Video call online

Today, one of the best forms of communication is still the oldest one—face-to-face. And if you’re working in a business that has teammates or clients around the world, you’ll probably need to make online video calls.

Of course, it just isn’t practical to have every single meeting in person.

Thanks to advances in technology, you can find quite a few options for high-quality video chat apps with every video calling feature imaginable. As long as you have a great Wi-Fi signal, almost any business can take a hybrid work or remote work approach without an issue.

If your employees can’t communicate successfully with prospects, clients, and each other, your business won’t get very far.

As a replacement to the old-fashioned phone call, video calling is by far the most practical way to stay in touch—and in most cases, more effective than SMS and email. And nowadays, video calling is an affordable option, even for startups and small businesses, than a group chat, SMS, or email. 

We use it to keep in touch with loved ones, to chat with clients, and for hangouts with colleagues. After all, no amount of emojis are quite as effective as someone’s actual facial expression.

👉 Dialpad tip: Generally, “video calling” and “video chatting” can be used interchangeably. Both use a computer or smartphone with an internet connection and (usually) a video calling app. (Below, we’ll talk more about video calling options that don’t make you download an app.) A video chat or call differs slightly from video conferencing, which tends to involve a larger group of attendees, and is usually used by bigger organizations to meet virtually.

How to use video calling for yourusiness

If you and your team need video calling to communicate with prospects, clients, and teammates, let’s look at how it works.

So how does this work?

Traditionally, buying new software might’ve required businesses to commit to buying a lot of new, expensive hardware. Good news is, that’s no longer the case.

With today’s video calling software options, there’s literally a solution for every business size and need.

The best video calling solutions run on an internet connection, and store transcripts and call summaries in the cloud. They’re easy to use, without needing to hire expensive IT help or shipping out expensive equipment.

Take Dialpad, for instance. Not only can it be a video calling solution for a business, it’s also a fully-fledged communications platform that brings different channels like phone calls and SMS into one screen:

  1. To start a one-on-one or group video call in Dialpad, just go into a messaging conversation you have with a contact. (Or you can start a video call using the drop-down in the top left.)

  2. Hit the video call symbol, which is available in the top right of your messaging window.

  3. That’s it! This will start a video call with that person.

There’s no need to launch a different app when you want to switch from a voice call to messaging and then to a video conference within the same conversation. You can do it all in one place on Dialpad.

It may not be able to serve you up a double espresso—just yet—but it does come with a high definition (HD) video call feature built in.

7 features to look for in video call software

Shopping around is a definite must when it comes to purchasing video call software. There’s a massive array of products on the market, each with their own calling features.

Plus, the kind of features a 500-person organization might need will likely be pretty different (and way more expensive) than what a startup needs.

👉 Dialpad tip: If you’re a growing business, try to choose an app that is able to expand with you. (For example, is it easy to add—or remove—users as you scale your business up or down?

Okay. Let’s look at what you should look for as you’re shopping for video call apps.

1. Browser-based video calls

Some video conferencing software will make you download the desktop or mobile app to be able to host the video call.

You’ll be able to join a meeting from a web browser, but typically you won’t get all the cool features that you’d get in the app.

Dialpad, for instance, is browser-based, which means it won’t try to force you to download the app. You can host video calls, record, mute, and do everything you can do in the app—right in your browser:

2. Robust call controls

Are all the call controls you need easily in reach? And by call controls, we mean:

  • Changing your volume level mid-call

  • Starting a screen share

  • Muting and unmuting yourself

  • Turning your video on or off

  • Recording the call or pausing the recording

As you’re trying out different tools, look for a clean, easy-to-use interface that lays out all these options for you right on the screen:

3. Screen sharing

We touched on this earlier, but screen sharing is a handy feature to have for most teams—especially if you do group training or webinars.

If you ever have to share a slide deck or presentation, have a training session, or review a design mockup as a team, then you’ll want to be able to share your screen.

