Get started: Voice setup guide for admins

Set up an automated attendant

This feature is available with the Voice Standard and Premier subscriptions. Learn more

You can set up a menu system in Google Voice to direct callers to the correct people or departments in your organization. This automated attendant (auto attendant) plays messages and lets callers press phone keys to choose options.

For example, you might set up a menu such as, “For support, press 1. For sales, press 2. To speak to an operator, press 0.”

You're on step 8 of 9

Get started: Google Voice auto attendant

Step 1. Create an auto attendant

From the main window, create or choose an existing auto attendant to modify.

Create auto attendant
  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenGoogle Voiceand thenService management.
  3. Click Auto attendants.
    The Admin console shows a list of the auto attendants in your organization.
  4. In the upper right, click Create.
  5. Enter a name for the auto attendant and, optionally, add a description.
  6. Click Create.
  7. Follow the steps below to set up the auto attendant.

Step 2. Add greetings

In the Initial greeting section, enter the first messages you want callers to hear.

Add greetings
  1. In the Welcome message field, enter an opening greeting.

    For example, "Thank you for calling Solarmora. We're happy to assist you with any questions about our products or services." Callers can skip this message by selecting an option from the menu.

    • To use a language other than U.S. English, click en‑US and choose a language from the list.
    • To add another welcome message in a different language, click Add "".
  2. (Optional) In the Special announcement field, enter an announcement callers can't skip.

    For example, "Please be aware that we're experiencing higher than normal call volumes."

    • To use a language other than U.S. English, click en‑US and choose a language from the list.
    • To add another special announcement in a different language, click Add "".
  3. When you finish, click Done.

Step 3. Set up call handling

In the Call handling section, choose the actions of the auto attendant after callers hear the greetings.

Call handling options

Play menu prompts Play Menu Prompts

Create menu options for callers to choose from.

  1. In the Add optional introduction field, enter a message that explains the menu and its options. 

    For example, "Please listen carefully and choose from the following menu options."

  2. (Optional) To use a language other than U.S. English, click en‑US and choose a language from the list.
  3. In the Add a prompt for the n key, enter a message that tells callers what the option is for. 

    For example, "For technical support, press 1."

  4. (Optional) To change the prompt number and key, click the Down arrow "" and choose an available key.

  5. Next to Select an action, click the Down arrow "" and choose what happens after the key message plays:
Continue to a submenu Direct callers to another menu. You also need to set up the submenu.
Repeat this menu Play the introduction message again.
Play a message Play a message you enter. You also need to choose what to do next:
  • Repeat this menu—Play the introduction message again.
  • Disconnect the caller—Disconnect the caller after playing the message.
Send to voicemail
  1. In the Voicemail greeting field, enter a message to play before sending callers to voicemail.

    For example, "Our offices are currently closed. Please leave a message, and we'll return your call within one business day."

  2. (Optional) To use a language other than U.S. English, click en‑US and choose a language from the list.
  3. (Optional) To add another voicemail greeting in a different language, click Add "".
  4. (Optional) In the Voicemail recipients field, enter up to 10 email addresses of users that will get an email with the voicemail transcript and recording.

    The original recording of the message is included as an attachment.

Transfer the caller
  1. In the Optional announcement field, enter a message to play to callers before they're transferred.

    For example, "Please hold while we transfer you to our sales department."

  2. (Optional) To use a language other than U.S. English, click en‑US and choose a language from the list.
  3. In the Transfer type field, click the Down arrow "" and choose the type of transfer:
    • User—Enter the email address of the person in your organization to transfer callers to. If you choose a user who doesn't have a phone number, you get an error message.
    • Auto attendant—Click the Down arrow "" and choose the auto attendant to transfer callers to. The auto attendant needs a phone number or you get an error.
    • Phone number—Enter the phone number to transfer callers to. To use a phone number that's not in the U.S., click the Down arrow "" and choose a country or region from the list.
  1. (Optional) To add more menu options, click Add Option.
  2. (Optional) To change the order of menu options, next to a key, drag Move " " up or down in the order.
  3. When you finish, click Done.

Transfer caller Transfer Caller

Set up where to transfer callers.

  1. In the Optional announcement field, enter a message to play to callers before they're transferred.

    For example, "Please hold while we transfer you to our sales department."

  2. (Optional) To use a language other than U.S. English, click en‑US and choose a language from the list.
  3. In the Transfer type field, click the Down arrow "" and choose the type of transfer:
    • User—Enter the email address of the person in your organization to transfer callers to. If you choose a user who doesn't have a phone number, you get an error message.
    • Auto attendant—Click the Down arrow "" and choose the auto attendant to transfer callers to. The auto attendant needs a phone number or you get an error.
    • Phone number—Enter the phone number to transfer callers to. To use a phone number that's not in the U.S., click the Down arrow "" and choose a country or region from the list.

Send to Voicemail

Set up voicemail for callers.

  1. In the Voicemail greeting field, enter a message to play before sending callers to voicemail.

    For example, "Our offices are currently closed. Please leave a message, and we'll return your call within one business day."

  2. (Optional) To use a language other than U.S. English, click en‑US and choose a language from the list.
  3. (Optional) To add another voicemail greeting in a different language, click Add "".
  4. (Optional) In the Voicemail recipients field, enter up to 10 email addresses of users that will get an email with the voicemail transcript and recording.

