Call waiting

If your business ever gets so many phone calls that not every call can be picked up by someone right away, then you need call waiting. It notifies you that another call is incoming when you’re on a current call and lets you choose if you want to transfer it or even send it to voicemail. Try it out with a 14-day free trial of Dialpad.

What is call waiting?

Instead of letting calls go straight to voicemail when your team is at capacity, Dialpad’s call waiting feature gives you a better way of managing incoming business calls.

Essentially, it tells you if there’s another call waiting for you—while you’re on an active call with someone else (hence the name). Dialpad’s business phone system comes with a call waiting feature included.

Not only will you receive incoming call notifications through a call waiting tone, a detailed caller ID alert will also pop up on screen without interfering with your first call or requiring you go into any additional settings to pick up or transfer that call:

Call Waiting

How call waiting works

Use call waiting to get notifications for incoming calls without being interrupted during your current phone conversation. Once you see this call waiting alert, you’ll have three options:

1. Answer: If you choose to answer, your first caller will be placed on hold while you speak with the second caller. Once you've answered the second call, you can either transfer the first caller to another team or handle the call yourself after—no manually dialing needed.

2. Merge: If you want the second caller to join in on your conversation with the first caller, simply click "Merge." This essentially creates a conference call or three-way call. From there, you can transfer one of your callers to another department or line or even launch a video meeting.

3. Decline: If you’re notified of a second call that isn't top priority, you can simply click "Decline" to send it straight to voicemail.

Never miss an important call again

You won’t always have enough people available in the office to handle the number of incoming business calls (usually a good problem to have). Rather than letting a call go straight to voicemail without you knowing who was calling, call waiting tells you what the incoming number is and gives you the opportunity to answer the call, merge it with the existing call, or send it to voicemail.

This calling feature helps you build more efficient workflows, create better customer experiences, and prioritize business needs in real-time.

How to enable call waiting

Administrators have the ability to turn the call waiting function on or off at the Main Company Number or Department level. To enable it, navigate to either your Main Company Number or Department's advanced settings and check the Call Waiting for Operators option.

By enabling call waiting, your Operators will be able to receive incoming call notifications even if they're already on a call (all Operators have to be on a call in order for call waiting to take effect).

More than just a call waiting function

Less call abandonment

Turn call waiting into a better experience. Beyond just minimizing the wait time, you can also keep your callers informed about things like estimated wait time. (Or maybe there’s a callback option so they don’t have to wait on the phone?) Turn on this function, right in your settings.

Better call management

Dialpad’s call routing and call forwarding features when it comes to reducing waiting times and providing a more efficient phone experience. With various routing options, you can direct challenging calls to your most experienced staff or agents who have been idle the longest, for example:

Caller information—upfront

Some questions take a few seconds or a voicemail beep to resolve—others take an hour. You won’t know until you get on the call. But what if you could see right away if you have high-value repeat customers waiting on the line? Dialpad’s call waiting feature shows the caller’s history, as well as their phone number and personal details. Agents can scan this info and make decisions quickly about the urgency of the call, then prioritize it in the queue.

👉 Dialpad tip: Don’t just record a boring “Thanks for waiting” message to play between your hold music clips! You can use this opportunity to let the caller know about other avenues they can use to solve their problem or question. It could be as simple as a message about what information is available on your website or other well-staffed channels like live chat.

Frequently asked questions about call waiting

What happens to the call I was on when I answer a second call?

The first caller is put on hold and your hold music of choice is played while they wait for you to return to the conversation.

Does call waiting work on all devices?

Yes, Android, iOS, you name it!

What happens if I can’t take the second call?

Just hit Decline and the call will be routed to your personalized voicemail service.

Will the caller know that I’ve sent them to voicemail?

Nope, they’ll just hear a normal dial tone followed by your voicemail service.

Does call waiting cost more?

No! This standard business feature is included in all Dialpad plans, which means you won’t have to purchase any additional telephone services.

Can I disable call waiting?

Of course! Admins can disable the feature for your Company Main Number or Department calls. (But this doesn’t apply to personal or Executive Assistant calls.)