For example, Dialpad’s screen sharing feature lets you choose between sharing a specific window or tab, or your whole screen—all in just two clicks:

The best part about being able to choose a specific tab? No more colleagues trying to zoom in to spot what else you’re looking at (your pop-princess playlist is safe with us).

4. Security

One aspect that many people overlook is the need for top-notch security. (Encryption should come standard!)

After all, aspiring to become an international business and gain customers all around the world is one thing. But there’s no point in being able to have global meetings at the touch of a button if anybody can crash your meeting and get access to all your personal data.

Make sure all of the calls on the platform you choose are encrypted, and that you have enterprise-level security across the software—even if your business is nowhere near enterprise level yet.

Some basic features to look for here are host moderator controls. For example, the meeting host should be able to lock the meeting so that strangers can’t join, mute participants, and limit screen sharing to just the presenter. Here’s how that looks in Dialpad:

5. Data and analytics

This one is more for admins and office managers who want to keep track of how their teams are using their video call software.

For these folks, it's worth checking out the analytics capabilities of your app. Can you see how many video meetings are happening per week? Is your team adopting the tool and actually using it in their day-to-day work—or are they just defaulting to using phone calls and and Facebook messenger to communicate with clients and each other?

The ability to collect and analyze this data is a must-have—this way, you can look into the efficiencies of your various communication channels and streamline the number of tools you’re using.

6. HD quality

No one wants laggy audio or pixelated video quality in a meeting. So, if you have lots of video calls with clients or prospects and need HD video, make sure your video calling platform comes with that:

One thing to note though: Even if your video call software has HD quality, that 4k or 1080p won’t help if your internet connection is bad. If your software isn’t as HD as advertised, check your internet first!

👉 Dialpad tip: At Dialpad, we’ve got your remote working needs in mind, and we know how important it is to have a good network connection. That’s why we’ve collaborated with T-Mobile to bring you a unified communications platform (yes, there’s video, and also voice calling and even SMS) on lightning-fast 5G connectivity. Need reliable HD call quality? This collab is for you.

7. Multiple communication channels

This is a nice-to-have in your video call software, but if your team communicates in different channels, like phone calls and text chat, then you might want to consolidate all those tools into one.

What if, in the same app, you could start a video call or send an instant message or send an SMS—or just make a phone call? That means fewer software tools to pay for and manage—and less time wasted on context-switching for your team.

(And then there are other tools like customer relationship management or CRM, platforms, and Google Calendar, which many businesses need on a daily basis. Can your communication apps integrate with them? Dialpad can.)

The biggest benefits of group video calls (Who cares?)

Cost is always a big factor when you’re looking at buying new software.

And if you’re considering an investment in video call software and debating its affordability, it’s definitely worth looking at the savings it can make you in the long run. While it can be tempting to go with options with free video calls, or ask whether you can just use Whatsapp or FaceTime, these options tend to only have the basics—and most businesses need more than that.

Here are just a few benefits that you should be getting out of your video calling software (and if you’re not, it’s time to go shopping).

It’s more efficient than meeting in-person

Let’s face it. The biggest reason for most businesses that choose video calling is because it’s more efficient and saves time.

It’s better than a phone call in some situations, and allows for more collaboration than an email or instant messaging. (Fewer follow-up calls, woo.)

No more booking meeting rooms, no more setting up a group conference call using clunky hardware and waiting for all your participants to dial in with PIN codes.

👉 Dialpad tip: Physical group meetings cost money. There’s no way around it. Even for a smallish meeting of around 20 or 30 attendees. There are travel costs, and then there’s time spent away from work. If your meeting attendees can join the call from home, then you’re saving both time and money—and a lot of it.

It allows you to be more productive

The ability to work from anywhere with no commute, more flexibility in your schedule, and greater autonomy is huge. In fact, almost half (44%) of employees report fewer distractions and greater productivity thanks to video calls.

(Again, if productivity is your end goal, it’s generally better to go with a versatile platform that reduces the need to toggle between other apps.)

It boosts meeting attendance

Sickness, family commitments, traffic jams, cows on railway lines… There are a whole range of obstacles to achieving full attendance at a group meeting.

