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How To Automate Your Microsoft Teams Call Queue Assignments 

How To Automate Your Microsoft Teams Call Queue Assignments 

You’re using Teams as a bona fide PBX and it’s time to configure your call queues. 

But, with tons of numbers, users, and queues, it’s a considerable task to get them all up and running, then make changes at the drop of a hat. 

Luckily, there’s a way to automate your Microsoft Teams call queue assignments. 

It all starts with signing up to Orto for Teams. A solution designed for Teams admins, by Teams admins. 

More specifically, by Teams admins who’ve been there, done that, made the mistakes, and have learned from them.  

Instead of spending countless hours manually assigning Teams call queues then finding out you made a mistake and have to start over, you can now automate the entire process. 

Before we show you how, it’s important to understand how call queues work in Teams. 

How do call queues work in Teams? 

In Microsoft Teams, call queues receive incoming calls for specific numbers and apply your chosen treatment. 

Let’s say John calls +1 212-385-2066 and there’s a Teams call queue assigned to it. 

When the call connects, several things can happen: 

  • A greeting message gets played 
  • Music on hold starts 
  • Calls are held in a queue until a member of the queue is available 
  • Options for queue timeout kick in (voicemail, diversion, etc.) 

Ultimately, the call queue is a holding area for a call until someone set up to receive calls from that queue becomes available. It’s a great way keep callers on the line rather than receiving a busy tone. 

Inside Teams, several things are happening here: 

  • Phone call hits your telephony platform 
  • Teams looks up the relevant call queue and resource account 
  • Treatment (queue, music, greeting) is applied basic on config 
  • Teams transforms the call when someone becomes available 

Before calls connect to a human, you can apply call routing measures like round-robin, attendant, or serial. If you’re used to setting up call queues in a call center module, it’s much the same. 

Call queues menu in the Teams Admin Center

You can also apply special factors when creating presence-based routing and channel-based queuing. But let’s not run before we can walk. 

How do I assign a number to a Teams call queue? 

You’ve got two options: 

  1. Use Orto for automated call queue assignment (modern, scalable method) 
  2. Use the Teams Admin Center (traditional, non-scalable method) 

1 – Use Orto for automated call queue assignment 

Let’s start by showing you how to automate your Teams call queue assignments using Orto. 

Automating Microsoft Teams call queue assignment

Create Queue Groups 

To assign a number to a Teams call queue, you need to first create Queue Groups. 

Queue Groups allow you to group together all Teams call queues that a department/group of users may need access to and bundles to assign to your users via Orto. 

With unlimited call queues in each tenant, being able to assign users to the right queues based on their job role can be quite a challenge. The aim of Queue Groups is to allow admins to group common call queues together so that users can be added to these easily. 

Pre-requisites  

  • You must have connected your Teams tenant to Orto 
  • Health check must be reporting a healthy status 
  • Must have the auto-provisioning license assigned to your Orto tenant 
  • Must have at least one Teams call queue created in your Microsoft 365 tenant 

Creating a call queue Group  

To create a call queue group, click New call queue group button from the call queue groups tab found in the connected Microsoft Teams service inside Orto. 

Creating a call queue group

Enter a name and optional description of the queue group and then use the builder to assign the required call queues to the queue group and press Save when finished. 

Assigning a Queue Group to A User  

You can assign one or more queue groups to a user at any time. You can do this either per individual user or to a group of users using auto-provisioning. Edit the user in your Orto and click on the call queue groups tab. 

From there select the queue groups to assign to the user and press Save

Assigning a call queue group to a user

Agent Assignment Types  

Orto supports all call queue agent assignment methods that are available in Teams: 

  • Direct Agent Assignment 
  • Security / Distribution Group Agent Assignment 
  • Direct and Distribution Group Agent Assignment 
  • Voice-enabled channels 

If you’re new to Teams call queues, here’s what each comprises… 

Direct Agent Assignment  

Add users directly to the call queue as agents. This allows you to control agent hunting algorithms like serial, round robin, and attendant. 

When Orto adds agents to queues configured in this way, the new agents will be added at the bottom of the list. 

If you want to reorder how agents are offered called especially in serial hunting mode, you will need to edit the queue in the Teams Admin Center to order the agent list as you need. 

Security / Distribution List Assignment  

Assign multiple distribution lists as agent groups for call hunting. When selected, the AzureAD group is added to the queue and all voice enabled members of the AzureAD group become agents. 

For queues configured in this way, Orto will add the user to the first distribution list assigned to the call queue. 

Direct and Distribution List Assignment  

Add both explicit users and distribution lists as agents to the same call queue. In this case, adding a user to a queue configured in this manner will add that user to the first distribution list associated to the call queue. 

Voice-Enabled Channels  

Activate voice-enabled channels for agent answering. In this mode, the queue is associated with a specific team and channel within Teams. All members of the team will become agents of the queue if they are voic- enabled. 

For queues configured in this way, Orto will add the user to the required team in Teams as a member and thus make them part of the agent team. 

How to remove a Teams user from a Queue Group 

You can remove a user from a queue group by editing their user profile in your Orto portal, and clicking on the call queue groups tab. From there, click the trash icon next to the assigned queue group you want to remove them from, and press Save

How to remove a Teams user from a Queue Group 

This will remove the user as an agent from all queues found in the group. 

Want to see automated call queue assignment in action?

👉 Book your free Orto demo here.

2 – Use the Teams Admin Center 

If you need to make one-off changes or create a single call queue, the Teams Admin Center (TAC) may prove just fine. 

