Everyone hopes that when they jump onto a conference call, things will go as normally as possible. Aside from eccentric clients or the occasional slip up, not much can go wrong during a conference call, right?
Well, you’d be surprised. Recently, we polled our coworkers to see if anything out of the ordinary had ever happened to them while dialing into a call. And the results might surprise you. Here is the second part (When Conference Calls Simply Don’t Go Your Way: Part One) of our two-part series on real life, unexpected conference call situations:
Health concerns are typically nothing to laugh at. But when someone has laryngitis or can’t stop sneezing, chances are the call is not going to last very long. One person that we polled told the story of a client who could not stop hiccupping.
Simply put, if you are making noises that might prompt laughter or distract a call, your colleagues will understand if you opt out of a meeting. And whatever you do, if you hear someone else that sounds like a frog on the other end of the line, do NOT laugh.
More commonly, and less severe, you will encounter a person who dials into the wrong bridge. If you should hear someone chime in looking for Stephen or Chris when there is clearly nobody named Stephen or Chris on the line, this is the result of a bridge error. Most often this occurs in Outlook when someone neglects to reserve a conference bridge, or it is an error on the part of someone who has simply entered the wrong conference ID number.
Eventually, something along these lines will happen while you are on a conference call. And your reaction will ultimately dictate how your clients view you, not only as a professional, but a human. So stay alert and help your colleagues through a difficult time. They will appreciate your patience.
Questionable conference call locations
One of the most comical results of our poll had do when a person was on a conference call and everything was going great, until a toilet flushed in the background—prompting dead silence from those on the line. As it turns out, the person had gone into the bathroom to place a call, without realizing that someone was in a stall nearby. Restrooms, restaurants, casinos—these are all areas that should be avoided for professional reasons.
What is the worst thing that has happened to you on a conference call? We want to hear your story. Be sure to add to the conversation in the comments section below!