Conference Call Frustrations

By Zach Seybert
In February 20, 2018

In most offices, conference calls are an (almost) everyday occurrence. Whether it is with some of your team members who are not in the office or pitching a potential client, these calls are an important part of conducting business. Given today’s technology, conference calls are now easier than ever. With a few clicks of a button, a screen can be shared or parties can even see each other via webcam. Technology can sometimes be “buggy” which makes these calls challenging, but there is another aspect that makes these calls challenging – the human component.

No matter the amount of time spent planning and preparing for these calls, it seems that no one is immune to an unexpected technology glitch. A faulty internet connection, a website crash, accidentally clicking the mute button – we’ve all been there.

In fact, last week after some technical difficulties during a conference call, a member of the NexGoal team was shared this all-too-accurate video depicting the many different types of conference calls people encounter.

After watching the video, you can almost pinpoint exact instances that these things have happened to you. It got the content team thinking what are some of the top conference call frustrations?

Unexpected Visitors

While typically reserved for video conferences, it can also happen during a conference call. Background noise can not only be distracting and make it difficult to understand what the person is saying, but when it comes to video conferences, it can also be embarrassing for one or both parties. These visitors can either be a family member walking in at an inopportune time (see below) or your furry friend wanting your attention and expressing it the only way they know how to – by barking incessantly.

“Sorry Had You On Mute!”

The mute button on our phones can definitely be considered an underrated feature. Ever been on a call, but needed to relay a message to your coworker? You’ve probably pressed mute and then had a brief discussion. Suddenly someone on the other end asks you a question and like a normal person, you go ahead and answer, but you forgot to unmute your phone. This happens all the time.

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In other instances, you might think you’re on mute but lo and behold you weren’t. Take it from former Wisconsin basketball player Nigel Hayes who thought his microphone was on mute during a press conference. Further proof that athletes are just like us!

Late To The Party

If you’re using a free conference calling service, like UberConference, chances are whenever someone calls in there is some sort of tone announcing that a new person has joined. Most of the time, this seems to happen after the conversation has started. Whenever you join a call, make sure to announce yourself immediately so everyone knows you’ve joined the conversation so there are no surprises. If you began the call before everyone was in the room due to time constraints, don’t take the time to catch up those who were late to the party. Instead, send them an email summarizing the call afterwards.

Things come up and people get tied up in things, but the constant “ding” of someone joining the call in the middle of a conversation can get annoying for everyone involved.

Wrap Up

Conference calls happen in business almost every day. Although they are an important component of conducting business, sometimes we take advantage of the convenience conference calls provide. So now it is your turn – what are some of your top conference call frustrations?

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Zach is a Digital Content and Marketing Specialist with NexGoal, who specializes in creating career transition and job search preparation content.