"You have a call holding on line 3." Wait! There are no more "lines" with VoIP! One of the fundamental changes when moving to a VoIP phone service is that the traditional line or key system does not exist any more. Calls to a phone number come in over the internet to the phone, ring group, or call queue programmed to receive those calls . When a call is answered by someone at a particular phone, that call terminates on the phone and does not appear as an active "line" on any other phone. This frees up others to receive calls, but it does not allow for someone to simply pick up a call on hold without an action taken.
Incidentally, because calls are not tied to a line or rollover lines, there are no more restrictions in play for the number of incoming and outgoing calls. Under the analog model, businesses had to have enough phone lines in play to handle their maximum call volume, in and out. With VoIP, the only restriction is the number of people answering calls. If everyone is on a call, the caller rolls to your auto attendant and never hears a busy signal.
Calls terminating to a phone need to be transferred to an intended party or be placed in park. Park is a common hold button or buttons that appear on all phones. Calls can be transferred to an open Park button at which point the button will illuminate red, showing that it is occupied. Then, from any phone, that call can be retrieved by simply pressing the Park button. This process automates the transfer of the parked call to the extension of the phone retrieving it, thus it opens up the Park button for another call.
One thing to remember is that Park is a parking space, not a parking lot! Only one caller can be transferred to a Park extension at any time. Although retrieving a parked call opens up the parking space for another call, businesses who need to park more calls than transferring directly to intended parties will need to evaluate how many Park extensions are required.
With a Hosted VoIP phone service, you can answer the call and transfer the caller to an open Park extension. Then, you can announce or page to the team that there is call holding in Park 1, Park 2, etc. Thus, it works similarly to a call holding on Line 1, Line 2, etc.
sipVine associates have helped thousands of businesses optimize their communication practices and consulted on what type of process works best. Based upon how calls are answered and the ultimate destinations of the callers, we can evaluate how many Parks are necessary or if they are needed at all. If you'd like a quote or a consultation, please reach out to us.