What Is Direct Inward Dialing (DID)?

April 4, 2024

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Personalization is more important than ever to buyers when deciding which brands they choose and stick with. 

According to a recent McKinsey report, 71% of consumers expect personalized interactions. Another survey found that businesses can demonstrate personalization through customization, service, and convenience. 

A key way to achieve this is with a business line and communications system that simplifies each point of contact. This is why many organizations are implementing direct inward dialing (DID).

What is DID? How can it enhance your communications, and how easy is it to set up? Find the answers you need with this guide.

Key Takeaways:

  • DID allows someone to directly reach a person or department of your organization without going through the operator. 
  • DID is a great solution to offer more personalization and convenience to your customers. 
  • The best way to set up DID numbers is with cloud-based communications.
  • Getting DID numbers through the cloud allows for more flexibility in the numbers you can use and gives you access to advanced features.

A Quick Explanation of Direct Inward Dialing

DID allows outside callers to connect directly to individuals or departments in your organization without having to go through an operator, automated attendant, or interactive voice response system

You accomplish this by setting up unique numbers for different parties on your team with your communications provider. People also refer to DID numbers as a direct dial-in or a direct dial number.

To an external party, the DID number looks like any 10- or 11-digit telephone number. However, these lines are still on the secure system that your company owns. Therefore, team members maintain connectivity with each other in a private branch exchange

The Different Types of DIDs

You have two options for getting DID numbers. With a traditional phone service, you have to pay to install an analog PBX. This also requires installing the equipment for each separate outside line that connects to your office. With this setup, you can only get numbers that are local to your office’s location.

With a cloud-based communications service, phone lines are digital. This means you don’t need to set up any physical infrastructure for each DID number. You simply ask your provider to assign additional lines to your subscription. Your bill for that line covers security and connecting to your PBX, and in most cases, you can start using it right away.

Benefits of DID Numbers

Why should a business should consider getting DID numbers? Can’t every employee just use their personal phone for business? What about simply setting up extensions to one company line? 

There are many advantages to subscribing to DID numbers, especially in certain industries.

Customer Experience

DID allows your customer-facing employees to build stronger relationships with the clients they regularly interact with, so you can offer the peak customer experience.

It may seem like a small thing, but when a sales or service agent can say, “Here’s my direct line. If you need anything, call this number,” it makes the connection more personal and builds brand loyalty. 

With DID on the cloud, that number can be local to customers and remote employees, even if you don’t have a branch in the area. This provides a marketing advantage over your competitors. 

Productivity and Efficiency

DID numbers can make things easier both on your end and for the customer. For one, you can reduce frustrating hold times and help callers get answers much quicker. Plus, when calls come in on these lines, workers will know that the person is a priority and give your VIP clients due attention.

Another excellent feature is that you can set up numbers for specific purposes. For example, you could use specific callback numbers for different marketing campaigns. Metrics on the different lines will allow you to track how each performs and make refinements.


When employees use their personal numbers for work, it could put confidential information at risk. This is especially critical if you’re in the legal, finance, or health care professions.

DID gives team members a dedicated work number that can come to their personal devices but operates on your secure business system. You protect your workers, your clients, and your company. Additionally, you can set up call recording, transcriptions, and archiving to have access to those communications later for regulatory compliance or performance analytics

Cost Savings

With a cloud-based phone service, you can eliminate long-distance calling. Remote teammates can connect to each other’s DID numbers as easily as if they’re within the same office. 

Plus, cloud systems allow members to get calls from their business number to their existing devices with a softphone app. That can save you the expense of purchasing office phones and equipment for everyone.

Common Use Cases for DID

Who should consider using DID? While there are advantages for many industries and departments, the following tend to benefit most:

  • Sales and marketing: DID is a great option for lead-generation campaigns and tracking promotions.
  • Government agencies: Allow callers to get to specific personnel or branches more efficiently. 
  • Companies with multiple service departments: Make it easier for callers to get to specific departments, such as sales, tech support, billing, or general inquiries.
  • Legal services: Lawyers and their teams can be available around the clock without giving away a personal number. 

Another common use of a DID number is for fax lines. Many fields still rely on the extra security of a fax service, including health care, finance, education, and real estate.

These are just some popular use cases. With modern advances, this technology is simple enough that any organization can try it out to see if it suits their communication needs.

Get DID Numbers Today

Direct inward dialing is a great solution for your business to streamline things for your clientele and separate itself from the competition. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to set up. 

Contact our team at Intermedia to learn how our Unite platform offers unified communications that provide your team with DID numbers.

Melinda Curtis

Melinda is the Director of Product Marketing for Intermedia Unite, our premier cloud-based unified communications solution.

April 4, 2024

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