12 Best Conference Call Services for Small Business in 2023
For any small business with staff or teams in multiple locations, communication is key to running your business smoothly. Likewise, with remote work and work-from-home jobs on the rise, the need for reliable web and video conferencing software has skyrocketed.
Between 2019 and 2020, the number of downloads of video and web conferencing apps has increased by almost 90%!
Web conference calls are a critical part of small businesses that have remote teams. It’s how your team will communicate and collaborate on projects, do presentations and have team meetings. It also is handy for one-on-one client meetings and consultations.
But if you’ve ever used a conferencing app, you know not all web conferencing apps are created equal. Some come with limits on participants, may not have a mobile app, or even need you to pay extra just to access other features like screen sharing or integration with your calendar.
So which conference call services are ideal for your small business? This will solely depend on your business needs, the size of your team, and what you mainly intend to use the app for.
When Does It Make Sense to Invest in Conference Call Services
Web conference calls can help you grow your business revenue by talking to more clients, scheduling more presentations, boosting team productivity, and even improving collaboration on projects. You can check out our review of the best web video and conferencing options.
But not all businesses may need a conference call service. So how do you decide if a conference call service will be beneficial for your business?
1. Your Business Model
There are dozens of business models, some of which will absolutely require a conference call service, while others may not need one so much. Between product-based businesses, online businesses, and service-based businesses, each may have unique needs not suited for a conference call.
For example, if you run a small local restaurant or food delivery service, your business would revolve mainly around product deliveries (a product-based business). Thus you may not be doing conference calls so much unless perhaps it’s a franchise with management or staff in other locations.
Conversely, if you run a service-based business that deals with clients on a one-on-one basis by means of consultations or presenting reports, you’ll definitely need a conference call service. For example, an accounting or legal service would need conference calls for online consultations.
2. Team Location, Size, and Roles
The next biggest factor that determines if you need a conference call service is the size and location of your team or staff. With the rise of the work-from-home era, more and more businesses are employing remote staff that work from multiple locations at a time.
This means different time zones which directly affect timelines for any project deliverables. This also means any time the team has to catch up on projects or do monthly business review meetings, you’ll need a web or call conferencing service.
3. Consider Your Clientele
The next thing is your clients. Conference calls are mainly a mode of communication that is either one-on-one or one-to-many.
Thus if your business needs you to constantly speak to clients on a one-to-one basis like in a coaching or consulting business, you can’t run without conference calling software.
Conversely, if you do a lot of presentations to your clients, it is worth investing in a conference calling service. If however you barely interact with your clients one-on-one or have support desk staff that respond to standard phone calls, then you may not need this service.
Best Conference Call Services for Small Business
Now that it’s clear which kinds of businesses benefit from conference call services, it’s time to look at which conference call services are the best for small businesses. Ultimately your choice should be influenced by the size of your team, business needs, and your typical workflow.
We’ll review each service based on its unique features and pricing.
Best All-Round Audio, Phone, Messaging and Video Conferencing Tool.
If you’re looking for an all-around tool that’s designed to meet all your communication needs, RingCentral is the ideal tool for your business. Some conference calling tools only allow one main type of communication i. e either video or VoIP calls.
RingCentral stands out because it combines traditional phone calls, video calls, and standard messaging into one unified hub. This eliminates the need for you and your team to use multiple tools at a time just to communicate.
Most conference calling services have low participant limits, but RingCentral gives you up to 200 participants at a time. You’re free to switch between voice conference calling and video conference calls at any time during a call.
Apart from that, you’ll not need to pay extra for screen sharing software because RingCentral integrates screen sharing into its platform. It’s also possible to have private and public chats during or after a call.
Thus, answering attendee questions, sharing files and private messaging can all be done without having to end the call. Your participants can also join or host meetings without having to download an app as RingCentral is browser-based.
And if your participants happen to be offline or without internet, they can join via a direct dial number which is automatically added to the call invitation.
Need to switch between your phone, tablet, or PC? RingCentral makes it easy to switch without having to end an ongoing meeting. Not sure if RingCentral is a good fit? Check out our best RingCentral alternatives here.
RingCentral offers four pricing plans with per-user billing that includes messaging, video, and phone options with up to 33% off annual billing options.
The Essentials plan starts at $29.99/ month and allows up to 20 users, business phone or a toll-free number, unlimited phone calls and SMS within the US and Canada, file sharing, and team messaging.
