Meetings. They are the unavoidable necessity of any functioning company. Things must be planned, decided on and accomplished by key participants, sometimes in a group setting, in order for a company to advance business objectives.
Bringing people together in one place, physical or remote, can be an efficient way of making this happen. Yet, the type and function of a meeting can vary as much as the people joining them.
We have found that the majority of conference callers fall into one of three categories when it comes to tool usage — power, specialist and everyday.
Do you know which you fall under? Don’t worry, we’re here to help.
Research suggests that on average most office workers join around 62 meetings each month, or an avg. of 3 meetings every day, accounting for roughly ⅓ of their time at work. Does this number feel a little on the light side?
If so, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you find yourself running (literally) between meetings more than once a week?
- Do you know all of your clients’ dial-in numbers and access codes by heart?
- Do you find yourself inexplicably humming hold music… and not even while at work?
- Does your weekly calendar resemble a wall of legos, packed with blocks of meetings?
If you answered “yes” to any (or all) of the above, you most definitely fall into the category of what would be considered a power user.
You are more often in meetings than out of them, most certainly checking emails, or multitasking in other ways during a call. You need a tool that does not clog the workings, make you late, or crash unexpectedly. Your tool of choice just needs to work dependably, anytime, and anywhere.
Not you? Maybe you’re a specialist?
With the advances made in technology over the last two decades, almost anyone can conduct all manner of activities directly from their digital device. From hosting and recording a webcast, file transfer, polling, whiteboarding, remote desktop access and a growing list of specialized features are beginning to dominate collaboration tools.
Who regularly uses these types of tools?
- IT department
- Customer service
- Product marketers
- Investor relations teams
Specialist users need tools that are ripe with relevant features, often customizeable, and perhaps specific to their role or function. Specialists, unlike most users, will typically require (or request!) training, so they understand shortcuts and tricks, and know exactly how to get the most out of their conferencing tools in their unique, real-world situations.
Still not the right fit? Then you, like most others, probably fall into the everyday category.
While collaboration tools are increasing in complexity and functionality, the majority of business users still have very straightforward needs when it comes to the tools they use. For better or worse, most still join in an audio-only capacity, and want a tool that allows them to connect with clients and staff quickly — most importantly, without hassle. For everyday users, the overall experience is far more critical than the individual features. These users want a tool that will work every time, and won’t embarrass or cause them any headaches.
And, you are not alone.
In truth, the vast majority of business users fall under the third category. Yet in stark contrast, most tools cater to the second. What does this mean? Well, a few things really:
- Your company is paying for way more tool than staff need or use
- Web licenses go unused but still paid for, bleeding budget that could go toward other activities and tools
- Staff abandon the complicated tools altogether and opt for less secure, but easier to use option
More often than not, conferencing tools are selected to serve users across all departments, from the specialist on down. But it doesn’t have to be one-size-fits-all. When businesses begin selecting the right tools to suit each user type, they will see collaboration increase and possibly even experience a drop in support requests. (This is something have heard from a number of our customers.)
When looking for a tool to fulfill your company conferencing needs, consider the impact a one-size-fits-all approach could have on usability for the majority of people. If not, you could come to find that your choice of tool might not, in fact, be the tool of choice for most users.