This article is part of a larger series on VoIP.
Call parking is a business phone feature that allows you to place an active call on hold in a virtual waiting room, like the cloud or an internally hosted server. This enables another agent to answer the call on a different phone or collect more information before assisting the caller. Call parking is a valuable feature for companies handling high call volumes, allowing agents to handle calls more efficiently and improving the overall customer experience.
How Call Parking Works
Most voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) desk phones come with a preprogrammed “Call Park” button set to park and unpark calls. Meanwhile, phone system providers offer a call parking option on the active call’s interface, both on mobile and desktop apps. Here’s a more detailed process of how call parking works:
- An inbound caller initiates a call to your business, and an agent takes the call.
- In the middle of the conversation, the agent presses the “Call Park” button on the call application or desk phone to park the call.
- The call is placed in the company cloud and is assigned an unused extension. As the caller waits, they will hear an on-hold music or a prerecorded message.
- The agent will decide whether to wait for another agent to continue the conversation or collect more information before continuing the call.
- To retrieve the call, an agent will dial the extension number to resume the conversation.
Types of Call Parking
Business phone providers offer different types of call park capabilities that affect both agent performance and customer experience. Here are the three different types of call parking:
Types of Call Parking
How It Works
Simple Call Parking
Park an active call in a virtual waiting room until an agent retrieves the call.
This benefits companies dealing with a sudden influx of calls by reducing the number of callbacks and voicemail messages.
Advanced Call Parking
Place a current call in a virtual parking spot with on-hold music or recorded messages playing in the background.
It reduces the number of hang-ups with custom tracks to improve customer retention and provides an effective way to build your brand.
Private Call Parking
Assign sensitive calls to private park locations so they are only visible to users with admin permissions.
This is a useful feature for protecting conversations with VIP clients or high-paying customers.
Chief Benefits of Call Parking
Call parking offers many benefits to businesses, particularly those handling large volumes of calls on a daily basis and those agents who are not always at their desks to attend to phone calls. Here are the benefits of including call parking in your call management system:
- Manage large amounts of calls effectively: Call parking is ideal for call-heavy industries, such as international contact centers and large customer service operations, that handle heavy loads of incoming phone lines. It puts callers into separate lines that anyone in the company has the ability to access.
- Increased agent efficiency: Call parking optimizes available agents by allowing them to access a constant pool of callers requiring assistance. This is very useful if there’s a recent surge in the number of missed calls or call drops.
- Improved customer experience: Call parking eliminates voicemail dead-ends by sending incoming calls in a virtual parking lot for other agents to pick them up. This reduces the chances of pushing callers to voicemail and having no agent to assist them.
- Access parked calls from remote locations: Even if you’re out of the office, call parking allows you to park important calls and answer the call from wherever you are, using whichever mobile phone you have on hand.
Want to know how to better manage inbound and outbound calls in your business? Check out our article on what is call handling and discover the best practices in handling customer calls effectively.
Call Parking Best Practices
Deploying call parking in your call management system ensures a successful way of dealing with large volumes of incoming calls. However, it’s important to know the right and wrong ways to implement it. The following best practices cover specific tips on using call parking across phone systems and devices.
Customize Call Parking Rules
Before using call parking, it is recommended you check your provider’s settings first to see how to adjust call parking features according to your business preferences. It should allow you to add music to keep parked callers engaged and modify permission-based settings to ensure only the qualified and authorized agents will take the call.
Avoid Long Wait Times
Long wait times are one of the biggest frustrations of callers when initiating a call with a company. When parking a call, it gives agents the option to answer a phone whenever they want to. However, this poses an issue if the parked caller is made to wait for several minutes until their call gets answered. Before putting a call in park, make sure someone is available to speak to them. The maximum waiting time to park a call should be five minutes.
Use Call Parking If You Can’t Take the Call
Give other agents the opportunity to answer a call when you find yourself unavailable to do so or unable to answer the customer’s query. You also have the option to park a call and gather sufficient information you need before continuing the conversation with the caller. This prevents the risk of losing a customer because of an inefficient customer service team.
How Call Parking Differs per Provider
Most business phone solutions offer a wide range of tools to handle incoming call traffic. However, not all of them offer call parking on their list of call management tools. To determine which provider offers call parking functionality, we picked the most suitable options for you:
RingCentral ranks as one of our best business phone systems, supporting various communication channels, such as voice, video, and text messaging. It allows up to 50 parking slots for inbound and outbound calls and notifies agents if a parked call is left unanswered for five minutes. RingCentral allows users to create a private park location, so only authorized users are allowed to pick up a parked call.
Check out our RingCentral review to discover more about its robust call management features.
Nextiva is a business phone solution that offers powerful communication capabilities for scaling businesses. Its call parking feature includes hold music, and the platform allows users to use call parking groups to ensure the right agents will pick up the call. Pricing starts at $30.95 per user, per month (for accounts with one to four users).
Learn more about what Nextiva offers by checking out our comprehensive Nextiva review.
Grasshopper is a virtual phone system that offers budget-friendly packages and extensive call management capabilities. It comes with a call blasting feature that rings all available numbers simultaneously until a parked call gets unanswered. Grasshopper also allows users to customize the call parking experience by adding custom music or recorded messages, keeping callers engaged while they wait.
To learn if Grasshopper fits your small business needs, check out our in-depth Grasshopper review.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between call park & call transfer?
With call parking, an agent places a current call on hold in a designated parking extension and allows any agent to retrieve the call as long as they have access to the extension. Meanwhile, call transfer requires a specific destination. This applies to situations when a caller needs to reach a specific agent or department.
For how long will a call remain parked?
A call will remain parked until an agent picks it up or the caller hangs up. Phone system providers like RingCentral ring agents if a certain call goes unanswered for more than five minutes. This prevents the customer from waiting too long to get their call answered.
What is a visual call park?
Visual call park is a feature offered by business phone providers, such as GoTo Connect, that allows you to see which call parking spots are occupied on your system through a desktop app. Some even use color-coded icons to help agents keep track of where calls are parked.
Call parking is a handy business phone system feature for businesses dealing with high volumes of calls and those with distributed teams. It offers flexibility in transferring calls by allowing another agent to pick up a call from another device. This provides the ultimate convenience in delivering excellent customer experiences and optimizing your call center team.