The Standard plan starts at $34.99/month and gives you everything in the Essentials plan plus
- unlimited users, internet fax, and audio conferencing
- video conferencing for 100 people with 24- hours time cap,
- Integrations with Slack, Google Workspace, and Microsoft 365
The Premium plan starts at $44.99/month and gives you everything in the Standard plan plus
- Single sign-on
- Up to 200 participants on video conference calls
- Call recording
- Up to 8-digit extensions with site codes
- Real-time analytics
- A wider range of app integrations including Zendesk, Salesforce, Canvas, Smarsh, and others
- Developer access and custom integrations
And finally the Ultimate plan bills at $59.99/month and gives you everything in the premium plan plus unlimited storage, device status alerts, and device status reports.
Get started with a free trial of RingCentral today!
Best All-Round Dial-up Cloud Phone System for Phone Support.
Conference calling can be one-on-one or many to one. This makes it possible to have a web conferencing service that helps your customer or tech support team. JustCall was created specifically to provide the ideal anytime, anywhere and any device phone system.
JustCall provides you with the perfect support centre and business phone set-up system in the cloud. You can literally get local phone numbers in several countries within seconds and start making or receiving calls.
Apart from allowing you to set up multiple local and toll-free phone numbers for your customer support team, you get call analytics reports. These tell you how long your average calls are and help you better track agent performance or improve your workflow.
The platform also offers bulk SMS, SMS bots and website click-to-call features which are all aimed at improving your phone sales support. Other impressive features include
- Predictive dialer
- Auto dialer
- Call queues
- Appointment scheduler
- Interactive Voice response system
- Virtual Call Centers
- Call conferencing
- Live call analytics
- Scheduled team calls
- Integrations with multiple CRM and productivity apps including Slack, Salesforce, Hubspot, Zendesk, Infusionsoft (now Keap) and many more.
JustCall has two priced plans and a custom quote plan that allows you to customize features unique to your business. Custom plans come with a dedicated account manager and unique call/ SMS rates.
Plans are billed on a per user per month basis and you can save up to 20% if you choose annual billing.
The Standard plan bills at $25/month and gives you 1 local or toll-free phone number, call tracking, recording, forwarding, SMS and analytics. You’ll also get unlimited integrations, IVR, appointment schedulers, SMS and MMS inbox plus business hours.
The Premium plan bills at $50/month, and gives you everything in the standard plan plus webhooks and API access, SMS bots, automated SMS campaigns, post call survey and training and onboarding.
- SMS and MMS support
- Webhooks and API access
- Both local and toll-free phone numbers are available
- Live call analytics
- SMS bots
- Automated SMS campaigns
- No video conferencing tools
- No direct chat between users
- Not ideal for team collaboration on projects.
JustCall doesn’t have a free trial, but does offer a free demo upon request.
Best Conference Call Platform for Businesses with Remote Teams and for Team Collaboration.
If you’re shopping for the perfect work-from-home conference calling platform, you’ll need one made with team collaboration in mind and that is GoToMeetinhg. In fact, the platform is so versatile that whether you’re a fortune 500 company or a small start-up, it will work for you.
GoToMeeting makes it possible to run your entire business operations without having to get or report to a head office. It helps you to turn your business into a virtual one by supporting any workflows and team collaboration in a virtual set-up.
You can access everything you need to run your web conference calls from the convenience of any device. GoToMeeting also supports Mac, iOS, Android and Windows whether you’re on PC or mobile, you can simply plug in and run your conference call from anywhere.
One of GoToMeeting’s most outstanding features is its commuter mode. It allows you to host the perfect online meeting without any noise interference, even when you are on the move.
You also get SSL encryption and AES 256 – Bit encryption. So you’re sure your meetings are secure. Other features include
- Screen sharing
- Toll-free numbers
- Drawing tools
- HD video with automatic recording
- Keyboard and mouse sharing
- Advanced security inclid
- Choice of custom background
- Single sign on
- Calendar integrations
- And much more!
GoToMeeting has two main pricing plans, one for professionals and one for business use. All plans bill per user monthly. If you’d like a customized plan you can request a custom quote with the features you want by contacting their sales team. Annual subscriptions can save you up to 16%.
The Professional plan bills at $14.00/ month and gives you access to unlimited meeting time, HD audio and video, dial-in conference lines, both personal and business meetings plus meeting lock.
