Set up an automated attendant

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

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

Get started: Google Voice auto attendant

Step 1. Create an auto attendant

From the main window, you can create an auto attendant or select 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 thenG Suiteand 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 select a language from the list.
    • To add another welcome message in a different language, click Add Add.
  2. (Optional) In the Special announcement field, enter an announcement callers can't skip. For example, "Please be aware we're experiencing higher than normal call volumes."
    • To use a language other than U.S. English, click en-US and select a language from the list.
    • To add another special announcement in a different language, click Add Add.

Step 3. Set up call handling

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

Call handling options

Play menu prompts Play Menu Prompts

Set up 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 select from the following menu options."
    To use a language other than U.S. English, click en-US and select a language from the list.
  2. Click Add Option, and then enter a message that tells callers what the option is for. For example, "For technical support, press 1."
    The number next to the prompt matches the phone key that callers press. To change the number, click it and select one of the available keys (0–9, *, #).
  3. Next to Select an action, click the Down arrow Down Arrow and select an action from the list:
    • Continue to a submenu—Auto attendant directs callers to another menu. If you select this option, you also need to set up the submenu.
    • Repeat this menu—Auto attendant plays the menu instructions again.
    • Play a message—Auto attendant plays the message you enter. If you select this option, you also need to choose what happens next:
      • Repeat this menu—Auto attendant repeats the menu instructions again.
      • Disconnect the caller—Auto attendant disconnects callers after playing the message.
    • Transfer the caller—Auto attendant transfers caller to another phone number. If you select this option, you need to enter the destination phone number.
  4. Add more menu options as needed. To change the order of menu options, click and hold Move Move next to a key. Drag the option up or down to change the order.
  5. 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."
    To use a language other than U.S. English, click en-US and select a language from the list.
  2. In the Transfer type field, click the Down arrow Down Arrow and select the type of transfer:
    • User—Enter the email address of the person in your organization to transfer callers to. Select the person from the list of suggestions. The list shows users who have a Google Voice license. If you enter a user who doesn't have a phone number, you get an error message.
    • 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 Down Arrow and select a country/region from the list.

Send to Voicemail

Set up who gets voicemail from callers.

  1. In the Voicemail greeting field, enter a message to play to callers before they're sent to voicemail. For example, "Our offices are currently closed. Please leave a message, and we'll return your call within one business day."
    To use a language other than U.S. English, click en-US and select a language from the list.
  2. In the Voicemail recipients field, enter the email addresses of the users who should get an email with the voicemail transcript and recording. Select users from the list of suggestions. The list shows users in your organization. Enter up to 10 email addresses.

The users whose email addresses you enter get an email with a transcript of the callers message. 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
  1. On the left, click Edit Business Hours.
  2. For Open hours, select 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—Select the working hours for your organization. Calls outside these hours hear the after-hours options.
  3. When you finish setting the hours, click Done.
  4. (Optional) In the Holiday closures field, click Add Add and select more days when callers need to hear the after-hours message.
  5. In the After hours action field, enter the announcement callers will 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.”
    • To use a language other than U.S. English, click en-US and select a language from the list.
    • To add another announcement in a different language, click Add Add.
  6. Select an action for after the announcement plays:
    • Disconnect the caller—The auto attendant disconnects callers after they hear the announcement.

    • Send to voicemail—In the Voicemail recipients field, enter the email addresses of the users who should get an email with the voicemail transcript and recording. Select users from the list of suggestions. The list shows users in your organization. Enter up to 10 email addresses.
    • Transfer the caller—In the Transfer type field, click the Down arrow Down Arrow and select the type of transfer:
      • User—Enter the email address of the person in your organization to transfer callers to. Select the person from the list of suggestions. The list shows users who have a Google Voice license. If you enter a user who doesn't have a phone number, you get an error message.
      • 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 Down Arrow and select a country/region from the list.
  7. 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 displays for 1 minute.
  3. To test the auto attendant, click Keypad Dial and select options. If you want 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 make it live. The new version replaces the previous version of the auto attendant.

  1. At the bottom right, click Publish.
    If there are any mistakes or missing information in the setup, you get a message about the errors. Click Close, fix the errors, and then try to publish again.
  2. 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 special numbers are specifically for auto attendants.

Assign phone numbers
  1. On the left, under Phone Numbers, click Assign number.
  2. In the Google voice number field, click Assign Add.
    An available Voice number displays. To find a different number, click Edit Edit, and then click Select next to a number in the list.
  3. In the Service address field, enter the service address for your organization.
  4. 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:

  1. Users in the voicemail recipient list were deleted or suspended. If so, replace the users in the list.
  2. 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:

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