What is Direct Inward Dialing (DID)?


Optimal and focused communications are the bridge, best defense, and difference between clarity and confusion in the business world. After all, quality, unfiltered communications are critical in the modern workplace.

Without communications, the business world would exist in a void and customers would find it difficult to access the support they need. Communication provides a mutually beneficial platform and infrastructure for businesses and customers to connect and build upon established relationships.

In the modern workplace, business and communication have become so intertwined. And thanks to widespread digital transformations, the business world is becoming more connected than ever before.

And today, there is genuinely no business without communication.

Consider the October 4, 2021, internet service outage suffered by Facebook. Facebook reportedly suffered a $100 million revenue loss during that 7+ hour service outage. Over 14 million users allegedly lost access to Facebook. 

But Facebook also makes money by connecting businesses that advertise to customers on the platform. And if Facebook couldn’t make money, neither could advertisers. Advertisers and companies lost an estimated $5 million for every hour the platform was down.

Now let’s transition this example of an internet-wide outage and business transaction stoppage to the bureaucracy and inefficiency of call waiting and non-connection between customers and the businesses they are trying to call.


Direct Inward Dialing (DID) Basics

Direct inward dialing, also known as DID, is a direct virtual phone number that businesses can use to optimize communications. A direct inward dialing line bypasses hold and reception lines and directly connects customers with an employee, a direct desk extension, or a group of affiliated extensions.

So, let’s discuss DID further in-depth and explain how it can benefit your business and optimize communications with your customers. If your company doesn’t have DID, we will explain why you must get it now.

Does your business need access to innovative and affordable business solutions via cloud-based communication services? Contact G12 Communications today.

Related: Why Hybrid Work Is More Than Just a Trend and Is Here to Stay


What Is Direct Inward Dialing?

The best way to explain direct inward dialing is first to describe the business communication problem it solves.

Consider the hassles of every business customer or vendor that wants to get through to a business or specific employee during business hours. 

Customers calling a small business may have to deal with a receptionist, but this is fast becoming a problem of the past.

Most modern customers trying to contact a business have to navigate automated voice endlessly prompts without getting anywhere. They are often put on hold for several minutes or longer. 

Sometimes the customer leaves a voicemail message with no guarantee the intended recipient will hear it in time.

Its communication inefficiencies like this can damage customer relations and lose business.

Direct inward dialing is a virtual phone service configuration that directly connects customers with a specific employee’s extension at a business,

Direct inward dialing involves a telephone company connecting a block of sometimes physical but usually virtual telephone numbers to a company’s Private Branch Exchange, also known as a PBX. A PBX is a private, internally connected telephone service optimally designed for employees to talk to each other within the business system.

Direct inward dialing is also known as “direct dial-ins,” “direct dial numbers,” and “direct dial.” This service allows customers or other parties to contact a business employee directly while bypassing a reception desk, call waiting, or voicemail prompts.

When a business uses direct inward dialing, they assign a personal virtual phone number to each employee. And this can be done without enabling a separately assigned physical phone line for each employee as well.


Man is suit looking at cellphone in hand

How Exactly Does Direct Inward Dialing Work?

Direct inward dialing can be enabled at any company via Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).

As the world becomes progressively more digitized, VoIP is probably the most innovative and optimal way to enable direct inward dialing. Your phone company and internet provider would facilitate this process with SIP trunking.

With SIP, all trunk line connections are made available on an as-needed basis. SIP trunk lines are not physical. They are virtual lines enabled across broadband when you require them. 

The virtual lines are internally configured. 

And customer numbers are linked to employee extensions via software applications. 

A VoIP service provider can do this for you.

If you prefer the traditional analog method of PSTN, you must get a telephone company to connect your company’s trunk lines to the customer’s PBX. Your telephone company will then allocate a block of your employee direct contact numbers as the assigned direct dial-in number with their respective customers.

The PBX directly routes all incoming call traffic to employees without the delays and hassles of operators, receptionists, or automated voice prompts.


Happy woman at desk on phone

What Are The Benefits of Direct Inward Dialing?

You have already invested in an automated voicemail system. Or you may even have a reception system and staff employed to take messages.

If you have a limited workforce scale or have experienced a high degree of turnover, then direct inward dialing may not be optimal for your needs. 

However, it may become necessary as your business grows. And some business messages can’t wait in the 24-hour maelstrom of the digital business world. 

Here are some benefits of getting a direct inward dialing system installed.



With direct inward dialing, your business has the option of prioritizing the importance of affiliated clients, vendors, and customers being able to reach employees or departments directly.

And there is an inherent convenience and courtesy in business when a client, customer, vendor, or even a new business prospect can skip a voicemail system and directly call an employee or department. 

Remember, there is no business without communication.


Direct inward dialing ensures that telephone traffic can be managed and split up a lot more quickly.

Save More Money

With a direct inward dialing system, you could be able to eliminate unnecessary trunk lines. 

And if you use a VoIP-related system, you may even be able to forward direct inward dialing to other continents and save a lot of money on long-distance calls.

No Need to buy New Equipment

If you get a direct inward dialing system via VoIP, all you need is your existing telephone network. Virtual lines can be set up with software. You don’t have to buy new hardware, equipment or new phones.


Enhance Your Communications Today 

There is no business without communication. So, make sure that your business customers are always able to communicate with your business.

Want to learn more about Direct Inward Dialing? Contact G12 Communications now to explore your options.

Related: SIP Trunking: Understanding the Basics, Benefits, and the Transition Process

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