Hello readers, hope you’re well.
This is a follow up to the previous post on the The New Auto Attendants & Call Queues and part of a short series. In this post I’ll show you how to create and configure a new Auto Attendant and a Call Queue.
What you’ll need
- You’ll need a licensed Resource Account with a phone number. The phone number can be a service number acquired from Microsoft (you’ll need at least one Calling Plan add-on license to acquire numbers) or assigned from Direct Routing. Direct Routing numbers only work for users in Teams Only mode.
- You’ll need to create at least one agent list for your call queue. This can be a security group or distribution list
- You’ll need some users who are Enterprise Voice enabled and licensed with E1 or E3 with the Phone System add-on or E5. Only EV enabled, licensed users can receive calls in a Call Queue or Auto Attendant.
How to do it
First Create a Call Queue
Open the Microsoft Teams Admin Centre, expand Voice and click on Call Queues. Click New Call Queue to begin
This opens the new call queue form
Add a resource account, enter the name of the resource account you want to associate with this call queue and click add
You can add more resource accounts if you want, or just click add, one more time
Now choose whether you want to add a greeting such as “Please hold the line for sales”. You can’t use text to speech here. If you do want a greeting you’ll need to upload a recording.
Now choose your Music on Hold. You can choose to leave it as the default, or you can upload your own.
Now add your call agents. This is the distribution group you created earlier. Click add call agents, enter the name of your group and click add
Add more groups if you want to, or click add, one more time
Now choose a routing method. Attendant, Serial or Round Robin (new)
and whether agents can opt out of taking calls and the alert time
Now configure call overflow handling. First decide on the maximum number of callers that can be in queue before another action is taken. You can disconnect the caller or redirect to a person or a voice app (another auto attendant or call queue).
As an example, I chose a person. Now configure call time out handling. Again, you can disconnect or redirect. Then click save to save your call queue.
Repeat for all of your call queues. Call queues can take calls directly or as a caller choice in an Auto Attendant.
Now Create your Auto Attendant
Again, open the TAC and expand voice and click on Auto Attendants. Choose a name for your auto attendant
Now add a resource account. This is probably where you’ll need a resource account with a telephone number. The telephone number can be a service number from Microsoft or sported in number (you’ll need a calling plan to acquire or port in numbers). Or you can use a number on your existing range on-premises (using Direct Routing). Or if you’re using a Direct Routing Service from a provider, they can assign a number from your range.
Search for and add your resource account
Now choose the timezone for this auto attendant
And the primary language
Now choose an operator if you have one. This can be a person or a voice app such as a call queue for your front of house staff
I selected person and assigned the role to Jim
Make sure enable voice input is on and press next
Now choose your business hours. Business hours are used in your call routing. You can have calls route one way during business hours and another, out of those hours.
You can adjust the start and end times and also add additional times to each day. For instance, maybe you’re open 9-5, but there’s a 1 hour break for lunch. Just have 9-12 and 1-5 as business hours.
Now choose your business hours settings
You might choose to have a greeting for your auto attendant. You can upload an audio file
Or you can use text to speech
Now choose a call action. You can have it go to a person or a voice app such as a call queue or another auto attendant (nested auto attendants).
With a nested auto attendant you can start with one attendant that gives choices such as sales & finance. Then if they choose sales, you ask them to choose existing order or new order.
Or you can choose a person. Maybe you want a recorded greeting to play during business hours before it goes to your front of house person. They then answer the call and transfer as needed.
Or you can create an options menu.
Start with your menu options greeting. This is what your caller will hear that can guide them through what choices they have. You can upload a recording you made earlier
Or you can use text to speech
Once you have a call prompt greeting you can choose your menu dial keys. Start with the number 0-9. Then choose your redirection option. Person or voice app
0 is reserved for your operator (the one you configured in the general screen.
And you can have choices from 1-9
Maybe you don’t have an operator. Select 1, then enter a voice command. This is the word the auto attendant will listen for in order to route the call.
Your caller can press 1 on the keypad or they can say the name of the department (great for accessibility). If you do all a voice command, it is a good idea to say this in your greeting. Such as “say sales or press 1 for the sales team”.
Now choose your destination. This can be a call queue or another auto attendant
and repeat for all of your dial keys
and don’t forget the voice command
Once you have all of your dial keys, press next to go to after hours call settings.
You can choose a greeting as before and then the call action. The process is the same as business hours. You can redirect to a person, such as an on-call technician or take the caller through the out of hours menus.
One of the things that is missing right now which is especially useful for out of hours scenarios is the ability to redirect to a telephone number. If you do want to do that now, you can choose a person in your org and that person must have call forward to the number enabled. Happy to report that redirect to a number is coming soon.
You can also set up holidays and choose what to do with callers during the holiday periods. Click new holiday
Give it a name and click create new holiday
Choose start and end dates and times and press save
Now select the holiday you created from the list
and choose a greeting. Same as before, this can be a recording or text to speech. Then choose an action. Then save
Now choose a dial scope for your directory. Remember when you were creating dial keys? And there was a toggle for dial by name? It was 3 screens ago. I’ll wait…
Back? Good. If you did enable dial by name (on by default) you can choose a dial scope. You can allow your callers to say the name of any member of staff and have the system route the call or you can limit that scope. You can include all or just the members of a group. Then you can create exclusions. In my opinion it is probably easier to create an exclusions list and group them together because that might not change as often as the inclusions list. You’d have to add each new starter to the distribution list to include them in the dial scope.
Of course if you do choose dial by name, you should say that in your greeting. e.g. “If you know the name of the person you want to speak to, say their name”. Then go on to give your menu choices.
I do think that toggle switch and this screen are too separated by the way. I know, and you know now that you’ve read this. I think the choices in this screen should just be added below the toggle. They only appear if the toggle is on.
Once you’re done with the dial scope, click submit to finish.
You now have an auto attendant, and some call queues.
That’s all for this one. For the next post, we move on to using PowerShell to create and customise your auto attendants and call queues. Stay tuned.
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Thanks for reading!