We feel that the best way to avoid some of the disasters typically associated with operator assisted conference calls starts with planning and relies on staying connected through every phase of the process. Having a single point of contact ensures a consistent voice to make the arrangements, communicate your expectations, monitor the event, and assist with any post-call items. This is where our wealth of experience comes in handy knowing what to anticipate based on the call dynamics, logistics, features, and other factors. Let’s take a look at some of the challenges to better understand how specifically we address each one.
The Waiting Game
Let’s start at the beginning. People are busy and can become frustrated when holding for a long period of time either to join the call initially or for a call to begin. In order to ensure hold times are kept to a minimum we staff enough qualified operators to achieve the one operator for every 10-15 participant ratio. It’s also important to have two different sets of numbers, one for participants and one for call “Leaders” so they won’t be caught in the same queue. This way we can get the call Leaders connected efficiently to the speaker sub-conference so they are ready to begin at the start time of your reservation. No delays means more attendees hear your important message and hang up with a positive memory of the event.
Sound Quality Calamities
Since we’re talking about audio connections it’s important we address the issue of sound quality. There are many phone types, devices, hardware, and geographically dispersed audiences so it’s important to have several connection options to accommodate these variables. At the beginning of the call we’ll always do a sound check in the Leader sub-conference to ensure everyone who will be speaking on the call can be heard clearly. Also reminding them their mics are open so they should keep their phones on mute when not speaking. No one wants to hear distractions like buzzing, static, echo, feedback, or other conversations while trying to hear an important presentation. Our operators are trained to detect these potential threats to sound quality and the digital network is designed to prevent it.
Technical Operations Considerations
As you can imagine there is a lot of technology involved so having updated equipment with a strong network backbone is key to ensure everyone stays connected. It doesn’t matter how many features you request if the technology doesn’t allow them to function properly. There’s also the coordination of ensuring the correct prepared remarks are played if you pre-record a statement which is where a single resource has reiterated importance. During the live call dynamics can be customized and adjustments can be made in real time to ensure the presentation stays on track and it maintains the formality that is expected from an audio event. The operations team must be experience to remain nimble when unexpected situations arise. Having multiple operators including a communication line with a direct connection via audio or chat gives you redundancy to ensure you can express any concerns on your end at any time.
Potential problems don’t end when the call does
So now the call has ended and after a successful event you want to know who attended and obtain any recordings. You want to know that there is a certain timeframe in which you’ll receive it so you can follow up with participants and make the recordings available. We ensure a 2-hour turnaround time from when the call concludes for all post-call work to avoid any delays. This also means that the hosted replay will be up and running quickly as well. Reports for the replay can be sent daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or at the end of the replay to ensure you know who’s listening. The participant information for the replays is captured by prompts so while we can’t control if callers speak or how clearly they state their info, we use expert transcriptionists to provide accurate data.
As I eluded to initially in this blog and I’ll reiterate to wrap up, having a person to help guide the process and be held responsible for the success of your event is key. You need the help of multiple departments and a unified voice to engage them all so nothing is lost as communications flow between them. We can even assign the same operator for future calls to increase familiarity and to avoid Mispronunciations, especially when it comes to names, technical lingo, and industry terms. All of this can be arranged to address what we’ve out lined here by simply making contact to get started.