Conference calls have become an essential part of the digital workplace. When everyone can’t be in the same room to facilitate a discussion or participate in a collaborative effort, meeting through a virtual channel is a good alternative to help bring team members, clients, and customers together. Unfortunately, some employees consider conference calls as boring and less than productive, especially when participants have unclear agendas and repetitive questions. It gets even more frustrating when teams use outdated legacy conferencing systems to conduct remote meetings, often dialing into conference calls with numbers and dial-in tedious passcodes. So that begs the question: isn’t there a better way?
LoopUp, a premium remote meetings solution, believes that there is a better, quicker, and a more simple way for companies to get down to business. In this article, Steve Flavell, the co-CEO and co-founder of LoopUp, discusses with VoipReview.org why businesses should not continue suffering through the common problems brought on by traditional conferencing services, and further explains how LoopUp offers a competitive solution to companies looking for more effective communication and higher levels of productivity in conference calls.
The Effects of Poor Quality Conference Calls to Business
Wainhouse Research has reported that in the U.S. a total of 96.6 billion minutes, and in the U.K. another 17.4 billion, are spent on conference calls. And according to a survey of 1,092 US and UK business by Research Now, more than 30% of the time spent on conference calls (or 13 minutes out of the 38 minutes on average for a conference call), is wasted on common distractions and interruptions such as background noise and tracking down late participants. In fact, 85.3% of respondents acknowledged that such distractions negatively affected not only their ability to get through an agenda quickly as well as their ability to concentrate, but also the overall meeting productivity.
What’s worse is that, when set against staffing and other costs of doing business, the minutes wasted on dealing with conference call distractions translated to over £14B/$16B USD of lost revenue in 2015 alone. And for businesses that constantly deal with confidential data, a substantial loss of revenue isn’t the only one that’s a cause for alarm: according to the same survey, 99% of the respondents claimed that they aren’t always aware who is joining their calls, and 60% consider this to be the norm. Given such alarming figures, it’s clear that today’s enterprises have so much more tackle than just frustrating background noise on their conference calls, especially if they wanted to succeed and gain a competitive edge.
Taking the Pain out of Conference Calls with LoopUp
In today’s complex and fast-paced business world, both time and security are gold. So taking the extra time to dig for dial-in numbers and conferencing codes can waste precious time. "Today, mainstream users are still dialing into conference calls with numbers and dial-in codes," revealed Flavell. "Which begs the question: why haven't people adopted clever software, and why do they choose to continue dialing in? Why not use something better? We believe it has to do with use case."
Flavell shared his thoughts on today's conferencing dilemma: when users are learning to use a certain type of software or platform in an enterprise, there tends to be a process of trial and error, where users are trying things and getting used to the product. But if a user is the host of the meeting, the last thing they want is for something to go wrong. "There isn't that user appetite for trial and error," said Flavell. "The last thing you [as a user] want is to try something and get it wrong, so you have no appetite for messing it up. So whatever you may think about dial-in numbers and codes for conferencing, at least fundamentally, everyone can do this."
And in the same thought process, who's to say that your meeting guests are comfortable using your software, too? "It only takes one or two guests before your meeting can turn you into IT support," said Flavell.
It’s critical for businesses to ensure that the $16B of wasted productivity and security vulnerabilities due to poor conference call technologies and practices are addressed efficiently. So how can businesses address their user needs to create a better conferencing experience?
Flavell offers an answer: a conferencing solution from LoopUp. "We believe the remote meetings market is really being held back by large protagonists in the industry," expressed Flavell. "And this is absolutely why we exist."
“LoopUp is a product that has been designed for the mainstream suffering silent majority who have said 'no' to feature-loaded products,” he said. “At LoopUp, we obsess with simplicity. Our users say that the product is easy, but we still obsess over its ease of use. For us, it's not about how many features are in the product; instead, it’s about the overall usage rates and the critical features we put in [the solution].”
LoopUp takes care of the common pains people suffer from with traditional conferencing products, including a dial-in number to join the call, identifying who just joined the call and who is speaking, and identifying who is causing all of the background noise. No training is required to learn the ins and outs of the platform because LoopUp ensured that the interface is intuitive and streamlined. In short, LoopUp offers a better meeting experience.
Here are the key highlights of LoopUp:
No dial-ins - One of the most critical features in LoopUp is the ‘join’ link. In fact, this feature is now being used by users on 75% percent of conference or remote calls with LoopUp. According to Flavell, this has turned the industry upside down. "While people like the different meeting ‘join’ method, the real prize is where they are guided after clicking the link: a webpage that shows people in the meeting," he said. “With this join link and its associated web page, users do not have to remember a URL, login information, or even have to download software. With the link, users are naturally guided without doing anything else to this page where you can now see who joined, who is speaking, and more."
Call start alerts - One of the patents owned by LoopUp is a call start notification alert for the host. This feature is integrated into the mobile app, and as soon as the invited guest has joined the meeting, the host (with one click) is guided through to the remote controller.
LinkedIn profiles - The addition of a LinkedIn add-on to user profiles also helps to add more context to conversations. “The first step of context is a name, and it is important first and foremost to know the names of people in the meeting,” shared Flavell. “So we thought: wouldn't it be nice to press on a person’s icon and see their info? It is both internally and externally good for large enterprises: participants can see what other users have done before, what do they currently do at the company and more, which provide nice little introductions. This gives users a better feel about the participants in the conference. It is all about context.”
Screen sharing - LoopUp provides users a great experience from any device – no training is required. Guests can also share their screens for additional context in a meeting.
Email and calendar agnostic - LoopUp also allows users to create and copy meeting invitations into any email or calendar application on their mobile device.
Mobile application - LoopUp's mobile app differs slightly from the traditional idea of a mobile app. While 'road warriors' still use the mobile app to access conference calls and remote meetings from on the road, a staggering majority use LoopUp's mobile app as a control tool. "[Employees] are using it to see who’s on and who’s speaking," said Flavell. "It is a tiny controller, and this is the dominant use case of our mobile app.
Flavell says when it comes to enterprise conferencing, one size does not fit all. Thus, to meet the needs and requirements of all types and sizes of businesses, LoopUp offers three pricing plans: Professional - $22/month, Power - $44/month, and Enterprise - Pay As You Go per minute or attendee or License per month/host
All three plans include:
Call start alerts
One-click screen sharing
LinkedIn profile integration
Audio and screen share recording
Up to 150 guests per call
Mobile apps for iOS and Android
For more information on LoopUp and how they are helping businesses transform their meeting experience, please visit LoopUp’s website.
LoopUp (LSE AIM: LOOP) is a premium remote meetings solution that enables businesses to collaborate in real time. Built with security, reliability, and all the right features enterprises need, LoopUp transforms the meeting experience of businesses of all sizes. LoopUp is trusted by over 2,000 enterprises worldwide, including Travelex, Kia Motors America, Planet Hollywood, National Geographic, and Subaru.
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