You also get integrations with multiple productivity and Work apps like Salesforce, Slack, Google Workspace and others.
The Business plan bills at $19.00/month and gives you everything in the professional plan plus unlimited cloud recording, Slide to PDF conversion, smart assistant, Note taking and screen drawing tools.
- Multiple layers of encryption for security
- Toll-free and dial-in conference numbers available
- Slide to PDF conversion available
- Screen sharing
- On screen drawing tools
- Doesn’t support traditional voice calling via landlines
Get started with a free 14-day trial of GoToMeeting today.
Best Conference Call Platform for Paid Webinars, Courses, and Online Events.
While there are lots of options for video conferencing, not many combine the ability to host online events like webinars with online education or courses. ClickMeeting offers the unique ability to host all your online course content, webinars and team communications in one place.
Hosting a webinar or huge online event means having hundreds if not thousands of people online in a room at time. ClickMeeting allows you to have between 100 to 1000+ event attendees.
ClickMeeting helps you monetize your webinars and online events by letting you integrate PayPal payments into your meeting, event or course. Thus your attendees will simply pay to have access.to your content and expertise.
You could even automate your webinars by pre-recording and scheduling your webinars ahead of time. That way you can save time and automate parts of your business or even team briefing sessions and even stream to Facebook or YouTube.
Other impressive features include
- Waiting room for participants
- Thank You pages
- Custom branding
- Performance rating
- Webinar storage
- Social media sharing
- Moderated Q&A private chat
- Simultaneous chat translation
- Toll-free numbers
ClickMeeting’s pricing varies based on the number of attendees you plan to have. You can pay annually to save up to 20%. Also all plans come with unlimited number of meetings and webinars and 4 cameras per meeting.
The Live plan comes with multisite users, one presenter, breakout rooms, up to 1 GB of storage for past webinars, and 6 hours of webinar recordings. You’ll also get chat moderation, event landing pages, polls and surveys, and chat translation.
Live plan billing starts at $25/month.
The Automated plan bills at $40/month and gives you everything in the Live plan plus
- 10 hours recording storage,
- 2GB storage for past webinars,
- automated recurring webinars,
- auto-publishing to social media,
- automated thank-you, and follow-up emails
- certificates of attendance.
The Enterprise plan is their customized plan option where you get to select the exact features you’d want to have for your business. You can call their customer support team to request assistance.
- Social media streaming to Facebook and YouTube
- Toll-free numbers
- Paid webinars
- Integrations with Slack, PayPal, PayU, Pipedrive, Keap, and others.
- Automated webinar marketing, thank-you and follow-up emails
- No support for voice-only phone calls.
Get started with a free 30-day trial of ClickMeeting today.
Best Free AI-Powered Video and Voice Conferencing Tool for Remote Teams.
Most conference calling apps need you to download either a PC or mobile version to use. Not with UberConference. The platform offers free video conferencing without PINs or app downloads. It helps people to talk or video call each other instantly regardless of their location.
The platform is more video-calling-focused compared to audio but still provides a robust audio-calling experience, especially if you’re using it with a limited number of people. Using its Instant Conference Call feature, you can connect with anyone within minutes.
Simply dial in with your UberConference number or share your personal meeting URL.
Another outstanding feature is their AI-powered voice intelligence system. The feature transcribes your meetings into a readable manuscript which you can search through at the end of your meeting or call.
This makes it perfect for converting your online course content into downloadable files and provides a quick note-taking tool, so your participants can focus on the discussion. It’s AI is also capable of recognizing action items and including them in meeting reports.
So you and your team know the next steps after each meeting and you are less under pressure to create a post-meeting report. Other features include
- Screen sharing
- Voice intelligence driven meeting transcription
- Hold music option in meeting waiting room
- Call reminder to you and your guests about scheduled meetings
- Local dial-in numbers, international and toll-free numbers
Dialpad’s Uberconference has a pretty simple pricing plan. There are two tiers, one is free and the other is for business, billed at $15/ per organizer per month.
The Free plan gives you 45 minutes per meeting with a maximum of 10 participants and PINS will be required to log in. You’ll also get call recording, HD video and audio quality and unlimited conferences.
The Business plan gives you everything in the free plan plus analytics reports, custom call-in numbers for US and Canada, dial out to add guests to a call, custom hold music, team conference calls and voice intelligence.
- Voice intelligence recognition
- Auto-transcription of meetings including actionable reports.