    The original recording of the message is included as an attachment.

Disconnect caller Disconnect Caller

The auto attendant disconnects callers after they hear the greetings.

Step 4. Customize your working hours

For calls outside your working hours, the auto attendant can play an alternate greeting and handle calls differently. You can also specify options for holidays when you're closed.

Business hours

Set open hours

  1. On the left, click Edit Business Hours.
  2. For Open hours, choose your organization's hours:
    • 24 hours per day—(Default) The auto attendant always uses the standard options you set up. The after-hours options aren't used.
    • Customized hours—Choose the working hours for your organization. Calls outside these hours hear the after-hours options.
  3. When you finish setting the hours, click Done.

Set holiday closures

  1. In the Holiday closures field, click Add "" and choose the day when callers need to hear the after-hours message. 
  2. (Optional) To add more dates, repeat step 1.
  3. When you’re finished, click Done.

Set after-hours action

  1. In the After hours action field, enter the announcement callers hear when it's outside your working hours or during holiday closures.

    For example, "Our hours are 9 AM to 5 PM Eastern Time, please call back."

  2. (Optional) To use a language other than U.S. English, click en‑US and choose a language from the list.
  3. (Optional) To add another announcement in a different language, click Add "".
  4. Next to Select an action, click the Down arrow "" and choose an action for after the announcement plays:
Disconnect the caller The auto attendant disconnects callers after they hear the announcement.
Send to voicemail
  1. In the Voicemail greeting field, enter a message to play before sending callers to voicemail.

    For example, "Our offices are currently closed. Please leave a message, and we'll return your call within one business day."

  2. (Optional) To use a language other than U.S. English, click en‑US and choose a language from the list.
  3. (Optional) To add another voicemail greeting in a different language, click Add "".
  4. (Optional) In the Voicemail recipients field, enter up to 10 email addresses of users that will get an email with the voicemail transcript and recording.

    The original recording of the message is included as an attachment.

Transfer the caller
  1. In the Optional announcement field, enter a message to play to callers before they're transferred.

    For example, "Please hold while we transfer you to our sales department."

  2. (Optional) To use a language other than U.S. English, click en‑US and choose a language from the list.
  3. In the Transfer type field, click the Down arrow "" and choose the type of transfer:
    • User—Enter the email address of the person in your organization to transfer callers to. If you choose a user who doesn't have a phone number, you get an error message.
    • Auto attendant—Click the Down arrow "" and choose the auto attendant to transfer callers to. The auto attendant needs a phone number or you get an error.
    • Phone number—Enter the phone number to transfer callers to. To use a phone number that's not in the U.S., click the Down arrow "" and choose a country or region from the list.
  1. When you finish, click Done.

Step 5. Test the auto attendant

After you create or modify an auto attendant, you can preview the changes before making it active.

Preview and publish
  1. At the bottom right, click Preview.
  2. At the prompt, click Call.

    Google Voice opens in a new tab of your browser. In the right panel, you can view and hear a sample call to the auto-attendant number you set up. The right panel appears for one minute.

  3. Choose an option:
    • To test the auto attendant, click Dial "" and choose options.
    • To change the auto attendant, go back to the previous steps.

Step 6. Publish the auto attendant

After you test the auto attendant, publish it to replace the previous version of the auto attendant.

  1. At the bottom right, click Publish.
  2. If you get a message about any mistakes or missing information in the setup:
    1. Click Close.
    2. Fix the errors.
    3. Publish again.
  3. At the confirmation, click Publish.

Step 7. Assign phone numbers

To reach the auto attendant when they call your organization, assign the Voice numbers people can call. These numbers are designated for auto attendants.

Note: You cannot use a Voice number that's already assigned to a user.

Assign phone numbers
  1. On the left, under Phone Numbers, click Assign a number and choose an option:
    • Assign a new number—To create a number
    • Take over a number—To repurpose one of your auto attendant numbers
  2. In the Country/region field, click the Down arrow "" and choose a country or region from the list.

    If you choose a location that isn't one of your Voice locations, you get an error message. For details, see Add Voice locations.

  3. In the Service address field, enter the address for your organization.

    An available Voice number appears.

  4. (Optional) To find a different number, click Changeand thenSelect next to a number in the list.
  5. Click Assign.

As you enter information, the system automatically saves your changes.

Troubleshoot an auto attendant

To fix problems with an auto attendant, review this information or find the event in the Voice audit log.

Problem Solution
Why won't my auto attendant transfer the call?

Go to the auto attendant's Transfer the caller section.

User can't get calls for one of these reasons:

  • User's Voice license was removed.
  • User's account was deleted or suspended.

Why won't my auto attendant record voicemail?

Go to the auto attendant's Send to Voicemail section.

Auto attendant can't record voicemail for one of these reasons:

  • Users in the voicemail recipient list were deleted or suspended. If so, replace the users in the list.
  • Recipients are getting too many voicemails per hour. Add new voicemail recipients or replace existing recipients.

Why can't a user get voicemail?

Go to the auto attendant's Send to Voicemail section.

User can't get voicemail for one of these reasons:

  • Voicemail recipient's account was deleted or suspended. If so, replace the user in the list.
  • Recipient is getting too many voicemails per hour. Replace the recipient.
  • Recipient's email inbox is full. User needs to free up their inbox space.
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