Carrie Brownstein just wrote a fabulously funny piece for The New Yorker titled Call Me Crazy describing the lunacy of the conference call. Brownstein wants to un-invent the conference call due to the technical problems associated with it. Everything that she wrote was true, and all the conference call hiccups are very real problems.
We’d argue, however, that it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s why:
1. Scheduling a conference call is a nightmare.
Yes, if you expect to find a day and a time that suits everyone. Realistically, even scheduling an in-office meeting is this hard if you are trying to please everyone. The solution is to pick a time well enough in advance that people can plan to be there, then stick to it. If your meeting is important to them, they will make it.
2. Conference call passcodes and PIN numbers are insane.
Yes. We totally agree. That’s why we invented an app that will dial them all for you. Ha!
The solution to dealing with conference bridge passcodes and PIN numbers is DON’T DIAL THEM. Download the free MobileDay app and let the app do all that for you.
3. Everyone goes off on tangents
Well, this maybe true, but it is even more true in in-person meetings. Just tell ’em to can it and get to the point.
This is a management and team issue, not a conference call issue per se.
4. Poor sound quality
Well, if you have a good phone … .
Admittedly it used to be the case that conference bridges were dodgy and most of the conversation sounded like a juggernaut’s brakes decompressing. Nowadays that’s not so much the case. Smartphones are smarter, and phone lines are clearer. Plus, we have the internet now. MobileDay gives you the option of putting your call over Wi-Fi, so if the phone line is crackling, you can get around that.
Call Me Crazy, but you don’t need to un-invent the conference call, you just need to download some apps.