What Is Direct Inward Dialing (DID) & Why Does Your Business Need It?
Direct Inward Dialing (DID) is a process that you can resort to in which a telephone service provider will connect multiple phone numbers to your company's Private Branch Exchange (PBX). This allows you to choose and set up virtual numbers that can go directly to an individual desk extension or multiple extensions by bypassing the main reception lines. Direct Inward Dialing can be done with local numbers, toll-free numbers, or premium rates.
Direct Inward Dialing is what people mean when they ask you to reach them at their direct number. It is also referred to as direct-dial, direct-dial numbers, and direct dial-ins.
On the other hand, there is Direct Outward Dialing (DOD) which is a process where you can make outbound calls from your business phone system to reach the desired person directly. This process will let you bypass the need to press certain numbers before being connected to the operator.
A DID number will look like a standard telephone number to customers, clients, and anyone who wants to call your business. Even though it looks like a local number to callers, it is a virtual number that goes directly to an extension in your company, one that you can choose.
Your direct dial-in numbers will direct any inbound call to your company's phone system. This process directs all calls to an individual user of your choice, which is why the number is called a direct dial. DID can be done on Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP); we will focus on the latter.
Using Direct Inward Dialing on Voice over Internet Protocol is the modern way of doing it. Using VoIP for DID provides flexibility and ease of use with the help of SIP Trunking. Session Installation Protocol (SIP) provides any needed connections between trunk lines, which are not actual physical lines, and rather virtual ones that can be available across your broadband when you need them.
Trunk line connections are configured internally, and the software will link the numbers to your extension. You can either do it manually if you know the process, or you can ask your VoIP provider to do it for you.
A great thing about doing DID on your VoIP is that it provides high scalability. This means that you will not be limited to the trunk lines that you create at first; if at some point you decide to launch a campaign or open up a new department that requires a number of trunk lines, you can easily create them yourself instead of having to call your telephone company to ask for it. If you deal with a telephone company, you will need to wait for them to allocate the numbers for your need and then send out a technician to your company to connect the trunk lines to your business PBX, a process that can take up to a few weeks to be completed. So to cut down on costs and save time, a VoIP allows you to configure the trunk lines yourself.
The following benefits of DID can apply to your business no matter its size and needs:
- Lower Costs: DID allows you to cut down on the costs of having a big number of trunk lines for the connections required. A VoIP system allows you to have trunk lines and use them across continents with no extra costs.
- Saving Time: Direct Inward Dialing saves the time of employees and clients at the same time; when DID forwards calls directly to the needed person, without having to make the caller talk to a receptionist or a phone menu, it saves them time and increases customer satisfaction. This also helps with follow-up calls, as agents can be reached through their direct number.
- Customer Satisfaction: DID helps customers get to the right person in the shortest time possible, leading to a better customer experience, which also leads to customers coming back frequently.
- Better Team Communication: DID makes communication between teams better and easier, as colleagues can reach each other through a dedicated extension no matter if they are in different offices, buildings, areas, or even continents.
- Local Phone Numbers: Customers and clients will call you through a local number. So even if your business is in California, for example, you can set a local number for callers from London, and the number will direct their calls to the right department.
- No Need for Extra Equipment: You won't need to buy new phones and hardware for your company because, with DID, you can simply use your existing telephone network as well as virtually for direct dial-ins.
- Flexibility: DID allows you to have more control over when and where you receive calls. When you use a good VoIP, DID and SIP work together on your phone, email, and SMS to give you a better telecommunication system.
- Automated Call Forwarding: DID automatically forwards any incoming call to your personal cell phone or any other device of your choice. Customers will still call the same number without knowing of the change.
- Time Options: DID can forward incoming calls to specific devices at certain times of the day or week. This can be helpful for international companies that deal with customers from different time zones and different working days.
- Marketing Campaigns: When you assign different numbers to each marketing campaign, you will be able to track the performance and progress of each campaign separately.
If you choose the right VoIP phone system, DID will help your business grow and keep all the costs low. To help you with this, we have researched the best VoIP providers on the market and came up with a list for you to help you choose.
Ooma is a VoIP provider that offers many plans and features to help businesses grow and maintain their visibility. Below are two of the plans that you can utilize for your business:
This is the most affordable plan; you will be charged $19.95 per user per month. The plan comes with a list of features that can be very helpful for small businesses, including:
- Call forwarding
- Call queuing
- Business SMS texting
- Virtual receptionist (attendant)
- 3-click provisioning
- Similar features to Microsoft Teams
- 99.999% uptime with SLA
- Month-to-Month agreement
- 7-digit dialing
- Music on hold
- Call log
- Call forwarding (helpful in outages)
- Multi-device ring
- 24/7 support
Ooma Office Pro
This is the upgraded version of the Ooma Office plan; it charges $24.95 per user per month and includes everything in the first plan, plus a few more features, including:
- Video conferencing
- Call recording
- Voicemail transcription
- Caller info match
- Call analytics
- Call through Ooma's desktop app
- 3-click provision
- 24/7 support
- 99.999% uptime with SLA
- LTE Primary and Failover connectivity
- Advanced business phone features
- Single or multi-location
When you sign up with Ooma, you get a direct number for each user. The numbers are automatically created and assigned whenever a user or extension is created. When a customer dials the direct number, the connected user or extension will receive the call.
Dialpad offers multiple plans and services for VoIP phone systems; we will go over two of the plans:
Dialpad Talk Standard Plan
This is the company's basic plan; it starts at $15 per user per month, and it includes:
- Unlimited calling
- Unlimited SMS
- Unlimited MMS
- Customized voice mail
- Call controls
- Voice mail transcriptions
- Google and Microsoft 365 integration
- Call routing during off-hours
Dialpad Talk Pro Plan
This plan starts at $25 per user per month, and it includes all the features in the basic plan plus:
- CRM integration
- Unlimited meetings
- Local number supported in over 50 countries
- Hold ques
- International SMS
- Desk phone support
- Slack, Zapier, and Zendesk integration
- 25 ring groups
- 24/7 phone support
When you sign up with Dialpad, you get direct dial-in numbers for each user or extension.
Nextiva is one of the biggest VoIP providers on the market. They have four plans to fit all business needs, and each plan allows you to have Direct Inward Dialing. We will go over two of these plans:
This plan starts at $18.95 per user per month and comes with a list of all the essential features a small business needs in VoIP. Some of these features include unlimited audio and video calling, unlimited internet fax, free local and toll-free numbers, and 24/7 customer support. You also get a few more features, like voice-to-email, virtual attendant, and a mobile app. This VoIP system can integrate Outlook, Google Contacts, and more.
This plan starts at $22.95 per user per month. The Professional plan is good for small teams, according to Nextiva. This plan offers many features, including unlimited audio & video meetings, business text messaging, team collaboration tools, and voicemail to email & SMS. It allows unlimited conference calls for up to 40 users, and unlimited video conference calls for up to 250 participants.