There are times when you need to reach a specific person from the company, yet instead of the option to call them directly you are routed to an automated or live assistant first. Although it’s designed to boost business efficiency, call routing in this case can be inconvenient and even frustrating for the customer. Luckily, there is an easy solution – set up DID and forget about this issue for good.
What is DID?
Direct Inward Dialing (DID), also known as Direct Dialing Inward (DDI) in Europe, is a telephone service that allows calls to be made to specific extensions without the need to go through an operator or receptionist first. It’s often used in business settings where clients need to reach certain employees, such as customer service or sales reps, without the extra fuss.
What is a DID Number?
DID numbers are assigned by telco service providers and can be used with digital services like VoIP (Voice over IP), as well as analog PBX (Private Branch Exchange) systems. They look just like regular phone numbers with country and area codes, but the last three to five digits correspond to the specific extension number.
Businesses often use local and toll-free dial-in numbers to create a more professional image. Local numbers are typically assigned by the phone company that’s based in the same area code as the business. A toll-free number, on the other hand, can be chosen from a variety of prefixes depending on the country, such as 800, 888, and 877 in the US. Companies can also purchase vanity toll-free lines that are easy to remember and can help with branding.
How Does DID Work?
This feature can work in any of these three ways:
Direct Inward Dialing on PSTN
Traditional DID over a regular PSTN network is not as common as it used to be, but it can still be implemented by connecting a group of trunk lines to the company’s PBX. The telco provider then locates these trunk lines and assigns the DID numbers requested by the company.
As a result, when customers call one of these dial-in numbers, it goes through the trunk line and then to the business PBX. When that happens, the PBX routes the call directly to the relevant employee or department, completely bypassing an operator.
Direct Inward Dialing on VoIP
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a technology that allows users to make and receive calls over the internet. VoIP calls work by converting your voice into digital data and then transmitting it to the correct IP address of the receiver. Nowadays, VoIP is the system of choice for modern workplaces since it’s significantly cheaper and more flexible than traditional telephony.
For VoIP systems, DIDs are set up using Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking. When a customer dials in, the routing part of the process is very similar to the one of PSTN. Except, in this case, SIP trunks are not actual physical trunk lines, but virtual extensions that are linked to the software.
Direct Inward Dialing for Faxing
DIDs can also be connected to fax machines to receive fax directly. Businesses can have multiple lines for different fax machines so each employee is assigned a number and fax calls can be automatically routed to their computer or printer by the server.
Why Businesses Need DID for VoIP
Here are three main benefits of employing a DID service in your office:
The purpose of DID is to make the business more efficient. When a caller can directly reach the right employee, your assistant can focus on the parts of the job that require their immediate attention. Plus, by setting up individual dial-in numbers for your staff, you can accurately track their call time and productivity. This makes VoIP call reporting even more efficient.
Improved Customer Support
Customers are no longer forced into call routing and can get in touch with the correct person right away avoiding all the time wasters. It may not seem like a tremendous difference at first. However, that additional minute or two in the call queue can negatively impact your overall customer service score, especially when there’s no need for it. By incorporating DID you are likely to achieve more personalized and advanced customer care.
Combined with VoIP technology, there’s no need for a physical office phone – employees can simply use their computer or mobile device to make and receive calls. This flexibility can greatly improve employee productivity and satisfaction.
How to Choose the Right DID Provider
When it comes to choosing your DID provider, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
- Make sure that the provider offers service in your area.
- Decide what features you need and make sure that the provider offers them.
- Find a provider that offers customizable plans so you’re only paying for what you need.
- By keeping these factors in mind, you can be sure to choose the right option for your needs.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective and flexible way to manage your business calls, then a Direct Inward Dialing may be right for you.