Are your Zoom calls frozen, choppy, grainy, or stuttered? Do you spend the first few minutes of every call just trying to make it work? Zoom and other video conferencing technologies are the new lifeline to communicate with your customers, partners, and team. When it’s not working well, people feel frustrated and out of the loop.
The key to getting to the root cause is to recognize that voice and video conferencing takes place over a system of technology for both you and your participants. Any issues with one or more of those technologies that make up the system can be a reason for poor quality calls. Some issues are easy to troubleshoot and solve. Some issues take more expert analysis.
Here are a list of common areas to focus your troubleshooting. And remember that all of these apply to everyone participating in the call.
Network and Internet Issues
The network is the conduit over which your communications take place. All of that video and voice information is sent and received over your network. The network includes your device itself, WiFi, network switches, firewall and the speed and reliability of your Internet connection.
- Perform a speed test of your Internet connection.
- Try connecting your computer to your network with an Ethernet cable.
- Ensure others aren’t using your network for high-bandwidth applications like streaming movies or games.
- Contact your Internet service provider to see if they are having any issues and whether you can upgrade your service. You may be able to get better service for same or less money.
- Reboot your network devices.
- If you are using old network gear or old firewalls, consider replacing with something that is faster and more understanding of conferencing technologies that will also help troubleshoot networking.
- Try turning off video to see if that improves the voice quality.
- Have a network expert analyze your network traffic to determine any performance issues.
Voice and video conferencing technology can be demanding on your computer system. They can stress your video card, memory, and CPU.
- Make sure your computer meets and preferably exceeds the requirements for your conferencing solution.
- Reboot your computer and let it fully start up before joining a video conference.
- Stop unnecessary applications from running that may compete for your computer’s resources.
Camera and Microphone Issues
Sometimes the quality of the video and voice can be with your camera and microphone. While bad quality video is annoying, bad quality audio is a deal breaker.
- Consider a good quality headset.
- Try different camera placement and lighting of your space.
- Often a newer phone or tablet can provide a better and seamless experience so give that a try.
- Many conferencing applications will let you connect multiple times to the same call from different devices. You could connect with your phone for the camera, use a dial-in number for the voice, and use your computer for screen sharing or seeing everyone.
- Try turning off video to see if that improves voice quality.
Sometimes the issue is with your conferencing software or the upstream conferencing service.
- Update your software to the latest version.
- Check to see if your conferencing service is having outage or capacity issues.
- Try connecting to your conferencing system from a different device.
Preparation and Training Issues
When all of the technology is working, sometimes the issues are with the people using it.
- Prepare in advance for your calls and test things out. Test with other participants.
- Make sure you are comfortable with how your conferencing software works to enable or disable features and tweak setting that may improve call quality.
- Learn the do’s and do-not’s of running a successful conference call.
The New Normal? Likely YES!
Voice and video conferencing have been around a long time. Working from home and remote workplaces is now the new normal. It’s almost certain that your future will include much voice and video conferencing as people learn how it works and run effective online meetings.
Learning how to optimize the quality of your experience will go a long to improving your communications with your team, your partners, and your customers.