Have you ever attended a teleconference where one participant had a noisy line that made it difficult to hear the conversation? Frustrating isn’t it! Here are a few common issues that could happen during your conference calls and tips on how to manage and/or prevent them.

man in a conference call

1. People simply not showing up.

It takes time to coordinate everyone’s schedules to get the conference call date and time set ~ and then you have people you are counting on not show up, that can be very frustrating.

The Solution:  Double-check the international connections and time zones and make sure to send a reminder the day before your call.  I always like to also send a reminder 1 hour before the call.

2. Echo, static, and/or feedback on the conference call.

A conference call with bad audio is more than just annoying, it leads to participants not fully engaging because they can’t hear all of the conversation, and important ideas are not fully explored because comments cannot be heard. Most of this can be resolved quickly.

The Solution:  Is anyone using a speakerphone?  Speakerphones are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to echo. If you are using a speakerphone try turning the volume down to help with some of the interference. Or pick up the handset instead of using the speakerphone.  Only use one phone line per room.  When you have multiple parties in the same room connecting to the same conference it can create an echo on the line.  Land-line is always better to use than cell phones if possible.

Echo Tip Bonus: Log into your ConferTel account and view your live call via the Call Hub, then you can mute all lines and open up each one at a time to find the culprit.  This is a very quick and easy fix if all else fails, dial 0# to speak to a customer care operator.

3. Background noise and disturbances.

Sensitive telecommunication equipment picks up almost everything - typing, rustling papers, and other surrounding sounds.

The Solution:  When participating in a conference call, choose a quiet place – and mute your line if you are not speaking. Just make sure you don’t have music-on-hold otherwise it will lead to another type of problem. Most all conference services offer a self mute option, ConferTel’s is 4#.

4. Music is playing into the conference.

Oops, someone has put their phone on hold and they have music-on-hold playing into the conference putting your conference call on a screeching halt.

The Solution:  Log into your account and view the live call via Call Hub (available with every ConferTel teleconferencing account). You can then mute all lines and then unmute each line one at a time until you hear the music again.  You can also turn on Active Talker within the Call Hub and see which line has activity. Also, make sure to tell everyone they can self mute themselves using the conference bridge by pressing 4#.

5. Technical problems all throughout the conference.

It's true that managing and conducting a conference call is no walk in the park. And if you're ill-prepared, technical problems will present themselves all throughout the conference call.

The Solution: Familiarize yourself with the conference calling service or platform you're using. Know the right buttons to press, know the right steps to do, know which features to use, and more. Do a simple tech check before every call, or you could also request for an operator-assisted call so you have a professional operator ready to help in case any problems arise.

operator-assisted calls

These are some of the most common issues we have heard when it comes to conference calls.  They are easily remedied so that you can have a crystal clear call.  And don’t forget if you ever run into any issues you can always opt-out for a ConferTel operator to assist by pressing 0#.