Ten Top Tips to using Office Communicator

Ten Top Tips to using Office Communicator

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Recently my team asked me to put together ten top tips for LiveMeeting and Communicator.  My LiveMeeting tips are in the previous post so here are ten quick tips on how to make the most out of Communicator.

  1. Butting in – Getting someone's attention Communicator can be hard do why not try this to increase you chance of getting an answer quickly.  “Hi, do you have a minute……Need to talk to you about …”.  This lets them know why you want to get hold of them and by putting a carriage return in the middle of the sentence it means your question doesn't appear on the screen if they are presenting.
  2. I’ve started so I’ll finish – I am guilty of doing this sometimes.  You wouldn't start a conversation with someone face to face and then walk off so try not to do the same with Communicator.  If you have started the conversation then you should finish it,  if you need to disappear then let them know
  3. “Got your number” (correctly formatted?) – The average Microsoft employee gets of 100 emails a day and over the years I have seen some interesting formats for telephone numbers.  So that it works correctly for Communicator and for your mobile phone if you synchronise your contacts,  use the E164 format i.e. +44118909xxxx.  No need for brackets or leading zeros e.g. +(44)(0)(118)909xxxx
  4. One voicemail – This one will depend on your telephony setup but I divert my mobile to my landline when unanswered,  busy or unavailable.  That way I only have one place I need to check voicemail.
  5. One number – One way to encourage the idea of ‘one number can find me anywhere’ is to stop giving out your mobile number.  It freaks people out when you only give them your landline but to be honest that's all they really need.
  6. Check before you chat - Check someone's presence before you communicate with them.  A simply habit to get into that will save your lots of time during the year.
  7. Transfer and Conference – I never knew how to do this on my old telephone and therefore I didn't do it in Communicator either for a while.  Most people feel confident enough to forward and email or add someone into an email trail so do the same with your calls, its that simple.
  8. yourname@microsoft.com for MSN/Yahoo/AOL – For those that have signed up for Public IM Connectivity,  don’t forget to give out your work IM address to you business contacts instead of fluffybunny21@hotmail.com ;-)
  9. IM A DL – Use this one wisely.  It’s now possible to send an IM to a Distribution list in Communicator 2007.  Not something you should use all the time but can be useful when you have a small set of people you need to ask and a quick piece of information you need to get.
  10. Make the most of what you now have – Even within Microsoft,  I see people set Communicator to ‘Forward call to…’.  You are not going to get the most out of OCS and Communicator by using this setting so why not go for ‘Simultaneous ring’ instead?

Ten top tips then on how to get the most out of Communicator …… enjoy !

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