- Both phone and VoIP audio
- Custom hold music
- Toll-free numbers are billed at $35 month to month or $30/month annually.
Get started with UberConference for free today.
Best Video Conferencing Tool for Growing Online and Physical Location Businesses.
BlueJeans by Verizon is your go-to web conferencing solution for a fully digital workplace. The tool offers a suite of features designed to help any kind of workplace in any industry to get more out of their video conferencing.
For teams that have physical workspaces and conference rooms, BlueJeans makes it easy to sync different audio and video equipment for a better synced meeting experience thanks to its advanced interoperability feature.
It also offers custom equipment in partnership with Cisco, Poly and Dolby audio and a hub where you can manage all your physical and virtual meeting rooms or spaces.
For virtual meetings, BlueJeans offers closed rooms as well as the ability to host and stream live online events and webinars. There is even a telehealth option which helps healthcare providers connect with their patients virtually and follow the clinical care workflow.
Other features include
- Up to 25 attendees on-screen
- Custom virtual meeting backgrounds
- Interactive tools like screen sharing, whiteboard and annotation tools.
- Connection to Microsoft Teams
- Supports up to 50,000 attendees and 150 speakers on online events.
- Audience engagement tools like Q&A, polls and live chats
BlueJeans offers separate pricing for virtual meetings and for live events/ webinars. There are three virtual meeting plans, the Standard and the Pro plan. You can also get an Enterprise plan quote created to match your specific needs.
The Standard plan bills at $9.99/month and gives you video, web and mobile conferencing features, unlimited group or 1:1 meetings, host up to 100 participants plus up to 5 hours of recorded meetings.
The Pro Plan bills at $13.99/month and comes with all standard plan features plus up to 125 participants, workstream collaboration tools including Google and Slack integrations, call analytics, learning management integrations including CirQLive and Canvas.
Finally the Enterprise plan which is their custom plan gives you 200+ participants, custom branding including landing pages, unlimited recordings and an onboarding manager.
- Unlimited 1:1 and group meetings
- Integration with Slack and Google
- Live streaming to social media
- Device interoperability feature
- Easy syncing with Microsoft teams
- No traditional phone line or toll-free line option.
Get started with a 14-day free trial of BlueJeans Conferencing today!
Best Built-In Team Collaboration Video Conferencing Solution.
If your business involves a lot of one-to-many type video conferences, then Webex from Cisco is an option worth considering. It is designed to support large-scale virtual events as well as personal one-on-one team member meetings and even offer customer support remotely.
Webex is also unique because unlike most video-focused platforms, it also offers an audio-only call option, giving you the best of both worlds. You get a toll-free number that allows your meeting attendees to call in or even a call to remind attendees of a scheduled event.
Meeting passwords and IDs make it easy for participants to find the right meeting. In line with being a video-first platform, it also offers other audience engagement tools like screen sharing, chats and on screen tools. It also offers multiple app integrations.
One of Webex’s new features is its voice intelligence feature designed to quickly transcribe your meetings into quick reports. You can use AI-powered voice commands to create notes, follow-ups and reminders to share with participants. Other features include
- Cloud-phone systems for direct dialling
- AI Webex meeting assistant
- Toll or toll-free dedicated dial-in number to connect to your meeting
- Enterprise level, multi-layer security encryptions
- Unique meeting URLs
Webex doesn’t have fixed pricing plans, but you can get a price quote that is customized to suit your business and budget by getting in touch with their sales team.
There is however a free plan that allows you to have up to 100 participants, HD video, screen sharing and a personal room.
- AI-powered meeting assistant
- Transcribe meeting notes in reports and pdfs
- Screen sharing
- Native team collaboration board for sharing files, one-on-one messaging and direct calls.
- Integration with Microsoft, Google and Salesforce
- Supports customer support calls.
- Not suitable for direct dialling or international calls
Get started with a free plan on Cisco Webex today!
Best Internal Communications Tool for Small Teams.
Vonage is your complete video, voice and messaging platform designed to handle business communications for small businesses. The platform is built for the ultimate flexibility and scalability including contact center, unified communications and communication APIs.
Their conference bridge feature lets you host up to 30 participants at a time, just by clicking a button. All your participants need is access to the bridge, after which you allow them to join and can moderate via a dashboard so you can mute or allow participants to speak.
If your meeting is amongst limited participants, you can use the call conference tool. It supports three-way chats and lets you quickly add a fourth person to an ongoing call without having to create a new username or password for them.
