On-call is an essential part of modern business management. It represents a period of availability when employees are ready to intervene in the event of calls requiring urgent assistance or response, ensuring uninterrupted service to their customers and partners. This plays an essential role in business continuity, ensuring that the company can meet its customers' needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We'll explore in detail the concept of on-call telephony and its crucial importance in delivering quality services within companies.

What is on-call telephony?

Telephone on-call, also known as "on-call", represents a strategic permanence where an employee or a team specially on-call remains constantly available to answer telephone calls, even outside normal working hours.

This practice is of vital importance to the management of your company's activities, as it ensures a permanent telephone line.

It offers several significant advantages:

  • Constant availability: On-call service ensures that someone is always ready to answer calls, whether they are critical emergencies, important questions or pressing service requests. This uninterrupted availability enables the company to maintain a high level of responsiveness, reinforcing its ability to meet changing customer needs.
  • Customer satisfaction: On-call services play a crucial role in customer satisfaction, offering immediate assistance. This rapid response contributes to customer loyalty, as customers appreciate the company's availability and responsiveness, which can reinforce its reputation and credibility in the marketplace.
  • Emergency management: In sectors where emergency situations require immediate action, such as medical services, rescue services and breakdown services, on-call telephony becomes an essential component of emergency management. It enables the rapid mobilization of qualified resources to respond to crises and ensure public safety. By guaranteeing rapid intervention when needed, the company demonstrates its commitment to the safety and well-being of the community it serves.

In short, telephone on-call represents a fundamental pillar of call management within companies, promoting permanent availability for customers whatever the time of day, and thus customer satisfaction and effective management of emergency situations.

On-call services are available in all sectors

On-call telephone service is not limited to a specific sector. It is used in a variety of industries and organizations for a variety of needs. Here are just a few of the sectors where on-call is of vital importance:

  • Healthcare: In the healthcare sector, particularly for hospitals, clinics, emergency medical services and healthcare professionals, on-call duty is a norm, ensuring that patients' medical needs are met 24 hours a day. On-call periods are crucial for responding to medical emergencies.
  • Safety and rescue: police, fire departments, mountain rescue teams and other emergency services depend on the on-call service to respond rapidly to critical situations. In times of emergency, the right to be on-call helps to preserve the work of public safety.
  • IT and technical support: Technology companies, Internet service providers and technical support businesses maintain on-call teams to resolve their customers' technical problems. These on-call teams guarantee continuous work and the availability of essential IT activities.
  • Utilities: Water, electricity, gas and telecommunications companies are on call to deal with breakdowns and infrastructure problems.
  • Maintenance: Industrial maintenance, plumbing, electrical and repair companies are on call to deal with urgent maintenance problems, guaranteeing the integrity of equipment and installations during periods of intervention.
  • Victim support services: Activities that provide support to victims of crime are on call to help people in distress, offering immediate and crucial assistance.
  • Town hall on-call duty: The organization of on-call duty for elected representatives at municipal level means that they can be contacted in the event of an emergency, ensuring effective management of unforeseen situations at local level.

This diversity of sectors highlights the extent to which telephone on-call is an essential component of the working world during periods of intervention, guaranteeing continuity of service, meeting customer needs and respecting the rights of the workers who provide this essential on-call service.

How to set up a telephone on-call service

Setting up an effective telephone on-call system is a crucial step in guaranteeing continuity of telephone service while respecting employees' rights to duty and rest. Here are the essential steps for setting up a telephone on-call system in the workplace:

Select on-call team

On-call team members must be selected on the basis of their skills, availability and experience in the telephone business. It is essential that each employee clearly understands his or her role and responsibilities within this function.

Establish a rotation for receiving on-call calls

The creation of an on-call schedule specifying the duty periods of each team member is essential. This rotation must be equitable, guaranteeing a balanced distribution of working hours dedicated to on-call duty.

Establish escalation procedures

Clear escalation procedures are essential to ensure smooth call handling and problem management. If a member of the team is unable to answer calls punctually, another employee must be able to take over, or if an on-call person is faced with a situation he or she cannot resolve, he or she must know who to pass the problem on to and how to do so, thus guaranteeing that requests are dealt with quickly and efficiently, whatever the period.

Choosing the right tools for on-call management

To ensure that the telephone function is always available, effective communication tools need to be put in place. This includes accessibility to the on-call telephone number, a clearly defined telephone schedule, call management mechanisms, the use of cell phones if necessary, the setting up of a dedicated messaging system, and the use of alert tools to guarantee maximum reactivity in the event of a call.

By following these steps, the employer can set up a functional telephone on-call system, ensuring quality telephone service at all times, while respecting employees' rights to work, rest and availability.

How can Planitel help you?

Managing on-call calls can be a complex task, but modern solutions like Planitel can considerably simplify the process, while guaranteeing compliance with labor and service laws. Planitel is a telephone on-call management application that offers numerous advantages for organizing your on-call operations.

Automated telephone scheduling

Planitel makes it easy to create an on-call schedule, taking into account the availability of each team member. This schedule enables calls to be automatically routed to the scheduled on-call time period, regardless of the team member's place of work, eliminating all risk of manual intervention.

Call escalation scenarios

Planitel makes it easy to create on-call schedules, taking into account the availability of each team member. This schedule automatically distributes calls to the scheduled on-call teams according to time slots, with the possibility of overflowing calls, thus eliminating the need for manual intervention, and ensuring on-call service without the risk of lost calls.

On-call telephone alert

Several e-mail or SMS alerts can be set up:

Planitel allows you to configure several types of alerts, either by e-mail or SMS.
For example, you can receive an alert each time a call is received, or be notified of unanswered calls.
What's more, you can alert a person on call that their on-call period is about to begin, ensuring continuity of service.

Rigorous monitoring of the on-call number

Thanks to detailed statistics, Planitel records all calls, providing information not only on call duration and communications, but also on the entire call reception process. If necessary, this data can be used to adjust on-call teams and improve escalation scenarios, guaranteeing greater respect for the right to work and service continuity.

Modification of on-call schedules in real time

Real-time modifications are one of the key advantages of Planitel's telephone planning. Accessible via the Internet from any location, whether in-house or telecommuting, the schedule can be drawn up weeks or even months in advance. However, it offers the flexibility to make instant changes when necessary.
For example, in the event of a telephone breakdown or unexpected absence of an employee, it can be modified in real time to guarantee continuity of service.