Teleconferencing needs are becoming more complex everyday. Being one of the most popular ways to host meetings or clinch deals, or even family calls, a conference call is extremely effective and cuts down costs brilliantly. Owing to this phenomenal success there has been an influx of service providers into the marketing niche to bank on the great potential of a teleconference. But with such excessive options and demand, the consumer is at a loss: which service provider suits one’s needs? With options for customising, you can run businesses or handle personal calls, or even set up a “family hotline”, some of which are designed to be extremely need-specific.

Choosing a service provider

Since conference calls are intended as cost-cutting tools, you must make sure that the coverage and plan that you choose does cut costs. Find out what you would have to pay for the service itself. Ascertain whether this is a fixed fee or a monthly subscription-fee. Large businesses usually go in for the monthly subscription-fee, while certain users of teleconferencing services opt for a pay-per-call plan. The next thing you must consider is whether the participants of a meeting have to pay to be on a call, and if so, how much. This also depends on the size of your business and the profile of your clients. Also take into consideration how the participants connect to the call. Do they use an internet connection or a normal phone-line? Taking costs into consideration, you must remember that generally internet calling is cheaper, but cannot be depended if the meeting is decisive and has a large number of participants. Often the regular telephone system is found to be consistent.

Some teleconference services limit the number of actual callers in a group. If you intend hosting a medium-sized or a large group, this plan will not work out for you. Also paramount-in case of urgent or unscheduled meetings-is whether it is easy to plan a call. Some service providers insist on booking time slots for the call, which is not a good option if you are into tourism or hospital management.

Other options

There are several other options available like scheduling support (the service that emails all participants, sends remainders etc), muting or recording the participants, visual-options, chat window etc. A generalisation cannot be easy and you must read the service document before committing on a service.