Another impressive feature Vonage recently introduced is Vonage meetings. This hybrid feature allows your team to have voice-only meetings, send SMS and schedule group meetings all in one click from the same hub.
Other features include
- SMS, MMS, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and Viber chats .
- Access to local and international numbers
- Run authentication via SMS or two factor authentication
- Dedicated short code support
- Paperless Fax
- Call Monitoring
- Virtual receptionist
And much much more.
Vonage has three different plan options for which it offers unique pricing; Communication APIs which covers integrating the platform into other parts of your business software, Unified communication which covers voice and video communications and contact center.
If Vonage’s plans seem like a bit much, you can check out our best Vonage alternatives review.
We’ll look at the pricing plan for unified communications.
There are three pricing plan options for unified communications. The Basic plan bills at $19.99/month per line and gives you unlimited calls, SMS and team messaging.
The Premium plan bills at $29.99/month per line and gives you all the features in the mobile plan plus unlimited video calling for up to 100, multi-level auto attendant, CRM integration and an IP desk phone feature.
The Advanced Plan gives you everything in the premium plan plus call recording on demand for up to 15 hours, call groups and visual voicemail. The Plan bills at $39.99/month.
- Option for voice only calling and phone lines
- Supports SMS, MMS, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and Viber.
- Multiple APIs for integration with your existing business software
- No audience engagement tools like white boards or on screen drawing
- Limited participant number on group calls.
Get started with Vonage with a 14-day free trial.
Best Conference Call Service for Contact Centers and Direct Dial Based Support.
Small businesses looking for a reliable and scalable all-in-one communication, contact center, and team collaboration solution will find Mitel to be the perfect solution. Mitel was initially built on PBX technology but has in recent times moved this technology into the cloud.
The platform is cloud-based and uses Google’s cloud technology, meaning you’re assured of security and a robust solution. Mitel offers the standard audio and video conferencing features complete with screen and file sharing during meetings.
You can schedule meetings in advance and call participants to participate for maximum convenience. In case your participants don’t have the Mitel app, they can still join via web browser, or simply dial in via a specified number making it easy for anyone, anywhere to participate.
For a smoother overall call or meeting, Mitel allows hand-raising so your participants can take turns speaking rather than talking over each other. So if you’re handling a large meeting, this feature comes in very handy.
Installing the desktop version gives you access to links like recent calls, contacts, voicemail, teamwork, and events. The platform’s team collaboration and group messaging board will help you handle basic messaging, file sharing, tasks, and to-do lists.
Other features include
- Web browser extension for Google Chrome
- Integrations with multiple CRMs
- Direct CSV contact import from Google or Microsoft outlook
Mitel offers a free demo and custom quotes based on your business needs so you’ll have to call their customer support to get a quote.
- Import contacts directly from Google or Outlook
- Handy Bluetooth headsets offered with all plans/subscriptions
- Integration with popular CRMs
- Web browser version available
- No voice intelligence system or meeting assistant to help automate online meetings and reports.
Best Unified Contact Center and Team Video Conferencing Service.
Fuze is the perfect centralized platform for everything from HD video calling, content distribution, messaging, voice, and conferencing. The platform excels in providing a seamless experience between devices and even multiple users from one interface. No hopping around.
The software gives you the full functionality of PBX (Private Branch Exchange) like call transfer, call recording, voicemail, and call conferencing. It also gives you the option to have a single unified voice carrier even if your organization is distributed in multiple countries.
You can power your contact center with the same PBX functionality plus other communication forms like video calls and conferences. You’ll get HD audio and video for up to 1,000 participants per meeting and your participants can share content both on and off-screen for maximum engagement.
Simply put if you want a premium, consistent experience across multiple devices for both end-users and admins, then Fuze is your go-to tool. Other impressive feature of Fuze include
- Calendar and contact syncing and integration
- Direct dialing from over 110 countries
- AI-powered trend analysis of your communications platforms
- Dual and single HD monitor optimized setups for traditional conference rooms.
Like some of its competitors, Fuze offers customized solutions to businesses on a case-by-case basis. Thus you’ll have to schedule a demo and speak to a sales consultant first to get a custom quote.
- AI-powered trend analysis and data API support
- Team messaging and collaboration board
- PBX functionality based features including call recording, call transfer and call parking.
