For businesses with employees working from multiple locations, Conference Calling is a useful feature.
We use it in our office several times a week! If you're shopping around for new calling features, cost is probably on the top of your list. So today we’re going to talk about what Conference Calling is and how much this feature really costs.
What is Conference Calling?
Conference Calling allows a group of people to communicate over the phone in real time rather than having to meet in person or send numerous emails. It’s extremely useful for company-wide calls or even just departmental meetings with a few people. Keep in mind, Conference Calling is sometimes referred to as Audio Conferencing, Teleconferencing and Voice Conference.
Because of the popularity of Call Conferencing, there are a number of plans and services on the market today.
One option for Call Conferencing is signing up with a free service. To utilize a free service, you simply sign up. From there you’ll be given access to a toll number that you and other callers will dial to access the conference call. Although the service many be free, the cost comes from the minutes spent on the call. The toll number you dial will trigger long distance calling fees so depending on your calling plan, this can cost around 10 cents a minute per caller.
A free service may be the right choice for you if you have an infrequent need for Call Conferencing or you have a flat rate long distance plan. Just remember, with this plan each of your callers are personally charged for each minute that they are on the call.
A toll free service is another option for Call Conferencing. A toll free service works by dedicating a toll free (800) number for your call. Unlike a free service that charges each of your callers long distance fees, a toll free service charges the administrator of the call somewhere around 7 cents per minute per person.
This service is beneficial if the administrator plans on covering all costs of the Conference Call. However, as the number of people on the call grows, so does your cost.
Call Conferencing Services
There are services out there that specialize in Call Conferencing. Plans like this offer flat, monthly based charges for a set amount of minutes used, a specific amount of callers and other conferencing features. For example, you can get a Call Conferencing plan that includes hundreds of callers, calling features like document sharing and thousands of minutes starting at $35 a month.
These types of services are good for companies that know their specific Call Conferencing needs because if you go over the allotted number of minutes, you’ll be charged a higher fee per minute or if you’re extremely under your minutes, you’ll be wasting money.
VoIP Providers are known for the vast amount of calling features available with their Cloud PBX service. With a Cloud PBX, you’ll have access to not only Call Conferencing but a number of other calling features including Call Recording and IVR. A Cloud PBX can be added to your VoIP service for around $25 a month. But, some providers choose to included their Cloud PBX with the price of their products and services. For example, if you were purchasing a toll free number with a Cloud PBX already included, it would cost roughly $22 a month.
Remember, even though the Call Conferencing feature is included free with your Cloud PBX, you’ll still be responsible for regular minute charges through your VoIP provider. However, the per minute charges tend to be significantly cheaper than the plans listed above.
Whether you’re an infrequent Call Conferencing user or you and your team hold daily calls, there is an option out there for you. Do your homework to fully understand your needs so you can pick the most cost effective and reliable service.