate – included in your minutes);
  2. Press the * key when prompted to receive your free dial-in details;
  3. Share your details with your guests, letting them know the time of your call;
  4. When the time comes, everyone dials in and is instantly connected.

If you don’t have your mobile to hand, you can also generate your free conference details on this website by creating a free WHYPAY? account.

Sign up now to receive your free dial-in details.
 

Frequently asked questions

Absolutely! Once you’ve generated your conference details they’re ready and waiting for you to dial in. Your details won’t expire and there’s no need to pre-book your call with us.

At WHYPAY? we don’t charge you a penny to create your permanent, reusable conference details, and unlike many other conference call providers we don’t add charges to your phone bill either.

When you and your conference participants dial into your conference room, you each make a phone call to an 03 telephone number. Under official Ofcom regulations calls to 03 numbers cost no more than a national rate call to an 01 or 02 number and must count towards any inclusive minutes in the same way as 01 and 02 calls.

Because 03 numbers are included in UK mobile and landline minutes, the call itself is often completely free. Each caller should check whether they have inclusive minutes as part of their phone contract. Note that some networks begin charging the standard call rate after around 50 minutes. This can be avoided by simply hanging up and dialling back into the conference.

This is too good to be true. How does WHYPAY? make any money?

WHYPAY? earns a fraction of a penny per minute from BT for each call supported. Regular WHYPAY? users can also upgrade their free service to a paid subscription plan for advanced call features like custom branding and call recording.

Your conference details are permanent, so you can reuse them each time you need to hold a conference call. You can ask your participants to dial-in at the same time each day, week or month, using the same details. If you need to organise multiple conference calls at one time, or you have multiple colleagues who each require their own ‘conference room’, you can opt for one of our paid subscription plans.

 

Tips for the perfect conference call

You probably want to know more than just how to set up a teleconference. You want to have the most productive business meetings possible. And of course, you want your participants to feel comfortable throughout. We’re here to help. There’s so much guidance and advice on our blog if you want to learn about conference calling.
 

Location matters

The most basic starting point after you’ve set up free conference calls is deciding where you’ll be when your teleconference happens. It might seem minor compared to the meaty content of the call, but your location can make or break the call. Of course, it also depends on the nature of the audio meeting. If it’s something relatively informal, you don’t need to worry so much. For example, if you’re catching up with far-flung family or having a weekly debrief with a handful of colleagues, something like our cafe/cake conference call tour might be suitable.

But conference calls have many uses, and each one has different needs. For some inspiration, you can look at our favourite free meeting locations.

Given you’re setting up a conference call, the crucial thing is what can be heard. Always aim to be in the quietest place possible. Think carefully about whether the silence will last, too. Is it contingent upon your toddler conforming to his or her napping schedule? Might your dog become suddenly ravenous? Does your neighbour have a penchant for midweek mowing?

Obviously, some noise is inevitable and there are factors beyond our control. But if you know you’re unlikely to get peace, move somewhere different. After all, that’s the beauty of being able to set up a free conference call from your mobile!

Create a FREE Teleconference  

Mind your manners

To make sure your participants are at ease, you should get clued up on conference call etiquette. Things that might seem obvious can be easily forgotten, especially when we aren’t face to face, and things that seem minor can make a world of difference. Here are some points on conference call etiquette to remember:

  • Make sure you’re on time – it makes a great first impression.
  • Introduce people as they join the call – including their names, a personal detail or two, and be sure to explain their role.
  • Know how and when to use your mute button – it’s perfect for stopping background noise – just remember to unmute yourself when required!

 

Plan ahead

We all know how important prior preparation is. It’s no different with teleconferences. Planning the perfect conference call can take time and effort, but it will make things so much smoother and more efficient. With our guide, you’ll be able to put together a complete agenda for the conference call you set up. After this, make sure you mind your manners again and share! You’ve put in the hard work to make your agenda, so don’t let it go unseen. Circulate the document to all the participants, so they know what to expect and can themselves plan and prepare accordingly.
 

Stick to the plan

Equally important is actually using your plan. It should have laid out everything from topics to timings, and you should stick to these as closely as possible. You certainly don’t want to overrun, as this really is poor manners, and can mean people aren’t able to stay until the end of the call. It can also be really frustrating, or even anxiety-producing, to not follow the order as it was set out. While new information or unforeseen complications can mean that a change in agenda is necessary – and flexibility is a vital part of business – if you can follow your plan, your participants will thank you for it.
 

Learn to moderate

You might be a natural born leader, and you might be really used to heading up meetings. But conference calls require a specific skill-set. There are more features to think about, and the lack of body language and facial expressions. So learn to hear non-verbal communication, to maintain understanding and control of what’s happening during your meeting. Likewise, make sure you get to grips with different moderator controls that will be at your disposal.

 

You’ve set up a free conference call, but are there compromises?

Once people realise that conference calls really can be free, there can still be hesitation. What holds people back when considering whether to set up a free conference call? Well, people think if it’s free, it must be inferior. People are also reluctant to make changes. That old adage of ‘if it ain’t broke…’ can really hold people back from better things. In the world of telecommunications, it means things like not considering alternatives to obvious choices like PowWowNow.

WHYPAY? shows that free doesn’t need to mean worse. In fact, Trustpilot backs us up on this. if you look at our ratings and reviews, we outperform competitors who are charging for their services. With WHYPAY?, you get quality and reliability without having to part with a penny.

Why not set up a free conference call today? You’ll see just how much it could change your business, and even your life.
 

What do existing WHYPAY? users say about the service?

 
Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

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GabiA guide on how to set up a free conference call
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How secure is free conference calling? Is it safe?

Very often, people hear the word ‘free’ and become immediately wary. There is, of course, the knee-jerk reaction that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. In this increasingly cynical, money-centric world filled with false promises and loopholes, it’s an understandable reaction. Still, having even given WHYPAY?’s website or blog a cursory glance, you would know that although we can make no promises about lunch, there is such a thing as a genuinely free conference call.

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GabiHow secure is free conference calling? Is it safe?
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What is an SMS shortcode?

A shortcode works like a regular telephone number, but it has one characteristic which makes it really special – its length. Shortcodes, as their name suggest, are shorter than most telephone numbers as they are made up of only 5-6 digits. The value of this is that it’s really easy for your customers, and prospective customers, to remember the number and get in touch with you.

Typically, businesses use shortcodes as a means of allowing customers to opt-in to their SMS marketing or feedback campaigns.

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GabiWhat is an SMS shortcode?
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IVR tips – the good, the bad and the ugly

Interactive voice response (IVR) is a great tool with a bad rep. Despite its potential convenience and ease of use for companies and customers alike, setting up IVR is a task so rarely executed well, that it has become hated and dreaded by many. So what can you do to make your IVR system stand out from the hordes of ineffectual, repetitive, and confusing keypad-conversations that happen every day?

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GabiIVR tips – the good, the bad and the ugly