Answering calls when call queue agents are unavailable or away

Brass Contributor

I am in the process of setting up Teams voice to replace an on-premises PBX. This is my first foray into voice systems and I could use some guidance. 


We still use a receptionist to answer incoming calls to our local and toll-free number.  I'm trying to replicate current PBX call flow over to Teams Voice. Our current call flow is very simple. During normal business hours incoming calls ring on four handsets: Receptionist, Hall Phone, Conf Phone, Common Phone. If the receptionist is away from either of these phones, another user can pick up a handset, select the flashing phone line, answer the call then transfer caller to another user or to voicemail.


I have created the following

Main Call Queue

  1. Resource account 
    1. Main Line       123-555-4545
    2. Toll Free Line  888-555-4545
  2. Call answering:
    1. Reception User
    2. Common Phone
    3. Conf Phone
    4. Hall Phone
  3. Call timeout handling
    1. Max wait time 15 seconds
    2. Redirect call to Voice app MainCallTimeout (auto attendant)

Is there a way to answer calls out of the call queue if any or all of the call agents are unable to answer an incoming call?

5 Replies
best response confirmed by Therese_Solimeno (Moderator)

You will need to create two Call Queues.
The first queue will just have the receptionist in it
Set a Timeout of 30 seconds and a maximum amount of callers to 2 (or however you like)
IF that timeout or maximum callers is reached, transfer the call to the second queue.
Add all remaining phones AND the receptionist into the second queue (in case the receptionist becomes available again) and set the routing style to 'Attendant'.
If the call is still not answered, you can choose to send it to voicemail or a mobile.

You can also add any other user into the first queue and allow users to opt out of receiving calls. That way if the receptionist is on leave, you can simply opt-in to taking calls from the first queue to avoid delays for the caller.

The other way you can achieve this without any 'advanced' routing is to add all users as a delegate to the receptionist. Set the receptionist's call settings to 'Also ring' 'My Delegates'
The other three users will see an incoming call with a banner above it saying 'Call for <name>'

@ScottPioch If the receptionist needs to leave her desk for any reason, I need other users in the office to have the ability to answer any calls which may come in. 

@NoNotMe As suggested above. You should consider adding other users as Call Queue as agents of the Call Queue. These users can then opt out of the Call CQ in their Teams user settings. When they need to cover the Receptionist, they simply go into their call settings and opt back into the Call Queue and later opt out when Receptionist returns.

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Hi Scout, not sure what you're after here?

There are plenty of guides online for Microsoft Teams Admin - give it a go and come back here if you have any specific questions