Create and manage queues for unified routing

Omnichannel for Customer Service offers a suite of capabilities that extend the power of Dynamics 365 Customer Service Enterprise to enable organizations to instantly connect and engage with their customers across digital messaging channels. An additional license is required to access Omnichannel for Customer service. For more information, see the Dynamics 365 Customer Service pricing overview and Dynamics 365 Customer Service pricing plan pages.


In Omnichannel for Customer Service, queues are used to collect and distribute workload among agents. Workload includes records such as cases, and conversations such as chat or SMS. Agents are added as members to the queues and the workload is distributed among the agents based on assignment methods.

How work items are routed to queues

Queues in Omnichannel for Customer Service are proxies for skills or domains. You can create separate queues for each line of business such as billing, investment, and products. When a customer query is raised for any of the areas, it is routed to the corresponding designated queue based on how you define route to queues in the classification. You can also set up a customer support availability matrix by using a combination of queues, operating hour schedules, and routing rules.

In an enterprise scenario, you can have various supervisors handling different issues, and therefore, different types of queues are required to handle the various scenarios. Accordingly, routing rules are set up based on the complexity of issues that need to be handled.

To simplify the routing experience for administrators and supervisors, queues are categorized based on the channel types as follows:

  • Messaging: To route all messaging conversations pertaining to the live chat, SMS, and social channels.
  • Records: To route work items pertaining to records, such as cases and emails.
  • Voice: To route calls made to the support numbers listed on the customer portal.

The queue types allow issues to be routed correctly and help avoid cross-queue assignments. When you configure workstreams and routing rule items, the queues that'll be available for selection will be based on the channel type for the workstream. For example, for routing rules for a live chat workstream, only messaging type queues will be shown for selection. Similarly, in a conversation transfer scenario, you can transfer a chat conversation only to a messaging queue, and a case only to an entity queue.

Assign a group number that helps you organize your queues in the list view. The group number won't affect the priority of the queue or incoming conversations.

Create a queue for unified routing

You can create queues for unified routing in Omnichannel admin center, or in the Service Management area in Customer Service Hub.

To create a queue and set operating hour record for the queue

  1. Do one of the following:

    • In the Omnichannel admin center site map, under General settings, select Queues.
    • In Customer Service Hub, go to the Service Management site map, and under Unified Routing, select Advanced queues.
  2. On the Queues page, do the following:

    1. Select New.

    2. In the Create a queue dialog box, enter the following:

      • Name: A name for the queue.
      • Type: Select Messaging, Record, or Voice.
      • Group number: A number to organize the queue.
    3. Select Create. The queue that you created is displayed.

      Queue in Omnichannel admin center.

  3. Select Add users, and in the flyout menu, select the users who should be part of the queue, then select Add. The users are added to the queue.

  4. In Assignment method, do one of the following:

    • Highest capacity: Assigns work item to the agent with the highest capacity, among those who have the skills identified during the classification stage, and have the presence as specified in the allowed presence option of the workstream; selected by default.
    • Round robin: Assigns work item to the agent in the list order who matches the criteria for skills and presence.
    • Create new: Lets you create a custom assignment method. The custom assignment method lets you use your own rulesets and rules to configure priority, severity, and capacity for choosing the queues to which work items need to be routed by setting up the rulesets for Prioritization and assignment. For more information about the custom assignment method, see Create custom assignment method.
  5. To set operation hours, in the Operation hours area, select Set operation hours. If you don't set operation hours, the queue is considered to be available round the clock. You must configure the operating hour record before you can set it for the queue. More information: Configure operating hour record

  6. On the Set operation hours dialog that appears, select an operating hour record in the Name list.

  7. Select Save and close. The operating hour record that you selected is configured for the queue.

Manage queues for unified routing

You can manage queues on the Queues page, and perform operations such as search, edit, copy, and delete the queues.

  • Select a queue to edit the users, assignment methods, or operating hour record.

  • Select a queue on the Queues page, select Copy on the command menu, and then select Copy in the <queue_name> dialog. The queue is copied and inherits the settings of the queue you copied from, including its name, prefixed with Copy of.

Default queues in Omnichannel for Customer Service

The following default queues are available in Omnichannel for Customer Service:

  • Default entity queue for routing entity records.
  • Default messaging queue for routing all messaging conversations pertaining to live chat, SMS, Microsoft Teams, and social channels.
  • Default voice queue for routing all voice calls.

Default queues can't be edited or deleted. All Omnichannel for Customer Service users are members of the default queues so the membership to these default queues can't be changed.

Work is routed to the default queues that act as a safety net in the following scenarios:

  • Work item encounters an error during classification
  • Work item encounters an error when running a route-to-queue rule
  • Work item does not match any route-to-queue rules


When you configure route to queues for work classification, we recommend that you don't select the default queues.

See also

Create workstreams for unified routing
Create and manage assignment methods
Create and manage operating hours
Configure the voice queues