- Activity logs to track user online presence
- Dedicated routing and click to call
- No meeting automations like scheduling or calling in participants.
Best Free All-Round Video Conferencing Platform
Zoom has risen to prominence in the last year thanks to the increased number of remote work businesses and job roles. It is most loved for its easy-onboarding and beginner-friendly interface.
Zoom simplifies your video calling and conferencing needs by allowing you to easily and quickly send out invitations to anyone, anywhere to join a meeting at any time. Not only does it offer impressive video calling features, but you’ll also get an enterprise cloud-phone system.
Their enterprise system allows you to dial in directly via a local number to join conference calls. The system has intelligent call routing and auto attendants that quickly connect calls and drastically reduce waiting and call connection time.
It also offers the option to listen to or read transcribed voicemail messages or recorded phone calls from any device of your choice.
If you have an existing traditional business phone set-up, Zoom offers great interoperability with lots of hardware options from leading manufacturers.
Other impressive features include;
- Supports up to 50,000 participants on webinars
- Studio effects and background noise suppression
- Watermarked live streaming option
- Custom post-event landing pages.
Zoom has four pricing plans including a free plan. The free plan gives you 100 participants per meeting, 40 minutes per meeting and unlimited one-on-one meetings.
The Pro plan gives you the same participants in as the free plan, but up to 1,000 meeting participants with their Large Meetings add-on. Your meeting time limit is also increased to 30 hours instead of 40 minutes plus social media streaming and 1GB cloud recording.
This plan bills at $149.90/year per license.
The Business Plan bills at $199.90 per license per month and gives you 300 participants per meeting, single sign-on, recording transcripts, branded meetings and managed domains.
The Zoom United Business Plan is their enterprise-level plan that gives you phone, meeting and chat functionality all baked into one. You have unlimited calls with the option to add up to 18 countries, Skype interoperability, local and unlimited cloud recordings.
- Interoperability with multiple devices and platforms
- Free plan
- Unlimited group and one-on-one meetings
- Private group chat
- Personal meeting ID and dial-in number.
- Screen sharing, white board and other on-screen tools
- Cloud phone system may not work as a contact center.
Get started on Zoom for free today!
12. Google Hangouts
Best Free All-In-One Messaging and Video Call Conferencing Tool.
Google Hangouts is Google’s simple no-frills solution for video, audio and messaging all rolled into one conveniently from your email inbox or Google account. Previously, this was only available on Google Talk as part of the Google+ suite.
But now, Hangouts is Google’s move to bring voice calls, messaging and video calling among your Google contacts into one convenient place. You can access Google Hangouts directly from your Gmail inbox, an app or your android homescreen.
Hangouts allows you to talk to up to 10 people via video call at a time, as well as file and screen sharing via in-app instant messaging. It also has an intelligent muting feature to stop participants from talking over each other during a video call.
Enjoy HD video calls and group conferencing powered by Google’s technology and protected by Google’s security. If your team is looking for a more personalized, non-formal way to connect and collaborate over work and increase productivity, then Google Hangouts is the ideal solution.
A few other features include
- Custom control for admins
- Auto screen focus
- Built-in screen sharing
- Online status indicator
- Up to 150 participants in a group chat
- Multiple device and platform support
- Integration with other Google applications
Google Hangouts is completely free to use. All you need is a Google account either via Gmail or any other Google app.
- Completely free to use
- Easy access and usability across multiple devices
- Integration with other Google apps
- Screen sharing and built-in messaging
- Built-in chrome extension
- Extremely limited number of participants per video call
- No audience engagement tools like white boards, on-screen tools or screen recording.
You can get started on Google Hangouts for free today.
How to Choose the Best Conference Call System
Perhaps your business is fully remote now and you’re in the market looking for a call conferencing service that’s perfect for your business and its current size. What should you look out for beyond price?
What other features should you look out for aside from the number of participants a platform allows you to use? Do you really need a toll-free number and direct dialling to hundreds of different countries?
Your business type and its unique needs should ultimately influence your final decision. The best options are secure, scalable and flexible, allowing your business to grow with the communications solution seamlessly.
1. Call Type Flexibility
On a business level, you want to be readily accessible to your clients or customers in a way that is most convenient to them. This means beyond the regular business email, you should either have a number they can call or a way for them to schedule a call.
In recent times, this also includes voice and video call conferencing too. Some clients may simply want to hear your voice or physically see you to build trust. In such instances, having a unified conference calling service or communications hub can come in handy.
