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What is Call Parking? Benefits, How It Works, and FAQs

illustration of an agent using call parking to improve customer experience

You’ve probably heard of call parking if you’ve just recently installed a new business phone system. This essential feature makes it easier for companies to handle high call volumes and redirect them to the appropriate point persons.

This quick and comprehensive guide will tell you how call parking works, how it can benefit your business, and how best to use it.

What is Call Parking?

Call parking is a telecommunications feature that allows a user to temporarily hold an active phone call and transfer it to a designated “parking spot” or extension within a phone system. Users can retrieve this parked call with another phone or extension by dialing the specific parking spot number. 

Call parking is standard when a call must be transferred to a different location or department while ensuring it remains accessible to the intended recipient.

How Does Call Parking Work?

Call parking involves placing an active call on hold in a virtual “parking lot” rather than on a specific extension or device. When a call is parked, it’s assigned a unique number. This parked call can then be retrieved from any phone within the system by dialing that assigned number, allowing different users to pick up the call. It’s a convenient way to hold and transfer calls in environments where users move between different locations or devices.

Benefits of Call Parking

Five benefits of call parking in a telecommunications system include:

  • Improved call handling: Call parking allows for efficient call distribution within an organization, reducing call transfer times and ensuring that calls reach the right person or department more quickly.
  • Enhanced collaboration: Users can easily share active calls with colleagues, fostering better communication and teamwork.
  • Reduced call abandonment: With the ability to park and retrieve calls, organizations can minimize the chances of callers hanging up due to extended hold times or being transferred multiple times, improving customer satisfaction.
  • Flexibility: Call parking is versatile and is applicable in various scenarios, such as transferring calls to remote locations, departments, or specific individuals, making it adaptable to different business needs.
  • Cost efficiency: By streamlining call handling processes and reducing the need for complex call transfers, call parking helps organizations operate more efficiently, potentially leading to cost savings in time and resources.

How to Use Call Parking

To use call parking, follow these steps:

  1. Receive or initiate a call: Start with an active call that you want to place on hold and park for later retrieval.
  2. Access call parking: Depending on your phone system, you might need to press a specific button (often labeled “Park” or with a parking symbol) or use a designated feature code on your keypad.
  3. Note the parking spot: The system will assign a unique number to the parked call. This number represents the “parking spot” where the call is held. The system might provide you with an audible prompt or display the number on your phone’s screen.
  4. Inform the user: Communicate the assigned parking spot number to the person who needs to retrieve the call.
  5. Retrieve the parked call: From any phone within the system, dial the assigned parking spot number. The parked call will be connected, allowing you to continue the conversation.
  6. Complete the call: Once the call is retrieved, you can continue the conversation or transfer the call to another extension if needed.

Remember that the exact steps might vary based on your phone system and the equipment you’re using. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the call parking process on your specific system to use it effectively.

Call Parking Best Practices

Here are five best practices for using call parking effectively:

  • Communicate clearly: Ensure all users know the call parking process, including how to park and retrieve calls. Encourage clear communication among team members when sharing parking spot numbers to prevent confusion.
  • Use it only when necessary: Use call parking for its intended purpose, such as temporary call holding and transferring within your organization. Avoid parking calls for extended periods, as this can inconvenience callers.
  • Limit call parking time: Establish guidelines for how long a call can remain parked before you should retrieve it. Timing this helps prevent callers from waiting excessively and ensures efficient call handling.
  • Train your team: Provide training to your team members on how to use call parking effectively and make sure they understand when it’s appropriate to use this feature. Proper training can help avoid misuse and streamline call handling.
  • Monitor and optimize: Regularly review call parking usage and retrieval times to identify any bottlenecks or areas for improvement. Adjust your call parking procedures and guidelines to enhance efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to use the call park feature?

The best time to use the call park feature is when you need to hold an active call temporarily. For instance, you might need to transfer a call to someone else in a more appropriate department.

What is the difference between call parking and call transfer?

Call parking is applicable when you want to involve a third party in the call or when you’re unsure who should handle the call next, while call transfer is a direct handoff to a specific individual or department.

What is the difference between call parking and call hold?

Call parking is more suitable for scenarios where you want to transfer the call, whereas call hold provides brief pauses during a call.

What is the difference between call parking and call forwarding?

Call parking is internal and focused on collaboration, while call forwarding is external and focused on ensuring calls reach you no matter where you are.

Is call parking available on all types of phone systems?

Call parking is commonly available on most modern phone systems, including traditional PBX (Private Branch Exchange) systems, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems, and cloud-based communication platforms. However, the availability and specific implementation of call parking may vary depending on the phone system and service provider. It’s advisable to check with your phone system provider or IT department to ensure call parking is supported and configured correctly.

Can I park multiple calls at the same time?

Many phone systems support the ability to park multiple calls simultaneously. You can park each call in a separate parking spot, and users can retrieve them as needed. The number of concurrent parked calls may depend on your phone system’s configuration and capacity, so it’s essential to know any limitations and adjust your call parking practices accordingly.

In Summary

As long as you don’t overstuff your phone lines with parked calls, call parking can be a helpful tool that reduces wait time, minimizes voicemail destinations, integrates with your routing systems, and is easy to use.

Whether running a small business or scaling an enterprise, a reliable VoIP service provider is essential to your success. With ULTATEL, we can provide everything you need in a phone system. You’ll enjoy more significant savings, work anywhere you want, and improve collaborations.

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