Are Operator Assisted Conference Calls Still Needed?
High Value Meetings Require High Touch Services
Yes, Operator Assisted Conference Calls are Still Needed!
Several industries and customers are still accustomed to Operator Assisted Conference Calls for privacy, simplicity, attendance control, high quality audio (HD) and legal requirements. There are still many situations when Operator Assisted or Managed Audio Conferences are required.
The problem is it seems every audio conferencing solution that is pushed on us today is free, click here, computer only and a completely unmanaged conferencing experience. Therefore, there are still companies that want and need a high quality, personalized, operator managed and high definition audio conference experience. I liken this to air travel, Private Jet, First Class, Business, and Coach all have their benefits, but certain end users expect and require the elevated level of service they are accustomed to receiving.
Some industries and verticals have accepted whatever quality the internet-only based solutions provide them as acceptable – we have all heard - can you repeat that, who is on the call, is it just us or is the vendor still on the call, etc. However, Financial, Legal, Investor Relations and Medical organizations are still very concerned about a high-quality connection and who is or did attend the conference call.
There are end users who want to attend, but do not want to worry about the connection processes. They expect to be known and added to the call with minimal effort. For example, if you are pitching a business plan, asking for financial funding or trying to reduce your liability in a legal situation, the last thing you want is an irate attendee because they could not figure out the conference code entry process and arrived at the meeting late and frustrated.
The situations above are easily solved by Operated Assisted Conference Calls. Luckily there are still several vendors in the world that serve this very demanding market, even as mainstream users continue to accept whatever audio quality they are given. Operated Assisted Conference Calls allow the hosting organization to control “ALL” aspects of the call and ensures an elevated level of quality and personalization. Companies like AT&T, Chorus Call and PGI to name a few -- all offer global Operated Assisted Conference Calls for up to several thousand participants. Many companies in this space will provide operators in multiple languages based on the attendees.
Chorus Call, based in Pittsburgh, PA and with offices in over 15 countries provides the following guidance when selecting an Operated Assisted Conference Call partner:
- Multi Language support for both operators and user interfaces (This is the real item you are purchasing, live and professional operators)
- High quality High Definition (HD) audio is critical for message clarity and to reduce participant fatigue
- Multiple ways to connect are needed and all require constant monitoring for a high-quality experience
- VoLTE (HD Mobile Audio) is in demand, especially in European countries, given increased Mobile usage, this will become important to US based and other countries as the capability is introduced by the regional mobile carriers
- Encryption and audience tracking is crucial to protect your attendees and the information being shared
Side note about High-Definition audio capabilities: It seems that many people take voice quality for granted. Audio is the most important element of a conference call because if you don’t understand what a person is saying, does it matter how many cool bells and whistles the service provider offers?
High-Definition audio makes it easier to understand, the participants attention is moved from trying to understand what the person said, to listening to what they said. It seems that the uptake of High-Definition is going quicker internationally as compared with the US … maybe because we are generally native English speakers, and there are no long-distance (PSTN) charges any longer.
Internationally, High-Definition audio assists with comprehension and drastically reduces the telco charges because it is IP.
In conclusion, Operated Assisted Audio Conference Calls are still needed and will continue to play an important service to select industries and high value meetings. Having a comprehensive collaboration and business communications offering to support your end users will continue to allow IT organizations to be proactive and prepared to meet the needs of your end user’s requirements.