Conference calling has become a favorite of business culture and collaboration for the past decades, as it helps internal and external stakeholders collaborate no matter what part of the world they are.
Despite the proven benefits of conferencing callings, such as accessibility and simplicity, this powerful communication tool remains plagued with several issues that often make conferencing calling efforts ineffective.
LoopUp, an online meeting platform, reveals in a study that poor conference call practices can cost businesses up to $34 billion (£26 billion) each year through lost time and diminished productivity.
The study, entitled “Enterprise Conferencing: User Behavior & Impact Report,” was conducted by Sapio Research and commissioned by LoopUp, and surveyed 1,000 professionals in the United States and the United Kingdom who regularly participate in conference calls.
Steve Flavell, the co-CEO and co-founder of LoopUp, said that there are several good software offered by big companies like Google, Microsoft, Cisco, Adobe, Avaya Zoom, and BlueJeans that have revolutionized call conferencing. Though, some software is more video-focused, while others are more mobile-centric or trainers-centric (IT folks).
However, 61% of businesses still refer to dial into a conference line to connect with teams, colleagues, and clients. Based on the report, the number further shoots up to 68 percent for users in enterprises with over 1,000 employees.
“All of these options have different pluses and minuses, but there is one consistency: all of them are full of features…But what remains as what might be the biggest “anti-trend” in the space is that, regardless of the features and feature sets, people keep on dialing into meetings.” said Flavell
“With a dial-in option (regardless of the experience) you’re playing it safe: everyone can dial in and punch a code in, and everyone can get on the call… This ultimately leads to why the market won’t move on.”
The results further reveal that for 70% of the respondents, discussing confidential information on conference calls, was normal. But, what’s shocking is that more than 50% said that it’s also normal not to know who are the people that are on the call. The lack of visual elements in call conferencing exposes companies to various risks such as eavesdropping and hacking.
Another key finding from the study is the low usage of web conferencing tools that are available. Based on the research, only 29% of conference calls use a web conferencing component. This result means that 71% of conference calls either use audio only or involve participants sharing presentations, files, applications, and other relevant materials via email.
The report highlights product complexity as a deterrent for the adoption of web conferencing tools. And, 86 percent of respondents claimed they would do more web conferencing if it wasn’t more difficult than ‘emailing out the slides.’
“In order for adoption to take place, a product or software solution has to be insanely easy, which might be the most obvious thing (and something we stay true too),” Flavell added. “Another aspect we often refer to is a “guided flow,” and by that, we mean that we want you (the user) not to require training. Instead, we want users to easily find their way through our product as if they are someone who has never heard of it or used it before,”
While common conferencing problems may seem trivial, such problems directly impact productivity and have actual financial costs. According to the report, “people report wasting 15 minutes on a typical conference call struggling to get the meeting started, overcoming challenges with conferencing technology, and dealing with avoidable distractions. These issues often stem from a lack of visibility and lack of control during meetings.” This wasted time translates to $34 billion lost per year in the United Kingdom and the United States alone.
“LoopUp offers a way that means fewer frustrations and less wasted time in the long run,” said Flavell. “We are a contrarian play in the market because we are genuinely the only software product in the conference call market that is specifically designed for ‘the stubborn dialers of the world.” /apr