Mom with daughter on computer and phone

What Are the Best Automated Calling System for Schools?

What Are Automated Calling Systems for Schools?

School operations have been considerably disrupted during the pandemic since they are indoor facilities where large numbers of people gather. While reopening plans are taking place, these learning institutions have to remain flexible, as remote classes and administrative duties aren’t yet out of the picture. Automated calling systems for schools are among the technologies that have helped ease this transition.

According to CNN, “School districts are scrambling once again. There are many thousands of school districts in the US, each one governed by a unique mix of local and state rules, so different students will have vastly different experiences. But here’s an attempt to take a broad back-to-school look at what’s happening with US schools as they prepare to open.”

When a student gets sick, the school should have a plan of action. The staff may have to put into place quarantine protocols and conditions, temporary closing measures, and other contingency strategies. How can an automated calling system help?

As a starting point, let’s define automated calling. This technology enables users (such as school administrators and personnel, in this case) to send out pre-recorded messages to large groups of people (parents and students). Industry-leading automated calling services dispatch automated calls in just minutes, enabling you to communicate your message in a timely, reliable manner.

In other words, an automated phone system is any phone system that can communicate directly with call recipients without requiring human input from anyone other than the end-user.

Imagine your school has to notify an extensive database of parents about sudden changes in operation. One of the fastest ways to achieve this is by sending an automated call message with specific details and where to find additional information. This is just one use case example of many you may find helpful.

Related: How to Choose the Right Virtual Phone System for Your Business

Advantages of Automated Calling Systems for Schools

Parents everywhere continue to face a series of challenges related to online learning. A study from McAfee pointed out the following top five difficulties, quoted next:

  1. Keeping their children focused on schoolwork (instead of other online activities) – 50.31%
  2. Establishing a daily routine – 49.26%
  3. Balancing household responsibilities and teaching – 41.83%
  4. Establishing a wake-up and bedtime schedule – 33.40%
  5. Balancing working from home and teaching – 33.31%

It’s natural to think these moms, dads, and caregivers may not have the usual attention span and require different school communication avenues. Your managing staff and teachers may benefit from an agile channel to keep them updated on policies, protocols, and contingency plans.

This is where a top automated calling system for schools comes in to provide a series of advantages:

Cost Savings

Services that automate calling are time and cost-effective. Automated calling systems for schools allow you to make hundreds or even thousands of calls at one time to groups or organizations, with very little human intervention to start and complete the process.

The system will call and play a recorded message to anyone in your database with just a few simple setup steps when a human voice answers the phone. It is even possible to leave an alternative message when the call reaches a machine or voice mail system.

Those in the education sector are showing great interest in implementing this technology since it allows them to quickly reach a large audience (i.e., parents) and achieve great results. The low cost of automated calling systems will enable you to offer much more customizable messages than traditional methods such as contact centers. 

No Need for New Databases

You can integrate your call database with a modern automated calling system, so parents receive information about their child’s school, such as notifications and reminders. You will have guaranteed flexibility when it comes to managing your contacts. You may, for instance, choose to add contacts manually, use your existing contact list, or upload a previously existing list.

Ease of Use

Innovative automated calling businesses will enable you to set up a cloud-based platform immediately without the stress of coordinating on-site implementations. Your subscriber account allows you to schedule, place, and modify voice broadcast campaigns. By using the phone keypad or online, you can easily place an instant call or schedule a future message.

It is now time to discover what you can look for in a top-rated automated calling system provider for schools.

Related: Calendar Integrations to Automate Voice and Text Message Reminders and Notifications

10 Features to Look for in an Automated Calling System for Schools

Are you now interested in getting an automated calling system for your school? Here’s what to look for in the best provider.

1) Make sure they rely on dedicated copper or PRI lines VS VoIP lines.

VoIP lines often experience packet loss, latency issues, and background noise leading to poor quality calls plus call delivery issues. You’ll want to partner with a technology company that delivers automated calls, and voicemail drops more reliably and efficiently, basing their service on copper wires or PRI lines.

2) Ask if they offer a free trial

A good provider will allow you to create an account for free, so you can test the service before you decide to purchase it. You can produce your first automated call and send a test call to yourself without them charging you any money.

3) Inquire about their pricing and payment modes

There should be no minimums or setup fees associated with your automatic calling system provider. No charges should apply to unsuccessful, busy, or unanswered calls. At a low price per minute delivered, you should receive superior transmission service.

4) Find out about their customer service 

It is crucial to have good customer support. The customer service and technical support teams should be available via e-mail and telephone if you have any questions or comments.

5) Learn if you can have different message recording methods.

With a frequently changing school environment, it is essential to have simple options such as dial-in recording, using your computer microphone, and uploading a sound file. You may also want to utilize text-to-speech software. Make sure your chosen partner offers this flexibility.

6) Ask about call scheduling

Ideally, you should be able to schedule your automated calls at any time and any day of the week, especially with sudden changes in school policies.

7) Find out if you have control and reporting over your calls

By logging into your account, you should be able to start, stop, pause, speed up, and slow down automated calling messages. Your platform should allow you to download and view real-time results, such as time, date, and successful or unsuccessful attempts.

8) Make sure they add conditional call branching

A leading industry provider of automated calling systems can determine call flow and routing based on keypresses obtained from recipients. With this technology, you can achieve functionality such as routing a call to live personnel or playing another message when a key is pressed, validating recipient key presses, and conducting multi-level surveys. This will give you the ability to create complex or straightforward campaigns instantly.

9) Find out about voice merging and text-to-speech features

The provider should be able to provide realistic-sounding text to speech so you can easily customize each recipient’s message.

10) Ask if you can create automated polls and surveys 

Automated calling systems can be an effective channel to get parent and staff feedback. Ask the providers you are considering if their system allows you to create surveys and polls and the process to do so. The best platforms offer a streamlined, wizard-based interface. They may even offer a call simulator so you can test your survey before it launches.

VoiceShot’s automated calling system and voicemail broadcasting service let you send interactive phone calls right from the web and manage the entire process online. Send school parents alerts, voicemails, notifications, reminders, surveys, and more. As an established provider of cloud voice services, VoiceShot is celebrating its 21st year of delivering the highest quality. We offer the industry’s most reliable voice broadcasting solutions with our direct PRI carrier connections and circuits. Sign up now.