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Avoiding Buyer’s Remorse: A Conferencing Service Evaluation Checklist

Jamie DavidsonJamie Davidson

Avoiding Buyer's Remorse: A Conferencing Service Evaluation Checklist

You have a variety of options when it comes to choosing your conferencing technology. It can be overwhelming to figure out which option is the best solution for your needs – a simple free service or robust, all-inclusive platform? The last thing you want is to end up stuck in an iron-clad contract after making the wrong choice. To ensure you make the right decision for your business, we’ve outlined what to look for when researching and choosing a conferencing service.  

What are your conferencing needs?

An important place to start when evaluating potential conferencing solutions is to understand your business needs and determine if and how they are currently being met.

Is this your first conferencing solution? Or are you already using a conferencing service but looking to change? What issues are you currently experiencing that you need to resolve?  If you already have a service provider, then it’s important to identify why you’re considering alternative solutions.  

Nearing the end of a yearly contract is a good time to assess if your current service is meeting your needs or if it is time to shop around. Often this decision is driven by pricing and the competitiveness of potential solutions. Other reasons for switching conferencing services is if your team is unhappy with your current solution. Ask them to evaluate their experience so you can search for a platform that meets their needs. Are certain features not available? Is it too complicated to use? Have you experienced issues with the service and support? When determining the needs of your company, you’ll want to consider both the current needs and what may be needed in the next 2–5 years.  

Considerations when identifying conferencing service requirements 

When assessing your company’s needs and answering these questions, it’s important to consult with the relevant people within your company, so that nothing critical is overlooked. Speak with your team and regular users about the capabilities and key features they need. Contact the IT Department regarding onboarding, security, and integration with current systems and processes. 

You can ask the Office Manager or Executive Assistant about current call volumes and reporting and billing needs. And check with HR about potential company growth and how that may change volume requirements over time. HR can also provide insight into service areas, and any company or legal requirements regarding call recordings and transcripts.   

Which business constraints can influence conferencing?

After identifying how the solution should meet your needs, it’s important to assess any constraints you’re facing as a company. After all, there’s no point evaluating solutions that are not feasible for your business.  

Some common constraints that may be applicable when selecting your conference calling service

Having a clear understanding of constraints: budget, support and time allows you to quickly rule out potential options that don’t fit your topline needs without having to spend a lot of time digging deep to research them. For instance, once you know what your budget is, you can immediately rule out anything that is too costly without having to spend any time reviewing features and functionalities.  

Identifying Conferencing Service Options

Once you have a clear understanding of your mandatories and constraints it’s time to start identifying your options. There is a multitude of conferencing services in the marketplace, but now you’re in a position to intelligently narrow down your choices. You’ll want to develop a shortlist of potential platforms that appear to meet all of your needs while being within your budget and providing the support services that you require.  

In order to arrive at this shortlist, you can start compiling a Google search list of reviews of the best conference call services. From reviews and product sites you should be able to quickly identify which solutions do not fit your criteria. Omit those providers and identify 3 or 4 that seem like they may fit your criteria based on your initial research. Once you’ve selected these 3  or 4 services, request a demo from the sales team of each solution. This will allow you to check out the service features in detail and confirm if they meet your needs.  

It’s a good idea to include a variety of people on the demo so that you get a broad perspective of each services usability. You can ask your evaluators to rate each tool on the following criteria, on a scale of 1–5.

Once everyone has evaluated the demos, cross out any conferencing solutions that failed to meet one of your needs and then rank the rest based on the team’s feedback. Whichever solution had the highest score is your winner!

Implementing Your Conferencing Service

Even the best solution can lead to buyer’s remorse if it isn’t implemented successfully and adopted by the team. As part of your selection process, make sure you choose a service that integrates with existing tools and processes.  

Ensuring end-user adoption

One of the fastest and easiest ways of evaluating integration and adoption is by administering a short survey or poll of your employees. For instance, use a tool like Survey Monkey to create a free employee survey based on these questions. Using their feedback, you can identify any problem areas and address any concerns which will allow you to improve the overall adoption rate of your new solution.  

Monitoring Long-term Success

Once your new service is up and running, there is still a risk of buyer’s remorse occurring down the road. After all, if you don’t monitor the long-term success of your solution, you could run into problems later, especially if the service cannot scale with your business. Regular monitoring will also help ensure new employees are smoothly onboarded, and that employees continue to gain value from the solution. 

Considerations for ensuring long-term conferencing success

As with initial adoption, surveys of employees are a quick and easy way to monitor long-term success. Implement an annual survey to assess employee satisfaction with the conferencing service, and to discover any areas that may need extra attention.

Buyer’s remorse is never a good experience. Thankfully, with the use of this assessment process, you won’t have to worry about whether you made the right choice for your business. You’ll feel confident that you’ve asked all the right questions and chosen the conferencing service that is perfect for your needs.  

Conferencing Service Evaluation Checklist

Jamie focuses her professional writing on business insights, management/leadership advice and of course, conferencing tips for business owners and team leaders.

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