Create a call queue - small business tutorial

Call queues provide a method of routing callers to people in your organization who can help with a particular issue or question. Calls are distributed one at a time to the people in the queue (who are known as agents).

Call queues provide:

  • A greeting message.

  • Music while people are waiting on hold in a queue.

  • Call routing - in First In, First Out (FIFO) order - to agents.

  • Handling options for queue overflow and timeout.

Video demonstration

This video demonstrates how to create a call queue in Teams.

Before you begin

Get some Phone System - Virtual User licenses if you don't already have them. Get one for each call queue and auto attendant that you plan to set up. These licenses are free, so we suggest getting a few extra in case you decide to make changes to your setup in the future.

Since agents in a call queue may dial out to return a customer call, consider setting the caller ID for your call agents to your main phone number or the number of an appropriate auto attendant. See Manage caller ID policies in Microsoft Teams for more information.

Follow these steps to set up your call queue

When creating a call queue, you can add individual users to the queue, or you can use an existing security group, Microsoft 365 group, or Microsoft Teams team. We recommend using a team channel. This allows members of the queue to chat with each other, share ideas, and create documents or other resources to help them help your customers. A team also provides a voice mailbox for callers to leave a message after hours or if the queue reaches its maximum capacity.

To create a team

  1. First, click Teams on the left side of the app, then click Join or create a team at the bottom of your teams list.

  2. Then click Create team (first card, top left corner).

  3. Choose Build a team from scratch.

  4. Next, choose whether you want a public or private team. We recommend Private for your call queue to avoid people unintentionally becoming part of the queue by joining the team.

  5. Name your team and add an optional description.

  6. When you're done, click Create.

  7. Type the names of the people that you want to have in your call queue, and then click Add.

  8. Click Close. People you add to a team will receive an email letting them know they are now a member of your team and the team will show up in their teams list.

Next, we'll add a channel to use with the call queue.

To add a channel

  1. In Teams, find the team you just created, click More options (...), and then click Add channel.

  2. Type a name and description for the channel.

  3. Under Privacy, choose Standard - Accessible to everyone on the team and then click Add.