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United States Department of the Interior
Montana State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, Montana 59101-4669
June 2, 2006
In Reply To:  
1293 (932.TL) P                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
Instruction Memorandum No. MT-2006-059
Expires: 9/30/07
To:            All Montana/Dakotas Employees
From:         State Director
Subject:      Voice Mail Etiquette and Use Policy
Program Area: All
Purpose: The purpose of this memorandum is to set the level of expectations for all employees in the Montana/Dakotas regarding their use of voice mail and to implement Headquarters Office and Departmental policy. It is important that our customers, both public and internal, receive timely and courteous responses to their calls. This does not happen when employees fail to regularly update their voice mail greeting or fail to answer messages.
Policy/Action: The following guidelines apply to all phones in the Montana/Dakotas that currently have voice mail, whether it is an automated voice messaging system or an external device.
1.         Voice mail greetings will be updated at least once a week.
2.         Voice mail should be checked regularly and messages answered within 24 hours or the voice mail greeting should indicate that the individual will not be available including the time period, and should give an alternate contact person.
3.         Greetings on voice mail should be polite, business-like, short and informational. Greetings should include, at a minimum, your name, office, date of the update, and availability.
4.         Individual phone extensions (the number that rings on your desk) which have voice mail should provide callers with the ability to reach an attendant as well as contact information for someone who may be able to assist them.
5.         All published numbers (all numbers which appear in the local telephone directory) will be answered during business hours. If the individual responsible for covering a published number must leave, the phone should be forwarded to another number that will be answered. During published office hours, every effort should be made to answer published numbers before they are answered by voice mail.
6.         When an employee leaves the BLM, the employee should record a final greeting informing future callers of their departure. This final message should also instruct the caller how to reach an attendant and provide the names and numbers for contacts who will be covering functions for the departed individual.
Quick Reference Guides will be distributed under separate cover.  They will include instructions for accessing the voice mail system and changing your greetings. Attachment one includes some samples for changing the voice mail greeting. These guides can also be accessed through the Intra-net on the Telecomm web page at http://web.mt.blm.gov/irm/telecommunications.html.
Timeframe: Effective Immediately
Budget Impact: None
Background: None
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: None
Coordination: None
Contact: If you have questions regarding this policy, please feel free to contact Robin Stoebe, State Chief Information Officer, at 406-896-5179. If you have any questions about the Quick Reference Guides, please contact Troy LaFleur, Telecommunications Manager, at 406-869-5161 or Jeff Reynolds, Telecommunications Specialist, at 406-896-5270.
Signed by: Howard A. Lemm, Acting
Authenticated by: Laura Schmier (MT-932)
1 Attachment

Last updated: 03-18-2013