It’s always a pleasure to speak at local events hosted by prestigious organizations such as Silicon Valley Bank, so we were pleased when Craig was invited to present at their 2013 CEO Summit on the topic: BE BOLD. Craig’s own experiences at Dialpad, Yahoo, GrandCentral and Google certainly informed his presentation but he reached further back in history to examples that resonate with us today from the likes of Helen Keller and Teddy Roosevelt.
UberConference is shortlisted for the second year in the row at The Cloud Awards! This year UberConference is being considered for Most Promising Start-Up and Web Services Excellence.
Identifying and celebrating excellence in the field of cloud computing, the cloud computing awards program encourages entries from across the entire globe – the US, Canada, Australasia and EMEA regions. UberConference is proud to be considered a global leader in the telecommunications industry and start-up community.
Winners will be chosen and announced on January 28, 2014. We would like to extend the best of luck to all nominated!
Here’s a piece of trivia you probably didn’t know, unless, of course, you are an entomologist (and even then you might know this): there are 17 varieties of locusts. Well, okay, there’s actually only 12 varieties, with three subspecies of tree locusts, and a couple more grasshoppers that are similar to locusts.
The actual number isn’t important (unless, again, you’re an entomologist, and even then probably not that big a deal).
What is important is that there are numerous ways that different kinds of locusts could come along and really ruin your crops in pretty terrible ways, although I’m guessing the Italian Locust would at least be stylish about it.
Similarly, as part of scholarly research I’m doing for my Ph.D. thesis at the University of Quito on “Violence-Centered Group Dynamics and Interpersonal Relationship Management in Drug Cartels: Why All the Anger?”, I have identified approximately 11 Irritating Conference Call Types. Today, we will examine two of these varieties.
1. The Repeating Everything Everyone Else Already Said Guy: Ever heard this kind of exchange in a conference call?
CALLER 1: Okay, so, what we’re planning on doing on the 19th is bringing the cement over the George Washington Bridge in a stream of approximately 125 mixers beginning at 4 am..
CALLER 2: Great. I’ll make arrangements with the city to have lights approved for the site prior to the arrival of the first truck.
REPEATING GUY: So, as far as the 19th goes, the plan is to bring in about 125 mixers across the George Washington Bridge starting at 4 a.m. That means we’re going to have to have lights. I guess arrangements will be made with the city than for lighting the site, right?
CALLER 1: Yes, that’s what we just said.
REPEATING GUY: I know. I just wanted to clarify that the trucking of the cement over the George Washington Bridge will start at 4 a.m. on the 19th so that will have to be lit with approval from the city.
(EVEN LONGER SILENCE)
CALLER 2: Can we kill you?
CALLER 1: In a slow and painful way?
REPEATING GUY: So you’re suggesting that as far as my death goes, you two want to arrange it, and to make it slow and painful?
The Repeating Everything Everyone Else Already Said Guy suffers from a basic lack of self esteem. He believes that people think he has nothing to contribute to the conversation, but if he repeats what other people are saying it will make it seem as if he has something to contribute. In this regard, the Repeating Everything Everyone Else Already Has Said Guy is justified in his low self esteem. He, in fact, has nothing to contribute. He should do two things:
- Not contribute
- Have low self-esteem
2. The Irrelevant Topics Gal
There you all are, deep in a discussion about pricing levels on volume purchasing by major customers when this happens:
CALLER 1: I have to be honest, Carol, I think 18% is too deep a discount even on a million unit buyer. Our margin on this is only 4% already.
CALLER 2: But Bilox Industries is offering a 16% discount at that level. We have to do something competitive to hold market share.
IRRELEVANT TOPICS GAL: Excuse me, but does anyone know anything about upper respiratory infections in cats? I think my cat, Bobby, has one because he’s sneezing and his breathing is labored.
CALLER 1: We weren’t really talking about cat diseases.
CALLER 2: Bobby sounds really sick.
IRRELEVANT TOPICS GAL: I’m so worried about him.
CALLER 2: Have you spoken to your vet?
CALLER 1: Can we get back to the business discussion we were having?
CALLER 2: Her cat is really sick, Bob. Don’t you have a heart?
CALLER 1: I do, but…
IRRELEVANT TOPICS GAL: Jerk.
CALLER 1: Sorry.
The Irrelevant Topics Gal also suffers from a basic lack of self esteem. She believes that people think she has nothing to contribute to the conversation, but if she changes the subject, she can hide this fact. There’s no hiding it, however, but she can do three things:
- Not contribute
- Have low self-esteem
- Let the cat go
In future essays, I will examine additional character types who ruin conference calls. It’s important to be able to identify these types quickly during the call so you can mute them or lock them out in order to keep your conference call moving forward.
Visual conference calls on your phone? There is an app for that. And it’s free!
We are excited to announce the release of iPhone and Android apps for UberConference. The new apps have the cool features that make UberConference great for conference calls, and are specifically designed for the mobile experience. It’s simple to keep track of your calls, create instant conferences on the fly, and run conferences smoothly wherever you are, right from your phone.
Creating an instant conference from your phone has never been easier. With the UberConference mobile apps, it’s simple to add the people you already have in your contacts to get started. UberConference will send out all the details, and there’s even the option to have the app dial out to all the participants automatically to join them into the call. No need to worry about anyone missing the message or forgetting the call. This dial out feature is part of UberConference Pro, but it’s free with the mobile apps.
There are a number of useful call control features at your fingertips when you need them on your conference call; even if you spend most of the time with the phone to your ear.
- Mute or earmuff participants
- Add people to the call
- Turn call recording on and off.
- If you have earphones or a headset it’s even easier see who’s talking at any moment and take more advantage of the integrated social features to learn more about the people in the call. Just click on the participant to see more from their connected Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google + profiles.
My first job was working as a sales manager at computer giant CDW, a large computer company in Chicago, where I chatted on the phone all day with I.T. directors and helpdesk managers.
Most of my clients were I.T. guys who worked at the helpdesk and were responsible for keeping the company’s technology infrastructure up and running.
When tech support issues are straightforward, I.T. professionals resolve them with a quick phone call, instant message, or email to the customer.
When tech support issues cannot be resolved immediately, the standard protocol is to log the issue as a ticket in a helpdesk ticket tracking system like Mojo Helpdesk. From there, the ticket is assigned to an expert, or team of experts, who can most efficiently resolve the issue.
Sometimes you’ll have up to 3-4 employees getting involved to solve a support ticket. This is where the combination of a ticket tracking system like Mojo and a conference calling system like UberConference can start to aid internal efficiency.
Instead of flooding a support ticket with ton of comments and creating a confusing ticket thread that’s hard to follow, the support staff can hold a conference call to resolve the customer issue, using the helpdesk ticket as a reference during the discussion.
Very frequently, support staff can accomplish more in a 5-minute conference call than they can by exchanging 20+ emails.
Even if the conference call doesn’t fully resolve the issue, support staff can record the call, and make note of outstanding follow ups.
Those follow-ups can be added as tickets in Mojo and then assigned to the appropriate topic experts, and tracked to completion (i.e. the answer is sent to the customer). Once the ticket is solved, Mojo saves it automatically for future reference in case another customer has a similar issue.