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Using Call Answering Rules

The default "rule" for Bowdoin's Voicemail system is to answer each call, take a voicemail message and send that message to a specific email Inbox. 

The Voicemail system will also allow you to set up other rules for handling incoming calls.  Directions for the most common incoming call scenarios used at Bowdoin are below.  To follow these instructions, log into Webmail, click the Options menu in the upper right corner of the Webmail window, and select See all Options...  At the next window, click the Phone link and focus on the Call Answering Rules section.

Transfer call to another phone

If my email has an "out of office" message

If my calendar shows that I'm in a meeting

For a comprehensive explanation and overview of "Call Answering Rules", you may view Microsoft's documentation.

Transfer to another phone

  • Click the New Rule link
  • At the top of the New Rule window, name the Rule (e.g., "Transfer call to Jen")
  • Under the Add Actions the Caller can select, select Transfer the caller to...
  • A Transfer the Caller window will appear.  You can add text into the first text box or leave blank, (e.g., "My scheduler")
  • Select a number from the drop down menu that the caller will press to start the transfer (e.g., 2)
  • In the Phone number field, enter the 4 digit extension of the person to whom the call will be transferred. (if you want to transfer to a number outside of Bowdoin, use the 10 digit number.)
  • Click the Apply button.
  • NOTE:  For each additional number to which you want your callers to transfer, you will need to create an additional "Transfer the caller to..." action.  For each transfer option, click the Transfer the caller to... link.  Each transfer option will be listed on the "Provide the caller with this menu" list.

Your rule is now ready to use.  Your voicemail greeting will now reflect the new rule; however, your greeting will be in an electronic voice (not yours.)  You can listen to the message and decide to record a more personalized and complete voicemail greeting.

You will notice a Greeting and Prompts section at the bottom of the New Rule window.  This is where you can hear the default greeting and rerecord it if you choose.


If my email has an "out of office" message

From the Voice Mail Options window, click the New Rule link. Name your rule in the Name field (e.g., "email has out of office message") 

Under the Add Conditions area, click the link for If automatic replies are turned on.

Use the Greeting and Prompts options to hear the default message for this rule and to record a new one if necessary.

When you're done with your greetings, click the Save and Close link to return to the Voice Mail options window.  In the Call Answering Rules box, your new rule will be listed.  If you don't want the rule to be in use, click the checkbox to disable it.

If my calendar shows that I'm in a meeting

From the Voice Mail Options window, click the New Rule link. Name your rule in the Name field (e.g., "in a meeting") 

Under the Add Conditions area, click the link for If my schedule shows that my status is...

A window will appear. Check which status you want to rule to apply to.  Then click Apply.

Use the Greeting and Prompts options to hear the default message for this rule and to record a new one if necessary.

When you're done with your greetings, click the Save and Close link to return to the Voice Mail options window.  In the Call Answering Rules box, your new rule will be listed.  If you don't want the rule to be in use, click the checkbox to disable it.

Instructions for Setting "Greetings and Prompts"

Click on the link: Call the Play on Phone number to play or record a greeting for this call answering rule...
A Play on Phone window will appear with your telephone extension.  Click the Dial link. When your phone starts ringing, press the Answer soft key on your phone.

If you have not recorded a greeting for this rule yet, you will hear the following:  "You have not recorded a greeting for this call answering rule.  Callers will hear:"  The default greeting will then play.

If you have recorded a greeting for this rule, you will hear the following:  "This is your current greeting for this call answering rule."  The greeting for the rule will then play.

At the end of the recording you will be given these options:

  • To replay press 1
  • To record a new greeting press 2
  • To delete and use the default greeting press 3
  • To exit, hang up or press the star (*) key
  • To repeat this menu press zero.

If you decide to record a new greeting for an answering rule, be sure to include the list of actions callers can select.  For example,  say "press 2 to transfer to my scheduler, or press the pound (#) key to leave a voice message."

When you are finished recording, you will always need to press the # key.

Click the Save and Close link to return to the Voice Mail options window.  In the Call Answering Rules box, your new rule will be listed.  If you don't want the rule to be in use, click the checkbox to disable it.

Document author:
cfinnera
Last modified:
Feb 17, 2011