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December 4, 2001 in Communication
You've just gotten ten minutes into your conference call;then all of a sudden music on hold comes on. You are familiar with the jazzy tune being broadcast into your conference call because it's the music on hold from your company. What is going on here? How do you deal with this emergency? Your first impulse is to mute everybody out i.e. put everybody in lecture mode. What happens then is you can speak but no one else can interact with you. But you have other choices: You can ask for the operator by simply pressing *0. The operator will come on ask you what the issue is then the conference call operator will identify the offending line and will mute that line allowing you to get back to business! There is a 3rd way. Some conference calling services offer an online web panel that shows all the participants on your conference call. And it gives their phone numbers plus it shows who is speaking. If there is a line that there is a noisy line. You can then mute that line and get back to business. Everyone can interact with each other unlike the lecture mode. There old saying about ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Advise your participants in advance on the procedures to avoid music on hold bleeding into your conference call. First of all when they see that someone is calling in they mute their line by pressing *6. The 2nd thing they do is put the conference call on hold and go to their caller.