With the workforce becoming more mobile, voice and video conferencing tools are becoming more business critical for cross-team communication than ever before. While free conferencing solutions may seem like an attractive alternative to paid conferencing tools, cutting costs with ‘free’ tools often means foregoing quality and reliability. And poor quality calls can leave customers with a bad impression.
Before understanding the true benefits of full-service conferencing solution, we must put to rest the misconception that free conferencing tools are just as effective as paid tools. Here are four reasons to think twice about using ‘free’ conferencing tools:
1. Hidden Costs Abound
Free conferencing tools are never truly free. The ugly truth is that ‘free’ conferencing solutions are hosted on U.S.-based toll numbers, meaning all participants are charged for calling in. That means even your customers end up paying to join your calls, and if they’re calling from out of the country, they’ll be charged astronomical long-distance rates. ‘Free’ service providers also pass along taxes and other fees to customers. This could reflect poorly on your business and even deter clients from working with you in the future.
2. Limited Functionality
A common strategy of ‘free’ conferencing providers is to offer certain less important features for free and charge for additional features like more dial-in lines, enterprise authentication, video call options and customer service support. On the other hand, full service conferencing providers like InterCall offer all those features plus services like mobile apps, easy calendar integration, detailed conferencing reports, sub-conferencing for breakout sessions, speaker identification, muting, disconnecting, on demand playback of recordings and much more. These additional features not only leader to smoother, more professional calls but also improve productivity.
3. Technical Support and Quality Issues are Common
While the downsides of hidden costs and missing features may seem bad, the real issues of ‘free’ conferencing tools are low quality service and a lack of customer support. The old phrase “you get what you pay for” applies to free conferencing tools, which are plagued by poor audio connections and service interruptions. Poor quality calls ultimately reduces productivity and puts the success of your business on the line.
Most ‘free’ conferencing solutions also fail to offer technical support or a service guarantee, which are essential for companies desiring reliability. With InterCall, customers can rely on a 99.99% uptime and 24/7 operator support. Meeting participants will hear every word with InterCall’s crystal-clear audio.
4. Scalability is an Afterthought
As your business grows and you expand your customer base, most free conferencing tools won’t be able to effectively and cost efficiently assist you with your communications needs. Business owners need to find a communications provider that can grow with you. Look for providers that can handle multiple UC solutions, both on-premises and cloud-based, which will offer the best variety.
At the end of the day, ‘free’ conferencing solutions are not a bargain. Instead, business owners need to invest in quality technology solutions that reflect their professionalism and reputation. With a variety of clear communications solutions, guaranteed service and quality customer service, InterCall offers top-notch products that will reliably serve you and your clients. Experience the difference for yourself by trying our products today.
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