Call Attendant and Call Queue for Skype for Business in Office 365

Call Attendant and Call Queue

Office 365 Call attendant and Call Queue in Skype for Business Online for Cloud PBX include greetings that are used when someone calls into a phone number for your organization. You can create a single or multiple call queues for your organization.

Ability to automatically put the calls on hold and search for the next available call agent to handle the call while the people who call are listening to music on hold.

Microsoft announced last week (3/27/2017) that Skype for Business Online now has Call Queue functionality for general availability, which has been long anticipated for organizations looking to expand their current Cloud PBX solution or others that have been hesitant to migrate to Skype for Business Online until that functionality is available. While the customizability of Call Queues is not identical to that of Skype for Business 2015 on premises, there is still great value from this solution, and I will highlight the features as available today taken directly from Microsoft.

Call Queues route incoming calls to the next available live attendant in the order they are received. Same deal as Auto Attendants…in fact, I don’t recall any instance where I’ve encountered one without the other. Creating both together is standard practice for all of our Skype for Business (Server) customers.

Auto Attendant is an automated system to answer and route inbound calls using dial pad inputs and speech recognition. You’ve encountered these plenty of times, when calling ISPs, telecom providers, or enterprise companies.

Call Queues – provide automated call distribution for incoming calls.

  • Often paired with Auto Attendants (also just released), Call Queues can have custom corporate greetings and hold music for inbound calls.
  • They can accept up to 200 calls per instance and queues up calls to be serviced.
  • Have the ability to automatically distribute the waiting calls in First In, First Out (FIFO) manner to the available agents.
  • Currently, the solution allows organizations to designate up to 50 Agents in the Call Queue. Maximum Queue size and maximum allowed call wait time are configurable and can setup overflow or timed-out calls to go to another Call Queue, Auto Attendant, Voicemail or Users.

Setting up Call Queue

First off, satisfying the prerequisites is mandatory for deploying a call Queue, are outlined below:

  • Create Agent Group: Create a security group or distribution group and add the agents
  • Create Service Numbers
  • Create Greeting
  • Determine Limits: Max concurrent calls and waiting time
  • Overflow Option: Route to call queue, Auto Attendant, agent or disconnect call

Now that the prerequisites are met, it’s time to configure the queue. Open up the Skype for Business Online Admin Panel, Open “Call Routing”, Select “Call Queues” tab, Use “+Add new” to add a new Call Queue. From here, you can select the following information in the GUI interface:

  • Name (Display name for the queue)
  • Phone Number (Use the drop down menu to select an existing service number)
  • Domain (Select your SIP domain)
  • Greeting (Upload your own optional greeting)
  • Music on Hold (Use the default, non, or custom Music On Hold)
  • Maximum Calls (Select the maximum concurrent calls)
  • Max Call Limit Action (Select call queue, Auto Attendant, disconnect, or route back to fall back user)
  • Wait time (Specify the total waiting time in the queue before timeout)
  • Time out action (Select Call Queue, Auto Attendant, Disconnect or route to fall back user)
  • Click to Save when done

If you prefer to use Powershell Commands, you can follow these steps:

  • New-CSHuntGroup (Used to create the new Call Queues)
  • Get-CSHuntGroup (Used to retrieve Call Queues)
  • Set-CSHuntGroup (Used to create configuration changes in Call Queues)
  • Remove-CSHuntGroup (Used to remove Call Queues)