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MS Teams Admin - Add an Auto Attendant

Teams 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.

Prerequisites / Important Notes: 

This document is intended for Office 365 Commercial environments. Office 365 GCC High may not have the same features.

For the user adding the Auto Attendant in O365 / Teams, they must have Global Administrator privileges or higher.

Make sure you have built a Resource Account to associate with this Auto Attendant -- see our "Microsoft Teams: Add A Resource Account" article for information on how to build one.


Create an Auto Attendant:

To set up an auto attendant, in the Teams admin center, expand Voice, select Auto attendants, and then select Add.

  1. Type a name for the auto attendant in the box at the top.

  2. To designate an operator, specify the destination for calls to the operator. This designation is optional / not required, but can be useful if you want to allow callers to break out of the menus and speak to a designated person or be routed to a specific Auto Attendant / Call Queue.

  3. Specify the time zone for this auto attendant. The time zone is used for calculating business hours if you create a separate call flow for after hours.

  4. Specify a supported language for this auto attendant. This is the language that will be used for system-generated voice prompts.

  5. Choose if you want to enable voice inputs. When enabled, the name of every menu option becomes a speech-recognition keyword. For example, callers can say "One" to select the menu option mapped to key 1, or they can say "Sales" to select the menu option named "Sales." (NOTE:  If you choose a language in Step 4 that doesn't support voice inputs this option will be disabled.)

  6.  Click "Next".


Call Flow

Choose if you want to play a greeting when the auto attendant answers a call.

If you select Play an audio file you can use the Upload file button to upload a recorded greeting message saved as audio in .WAV, .MP3, or .WMA format. The recording can be no larger than 5 MB.

If you select Type a greeting message the system will read the text that you type (up to 1000 characters) when the auto attendant answers a call.


Choose how you want to route the call.

If you select Disconnect, the auto attendant will hang up the call.

If you select Redirect call, you can choose one of the call routing destinations.

If you select Play menu options, you can choose to Play an audio file or Type in a greeting message and then choose between menu options and directory search.


For dialing options, assign the 0-9 keys on the telephone keypad to one of the call routing destinations. (The keys * (Repeat) and # (Back) are reserved by the system and can't be reassigned.)

Key mappings don't have to be continuous. It's possible to create a menu with keys 0, 1, and 3 mapped to options, while the number 2 key isn't used.

We recommend mapping the zero key to the operator if you've configured one. If the operator isn't set to any key, the voice command "Operator" is also disabled.

For each menu option, specify the following settings:

  • Dial key - the key on the telephone keypad to access this option. If voice inputs are available, callers can also say this number to access the option.

  • Voice command - defines the voice command that a caller can give to access this option, if voice inputs are enabled. It can contain multiple words like "Customer Service" or "Operations and Grounds." For example, the caller can press 2, say "two," or say "Sales" to select the option mapped to the two keys. This text is also rendered by text to speech for the service confirmation prompt, which might be something like "Transferring your call to sales."

  • Redirect to - the call routing destination used when callers choose this option. The choices for this are Person in Organization (a user in your Teams environment), Voice App (Resource Accounts / Call Queues / Auto Attendants), Voicemail, and External Phone Number (a phone number that lies outside your Teams environment). If you are redirecting to an auto attendant or call queue, choose the resource account associated with it.


Business Hours & After Hours Routing

Business hours can be set for each auto attendant. If business hours aren't set, all days and all hours in the day are considered business hours because a 24/7 schedule is set by default. Business hours can be set with breaks in time during the day, and all of the hours that are not set as business hours are considered after-hours. You can set different incoming call-handling options and greetings for after-hours.

To set a day as "Closed" (After Hours Only),  blank out the "Start at" and "End at" times for the days with no Business Hours (as per the screenshot above, where Saturday and Sunday have no hours selected).

If you want separate call routing for after-hours callers, then specify your business hours for each day. Select Add new time to specify multiple sets of hours for a given day, for example, to specify a lunch break.

Once you've specified your business hours, then choose your call routing options for after hours. The same options are available as for the business hours call routing that you specified above.

Depending on how you have configured your auto attendants and call queues, you may only need to specify after-hours call routing for auto attendants with direct phone numbers.

Example: if you want a Call Queue to have specified business hours , since Teams Call Queues can't have a schedule programmed within their direct settings, by putting an Auto Attendant at the front of the call queue you can designate the Call Queue's business hours via the Auto Attendant by having the Auto Attendant only route calls to the Call Queue during Business Hours (or After Hours if it is planned to be an After Hours queue).

Select Next when you're done.

Holiday Call Settings / Schedules

Your auto attendant can have a call flow for each Holiday you've set up.  You can add up to 20 scheduled holidays to each auto attendant.

  1. On the Holiday call settings page, select Add.

  2. Type a name for this holiday setting.

  3. From the Holiday dropdown, choose the holiday that you want to use.

  4. Choose the type of greeting that you want to use.

  5. Choose if you want to Disconnect or Redirect the call.

  6. If you chose to redirect, choose the call routing destination for the call.

  7. Select Save.

If you do not have any Holidays added in your Teams yet, you can do so by following these steps prior to setting up a Holiday Schedule in your Auto Attendants:

  1. In the Microsoft Teams admin center, go to Org-wide settings > Holidays.

  2. Select New holiday.

  3. Enter a name for the holiday.

  4. Select Add new date.

  5. Under Start time, select the calendar icon and choose the date when you'd like the holiday to begin.

  6. Use the drop-down list to select a start time for the holiday.

  7. Under End time, select the calendar icon and choose the date when you'd like the holiday to end.

  8. Use the drop-down list to select an end time for the holiday. The End time must be after the Start time. If the holiday is for one full day (i.e., a 24 hour period), the End time should be set to the next day and the time to 12:00 AM. For example, if your organization is closed on January 1 for New Year's day, set the Start time to January 1 12:00 AM and set the End time to January 2 @ 12:00 AM.

  9. Optionally, add more dates for recurring holidays.

  10. Select Save.


Assign / Associate Resource Accounts

All auto attendants must have an associated resource account. First-level auto attendants will need at least one resource account that has an associated service number. If you wish, you can assign several resource accounts to an auto attendant, each with a separate service number.

To add a resource account, select Add account and search for the account that you want to add. Select Add, and then select Add.

When you have finished adding service accounts, select Submit to complete auto attendant configuration.


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