Curious question on Phone Systems


(Jeff Wilson) #1

I have a question for all of you out there. For those that have implemented an IP phone system…have you implemented an automated calling system to alert people of events, special services, or other things? We have implemented it but are having issues getting it adopted because of the ‘personal factor’. I hear that “It’s not personal enough.” So we spend several man hours physically dialing the phone to give the same message to hundreds of people at a time. Anyone else having issues getting things like this adopted once implemented?


(Chris Green) #2

Honest opinion, in 2018 I hang up on any auto-dialer calling me. I’m 41 years old so I’m shifting toward the older generation. What generation in your church expects to receive announcements via a phone call? In ours, 50-70 year old generation all use email and smart phones.


(Jeremy Hoff) #3

Chris is right… “reverse answering machines” are getting a little passe. One of the best use-cases I can think of is to alert parents that the bus from camp is running late… but the same thing can be accomplished with SMS anymore…

Some ChMSes allow the congregation to choose their preferred communication medium (i.e. RockRMS) which may be one way to have those who prefer a robodialer or voice to choose that type versus email, sms…


(Adam Scheuermann) #4

It sounds like this has been in practice in your church for a long time. Looking at it another way, if your church hadn’t been doing this for x number of years, would you start doing it today? To me, it does seem to fall into slightly unnecessary territory…


(Jeff Wilson) #5

I guess I should give a little more background on this. We just put in our new system. It launched early April so it’s been in play for 2 months. Just before Easter…when I was finishing testing with dummy numbers…the senior pastor wanted to call everyone in the church database ( people that had only visited --roughly 5,500 names) to invite them to services. I mentioned this feature to him and we implemented it. Now that it’s available I hear that it’s not personal enough to get a recorded call. This is why I asked the question that I did.

I will actually use it to let parents know of things when a call is necessary (I hold dual roles here…children’s ministry and IT) and I can automate it rather than calling 200+ parents. The school systems use this type of system for closure notices so it should work for that.


(Alex Conner) #6

As long as they aren’t over-used, these type of systems come in handy for schools that need to follow-up on absences and provide timely notifications of situations like closures, delays, etc. so I see their value when you have some sort of a day-to-day relationship with someone. Using them as an outreach seems questionable especially given the legal ramifications of using an autodialer and the fact that not all providers allow autodialers on all plans.


(Adam Scheuermann) #7

Hi Jeff, that does make sense. I bet the complainers just have a louder voice at the moment, and there are probably many others with a positive or neutral response. If personality is the main concern, you might just focus a lot of effort into creating a great call script and recording.