Having a one-stop video and audio calling solution makes it easier to schedule both voice and video calls without needing to hop between several platforms.
It’s also important that the audio and video quality is HD because the last thing anyone wants to do is stare at a pixelated image or have to keep repeating themselves due to lag. This could make you end up losing business due to a poor customer experience.
Also if your business handles and exchanges lots of files, you’ll need to make sure your tool of choice also incorporates file sharing and collaboration features. This creates a streamlined experience for your clients and improves your overall reputation and brand experience.
On a team level, the right conference calling service can boost your team’s productivity, cut down completion time for projects and tasks.
2. Participant Number Limits
In line with finding a team appropriate conference calling service, it’s critical to consider the number of participants any software you’re considering allows. Most conference calling platforms offer a limited number of participants on their video or audio calls.
If your business is rapidly expanding and has a large remote workforce, it’s worth considering a service with a high participant count (preferably 100+ or more). This is more critical if you regularly host briefings with other organizations at a time and have multiple presenters.
Some platforms charge per user per month. This means if you have multiple hosts or users, you may end up paying potentially a lot more monthly. Other platforms just give you the option to have multiple hosts or moderators at no extra fee, for example, Zoom.
Participant numbers are also worth considering if you host online events and webinars. Webinars can have thousands of participants who may want to ask questions. Not all conferencing tools allow you to host paid webinars or offer a Q&A option via in meeting chat.
Thus its worth checking if a tool helps you host paid large scale online events, complete audience engagement tools like white boards and annotations, without losing both audio and video quality.
3. Easy Call Set Up and Scheduling
The right conference call tool should help your meeting participants easily log in no matter where they are. This may differ if you intend for the tool to be used just for internal team communications and one-on-one meetings as opposed to hosting lots of participants.
If you choose a tool meant for internal use, you’d have more room to work with restricted access with a platform that is limited to desktop only use or both app and desktop. The onboarding process will be easier since it's a small group to train.
Conversely, if you’re using your conference service more as a business phone service for multiple clients or participants from all over the world, then you’re better off with a more user-friendly tool.
You’ll want a tool that’s easy to use directly from a browser, mobile app or desktop.
Features like toll-free numbers and dial-in numbers for conference calls are especially handy in this case. It makes it easy for participants or attendees who don’t even have an internet connection to join a meeting or scheduled event.
It’s worth also making sure your platform of choice has room for collaboration. If you have clients or teammates who need to give feedback on tasks or share reports and updates, it's worth having a space within your software that supports such collaboration.
4. Seamless Use Across Multiple Devices
A number of conferencing services offer mobile and desktop client support. But not all mobile apps and desktop clients allow you to transition smoothly from one interface to another neither do they work well together.
A seamless and consistent experience across multiple devices is crucial when choosing a conference calling service. You’ll never know when you can’t get to your PC right away to host a call or join a meeting.
Thus it's important that no matter which tool you choose, both you and your team get the same quality of audio and video, regardless of the device you are using.
A seamless experience is even more important if you have hardware in a physical office location. Make sure your software has interoperability with the hardware in your conference rooms. A better option would be to get hardware directly from the conferencing call service.
5. Third-Party App Integrations
It’s not unusual to use multiple apps to handle different aspects of your business be it sales or CRM. But when you’re choosing a conference call service, you need your existing business apps to work smoothly and reliably with your existing applications.
Lots of service providers offer app integrations especially with Google and Microsoft Outlook. But not all these applications work together smoothly. It's common to find that most service providers don’t offer a lot of options for third-party app integrations.
Nonetheless, some platforms offer API and developer access so you can add customization and integrations that are unique to your business. The most important integrations by far are integrations with your calendar and contact list.
This allows for easy meeting scheduling on both you and your team’s (or client’s) calendar. If your business uses a lot of sales or CRM apps, it's important to look out for that specific app or the option to add a custom integration.
Which Conference Calling Service Should I Choose?
A conference calling service can help you scale and improve your business revenue and team productivity in several ways.
You could increase your client base, improve team collaboration and generate more revenue from your content and expertise using the right conference calling service.
If your business is driven by webinars and selling premium online courses then ClickMeeting is your best option. For all round conference calling, RingCentral provides a great solution for both voice call and video conferencing for medium to large businesses.
And finally, if you’re looking for a great free video conferencing option with a cloud-phone system then Zoom is the ideal choice.