First, navigate to https://admin.teams.microsoft.com/ 

You will need Microsoft 365 admin rights to access this page. It’s not available to standard users of Teams or Microsoft 365. 

When you’re logged in, follow these steps: 

  • Select Voice on the left-hand menu 
  • Choose Call Queues 
  • Hit Add 
  • Name your queue according to department, caller type, or user behavior 

You must then add what Microsoft refers to as a “resource account”. 

What is a resource account in Microsoft Teams? 

A resource account is like a replacement for a license when there is no user involved. For example, if you have a meeting room or a call queue, these are resources within the Microsoft world but they have no user associated. As such, they don’t need a Teams license to operate. However, they do need a resource account to function. 

Adding a resource account to a call queue in Microsoft Teams 

If you already have a resource account ready for your call queues, follow these instructions from Microsoft

  • In the Resource accounts menu, select the Add button to add a resource account for your desired call queue. 
  • On the Add accounts pane then search for the resource account to add. 
  • Select the Add button next to the resource account you want to assign to this call queue. 
  • At the bottom of the pane, select the Add button. 

If you need to make a new resource account, follow these instructions from Microsoft: 

  • In the Resource accounts menu, select the Add button
  • On the Add accounts pane, search for a set of letters to pull up the results dropdown. 
  • Select the + Add a resource account button at the bottom of the results. 
  • On the Add resource account pane, type in a descriptive Display name (this is what agents will see when the phone rings). 
  • Type in a descriptive Username for the resource account. 
  • Select the Resource account type dropdown and select Call queue. 
  • At the bottom of the pane, select the Save button. 
  • On the Resource accounts pane, select the Add button. 

So, now you’ve added the resource account. The next step is to set the calling ID. In Teams this step is optional. However, it’s strongly advised to add an ID to your queue to agents can call out and then be called back on the queue number (rather than their personal number).  

Otherwise, agents will make calls out on behalf of a team, but any returned calls will route directly to them, increasing the chance of reaching an engaged tone.  

Note: When making calls, agents can choose to present their personal number or a configured call queue ID. If they need to make internal calls or calls non-specific to their entire department, there is no benefit to sending the call queue ID. 

Assigning a calling ID to call queues in Teams 

  • In the Voice menu of the Teams Admin Center, choose Call queues then Assign calling ID then select Add.  
  • Next, search for one or more resource accounts you want to allow agents to use for outbound caller ID purposes. 
  • Select the Add button next to the resource account with an assigned phone number. 

Adding a greeting or music on hold 

Choose from uploading an MP3, WAV, or WMA file to play music that is either royalty-free or you have the rights to play or use the option for Teams to read out a message you type freehand. 

In the call queue menu, select either Play and audio file or Type a greeting message as you wish. 

If you don’t select either of these, Teams will automatically play royalty-free music when callers are holding in a queue. 

Add users to call queues 

Without users (or agents) in a call queue, they serve no purpose. There are two main ways to add users to call queues in the TAC: 

  • Assign a Teams channel 
  • Assign individual users or groups 

To add up to 200 agents from a Teams channel, select the Choose a team option then hit Add a channel. Search for a select the team with the relevant agents for this call queue. Click Apply to save your changes. 

To add individual users or groups from outside a channel, select the Choose users and groups and follow the same process. Type the name of the user or group and add everyone who needs to receive calls from this call queue. 

Defining agent routing 

The next step as you work through the TAC workflow is to choose the type of agent routing: 

  • Attendant routing 
  • Serial routing 
  • Round robin 
  • Longest idle 

In the TAC, select the Routing method option to make your selection. 

There’s also the option to choose Presence-based call routing. This is available to select with any of the above routing methods.  

That’s it! You’ve successfully set up a call queue in the TAC. If you’re creating a single call queue in Teams, this is likely the best option as you only need to go through this process once. For anything further than this, automation via Orto is highly recommended. 

Optional extras 

When you’ve set your agents, music on hold, and routing options, the TAC presents you with the potential to use: 

  • Exception handling 
  • Call overflows 
  • Call timeouts 
  • Authorizing who can make changes to call queues 

Work your way through any setting that may apply to you. These are often settings that get tweaked after a period of settling in and learning how well your call queues perform. 

What is best practice for call queue in Teams? 

When configuring call queues in Teams, follow these best practices: 

  • Automate call queue assignment if you have multiple queues to set up 
  • Automate call queue assignment if you have high staff turnover 
  • Automate call queue assignment if you make frequent changes 
  • Use the TAC if you only have one call queue to create and manage 
  • Use music on hold or a greeting message to reassure callers they’re in a queue 
  • Use presence-based routing to ensure calls don’t get routed to agents away from their desk 

The problem with manual Teams call queue assignments 

When you’re making manual call queue assignments in Teams, you will face several problems: 

  • Time to configure: at scale, using the TAC is time-consuming, often losing hours to config. 
  • Cost of time to configure: resource is allocated to manual tasks when you could automate. 
  • Chance of error: humans are prone to error when it comes to data entry and manual tasks. 
  • Cost of error: time spent remedying manual errors is costly, eating up time spent elsewhere 

How to automate your Microsoft Teams call queue assignments 

To automate your Teams call queue assignments, sign up for Orto

Once you get started, you can: 

  • Save up to 77 on user provisioning costs  
  • Assign agents to multiple queues in seconds 
  • Create direct, distribution list, or voice-enabled channels 
  • Assign users as agents to all queues in a call queue group based on their role 

If you’re planning to create and manage Microsoft Teams call queues at scale, sign up for a free demo of Orto here

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