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Auto attendants and receptionists are extremely valuable for businesses of all sizes. They keep inbound calls organized, and make it easy for callers to get to where they need to be. Sometimes, though, if you are looking for a specific person and have to maneuver through a long auto attendant, or get put on hold simply to ask for a name, it can get frustrating. After going through this process multiple times, some callers get perturbed. They wonder why they can’t just reach a person directly. Many companies give only extensions of the same number, instead of Direct Inward Dialing (DID) numbers.

In this blog article, we’ll take a look at what Direct Inward Dialing is and how it works. We’ll also tell you why it is beneficial to businesses and organizations.

What is DID?

Direct Inward Dialing is when a phone service provider such as CallHarbor connects a block of phone numbers to your company’s Private Branch Exchange (PBX). This allows your business to set up virtual numbers that bypass the main reception lines. These numbers go straight to an extension or group of extensions. DID can be used with local, premium-rate, or toll-free numbers.

Other common names for DID are direct-dial numbers, direct dial, and direct dial-ins. Essentially, when someone says “reach me at my direct number”, this is what they’re referring to.

How Does a Direct Dial Number Work?

From the caller’s perspective, a direct-dial number looks like a standard telephone number. On the back end, a DID is a virtual number that goes directly to an extension in your organization. It can be thought of as a shortcut phone line.

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These direct-dial phone numbers will automatically point inbound calls to an organization’s phone system. The fact that the calls are relayed instantly to an individual user makes that number direct. This type of call routing is managed by a VoIP phone system such as CallHarbor.

Why Use DID?

Depending on what your business or organization does, how many employees you have, and what your inbound calling amount is, you can determine whether or not DID is best for you. You may already have a reception system in place, so you will have to evaluate to see if it is truly the most efficient way to handle your inbound calls.

There are times when your callers might want to skip past your auto attendant or avoid talking to your receptionist and go directly to a specific member of the team, or a specific department. There are many ways to organize your inbound calling. You can always keep your AA or receptionist in place, and only give DID numbers to specific customers or important clients that you want to contact 1 on 1.

4 Main Benefits to DID

Saves time for the customer or client. Routing calls directly to the person or department the customer or client is trying to reach is easier and saves time for them. They are able to get right where they need to be without talking to a middle man or pressing buttons.

Using a direct dial number for marketing purposes. By assigning different direct dial in numbers to different marketing campaigns, you are able to accurately track the performance of each campaign, and see where you should be allocating your money.

Gives callers good customer service. For the customer or client calling in, they feel like they are getting a better or more “VIP” customer experience by being able to directly reach who they want to talk to. Giving customers your direct line feels much more personal then them having to figure out how to get to your extension.

Utilizing direct dial as a local phone number. Many people prefer to call local numbers. Being able to create a direct dial number with the same area code as your customers in California will bode well with them.