You've set your voicemail password, you've recorded a custom outgoing message, you can put people on hold...in short, you've got the basics down. For many ShoreTel users, this is about the limit of what they can do with their phone, but there's so much more! This article will walk you through some of the more advanced features that are accessible through the ShoreTel phone system.
Note that for all of these examples, I'll be using the ShoreTel web interface (accessible at shoretel.tetonscience.org/login). You can also use the ShoreTel Communicator software to access the same features, I just happen to prefer the web interface.
Logging in to the ShoreTel Web Server
To make use of the features below, you'll need to be logged into the ShoreTel web server: shoretel.tetonscience.org/login. Visit this site (it's also listed in the TSS Bookmarks folder in Chrome) and log in. Remember: your username is your first initial combined with your last name, like this: TCruise or SJohansson. Capitalization doesn't matter. If you can't remember your password, contact IT for assistance.
How to Set Up Custom Phone Labels
First off, ShoreTel becomes much easier to use if you add in some phone numbers for lines where you frequently want to forward calls. Good examples include your cell phone number, the front desk extension at your campus, any campus on-call numbers, or your home number. To configure these, first click on the 'More' menu at the top of the screen, then choose 'Preferences':
Next, click on 'My Phones' in the sidebar, then enter the numbers you want to include. Conveniently, the custom-labeled numbers will search the directory for existing extensions, so you don't have to look them up. When you're finished click the 'Save' button in the bottom-right hand corner of the screen. We'll cover actual uses for these phone numbers later.
A Gentle Introduction to Call Handling Modes
You can think of call handling modes as customizable batches of settings that determine how ShoreTel will deal with incoming calls. You can view the list (there are five different modes) near the top of the screen, after you've logged into ShoreTel:
You can change your call handling mode using this menu. To dig into the settings a little more, click on the item at the bottom of the menu: Configure Call Handling...
OK, so you can see there's a settings pane for each of the five call handling modes. You can customize a different greeting for each mode, you can adjust how and when calls are forwarded, and a few other custom settings. As you can see, there are three options for forwarding, each with a possible destination number
- Always- When this box is checked, all of your calls will be forwarded to the 'Always' number. The phone on your desk won't even ring, it will just forward calls right away.
- When no answer or busy- When this box is checked, your calls will only be forwarded if the caller can't get through to you. If you're on the phone already when they call, they'll be forwarded to your Busy forwarding destination. If the phone rings the number of times listed in the "Forward after (1-20) rings" setting below and no-one picks up, the caller is forwarded to the 'No Answer' destination.
- Never- Calls will not be forwarded from your desk phone. The phone will continue to ring and ring, without ever going to voicemail or any other forwarding destination.
You can change your call handling mode manually, or you can have it change according to a schedule. To schedule automatic changes to your call handling mode, set a Scheduled Mode Change for your Standard call handling mode.
There are a whole bunch of different, customized schedules, but here are the ones that will be most applicable for most people:
- TSS Workweek-MF: Standard mode from 8 AM - 4:30 PM, Monday-Friday, otherwise "Out of Office" mode
- TSS Workweek-7Days: Standard mode from 8 AM - 4:30 PM every day of the week, otherwise "Out of Office" mode
- WE Workweek: Standard mode from 8 AM - 5 PM Monday-Friday, otherwise "Out of Office" mode
Direct Callers to Another Number When they Press 0
One of the other call handling settings is to choose a forwarding destination when a caller presses 0 during your voicemail greeting. You can also set a different '0 destination' for each of your call handling modes, but for simplicity's sake, I'd recommend setting the same destination for all your call handling modes.
Have Calls Simultaneously Ring Your Cell Phone
Want to have calls to your desk phone automatically ring your mobile phone at the same time? There's a setting for that! In the Preferences pane, select 'Incoming Call Routing' from the left-hand column. Then, for 'simultaneously ring', choose 'Mobile'. Finally, check tho boxes for the call handling modes that you'd like to ring your cell phone at the same time. When you're finished, click 'Save' at the bottom of the page to save your changes.
Allow Callers to 'Find You' By Pressing 1
The Shoretel phone system also has a 'Find Me' feature. When enabled, a caller who reaches your voicemail can press 1, which will transfer their call to other phones of your choosing. As above, go to "My Phones" and "Incoming Call Routing" in the navigation sidebar, then scroll down to the 'Find Me' section. Choose which call handling modes where you'd like Find Me to be enabled. You may not want callers being able to forward their calls to your cell phone when you're on vacation, so I'd suggest unchecking 'Extended Absence' and possibly 'Out of Office'.
You'll also want to specify the phones where callers can 'find you', such as your mobile or home phone. I'd also recommend checking the 'Send incoming Caller ID' box, which will let you see the number of the person who's calling. When you're finished click 'Save' at the bottom.
Prevent Callers from Leaving Voicemail When You're on Vacation
You may have already noticed this, but each call handling mode also has a checkbox labeled "Do not record voice messages, only play greeting". If checked, this will prevent callers from leaving voicemail messages. While this isn't a recommended setting for Standard call handling mode, it's not a bad idea to check this box for 'Extended Absence' mode. Just make sure that you leave detailed instructors for callers about what they should do instead of leaving you a message.