Conference Calling Evolved

Written by Richard Keir

Copyright 2005 Richard Keir

Originallyrepparttar conference call was limited to businesses paying exorbitant fees torepparttar 144100 telcos. For business, it still made sense economically becauserepparttar 144101 costs were less thanrepparttar 144102 travel costs involved in bringingrepparttar 144103 people together. Additionally, significant time savings are involved, both in terms of travel time and in being able to communicate fairly rapidly to an extended group.

Telcos then extended their market by providing conference calling services to home consumers for an added fee. For some, it made sense to be able to bring a family or group with common interests together easily, usually to plan some physical event.

Withrepparttar 144104 expansion ofrepparttar 144105 internet, and in particular,repparttar 144106 increasing availability and decreasing pricing for high speed internet access, conference calling has expanded far beyond its original uses.

For business, it remains a vital tool and has, actually, become far more useful as prices fall andrepparttar 144107 ease of use increases. Real time audio/video conferencing is already in use (and in some organizations has been for quite some time). Asrepparttar 144108 cost of bandwidth decreases andrepparttar 144109 technology underlying audio-video transmission over networks improves, true real-time video conferencing will increase dramatically.

Withrepparttar 144110 growing sophistication ofrepparttar 144111 typical surfer andrepparttar 144112 expansion of internet marketing, audio and video have become hot items. Withinrepparttar 144113 internet marketing community, conference calls - usually known as teleseminars, have become a standard feature. Offeringrepparttar 144114 opportunity to reach a large group of interested prospects in a relatively simple and inexpensive format, teleseminars also offerrepparttar 144115 marketer an opportunity to create an instant product. A recording of a teleseminar can either be sold as a stand-alone product or used as a marketing tool for back-end products.

Marketers are using both free and paid teleseminars. Generally there is a higher level of injected sales content in free teleseminars, but it does vary a great deal.

Solutions available now range fromrepparttar 144116 rather expensive to essentially free. Your choice is going to depend on exactly what level of service you require. There are a number of providers which offer an introductory pricing scheme (I've seen it as low as a $1 forrepparttar 144117 first month), which gives yourepparttar 144118 opportunity to see firsthand how their service works at a very modest cost. You do need to make sure you understand just how your users will accessrepparttar 144119 conference. Solutions which use telephone call-ins are generally more restrictive and/or expensive than those utilizing an internet connection or VoIP softphone connections.

The Internet and customer care: aid or anarchy?

Written by Rachel Lane

Consumers take customer care into their own hands

It was reported in ‘Marketing’ magazine this month, that Britain is becoming a “disaffected nation”, with each adult apparently making an average of 12 complaints to service providers each year, based on a “Service in Britain” survey by ASR (Andrew Smith Research). In response torepparttar rise ofrepparttar 144099 ‘assertive consumer’, brands are endeavouring to make sure ‘good customer service’ is a recognisable characteristic inrepparttar 144100 form of testimonials, efficient call centre responses and empowering staff throughoutrepparttar 144101 company to resolve problems. Most complaints were about power, utility or postal services at 42%, followed by supermarkets, telephone providers, TV or ISP providers and banks. Insurance companies were also inrepparttar 144102 top 10 with 21% ofrepparttar 144103 articulate disaffected nation.

Which? Magazine ( ) has been campaigning for consumers’ rights since 1957, though withrepparttar 144104 advent ofrepparttar 144105 World Wide Web, other companies have also been capitalising on consumer frustration. Sincerepparttar 144106 late 1990s, a new breed of consumer champion websites has emerged, including uSwitch, moneynet ( ), moneyfacts ( ) andrepparttar 144107 motley fool. These websites offer free subscriptions to financial product information, providing comprehensive and impartial cost comparisons. Consumers can search on a variety of criteria, so they always getrepparttar 144108 best quote for their particular circumstances. In addition to an increased uptake in using search engines to research products and companies, consumers are increasingly utilising these comparison websites to ensure they getrepparttar 144109 best deal. Websites such as Kelkoo ( ) and Ciao ( ) also providerepparttar 144110 consumer with tools to make a wise purchase decision, incorporating reviews from registered users to encourage trust inrepparttar 144111 site. Amazon and eBay ( ) are now household names because they have established online communities of trust and their loyal supporters bring new customers.

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