Challenge: A Canadian Catholic High School was busy getting prepared for the 2012-13 school year. About two weeks before classes were to start, their antiquated phone system broke. The company that sold them the phone system was no longer in business, so the school had no voicemail for their thirty-five staff members. They also had no voice mail for their administration offices. They needed a very quick solution and they did not want to pay for equipment again.
The principal of the school called AccessDirect and asked several questions. He wanted a way for an Auto-Attendant to pick up after about five rings or if the lines to the office were busy. He wanted parents calling the school to have four options. First he wanted a list of the administrative staff, including the principals, vice principals and the building maintenance staff. He also wanted the parents to be able to listen to a list of the teachers in the school. He wanted an option to report a student absent or late, as well as an option for school closings due to inclement weather. It was also necessary for the office staff to be able to transfer callers or parents into voicemail.
Solution: AccessDirect consulted with the Principal and created a program for the school that allowed for all of these options. We made a conference call to Telus, which is the school’s phone company, so that we could get Telus to place some features on the school’s lines. We added a feature called ‘Call Transfer Disconnect’ which allowed the office staff to successful transfer callers into voice mailboxes. We also added ‘Call Forward, No Answer’ which allowed the AccessDirect Auto Attendant to pick up after 5 rings or if all the lines were busy, and give them the options for the Auto-Attendant. A Dial-By-Name Directory was also added to their program, so parents didn’t have to wait to go through the entire lists of staff before entering a selection.
Results: The School was very impressed with the Auto Attendant. They said they wanted features like voicemail-to-email for years. They find it so easy to use, and the principal is delighted with the capability to record information himself. They were especially happy with the price of the system, and told us that in Canada, something similar would have cost over 5 times more than the price of the AccessDirect Auto-Attendant. We are very happy that the school can begin their year with the confidence of the staff, and parents! For our new scholarly clients, the term ‘Back-to-School’ has a great ‘ring’ to it.