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Help your school receptionists do a better job
Posted by Jane Atkins on 13/10 at 10:00 AM Education, Telephone systems,
School receptionist image

Schools receptionists need help no matter what the size of school they serve. In helping your receptionists, your school will benefit from more efficient and cost-effective communications.

The truth is that most receptionists are not just receptionists. They tend to look after the register, put together the school newsletter, collect dinner money and a whole host of other administration tasks, as well as dishing out medication and looking after sick children who are waiting to go home.

Answering the telephone is just another one of their duties, but it’s one where technology can be a huge help and where some schools are still not up to date.

An absence line is a huge aid in allowing parents to leave messages about their sick child at any time before the start of the school day rather than waiting for 8.30am when receptionists are at their busiest answering queries in person.

Messages can also be set up to broadcast details on upcoming school functions, such as sports days and parents’ evenings, to save receptionists from having to repeat the same information over and over again.

These messages can also be updated remotely when the school is unreachable, such as during adverse weather conditions, or on the way home from trips to update expected time of arrival. 

Just these features alone will free up more time for receptionists but many schools are averse to using them as they believe they represent a significant investment. This means they are hanging onto ageing telephone systems and often still using analogue lines or using outdated, often expensive Centrex systems. 

They may be paying high maintenance costs or risk having no support at all while suffering expensive call costs and line rental charges but not getting the basic functionality they need. In some cases, receptionists cannot take calls and operate door opening systems at the same time and vice versa, or there simply are not enough lines to cope with multiple calls.

These schools may believe the mantra that “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, but actually it is broken if it does not do the job it needs to. If it isn’t supporting the sterling work of your receptionists, then it is not supporting your school. If it is costing you too much money, then it is failing your school in this respect too.

Even when schools do not believe they have any budget, which most don’t these days, I would still urge them to consider speaking to one of our experts to see whether a beneficial upgrade would be possible for the same monthly costs they are already paying. Their receptionists will certainly approve!

If you need any further advice on school telephone systems, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Jane Atkins on 13/10/2017

Business development executive Jane Atkins is part of our team that remains in regular contact with customers and potential customers to see if we can help with their communications needs.

Jane is particularly interested in helping businesses make the most of modern voice services, such as SIP and hosted phone systems, while also offering advice on connectivity and cloud business applications. She is also well-versed in the needs of GP surgeries.

When not at Communications House, Jane is a keen volunteer and supporter of her local rugby team Exmouth RFC, she enjoys salsa dancing and raising money for local charities.