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University Policy 99

Use of Voicemail of Western Carolina University

Approved by: Executive Council - April 21, 2008
Posted: May 27, 2008

Policy Topic: Business Administration and Auxiliary Services; Information Technology
Administering Office: Telecommunications Office

Given the changing nature in the public’s service expectations and the recognition that some offices continue to be staffed by only one person, the University policy on the use of voicemail for 7000 telephone numbers establishes expectations that conform to customer service expectations. It must be stressed that Western Carolina University continues to support the spirit of the Governor’s Executive Memorandum Order and Senate Bill 531 requiring that callers are able to reach a person and not just be forwarded from one voicemail box to another. The following conditions must be met by all offices with a 7000 number.

Use of voicemail is an exception. Staff must make answering phones a priority.

All 7000 numbers must have voicemail associated with the number. The voice mail message must:

  • State the name of the department.
  • Give the office hours.
  • Offer the option to leave a message and state that calls received will be returned as soon as possible and normally within one working day, unless the caller leaves a specific time to call back. To meet this expectation, offices will establish a procedure whereby voicemail is monitored regularly during the workday.

For an office that is not staffed, provide a “zero-out option” to transfer the call. Having the caller transferred from one voicemail message to another must be avoided.

Staff must return voicemail messages as soon as possible but no later than 24 business hours, unless the caller leaves a specific time to call back or a return call is not necessary.

Staff should delete voicemail messages as soon as they are no longer needed.

When the office is closed, staff should forward the 7000 line to the 5000 line so that the caller is immediately sent to voicemail rather than having to wait for four rings.

Voicemail Information and Instructions

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