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Guidelines and Responsibilities

High Risk Data in voice messages

Note that by receiving voice messages in your email you may receive High Risk Data. Treat it as you would any other High Risk Data. To learn more, please see the Risk Classifications page.

Voice mail guidelines

To help assure the best use of the Stanford Voice Mail service, University IT, with assistance from other Stanford departments and senior University management, has developed the following guidelines. Department Contacts and department administrators should encourage their department members to follow these guidelines.

Responsibilities for department managers

  • Review the use of voice mail with your department members to confirm that they are using it effectively and meeting local guidelines for answering calls.
  • Let University IT know whenever there is a change in a voice mailbox subscriber. If you're with Stanford University or the School of Medicine, call 5-HELP. If you're with Stanford Hospital and Clinics (SHC), call 4-HELP.
  • Make sure that callers to critical lines, main department numbers, and customer service lines have an "escape from voice mail" option to reach live assistance during normal business hours. For example, check that any voice mailbox using the programmable "personal assistant number" feature (where the caller presses "0" to be transferred to a department phone) links the "0" to live assistance — a number answered by a staff member or set up on group pickup.
  • Review how mailboxes in your department serve your callers. For example, if your callers ask frequent questions, such as directions to your building, consider using an Auto Attendant (Enhanced Call Processing) application with prerecorded messages.

Responsibilities for voice mailbox subscribers

  • Record a personal greeting. Greetings should be customized and updated routinely — daily if warranted. As personal greetings influence the caller's impression of Stanford and of the department, they should be helpful, answering the caller's expectations about when calls will be returned.
  • Check for messages regularly throughout the business day and reply promptly.
  • Record an extended absence greeting any time you will be gone longer than one workday, referring callers to options of leaving a message in your mailbox, or with some other person or mailbox within your department.
  • Be attentive to security concerns: change passwords often, don't use your phone number (default password) as your normal password, don't program passwords into speed dial keys, exit voice messaging by pressing star (*) until the system says "goodbye," and hang up or press the "release" button. The portal times out at 30 minutes.
  • Be aware of privacy concerns: use discretion when listening to voice messages over speakerphones or as email messages sent as audio files on a device. Also use caution when leaving a message, as some information is best conveyed only in a live conversation.
  • When calling any Stanford telephone answered by voice mail, leave a clear, detailed message stating the purpose of the call and response needs, so that the voice mailbox owner can return your call prepared with adequate information.
  • Be aware that unless you have opted to forward your messages to email, when you delete a message from your phone, once your phone session is over, the message is gone forever.
Last modified January 5, 2016