Being able to jump on a video call with just an internet connection is huge for accessibility and allows you to involve more people in meetings—no matter where they are.

It’s more engaging than an audio call

Let’s face it—excuse the pun—audio calls are a faceless affair. Staying focused on a group call when you’re trying to distinguish between different voices and checking the latest posts on a social network is no mean feat (especially when people accidentally talk over each other).

Especially for heavier topics or more collaborative meetings, sometimes a face-to-face group meeting is the best alternative when it’s not possible to get people physically in the same room.

You can record the call for review later

One of the nice things about having video calls online is that some tools let you record the meeting so that people who couldn’t make it can review what’s been discussed.

For example, Dialpad has this recording feature, but there’s another neat thing it can do: its Voice Intelligence (Vi) technology transcribes your video meeting in real time (more accurately than Google):

Not only that, Vi can highlight key actionable items from the meeting. You can even search for specific content within your meeting’s transcript and pick out recurring themes or keywords (like when your competitors get mentioned).

It’s like having a digital admin buddy alongside you at all times in meetings:

And did we mention Dialpad will automatically email you a post-call summary after your meeting?

It’s a better employee experience

Giving employees more flexible working options is a real carrot when it comes to attracting the best new talent for your business.

(There’s a reason why job postings make a point of saying they’re remote-work-friendly!)

Equipping your team with video call software means employees can work from anywhere—and opens up your business to the global employment market (which is handy if your headquarters are in an expensive city).

FAQs About Online Video Calling

Can I make voice-only calls with a video calling app?

Yes! The easy way is to just turn off video to turn your video call into a voice-only call.

But… If you need to make actual phone calls (dialing a real number instead of just “calling” your contact in a messaging app), then you’ll need a unified communications or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) platform.

This way, there’s no need for traditional analog telephone lines and phone numbers—your whole communications system works through an internet connection. This set-up gives you clear, reliable service, no matter how spread out your team is.

Are certain devices better for making video calls?

It depends on what app you use! For example, Dialpad’s app is available across multiple devices for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

The nice thing about Dialpad in particular is that, as we mentioned above, it works just the same in a web browser as it does in an app. Don’t want to download the app? No problem.

What can I use video calls for, realistically?

Of course, the main benefit of video calls is that it gives you that valuable face-to-face human element in meetings.

Some of the best apps have built-in features like screen sharing and file sharing, and even a live chat box for asking questions in real-time without interrupting the speaker.

This makes video calling especially useful for onboarding new employees remotely. All your new hires have to do is log on and click a link or download an app to join video meetings with different teams to get onboarded.

Online Video Calling: A Better Way to Communicate with Teammates and Prospects

There are so many aspects to running a successful business, and communication is a vital one.

If your team is scattered around the world, this is especially important because you probably don’t want to fly teammates in and out of the office just to have a meeting.

And for sales teams, running product demos through a video call online is probably a better use of their time than making them travel to do a demo. (Great for saving both time and money.)

Fun fact: Dialpad has HD video calling built right into its communication platform as standard. With it, you can have face-to-face meetings from virtually anywhere. Even if your call is crossing the Atlantic, your conversation will be as clear as one had with a colleague in the same room.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Dialpad a video calling app?

Yes, but video call is only one of its many features. Dialpad is a unified communications platform that offers voice calling, messaging, meetings, and video.

Can I use video call on all my devices?

Currently, video call works on the Dialpad app on laptop, desktop devices, and mobile devices.

Does video call cost more?

No, video call is included in all Dialpad plans. See Dialpad pricing.

How many people can participate in a Video Call?

Video calling on Dialpad is only between two people at this time. However, you can launch an Dialpad UberConference meeting for group conversations.

Can I use video call with people outside of my organization?

Yes, you can use video call with people outside your organization.

How many minutes of video call does my account include?

The video call function is unlimited, so think of it as free video calling!

What browsers does video call work with?

Dialpad is supported on Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Microsoft Edge (Chromium-based).