What is a DDI number?

DDI stands for "Direct-Dial-In", and these numbers enable callers to reach a specific extension without speaking to a switchboard or using an automated menu system.

DDI numbers are typically within a range associated with the business's main number.

What is the difference between DDI numbers and DIDs?

There is no difference between DDI numbers (Direct-Dial-In) and DIDs (Direct Inward Dialling). DDI is the term used most often in Europe, whereas DID is used more widely in the US and other countries outside of Europe.

How do DDIs work?

When you set up your business phone system, you can ask your VoIP provider to issue a range of DDI numbers and any primary numbers you need. Typically, you'll be provided with a list of DDIs that are a sequence of your primary phone number.

For example, your primary phone number might be 01202 551000, and you ask for a range of 20 direct-dial-in numbers. Your provider would therefore issue a range such as this:

  • 01202 551001
  • 01202 551002
  • 01202 551003
  • 01202 551004
  • 01202 551005
  • 01202 551006
  • 01202 551008
  • 01202 551009
  • And so on

Each of those numbers can be programmed to go directly to a specific person or group of people, so you can provide customers and others with a quick route to the people they want to speak with.

Benefits of DDI numbers:

There are several benefits of implementing DDI phone numbers in your business, but please remember that you don't have to deploy them to every user. You could give each of your sales team a DDI number so customers can easily reach them but choose not to do the same with other departments and teams.

1. Cost savings

By implementing DDI numbers, you enable faster communications between team members, customers and employees. You remove the need for people to first speak to a receptionist or switchboard, which means less time spent waiting and more time spent having conversations.

2. Better for customer experience

Customers spending time on hold or passed between team members can directly impact relationships and sales. Nobody likes to hang around, especially if they are paying for a service. By implementing DDIs, you give your essential customers direct access to your team, minimising the time they spend waiting and getting frustrated. If they urgently need to speak to one of your team, they can simply call their DID number and either talk to them there or leave a message. Of course, there's no guarantee that the receiving person is available, so that's where hunt groups, call forwarding, and voicemail comes in.

3. Customised phone numbers

DID and DDI numbers don't have to be within a specific range. While in the past, they were issued in this way, that's not the case with the latest VoIP phone systems. You and your team can have DDI numbers in any town, city or country worldwide. This flexibility allows you to present a local image to customers wherever your office is based.

4. Improved productivity

By implementing DDIs, incoming calls arrive with the correct person every time, minimising the need for colleagues to transfer calls. Customers and colleagues quickly arrive at the right destination and can focus on work rather than waiting around.

5. Flexibility

When you combine DDIs with a VoIP solution, you get ultimate flexibility with incoming calls going directly to users' mobile phones, desktop softphones or handsets. If one of your colleagues is out of the office and a customer calls their DDI, their VoIP system app on their mobile will ring, and they can pick up the call just as they would if they were in the office. This type of flexibility empowers flexible working and contributes to improved efficiency and customer experience.

6. Marketing attribution

DDIs or DIDs don't have to be used solely for individuals; they can be used for groups of people too. Many companies will use a DDI for specific marketing campaigns to easily see and track the results. With call analytics, you'll be able to see when people called off the back of your marketing activities.

Frequently asked questions

What is a DID number?

DID is an abbreviation of "Direct Inward Dialling" and is a telephone number that allows people to connect directly to a specific extension or person in a business.

How much does a DDI number cost?

The cost of DDI numbers in the UK is usually low, with many companies offering them for free as part of a more comprehensive VoIP phone package or charging a nominal amount to add them.