Web conferencing software allows people to efficiently handle meetings with participants all over the world without leaving their desks. In other words, it has never been easier to have a virtual meeting with a client on another continent, or allow employees to work from home. The price might be steep for some, but considering the amount of money saved on travel and office rent, the investment is worthwhile. These and other reasons make web conferencing platforms a great addition to any business, no matter how big or small.
Why Your Small Business Needs Web Conferencing Software
When you own a small business, you need to be extra careful about where you’re going to invest your money. Without a doubt, web conferencing software is something you should consider. First, web conferencing software cuts travel costs significantly. No longer do you or your employees need to travel to other cities or states to have a meeting with a potential client, investor, or partner. Instead, you just need to click the ‘start meeting’ button, and you’re ready to go. Moreover, web conferencing platforms are the perfect solution for employees working remotely, which means lower office rent and higher employee retention.
But that’s not all. When used correctly, a good web conferencing platform can help you to develop a competitive advantage. Customer support is one of the first factors that can significantly improve with web conferencing software. Rather than emailing back and forth, your customer support agents can just schedule a meeting with the customer and provide help in real time, or even ask for remote desktop access and solve the problem for them. Happy customers provide the best marketing you could ever ask for, and web conferencing software offers you all the necessary features to earn them.
Basic Requirements for Web Conferencing
There are only two things you need to run a web conference: a computer and an internet connection. Of course, that doesn’t mean your online meetings will be the most efficient possible. For example, ensuring that you have a reliable microphone so participants can hear you clearly and a good webcam is essential when participating in virtual meetings. Anything else can be seen as an extra that may improve your online meetings but might not be worth the investment.
Depending on the web conferencing software provider you choose, systems requirements are going to differ. That being said, most web conferencing platforms work on all operating systems for desktop and/or mobile. This means that you can join in not only from your desk but also on the go.
How to Choose the Best Web Conferencing Software for Your Small Business
There are various web conferencing software providers out there offering different features and distinct price points. Consequently, only you will know which one is best for your company, and this means you’ll need to spend some time exploring the market. The very first thing you should do is decide how you’re planning to use web conferencing software. Is it to enhance employee workflow and productivity? Is it to offer one-on-one customer support? Is it to provide a competitive way to reach out to potential clients outside the country? Or maybe you’re looking for a product that answers all these needs and then some.
For example, if you’re looking to do business in Europe, you need to follow GDPR guidelines and to use web conferencing software that acts accordingly. If you want to offer one-on-one customer support, having the ability to take over your client’s computer is essential. Long story short, regardless of what goal you may have, you need to have one: only this way will you be able to find the web conferencing platform tailored to your needs.
Obviously, another factor you need to consider is the price. Each web conferencing software provider has its own price structure, which means that you’ll always find one that best suits your wallet. There are even some web conferencing platforms that have pricing plans designed for small businesses, and others that provide limited free plans that you can use forever.
Recommended Web Conferencing Software for Small Businesses
GoToMeeting is one of the most popular web conferencing software providers on the market, and for good reason: it provides a comprehensive features list that allows you to run meetings online just as you would physically. It’s highly customizable, easy to use, and since it can be integrated with third-party software such as email services, it provides a smooth workflow. It also comes with various advanced features you can take advantage of to push your meetings to the next level. These include a whiteboard, meeting recording capabilities with a built-in video editor, and the ability to lock meetings. Prices start at $12 per month, but there’s a limited free plan you can use forever. The free option enables you to run unlimited 40-minute meetings with up to three participants, share your screen, and join through either the mobile app, desktop software, or online platform.
Since it’s HIPAA compliant, BlueJeans is the perfect solution for small businesses that need to take extra care of their customer information. It also provides all the features you could ask for in a web conferencing platform, such as a whiteboard, meeting recording, and meeting transcripts. It’s not the easiest web conferencing software to set up, but it’s fairly straightforward to use and offers military-grade security with its AES-256 encryption. There isn’t a free plan that you can use forever, but it’s possible to test the service through its 7-day free trial. It’s the perfect solution if you’re looking for a communication channel to contact customers and/or partners, while still offering your employees a great tool for meeting up remotely. Prices start at $9.99 per host per month.
3. Microsoft Teams
While Microsoft Teams allows web conferencing, it’s actually a team collaboration platform. So although it might be less outstanding when it comes to its web conferencing features, it’s the perfect solution for enhancing employee workflow. It allows users to be in constant communication via its built-in chat, and can be integrated with various third-party platforms like CRM or task management software. Of course, it also integrates with other Office products seamlessly, which means that meetings automatically synchronize with Outlook’s calendar, and users can collaborate on documents in real time. There’s a free plan you can use forever, but unfortunately it only allows you to attend web meetings. To actually host virtual meetings, you’ll need to get a paid subscription, whose prices start at $5 per user per month. On a brighter note, Microsoft Teams provides a 30-day free trial for you to test the platform.
Best Web Conferencing Software of 2021
|Editor's Choice 2021|
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