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Must-have communications features for the education sector

Do you work in a school or college? If so, what are you looking for in a phone system?

Since we started YTL in 1996, we’ve gained some deep insights into the features of communications systems that the education sector values the most. We’ve compiled our top 10 list of phone system features that are essential for schools and colleges.

So, in no particular order, here they are:

Call Queues

If you work in a school, you’ll understand how important it is to manage the morning rush of calls efficiently and effectively.

The advanced call queuing systems included with our cloud phone systems keep your callers informed as to their position in the queue. It can even provide an estimated wait time. The queues can be configured to distribute calls among your staff according to priority, skills and availability. helping you to answer more calls in a shorter space of time without overwhelming any of your staff.

IVRs or Auto Attendants

Another way to reduce the pressure on your front desk staff is to implement an auto attendant to direct calls.

Auto attendants give you the opportunity to implement a voicemail system to report pupil or staff absences. This alone can cut the number of calls that your staff have to answer each morning in half. It also ensures that all absences are reported and recorded.

Flexible working facility

Working from home without the ability to connect to your school’s phone system is exceptionally difficult. Both for teachers and for admin staff. Our phone systems include apps for all major smartphone and desktop platforms. This allows all your staff to sign in from home when needed.

GDPR Compliance

Data protection is, naturally, of the utmost importance for the education sector. Our communications systems are all compliant with the latest data protection regulations and guidelines, ensuring that no private data is ever stored on an unsecure device and giving you complete control over who has access to your systems.

CRM integration

An important benefit that modern communications systems like ours offer is that they can be integrated with CRMs or other management systems like SIMS.

CRM integration allows you to securely check incoming calls against contact numbers in pupil records. Screen popping can let you know immediately whether your incoming calls are from registered or known contacts. This gives an instant boost to your staffs’ confidence and the safeguarding of your students.

On hold messaging

On hold messaging can be used to keep parents in the loop about school events or planned closures. Most calls to schools, particularly in the mornings, can be answered with a simple recording updated each morning. This could include information like school closures, known problems with transport or any other questions your staff are regularly asked.

Our cloud communications systems make recording, uploading and managing your messaging simple, letting you amend your messages with just a few clicks in the management portal.

Reception and front desk staff consoles

With phones in every classroom, it’s not possible for your staff to remember every extension number.

The additional physical DSS consoles we can provide with your desk phones, as well as an ‘on-screen’ list of extensions visible on our web app, give your staff a much more extensive set of handy quick dial buttons to press for each extension. These useful quick-dial features help to eliminate dis-dials and can save your team members a huge amount of time.

Call recording

Call recordings can be essential for schools, creating an irrefutable record of what was discussed during each phone call. Not only does this ensure complete accountability, but it also helps to eliminate disputes and disagreements.

The call recording features of our phone systems ensure practically unbeatable security and guarantees GDPR compliance. This gives you an enormous upgrade to functionality without compromising your security or safeguarding measures.

Simple operation

It’s crucial to be able to update voicemail messages quickly in the event of an unexpected school closure. Our systems give your staff the ability to quickly update outgoing messages on your phone lines from any registered handset, desktop or even smartphone, helping you to keep parents in the loop without overwhelming your front desk staff with inbound calls.

Quickly deploying new desk phones or softphone clients without needing any expert engineers on-hand is also a huge benefit. The latest phone systems like ours include fantastic one-click provisioning services. All you have to do is plug new phones in where they’re going to be used, then select your handset from a simple dropdown menu in the phone system’s management portal.

First class reliability

The number one priority for any phone system in the education sector is reliability. That’s where we come in. We recognise that all the latest time and cost-saving features mean very little if they aren’t backed up by industry-leading reliability and availability.

YTL have partnered with some of the best data centres in the country to host our Cloud services, ensuring they’re always available for you to work. With multiple redundant backups around the country. We believe our network is among the most resilient around, giving you the confidence that your communications system is always protected.

We’ve worked with dozens of schools to upgrade their communications over the years, but we’re always looking to learn. If you think we’ve missed a feature that’s important to the way you work at school, please get in touch!

Call our team on 01924 249 499 or email us at info@ytl.uk.com to find out more about our experience working in the education sector.