What Is DNIS, and How Does It Work?

Put DNIS data to good use in the contact center

Contact CentreData & AnalyticsInsights

Published: January 16, 2023

Rebekah Carter

When customers dial a number to reach an inbound support center, they choose from one of the many tolled or toll-free numbers the business has licensed.

DNIS helps to track which number they dial and guide call routing decisions accordingly.

As such, it is among the foundational capabilities of any commercial carrier service. Moreover, it is a central cog within many contact center routing systems.

What Is DNIS?

Telecom providers offer a dialed number identification service (DNIS) that allows commercial customers (including contact centers) to see which number customers dial to reach them.

Mid-sized to large companies are the target consumer for DNIS services, as they typically have hundreds of tolled and toll-free numbers active at any given time. The organizations associate each with specific locations, products, and marketing campaigns.

How does DNIS Work?

A customer gets hold of one of the business’s many support numbers from a website, a TV promotion, or simply through Google.

Once they dial the number, the carrier records it in a series of touchtone digits, passing that through to the customer.

There, its contact center PBX or ACD system receives and interprets the DNIS data, passing it through to the routing engine.

The routing engine uses the interpreted DNIS information to make decisions based on specific business rules. These include: what music to play, which language to choose, which queue to select for the caller, which agent to route to, etc.

As a result, some of the most foundational decisions that shape the customer service experience derive from DNIS technology.

Why Does DNIS Matter?

As highlighted, a DNIS system provides information to the contact center’s routing engine so each call transfers to the right destination.

Such a solution allows contact centers to achieve the following outcomes:

1. It Enables Multilingual Support

With DNIS data, companies can create different numbers for consumers in specific regions. They can then connect to contact center agents capable of speaking in their native tongue, even if they’re not based in the same country or region as the caller.

2. It Reduces Transfer Rates

With DNIS-based routing, contact centers can profile each contact and access information about the caller before they’re sent to a specific department.

As a result, they can route the customer based on CRM data – for example – and utilize additional software, such as screen pop.

Such a sophisticated workflow reduces the need for transfers, improves agent productivity, and enhances customer experiences.

3. It Reinforces Marketing Campaigns

Some companies use different numbers for specific marketing campaigns to help them track the success of each promotional strategy through DNIS systems.

By tracking the number of people who call a contact center using a specific number, companies can determine which campaigns have generated the most revenue via phone sales.

4. It Segments Areas of Service

Companies can use different numbers to segment services for specific products or solutions.

For instance, a banking company could have a different number for its corporate customers than the one used by everyday consumers.

Again, this helps ensure customers route to agents with the appropriate training to handle each call.

5. It Supports Personalization Initiatives

By collecting information from a DNIS system, companies can assign different customers to specific segments. Each may funnel into a separate queue to receive more personalized service.

Also, it’s possible to prioritize specific customers based on the number they call. Indeed, many companies have “priority” numbers for VIP customers.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, DNIS provides contact centers with a better way of managing calls and collecting insights from contacts.

Moreover, most routing decisions taken in contact centers hinge on DNIS data.

Why? Because it is easy to implement, comes bundled with most commercial carrier contracts, and requires minimal effort from the customer.

Intelligent use of DNIS can significantly improve the service experience, matching customers with the right agent at the first attempt and introducing personalization to the routing workflow.

Learn more about how call routing technology works by reading our article: An Introduction to Call Routing Software



AutomationCall RecordingChannelCRM

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