What is Direct Inward Dialing (DID)?
Direct Inward Dialing (DID) is a service that provides blocks of telephone numbers for calling a company’s private branch exchange system, so calls go directly to that phone number versus routing to a menu or requiring an extension.
As businesses increase operations on a global scale, clear and effective communication with clients, vendors, and employees has never been more critical. To address this need, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) along with Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) provides businesses with a reliable, feature-rich communications system that supports teleconferencing, instant messaging, multimedia, and enhanced mobile device connectivity.
One efficient call feature SIP brings to businesses is Direct Inward Dialing (DID). This article describes what a Direct Inward Dialing solution can mean for your business and how it improves communications with outside contacts.
What Does Direct Inward Dialing Mean for Your Business?
When contacting a business, customers expect a fast resolution of their issues, and their questions promptly answered. However, prolonged hold times, automated phone menus, and language barriers are often-encountered obstacles.
Using Direct Inward Dialing means the business has a set of dedicated local and/or toll-free phone numbers for individual parties. Outside contacts are directly connected to an employee or department, bypassing time-consuming, automated menu options, a receptionist to route the call, or the need to dial an extension.
This feature results in faster connections with reduced chances of dropped and missed calls, which can improve customer satisfaction and increase efficiency. DID supports the following valuable communication features.
- Since virtual direct-dial numbers are purchased from any location, marketing outreach campaigns are easily modified to offer service to customers based on their location and language.
- Toll-free DID numbers are available for long-distance customers to call from anywhere in the world to reach their business contacts.
- Businesses can order vanity numbers using specific number and letter patterns, i.e., 1-800-CAR-SALE, to build brand recognition.
- Conference call participants can be given direct dial numbers for easy and quick access to scheduled or last-minute meetings.
- Team members using mobile devices can send and receive text messages with their virtual DID numbers.
Setting up Direct Inward Dialing
DID can be utilized on an analog PBX system using the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) or on a cloud-based or hosted PBX system from a VoIP or Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) provider.
However, in a landline-based PBX system, only the phone provider can assign local numbers based on the business’s location. Additionally, the service requires the company to lease and install copper wiring for Primary Rate Interface (PRI) trunks. DID on a traditional PSTN is limited to no more than 23 concurrent calls, which may result in longer hold times and missed calls.
Conversely, with a cloud-based or hosted PBX system that uses virtual SIP trunks, local and toll-free numbers are purchased and assigned from any location and then programmed to route directly to the preferred extensions.
Virtual connections are cloud-based and configured using SIP trunks in digital VoIP networks. SIP trunk lines are quickly and easily activated or deactivated, depending on the number of incoming lines needed.
Benefits of Direct Inward Dialing
DID service provide significant advantages for businesses that rely heavily on incoming communications.
- Businesses avoid costly delays and miscommunications since the caller can connect to their intended party directly. Customers who can directly contact their agent may feel the company better accommodates their individual needs. The ability to reconnect with their contact as necessary improves the overall customer experience and creates a more professional image for the business.
- DID numbers can be used with an automated call distribution system that routes calls to the appropriate extension based on the caller’s input.
- Since DID with SIP trunks is easily scalable, businesses can order as many numbers as needed. The allocation of extensions can be adjusted based on the number of incoming calls to optimize the system’s return on investment.
- Customers who speak a foreign language can use a direct dial number that directly connects to an agent who can immediately assist them.
- Businesses realize more significant cost savings without call transfer requirements since there is a decrease in the number of required trunks. Calls can be forwarded to offices anywhere in the world with competitive pay-per-minute rates.
- Direct dial phone numbers can be forwarded to mobile phones, home phones, and desktops in any location without divulging an agent’s private number. This feature enables traveling employees to receive important calls on the road.
- With the assignment of DID numbers, incoming calls can be effectively tracked with detailed analytics to determine information such as the performance of specific sales campaigns.
- Fault-tolerant Direct Inward Dialing means your business will never miss a call. Inbound DID calls can be routed to a primary and secondary IP PBX or a backup PSTN number.
