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Operator Console Procedures

Job Duties

1.) Always answer the switchboard �UMKC.�

2.) All calls will be transferred quickly and efficiently with minimal conversation. The duties of the university operator position at 816-235-1000 are to receive and transfer. Operators should not stay on the line for the department to answer, but should instead release as soon as the four digit number is entered and ringing is heard. It is always helpful if you tell callers where you are sending them. If you hear a busy signal or silence (which means busy), redial or give the caller the number; all off campus calls should be given the area code and prefix 816-235-with the four-digit extension. As a general rule, the university operators do not give information.

3.) Operators should tailor questions to be sure that they are giving the caller the correct extension. Do not just transfer to the main number of a department. Each department and school has many offices. You may transfer to the main departments if that is what callers ask for or if you determine that the main department is the correct destination for the call. If the caller is unsure of the department or person, questions should be tailored to allow for quick transfer of the call to the appropriate number.* (See * under �General Information.) Do not stay with the call to question the department about their function. Use your best judgment in transferring to the correct campus location.

4.) Operator consoles must be on and in position to accept incoming calls at all times other than break or lunch periods. If you must leave the board to go to the restroom or due to an emergency, please inform the other operators to be sure the board is covered. During the course of a day, operator staff must handle a very large volume of calls, and it is important that enough boards are dividing this workload.

5.) Emergency calls should be transferred to the UMKC Police for appropriate action.

Personal Information

There should be no personal calls on the board. You must use your break periods for personal calls and use the phone provided - extension 1190. Never use your operator console to make personal calls. If you receive a personal call on the switchboard you must inform the person of the operators� extension, 816-235-1190, and have them call you back at your break time. Please do not move the telephone set for extension 1190 to sit on your desk. It should remain on the table for everyone to use.

Please try to keep your eating, while manning the board, to a minimum. It is important that callers hear a courteous, professional person, not someone chewing. In addition, the switchboard equipment is very expensive and you should always use extreme caution when eating or drinking at the board. It is mandatory that you keep all drinks (we prefer that you drink water) in closed containers, i.e.: bottles with screw caps, etc. Drinks and food should be kept well away from the console and computer. Your receive one hour for lunch and two fifteen minute breaks per day so you should try to do your snacking and drinking during these times.

Operators spend eight hours together in the same room; they should always make an effort to be professional and courteous to one another.

Operators should keep the conversation in the room at a soft volume. There are times when you may be speaking and another operator has to answer a call. Callers should not hear loud conversation or laughing, etc. In addition, answering the board comes first, so be courteous of other operators and keep talking to a minimum, especially when the board is very busy.


Operators are required to wear their binaural (two-ear) headsets.

Operators should refrain from using any non-approved software on their department computer. This includes all software regardless if the program can be run from the floppy drive or installed on the hard drive. In addition, operators should not send email messages to staff outside of the Telecommunications Department without prior management approval, nor should they send email messages that contain personal, non-Telecommunications related subjects.

Do not plug in electrical devices without management approval. In addition, operators should never light candles, use incense, etc. The latter is against fire code.

During regular working hours, the door to the Operators� room will remain unlocked. Operators are not issued keys and they need to have access. Please be sure the doorknob is put into an unlocked position when you enter in the morning.


Punctuality is an absolute must. The board must be in the idle position at 8 a.m. You must leave your place of residence early enough so that your board is on and ready to be answered at exactly 8. The same applies to your lunch breaks. Please only take the time allotted to you and return promptly. In addition, the board should remain in the idle position until 5 p.m.

Reliability is very important. If you must be absent due to illness, please call Maria at 2607. (Operators should keep a copy of the Unity User�s guide and a Telecommunications directory at home) You will be required to use a sick day to make up for the time. Vacation and personal days must be scheduled in advance - please check with Coordinator. All scheduled absences should be noted on the department calendar. Be aware, however, that the University rarely closes (even if classes are cancelled) and you will be required to use a personal or vacation day (See UMKC Severe Weather Policy). Watch the weather the night before and make provisions (leave early, carpool) if the weather is going to be bad. The switchboard is the main number for the campus and we rely on you to be here on a consistent basis.

