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Conference Plus guide for music and bartending business

Written by

Walter Ross

From humble beginnings in 1988, Conference Plus has grown into a world wide audio and web conference call provider, whose service line rivals the offerings of any of the conferencing divisions of the large long distance providers. In addition, Conference Plus continues to be an organization that is unencumbered by the multiple levels of red tape that so often frustrate potential and established customers.

Located in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, IL, Conference Plus (or as many clients call it, CPI), the corporate headquarters and flagship call center act as the hub for the majority of the hundreds of thousands of conference minutes CPI successfully processes each day. In fact, CPI is in the distinctive position of being able to boast of a 99.5% customer satisfaction rate on their website. Figures like that don’t come without being very well attuned to the wants and needs of customers.

CPI is not just a US or North American service provider. Through the operations of its Dublin, Ireland call center, CPI offers affordable and reliable services to Europe and other locations around the globe. As examples of the small touches CPI provides, multi-lingual operators accommodate greetings of conference attendees in multiple languages on a single conference call, and interpreters are provided upon request.

As the company nears its twentieth anniversary, CPI shows all the markings of being around for a long, long time.

OPERATOR ATTENDED AND 800 AUTOMATED RESERVED SERVICES

Conference Plus has grouped their various suites of services under branded service types. Audio services fall into the brand name of “AudioPlus”.

Both the Schaumberg and the Dublin offices provide access to their call centers twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Highly trained Reservations personnel help guide new and established clients through the process of can be taken by reservationists around the clock. The Dublin office is provisioned to assist clients in the United Kingdom and in Europe. Freefone numbers (also sometimes referred to as freephone, the UK and European equivalent of a toll free number in the United States and Canada) ensure that all charges associated with the conference call are reflected on the Conference Plus invoice. This is a vast improvement over international conferencing calling in times past, wherein the caller had to use a US-based toll number to reach the conference, or an operator had to dial out to the attendee.

Recurring or calendar teleconferences may be scheduled at regular intervals. Start and end dates may be designated for each calendar conference, making the procedure ideal for projects that have a pre-determined duration.

RESERVATIONLESS SERVICES

The AudioPlus package also includes a robust reservationless service, referred to as ConferenceAnytime. . Fully automated, ConferenceAnytime allows a client to establish in advance as many host accounts as needed, for use on an ad hoc basis. This eliminates the need to reserve teleconferences on both a single occasion or on a recurring basis with Conference Plus. The access codes associated with ConferenceAnytime never change – unless the client wishes to have the codes change.

While ConferenceAnytime is a fully automated audio conference solution, a Conference Plus operator can still be reached during a live conference, simply by pressing a couple of keystrokes on a touch tone telephone key pad.

WEB SERVICES – WEBPLUS

With the establishment of a host account on the ConferenceAnytime platform, the customer automatically has access to Conference Plus’ web conference services, utilizing the same sets of passcodes.

Proving that variety is indeed the spice of life, Conference Plus determined to evaluate available web conference services and partner with three different ones, ensuring options that will work well for any situation. This suite of vendor partners allows Conference Plus clients to enjoy everything from a simplistic slide-push technology to a feature rich web conference platform that allows desktop sharing, whiteboarding, document sharing, polling, web tours, and many other features. True to their customer centric operating philosophy, the Conference Plus team is always ready to demonstrate the web services for potential users.

In addition to the web conferencing partners, Conference Plus has also partnered with Streamlogics to provide web streaming. Ideal for a number of uses such as trade shows, keynote addresses, and product launches, web streaming used in conjunction with a web conference can be the difference between a productive meeting and a watershed event for an organization.

GOING VISUAL – CONFERENCE PLUS’ VIDEOPLUS

Just as with all their service offerings, the Conference Plus team will work with your organization to ensure the success of every video conference you make. CPI will help you go through the site certification process, which is key to making sure every location is able to access and participate in your video conference. Reservation lines can be customized with your company logo and other information. There is even a way to make arrangements for a video conference on short notice, something that was impossible to do just a few years ago.

ONLINE MANAGEMENT – CONFERENCE PLUS’ DASHBOARD FOR EXISTING CLIENTS

Once upon a time, the only way to set up a new account, schedule a conference call, or get details about a conference recently held was to call your service provider. Not anymore. CPI’s customer dashboard take care of all those situations. By establishing an authorized person within your organization to handle all these transactions, the dashboard will allow you to establish new ConferenceAnytime accounts, schedule a new reserved conference, and access histories on conferences that took place in the last ninety day period.

The dashboard can be customized to mirror the colors and feel of your own company website. Also, since no special software is required to access and utilize the dashboard, authorized persons can work with the dashboard from just about any computer with an internet connection – ideal for persons who travel.

PAYING UP – BILLING THE CONFERENCE PLUS WAY

Providing flexible solutions to customers does not end with the conference call. When it comes to invoicing, Conference Plus offers several solutions under its ReportsPlus mantle.

The standard Conference Plus invoice is an easy to follow document which breaks down the charges for your conference call line by line, and conference by conference. This format is especially helpful if you have a number of domestic and international locations involved in your conferences, and need to provide support detail to do charge-backs to various units within your company.

Customized Billing by Conference Plus takes into account your own corporate culture and your unique needs to analyze your conference call data. Representatives with Conference Plus will sit down with your team and come up with an invoicing template that works for you.

Standard reports for the services are available online at any time, arranged by calendar month. This allows your billing team to double-check the invoice detail with the online detail at your convenience.

Just as the invoice itself can be customized, Conference Plus will work with clients to arrange an online report format that is ideal for the customer’s needs.

Samples of both the standard invoice and the standard report can be viewed at Conference Plus’ website.

CONCLUSION

The teleconferencing industry has seen many service providers come and go. The fact that Conference Plus has not only survived for the last seventeen years, but actually expanded and thrived, says a great deal about the mutual commitment between CPI and their customer base. By ensuring that each and every customer has what they need, CPI will be around for a long time to come.

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