When it comes to phone systems for schools and education providers we really do know our onions; we’ve worked with hundreds across the South West and beyond for more than twenty-five years. Small campuses, large campuses, multi-site providers, you name it, we’ve helped them!
With over two decades of specialism comes a lot of experience; we know what works and what doesn’t. So today, we’re asking if the phone system you have in place really does work for you, and if it doesn’t, is it time for a change that makes things easier for you and the people contacting you?
Here are just a few scenarios your phone system should be helping you with…
We’re not going to be in today…
One of the most common reasons for calling a school as a parent is to confirm that your son or daughter is unable to attend due to illness or any number of other reasons. The potential problem for you is that these calls often come during a condensed time period at the start of the day.
Your phone system should give you the flexibility to handle periods of high call volume in a way that works for you. This can and will depend on the circumstances; for example, you may want to have a dedicated mailbox for your absence line so reception staff are free to perform their duties without being suddenly overwhelmed by a deluge of calls. However, this solution isn’t going to work when it comes to exam results day when you’ll need extra staff manning the phones and taking the calls in a group.
The key here is flexibility – you need it, so your phone system should deliver it.
Providing parents and other callers with commonly required information
Have you ever been asked the same question repeatedly? If you’re a school receptionist the answer will likely be yes; What are the dates for the next half term? What time does the school sports day start? The problem with this is that on each occasion you answer the phone it takes time; time that could be spent completing other tasks. It’s extremely inefficient, but what can you do if they need to ask the question?
The answer is to be able to provide this information as standard, without even answering the phone. Your phone system should allow you to provide answers to the most commonly asked questions you’re facing at any given time – whether that’s an update on closure due to bad weather or more generic and static information such as term dates.
If you have this facility you could save hours every week and become that much more efficient.
People spread out across wide campuses
Most education providers will have staff spread across multiple buildings and sometimes several sites, so when it comes to finding someone amongst thousands on campus, how easy does your current phone system make it for you to locate and contact them? If the answer is ‘not very’ then there could be some significant improvements that could be made to your system.
Just as we said answering the same question repeatedly is inefficient, so is your receptionist having to set out on an expedition across the campus every time they need to pass on a message.
There are a wide range of solutions to solve this problem and to make your site more closely connected. The answer most suitable for you will depend on all of the factors that make your school unique – the site, your systems and your people. That’s exactly why we take the time to visit your campus before making our recommendations.
When the weather turns
Whilst many of us dream of a white Christmas, this year some areas of the country saw snow fall as late as the end of April, which in turn had a significant impact on schools and education providers across the country. When the weather turns you need to be able to quickly convey the plan of action and your phone system can or should be at the heart of this.
Does your system allow you to quickly add messages with key information so that anyone ringing knows whether or not the school is going to be open? If it has been snowing are your staff members able to do this remotely? If not, your phone system isn’t helping you to communicate as effectively as you can at these times.
For more information on a specialist phone system that’s built around your own unique requirements please give us a call on 01237 420010 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.