Operators receive two fifteen minute breaks per day and a one-hour lunch break. These breaks must be scheduled at the same time every day so that we may be sure that a student or someone in the office can cover. You should only be away from your desk at scheduled break times (or for a quick restroom trip). It is important that you are at your desk and in position idle at all other times.

General Information

Operators should never transfer to any number listed as Restricted in MOST.

Operators are required to be courteous while maintaining the appropriate degree of efficiency at all times.

Operators do no accept collect calls or place long distance calls for faculty and staff. You may transfer to the department for collect call acceptance, but be sure that the outside operator knows you are not accepting the collect call, but simply transferring to the department for authorization.

Never transfer to an outside line for any reason. Callers who ask for an outside line or extension 9011 may be toll fraud thieves! 9011 is not a valid extension! If someone calls asking for an outside line, tell them the switchboard cannot transfer to outside lines. If anyone ever calls stating they are from an inter-exchange carrier, such as AT&T, transfer them to Telecommunications. This latter type of caller could again be a thief. Be cautious about toll fraud.

The University has one mailing address and zip code, which may be given to callers. Be sure to make it clear to callers that this is not a physical address but a mailing address only.      

  • 5100 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110
  • Operators do not take messages for University faculty and staff. Calls coming to the console from UNITY will be transferred to the main department number of the called party.

    Operators should document or report to the Coordinator any phone numbers, names, or departments that should be added into MOST. For example, if you receive several calls for the same person, but there is no listing in MOST please inform the Coordinator.

    Operators should be aware that all 3000 and 4000 extensions cannot be dialed from off-campus. You should not give 3000 and 4000 extensions to off-campus callers because they will not be able to dial them. The operators are able to transfer any caller, on-campus or off, to these 3000 and 4000 extensions. Callers located on-campus are able to dial these extensions without assistance.

    Operators should be aware that there are certain extensions on campus that are restricted from dialing long distance. Callers will hear a fast busy when they try to dial long distance from a restricted phone.

    Operators should not contact other departments for personnel or other information about the department�s responsibility or function. If information is needed, or the directory needs to be updated, it should be noted and reported to the Coordinator or Administrative Assistant for appropriate action.

    Long distance calls should be handled like any other call. Dial the four-digit number and release. There is no need to announce these or any other calls to the department.

    Under no circumstances will operators use the barge-in or busy verification key to interrupt a call.

    Be aware that there are times where the board goes into a busy position for no reason. If the board has been quiet for an unusually large amount of time, please check that your board is still in the idle position.

    Operators should know that there are Campus Phones (usually located in building lobbies) that are restricted to on-campus numbers only. If the caller tries to use one of these phones for off-campus calling by dialing 9, he will get a fast busy.

    You may give callers the first day of regular classes. It is important to make sure they know regular classes begin this day; Medical, Dental, and Law School may have a different schedule.

    You may give callers the dates of Spring Break.

    You may give callers library hours from the sheet provided by MNL several times per year.

    You may give callers the UMKC Federal School Code (002518) for completing the FAFSA, as long as they do not need additional information besides that five-digit number. For additional information they must be transferred to Admissions.

    If callers ask about pay phones, there are no longer any pay phones on campus.

    There are several direct-dial numbers listed in MOST. If you see an extension that looks invalid, check the Division/Department. If the division says: F Direct and there is a bogus extension (i.e., more than four digits or starting with 7 or 9) located to the right, that means the number is off-campus and the caller must dial it himself. Press enter and the valid off-campus number will display; give callers this number. Operators should not transfer to off-campus numbers.

