A video conference service can serve your business in a variety of ways, from conducting interviews to entire meetings entirely in a digital environment. There are hundreds of video conferencing services out there, as standalone programs or as additional features to other services such as web-based conference calling. Here are five tips for choosing the right video conference service for your business.
1. Customer Support
With technology, you can expect at least one error at some point during your video conferencing experience. Having a dedicated support team behind the software to guide you through the problem quickly and accurately can ensure you don’t get help up on something simple.
A company that provides support for its products shows that it cares about your interaction with the product and about its own reputation. Providing support is the company’s way of saying we stand behind our products even after you’ve purchased them. With this level of customer service behind the product, you’re not only getting a great deal, but you’re also getting lifelong support for any issues that may arise.
With any type of software, a support team is a great asset to have. Whether you’re using a video conference service or simply an audio feed, without support, you’ll be left hanging should the servers go down or the software malfunction. Always check to be sure the software you’re purchasing has a support team behind it before you make a purchase.
2. App & Software Integration
Video conferencing software that is able to integrate with other programs can help take your conferences to the next level. Screen sharing software, powerpoint, Microsoft Word; these are all programs you’ll likely need during your video conference, so if the software can easily integrate with them you’ll experience few technical difficulties and be able to give stellar presentations.
Many services also include file-sharing and even note-taking as extra features, so you can easily share important documents with the participants or simply take notes on the presentation for yourself. Some video conference services will also be able to integrate with your calendar programs, allowing for quick and easy scheduling directly from the interface and reminders in advance.
Integration and compatibility are must-haves for modern software programs, especially a program that provides a digital meeting place. Be sure you know your chosen program’s features and whether or not it can integrate with the software you’re already using.
3. Recording Ability
Recording a conference call can help you review the information that was discussed at a later time, give an example of your meetings to a new recruit, or help you identify quality issues with the software you’re using. Recording audio and video are as simple as pressing a button in many video conference services.
This extra feature eliminates the need to purchase third-party screen capture or audio recording software, saving you both time and money and requiring only one window to be opened at a time on your computer or device.
With a saved archive of previous meetings, you can easily search for and review conferences from months ago. You’ll likely have a limit on storage space, however, so be sure to check with the software so see how many meetings you can store on its servers and whether or not you can download them to your own storage device.
4. Mobile Integration
A video conference has the unique ability to connect faces with each other remotely. This means that you’ll want your software to function on mobile devices as well as computers, for maximum portability.
If you’re on a trip or simply unable to make the meeting, the ability to connect via a mobile device will ensure you don’t miss any key points from the conference. Be sure that your video conference service works with mobile devices so you can stay connected even when you’re on the go.
A good practice is to connect via tablets or smartphones after you purchase your video conference software, so you can ensure connectivity and work out any bugs or errors before the important meeting takes place. Nothing is more distracting than a bad video or audio feed during a conference call!
5. Number of Conference Participants
If your conferences often include quite a few participants, you’ll want to be sure your video conferencing software can support that many video/audio feeds at once without losing quality. It can be a tremendous strain on any system to support multiple high-quality feeds at once, so ensuring your conference software can handle the strain will allow everyone to stay connected.
Some services will limit the amount of video feeds you can have simultaneously, but others will allow for unlimited feeds. Just be sure those conference services that claim to allow unlimited feeds can actually handle the network and hardware strains of dozens of participants.
A good way to ensure quality every time is to trim your guest list and only invite those participants who truly need to be a part of the conversation. A quick review of your list may reveal that more than a few people you thought needed to attend aren’t actually necessary.
Video conferencing helps remote teams stay connected no matter where they are in the world. Ensuring you’ve chosen a quality conference service will help you stay connected and minimize technical difficulties while integrating seamlessly with your existing software and applications.