Empower Collaboration with Office 365 and DID
In a recent survey, 64% of companies believe remote working teams will be a permanent part of business operations. As project teams collaborate worldwide, DID makes it easier for them to stay connected to collaborate and work efficiently.
When combined with DID’s direct connections, Microsoft Office 365 empowers teams through various features including chat, video and voice calls, and conferencing. Additionally, team members can access and share important files and documents, such as project plans or customer databases. These tools help teams stay on track with projects, ensuring everyone has the most up-to-date information. Additional collaboration tools such as task management, email notifications, and chat archives also help teams work more efficiently and stay on top of their projects and tasks.
Related: Replace Expensive Legacy Software with Microsoft Office 365 Features You Already Have
Convenient DID Add-on Features
Direct Inward Dialing service also includes other convenient services, such as the following:
- FAX Services
DID Fax service works by assigning a unique telephone number to each connected fax machine. When a customer sends a fax, the DID Fax service provider routes the call to the appropriate fax machine.
- FAX to Email
With FAX to email, faxes sent to a business’s DID number are automatically forwarded to an email address. This service enables fax retrieval anytime, anywhere via email. As a result, Direct Inward Dialing and FAX to Email can work together to provide a streamlined and efficient communication solution for businesses.
- Business SMS
Businesses can use SMS to communicate with customers and employees. Business SMS can work with DID by allowing organizations to send messages to specific extensions, which are routed to the appropriate individual. This feature is helpful for customer service or for sending alerts to employees.
Harnessing the Power of SIP
Widespread global and U.S. DID coverage is one of many reasons to migrate to VoIP with SIP. There are several other powerful features that SIP can bring to your business.
- An easy-to-use control panel allows network monitoring and customization. Purchase and manage phone numbers and make service changes for fluctuating call volume. Access real-time call data records to assist in the oversight of the communications network.
- Avoid costly surcharges for dialer and telemarketing traffic through upstream carrier agreements.
- Real-time monitoring for international call fraud, with immediate termination of unauthorized calls in progress and shutdown of the trunk.
- Nomadic 911 is applied to any U.S. DID number that displays the location of the emergency call.
Related: What is SIP Calling, and How Does it Make Communications Easier?
What to Look for in a DID Provider
Choosing the right DID provider is the key to meeting your company’s service needs. The following factors should be considered before signing with a provider.
- Is the service reliable, with low latency, fast connections, and high call quality. These factors ensure that all parties can hear one another clearly in real-time without interruptions and dropped calls.
- Does the company use cloud-based services so that your service is highly scalable and more cost-effective?
- Does the provider have ample DID phone numbers available to cover future expansions in your business? The DID numbers should be accessible globally to ensure anyone can contact your business from any location.
- Can your new provider transfer your existing DID numbers? This way, your customers won’t need new numbers to contact your team members.
- Does the provider offer an online portal for managing your account to identify available numbers, access online bill paying, change addresses, and perform other administrative tasks?
- Does the provider have robust security measures to protect your network against unauthorized access? Only sign agreements with providers who are able to prove compliance with data security standards.
Get Started with Reliable and Efficient Direct Inward Dialing
Direct Inward Dialing is an excellent solution for businesses that manage a high volume of calls. DID provides many features and advantages that can save your business time and money, including the ability to monitor call activity, route calls to the appropriate department or individual, track caller information, and provide customers with a direct line to your company.
Direct Inward Dialing can be bundled with several other valuable features to provide a cost-effective, reliable network that improves the customer and team member experience.
BCM Online offers a comprehensive package of SIP and Direct Inward Dialing solutions to keep your business connected with your contacts at a fraction of the cost of traditional phone systems. As a Gold Certified Microsoft Partner, we can also deploy and support Office 365 or Microsoft Teams with DID for efficient team collaborations. Contact us today to get started on modernizing your company’s voice and data network with an on-demand, cloud SIP trunking service.