    General Information ------------- Where to Transfer Callers

    Emergency calls should be transferred to the UMKC Police for appropriate action.

    Calls to the Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, Provost or deans should be directed to the appropriate main department number under the coordinating title.

    All telephone trouble reports will be transferred to 1191. This includes UNITY user problem, phone system feature questions, improper call forwarding, etc.

    Callers who need assistance with any type of dialing should be transferred to x1595.

    Callers with complaints about reaching various departments or about departmental activities should be directed to office of the dean, director, or vice chancellor responsible for that department. A hierarchy should always be assumed in handling a caller�s complaints or requests. Operators are required to know and use the organization chart of the University

    People with general complaints that do not fit into the hierarchy scheme can be transferred to the Help Line at x2222.

    Operators do not release personal information about themselves, students, faculty or staff. If someone asks for your name, just tell him �Campus switchboard operator.� A University phone number or department is considered public information. Operators are required to know the names of President, Chancellor, Vice Chancellors, Provost, and deans. If callers request titles of faculty or staff, they should be transferred to the main numbers of those departments. Callers requesting information about students� numbers can be transferred to 1112.

    Operators are required to have good working knowledge of the departments and activities on the campus. They are expected to read the University News, all University-wide communications disseminated via email, and any other materials that contain information helpful to call processing.

    Callers requesting directions or addresses to campus departments and buildings will be transferred to the appropriate department or to Campus Information at x5555. You may also tell callers that there are campus maps on the web site. Callers requesting UMKC Faculty and Staff directories and the AT&T Yellow Pages should be transferred to the Mailroom at x1439.

    Callers concerned about the status of classes during bad weather should be told to (1) check the front page of the web site, (2) call the HelpLine at x2222, or (3) watch the television news for cancellations. If the Chancellor officially cancels classes, the Coordinator will inform you and you may give callers this information.

    The Dental School Operators may be reached by dialing 2100. Calls should be switched to the Dental Operator only after you have decided the Dental Switchboard is the correct destination. When people ask for the Dental School you should ask them if they are calling for the appointment desk. If they say no, ask them to which individual or department they would like their call transferred. Only in cases where the caller does not know of a specific individual or department that they need, should you transfer or give the number to the switchboard at 2100.

    Callers requesting catalogs can be transferred to the Welcome Center or Admissions.

    Regarding the other three UM system campuses, give callers only the main address or switchboard number. Do not use a directory to look up additional information regarding specific employees or departments.

    Be aware that you will get calls from people who have used the �0� option in the voice mail to speak with an operator. You should not transfer callers back to the same extension unless they request that you do. You should use the Alternate Extension for these types of calls.

    There are several menu-type mailboxes on campus. When callers are transferred to these extensions they hear a greeting and are given several options to choose from. They usually have the choice of pressing a number to talk to a live person. They should listen to the entire menu to determine if one of the choices is to talk to someone in the department. If callers complain about having to listen to the menu, you may transfer them to an internal number (if there is one), use the alternate extension, or use the hierarchy to transfer to someone within that department who can help them. If callers are using a rotary phone and cannot press an option key, the initial greeting always gives them the option of waiting on the line so they may be connected to someone who can help them.

    *The following instructions should be followed when a caller is unsure of the appropriate department and you are unable to ascertain the correct destination even after asking the caller a few questions:

  • University business related concerns: Vice Chancellor for Administrative Affairs x2754
  • University student related concerns: Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs x1141
  • University academic related concerns: Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs x1107
  • University Advancement concerns (development, contributions, alumni, etc.): Vice Chancellor for University Advancement x1105
  • Information Services: Chief Information Office (CIO) x1481

    For sales-related questions regarding the University telephone system, etc. transfer these callers to Procurement x1371

    If a caller simply asks for the IT or IS Dept., ask first if he needs computer support. If so, transfer him to the Technology Support Center at x2000.

    Caller concerns with the above policies should be directed to the Coordinator at 816-235-2607.