What Is a DID Number?

Victoria Berezhetska
Content Lead
6 minute read
Victoria Berezhetska
Content Lead
6 minute read

To reach a company representative, consumers often go through an endless sequence of menu options and questions through an IVR. When the process is neither educational nor sustainable, a customer’s failure to contact a business can cost you dearly.

Very few consumers can overcome a negative experience when any attempt at customer interaction results in them hearing a busy signal or having their calls go unanswered. However, many businesses still overlook the importance of the caller journey and fail to identify it as a missing ingredient to their marketing strategy.

If your calling clients are no strangers to such problems, your company must transform customer service to reduce the external and internal business damage. For example, enhancing every caller’s touchpoint and reconsidering your telephone service can help secure the loyalty of agnostic first-time callers and nurture relationships with existing customers.

Companies looking to resolve missed calls and elevate the customer experience often resort to configuring Direct Inward Dialing (DID) service and utilizing a call forwarding feature through a PBX system.

Let’s take an in-depth look at DID telephony, how it works, and its advantages for businesses operating on calls.

What Is Direct Inward Dialing (DID) & Why Do Businesses Need It?

Direct Inward Dialing, otherwise known as direct-dial or direct dial-in, is a feature that most business phone systems have. DID numbers enable companies to set up virtual numbers and route calls through a Private Branch Exchange (PBX).

If you have ever heard someone say to reach them at a ‘direct number,’ they probably referred to a DID phone number. DID allows callers to connect directly with a specific employee or department instead of interacting with an IVR menu or dialing an extension.

With a DID line in place, businesses can assign numerous virtual phone numbers to employees or departments, improve accessibility, and ensure efficient communication with clients without the need to reveal agents’ personal contact information. On top of that, DID service can be used with local, vanity, or toll-free numbers.

What Is a DID Number?

A DID phone number is a virtual telephone number that allows to route calls to the existing phone lines or extensions. DID numbers do not require physical phone lines, enabling them to manage an unlimited number of inbound calls and efficiently route them to any extension or device.

Utilizing direct dial numbers helps companies implement the right approach to call management and allows customers to make calls regardless of their geographic location.

Let’s say that your company is based in the Middle East, but it requires local phone numbers to connect with your customers in North America and Europe. With Phonexa’s Cloud PBX telephony system, your business can have all the critical call management features and assign DID numbers, meaning you can stay in the Middle East and leverage local calls.

How Does DID Work?

When dialing up a call to a DID phone number, the customer is forwarded to a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) through SIP trunking or a PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) device. Let’s examine both options in more detail.

Direct Dialing on PSTN

In this case, a DID service provider connects trunk lines to the customer PBX and then allocates and assigns a DID phone number or numbers to the client. Here’s how it works:

  1. An inbound call first reaches a direct inward dial number
  2. Then, the trunk line forwards it to the PBX.
  3. The dialed number is determined, and the system identifies a recipient.
  4. The customer’s PBX system routes the call to the company’s phone extension and connects a caller directly with a call recipient.

Direct Inward Dialing on VoIP

In combination with a VoIP phone system, direct inward dialing enables businesses to use their mobile and desktop devices to make and receive calls without any additional equipment or analog phone lines required.

Today, VoIP is the most flexible way to employ direct-dial numbers through SIP trunking, otherwise known as digital line connections. These digital connections and DID numbers are linked to your phone extension by a software provider.

Since there is no need to connect the trunk lines to your PBX physically, you can set up as many trunk lines as you need and port your business phone numbers for a fraction of the cost if you decide to change a service provider.

DID and Vanity Numbers

It’s not uncommon for businesses to use vanity numbers instead of regular phone numbers as a marketing tool. Meaningful and memorable patterns of letters or numbers help companies capture the target audience’s attention, generate brand awareness, and expand nationally.

DID telephony helps businesses support their marketing efforts and leverage vanity numbers as a prominent feature of their call campaigns regardless of the geographic location.

DID and Freephone Numbers

Freephone numbers, otherwise known as toll-free numbers, have been around for decades. Since DID service is compatible with local, vanity, and toll-free numbers, businesses can not only receive and handle multiple inbound calls but also outsource their call center services.

How Do I get DID?

Businesses looking to reach specific people or departments inside their company and allow callers to skip the IVR menu or bypass call queues often resort to employing Direct Inward Dialing.

If you’re looking to employ Direct Inward Dialing, the first step is to select the right service provider. Typically, VoIP and phone numbers come with the service you purchase. If your business needs international calling, intelligent call routing, call tracking, and other sophisticated features, your best bet is an experienced service provider like Phonexa.

With Phonexa’s suite of solutions, your company can obtain a toll-free, local, or vanity phone number, implement a phone system with lower costs and greater control, and port your business phone numbers effortlessly.

Do Businesses Really Need Direct Inward Dialing?

Customer-facing businesses have to manage high call volumes, map out caller journeys, and deliver excellent service. So if you’re looking to streamline the call process and make it easier for potential partners, prospects, or your colleagues to reach the proper departments or individuals, employing DID is an excellent choice.

10 Advantages of Direct-dialing

Still not convinced that your company needs direct dialing? Here is how large enterprises and middle-sized businesses can benefit from employing Direct Inward Dialing:

  • Affordable cost: With DID, businesses can replace traditional phones, establish digital line connections, and eliminate the costs required for analog hardware maintenance.
  • Uninterrupted service: Companies can utilize a cloud phone system that depends only on the stability of the internet connection.
  • Flexibility: Combining DID with Phonexa’s Call Logic helps businesses to have more control over when, where, and how they manage and receive calls.
  • Elevated customer experience: DID helps companies streamline a call process and enables customers to reach your business without waiting in a queue.
  • Employee satisfaction: Systems like Phonexa’s Cloud PBX facilitate internal and external business interactions, enabling employees to focus on service quality.
  • Intelligent call forwarding: A direct-dial line can automatically forward inbound calls to mobile devices or other numbers without revealing private information to customers.
  • Synced business communication: Virtual phone numbers help businesses stay accessible and ensure seamless communication across multiple devices.
  • Personalized call routing: When combined with IVR software, Phonexa’s Cloud PBX can ensure accurate agent scoring and queue availability, making it easier to connect callers to the company representatives better suited to serve caller’s needs.
  • Closed-loop attribution: With DID and call tracking, businesses can obtain critical data, create caller profiles, assign different numbers to ad campaigns, and get closed-loop attribution.
  • Local & toll-free phone numbers: DID helps companies establish a local presence and remain accessible and enables customers to reach businesses regardless of their geographic locations.

Did this article resonate with your business model and experience? Schedule a consultation to learn how Phonexa’s Cloud PBX enables companies to enhance their business communication, refine caller journeys, and seize growth opportunities.

Got Questions?

Get in touch! We are available 24/7.

Victoria Berezhetska avatar
Victoria Berezhetska
Content Lead

Victoria Berezhetska is a Content Lead at Phonexa. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with extensive working experience as a PR specialist and content writer. In her work at Phonexa, she covers diverse topics around digital marketing, including affiliate marketing, call tracking, lead generation, marketing automation, and so much more.

Education: City University of Seattle

Expertise: Affiliate marketing, digital marketing, call tracking, lead generation, insurance


  • 8+ years of experience in digital marketing, specializing in building customer loyalty

  • Deep B2B and B2C content expertise intertwined with strong analytical and interpersonal skills

  • Unwavering drive for growth and commitment to creating impactful content

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