What Is Dialed Number Identification Service (DNIS)? The Guide

    Dialed number identification service (DNIS) is a powerful tool that can revolutionize how you manage your call center. DNIS identifies the phone number dialed by a caller, allowing you to route calls efficiently and provide tailored customer experiences.

    Imagine directing calls for sales, support, and billing to their respective teams without the caller needing to navigate a complex menu. Or consider how different marketing campaigns can be tracked and analyzed by using unique numbers for each.

    In this blog post, we’ll go over what a DNIS is, some of the benefits they offer, and some common real-world use cases for a DNIS system.

    What is dialed number identification service (DNIS)?

    While the average caller probably doesn’t notice it, most call centers use some sort of system to identify who they are and both the number they’re calling from as well as the number they’ve dialed. This system, known as a dialed number identification system (DNIS), is foundational for modern call centers to manage and route calls efficiently.

    When a call is made to a business with a dialed number identification service, the telephone network sends a sequence of digits (the dialed number) along with the call to the destination system, like an interactive voice response (IVR) system.

    A method known as dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) reads the tones from the keys pressed to dial the number to get the exact digits pressed before sending it to the IVR system.

    ANI vs. DNIS: What’s the difference?

    Dialed number identification service (DNIS) and automatic number identification (ANI) are both features used to manage and route calls, but serve different purposes and provide different types of information.

    DNIS is used to identify the number that was dialed, routing the caller to the appropriate department or service based on that number. On the other hand, ANI is used to identify who is calling rather than who they’re calling.

    They’re both used within call centers, but in different ways. ANI excels at identifying the caller, which can be used for personalization, call logging, billing, and more. DNIS is used to route callers to specific areas and track information about the number that was dialed.

    How does DNIS help call center managers? 5 benefits

    Using a DNIS has become nearly essential for optimizing call center operations. You can leverage these tools to boost efficiency, improve customer satisfaction, and make data-driven decisions. Here’s the five biggest benefits of adopting a dialed number identification service:

    • Optimizes call routing processes: DNIS helps route callers based on the number they’ve dialed to ensure they’re connected to the right party. This can be used to separate sales teams from customer support teams, or used to track advertising campaigns. It also plays a part in reducing customer frustration by ensuring they’re directed to the right team immediately, boosting first call resolution (FCR) and customer satisfaction (CSAT).
    • Allows for a personalized customer experience: A dialed number identification service can help create a personalized experience for callers without needing to collect data. You can offer specialized support lines for VIP customers, technical support, or specific services, ensuring that callers receive the expert help they need without unnecessary transfers.
    • Supports targeted marketing campaigns: By using different phone numbers for various marketing campaigns, DNIS helps businesses track which campaigns are driving the most calls. This valuable data allows them to assess the effectiveness and impact of their marketing strategies and optimize future campaigns. DNIS also provides insight into customer preferences and behaviors, helping tailor marketing messages to better meet their needs and expectations.
    • Enables data-backed decisions: Data is a valuable asset, and DNIS provides rich insights into customer behavior and preferences. By analyzing the patterns and volumes of calls linked to specific dialed numbers (factoring in things like time of day and customer demographics), organizations can make informed decisions about resource allocation, agent training needs, and potential areas to improve service.
    • Boosts agent productivity and engagement: DNIS can significantly enhance agent productivity by reducing the time spent on manual call sorting and providing them with relevant information before they answer the call. Additionally, agents are more engaged when they have more context for their calls, as they feel better equipped to handle inquiries and solve problems efficiently.

    Integrating DNIS into your call center operations can significantly enhance call handling efficiency, provide valuable insights for marketing teams, and foster a more engaging—and productive—work environment for your agents. By using DNIS, you can ensure your call center meets and exceeds customer expectations.

    What Is Dialed Number Identification Service (DNIS) The Guide

    How does DNIS work? 4 use cases for call centers

    Why exactly would you need to use a dialed number identification service? Here are some common examples of how they work in real-world call center scenarios.

    Set up different numbers for different product lines, services, and departments

    DNIS allows you to set up unique phone numbers for different product lines, services, or departments. When a customer dials a specific number, the DNIS system identifies it and routes the call to the corresponding department or agent.

    For example, separate numbers for sales, support, and billing ensure that calls are directed to the appropriate teams without manual intervention (like having agents answer calls and place customers in a different queue).

    This streamlines call handling, reducing wait times and enhances customer satisfaction by ensuring that callers quickly reach the right destination.

    Provide multilingual support by routing calls according to language requirements

    DNIS can provide multilingual support by routing calls based on the language preference indicated by the dialed number.

    For example, different phone numbers can be advertised for different languages. When a caller dials a specific number associated with their preferred language, the DNIS system identifies this and routes the call to agents or departments equipped to handle that language.

