Set up an auto attendant - small business tutorial

Auto attendants let people call your organization and navigate a menu system to speak to the right department, call queue, person, or an operator. You can create auto attendants for your organization with the Microsoft Teams admin center.

Before you begin

Get the service numbers that you need for the auto attendants that you want to be accessible by direct dialing from outside your organization. This might include transferring numbers from another provider or requesting new service numbers.

Get a Phone System - Virtual User license for each auto attendant that you plan to create. These licenses are free, so we suggest getting a few extra in case you decide to make changes to your setup in the future.

If you want to have your auto attendant route calls differently on holidays, then create the holidays that you want to use before you create the auto attendant.

Follow these steps to set up your auto attendant

Each auto attendant that you create requires a resource account. This is similar to a user account, except the account is associated with an auto attendant or call queue instead of a person. In this step, we'll create the account, assign it a Microsoft 365 Phone System - Virtual User license, and then assign a service number.

Create a resource account

You can create a resource account in the Teams admin center.

  1. In the Teams admin center, expand Org-wide settings, and then click Resource accounts.

  2. Click Add.

  3. In the Add resource account pane, fill out Display name, Username, and choose Auto attendant for the Resource account type

    Screenshot of add resource account user interface

  4. Click Save.

    The new account will appear in the list of accounts.

    Screenshot of a list of resource accounts

Assign a license

You must assign a Microsoft 365 Phone System - Virtual User license to the resource account.

  1. In the Microsoft 365 admin center, click the resource account to which you want to assign a license.

  2. On the Licenses and Apps tab, under Licenses, select Microsoft 365 Phone System - Virtual User.

  3. Click Save changes.

    Screenshot of assign licenses user interface in the Microsoft 365 admin center

Assign a service number

If you need this auto attendant to be reachable by a phone number, then assign that number to the resource account.

  1. In the Teams admin center, on the Resource accounts page, select the resource account to which you want to assign a service number, and then click Assign/unassign.

  2. In the Phone number type dropdown, choose the type of number that you want to use.

  3. In the Assigned phone number box, search for the number you want to use and click Add.

    Screenshot of the assign service number user interface

  4. Click Save.