Did you ever feel like you were talking to an empty room?
Like everyone on your conference call is asleep or away from their desk to fill up their coffee cups?
You may not be mistaken.
Conference calls are a great way to stay in touch with your remote team, but they can also get long and boring. If you lose your audience, your telecommuters might find something else to do.
(I long ago mastered the art of “uh huh” and “you bet” on regular phone calls with my mother.)
A 2014 survey by one of our friendly competitors revealed more than a quarter of respondents have fallen asleep during virtual meetings.
Others said they make other phone calls, snack, exercise or play video games during conference calls.
Almost half of them (47 per cent) go to the bathroom. Ugh.
Keep your telecommuters entertained
When we talk about keeping your conference call guests entertained, we don’t mean you have to tell them jokes.
It can be as easy as keeping them engaged.
Send an agenda
If your remote workers know what’s going to happen during a conference call, they can prepare to provide input and participate in the discussion.
Make the call matter
Don’t hold conference calls for the sake of holding conference calls. Ensure each one has a purpose and isn’t a waste of your employees’ time.
Stay on track
It can be easy to let the conversation derail once others start injecting their thoughts and ideas, and that can lead to decreased attention by some listeners. Make sure you stick to the point as the conference chairperson.
Think about it this way: does the entire team need to attend? Some members of the team may better spend their time working on their daily tasks. Don’t interrupt their productivity with a wasteful meeting.
Call upon the expertise of individuals by specifically asking for their input. If everyone thinks their thoughts are valuable and could be called upon at any minute, you should inhibit anyone from wanting to nod off or stray from their phones.
Few things about meetings irk me more than realizing nothing is going to happen afterward. Send everyone a followup email, assign action items and ensure everyone is accountable for those tasks.
Stay on top of your account
Conference calls are a great way to stay connected with your remote team, whether for major meetings or weekly updates.
Your OnConference account lets you track your account charges, so you know where your minutes are going and who’s been chairing what conference calls.
As an account owner, you can assign Project/Department Account Code to each call, or have a default account code for each chairperson you enter into your account.
Charges will be summarized and broken down by project department code on your monthly invoice.
Here’s how it works:
✓ Each chairperson account you create can be assigned a Project/Department Account Code. That chairperson’s conference calls are grouped together under that code and summarized on your bill.
✓ You can be prompted at the start of each call to enter a numeric project account code. To enable this function, you need to contact us at the 24/7 Operator Support Conferencing Centre (1-800-804-8608).
✓ Codes can be assigned after each call on the myUsage section when you access your account details online, via myAccount.
OnConference also sends a daily email with summary details of your audio use. This email does not show any charges incurred.
Check your recent usage now.