Several types of businesses make up the import / export industry ranging from merchants who sell products and services in foreign and domestic markets and export trading brokers to export management companies. No matter where you fall in the import / export spectrum, your business relies on your ability to communicate with people both inside of and outside of your country. International conferencing call can play an important role in facilitating communication with your suppliers, clients, and partners around the globe.
The Difference between Domestic and International Conferencing
While you may be familiar with making conference calls domestically, adding international callers to a teleconference adds a new layer of complexity to the mix. With most domestic conference calling plans, callers are given either a local or toll free number to call to enter the conference call. Unfortunately, international callers may be shut out of these domestic calls.
For example, if the access number is not a toll free number, international dialing costs could be a significant barrier; at the same time, domestic toll free numbers do not work internationally. Even if you gave out a toll free number to international participants, they would not be able to connect to the call. For this reason, you need an international conferencing plan designed specifically for a group of geographically diverse participants.
With an international conference calling plan, each participant is given a local or toll free access number that is specific to their own country. For example, if you have one supplier based in Hong Kong, another in Malaysia, another in Mexico, and a partner in Singapore, each participant would receive a country-specific access number to use to connect to your teleconference. In addition to overcoming connectivity problems, local phone numbers are familiar and comfortable to dial. As the international conference call host, you can even opt to give out toll free numbers to your participants which eliminates concerns about the cost of the call.
Why Use International Conference Calling Instead of Other Options
Using international conference calls to communicate with suppliers, manufacturers, vendors, customers, trade officials, and partners is an easy way to hold a group discussion. While other options, including email and Web conferencing do exist, international conference calling is one of the easiest communications available for groups. After all, all of your business contacts have easy access to a phone. There’s no special equipment to buy or configure. Each participant simply dials a local number and an access code.
That said, a few challenges can arise due to time zone differences. Fortunately, most of these challenges can be solved. For example, if it is not possible for a vendor to attend your international conference call in person, you could still hold the conference call with other participants and record the call. After the conference call is complete, you could then email the absent participant an MP3 recording of the call to listen to later.
Benefits of Using an International Conference Calling Provider
Using an international conference calling service provider to host international conference calls allows you to connect with your import / export contacts in a group environment. Whether you need to coordinate manufacturing, arrange a shipment, or provide bidders with background information, a global teleconference can bring all interested parties together in a voice environment.
International conference calls can also be an inexpensive choice. Plans vary by provider but are typically extremely competitive. For example, if you opt for a pay-as-you-go international conference calling plan, you would pay a competitive per minute rate for each minute of the call (per participant). These rates are often significantly lower than traditional long distance calling rates – even for toll free access. When compared to coordinating a live meeting or adding in travel expenses, international conference calling is a real bargain.
Additional bargains can be found if desired. For example, if you would like to cut the overall cost of your global conference call, you could set up automatic dialing. With this option, you would need to preprogram each participant’s phone number into the software. When the scheduled time arrives, the software then dials each participant automatically. This usually results in lower per minute rates for each participant.
When you use an international conference calling service provider, your calls are routed over a high quality PSTN telecommunications network. This means that callers from countries with poor telecommunications networks can bypass their local, substandard networks and experience crystal clear audio calls.
You can also hold either scheduled or impromptu conference calls. Need to coordinate an emergency shipment with multiple suppliers and logistics companies? An international conference call could be the perfect medium to getting it done. This could result in less fingerprinting and greater accountability.
When everyone must work together no matter where in the world they may be, international conference calls can help facilitate that collaboration. Signing up with a no-contract international conference calling service plan is an excellent choice for any import / export business.