    This ensures that callers receive service in their preferred language without additional steps, enhancing customer satisfaction and providing a seamless, culturally sensitive support experience.

    This setup also allows for better resource allocation and specialized training for multilingual support teams.

    Use different numbers according to market or persona (and create scripts for each)

    Each number used corresponds to a different marketing segment, allowing calls to be routed to agents who have been trained on tailored scripts for that market.

    For instance, a business can use one number for enterprise clients while another is used for general inquiries and individual customers. When a call comes in, the DNIS system identifies it and routes it to agents with scripts designed for that specific audience.

    This ensures a more personalized experience for customers and a more diverse offering of services for larger organizations.

    Make it easier for contact center agents to quickly identify which type of call it is

    Using a DNIS system makes it much easier for agents and organizations that support multiple different offerings. When a call comes in, the DNIS system displays the specific number dialed on the agent’s interface, and additional information about where it was routed to.

    For example, an agent may be trained to work with VIP clients and enterprise clients for a business process outsourcing (BPO) company, working with three different companies. As the call comes in, the agent is informed they are an enterprise client for Company #3.

    Because they know the subject of the call ahead of time, they can answer the call confidently with the tone and script that the company prefers instead of trying to hastily figure out how to respond to the caller.

    3 steps to implement DNIS in your call center

    Implementing dialed number identification service (DNIS) in your contact center can significantly enhance customer satisfaction and efficiency. And the best part is that these systems are easy to set up. Here are three simple steps to get started:

    • Get in touch with your phone provider. The first step is simply to call your provider and discuss adding DNIS. Make sure they offer DNIS (most do) and can provide the needed support for your contact center’s requirements. Understanding their processes will help you seamlessly integrate DNIS into your operations.
    • Ensure it can integrate with your existing software. You’ll need to verify that the DNIS service can be integrated with your current call center software. This compatibility is vital to using DNIS to its maximum potential. You may need to work with both your phone provider and software vendor(s) to configure the system correctly, ensuring smooth data flow and call routing.
    • Train your agents on how it works and how to take advantage of it. Once DNIS is set up, train your agents on its functionalities and benefits. Set up training sessions to show them how to interpret DNIS information and use it for call handling. Effective, thorough training will empower your agents to make the most of the system, boosting their effectiveness and your overall customer service quality.

    How to measure the impact of DNIS: 7 most important metrics

    Implementing a dialed number identification service (DNIS) system in your call center can significantly influence key performance metrics. Here’s how:

    • Call transfer rate: This is the percentage of calls that need to be transferred from one agent to another. Using a DNIS system reduces the amount of calls needing to be transferred by routing calls to the correct department or agents based on the dialed number. This ensures that callers reach the appropriate agent directly, minimizing the need for transfers.
    • Call abandonment rate: Simply put, it’s the percentage of callers who hang up before ever reaching an agent. A DNIS system helps lower this percentage by preemptively routing calls, which reduces wait times compared to being in a general queue. Customers are less likely to abandon calls when they’re quickly connected to the right agent who can address their needs.
    • First contact resolution (FCR) rate: FCR, as we mentioned before, is the percentage of calls that are resolved during the first interaction a customer has, without needing a follow-up. DNIS improves this rate by ensuring calls are routed appropriately, so customers aren’t forced to speak to agents who aren’t trained for the task or be redirected constantly.
    • Average handle time (AHT): This is the average duration of a call, including hold time, talk time, and after-call work. With DNIS routing calls preemptively, agents only answer calls they’re qualified to handle, reducing the amount of work compared to others who may not be thoroughly trained.
    • Customer satisfaction score (CSAT): A measurement of the customer's contentment with the service provided to them, this is generally obtained through post-call surveys. Reduced wait times, more efficient resolutions, and fewer transfers can all improve CSAT, which are all impacted by the addition of DNIS.
    • Customer effort score: A measurement of how much effort a customer has to exert to resolve their issue. By simplifying the call routing process, DNIS reduces the effort needed, and connects them to agents who are trained to handle their queries.
    • Sales conversion rates: As the name implies, this is a percentage of calls that result in a successful sale. DNIS impacts sales conversion rates by ensuring calls are routed to the most qualified sales agents, who can best address customer needs and close more effectively.


    A dialed number identification service (DNIS) is an effective and simple way to route calls based on the phone number that was dialed. Call centers use these systems to effectively route calls to the appropriate departments and agents, reducing customer friction and boosting efficiency across the board.

    Adding a DNIS to your call center operations is easy, and it will significantly improve your customer experience.

    If you’re already using DNIS (or you’re looking to get started with one) and want to see just how impactful it is, you should be using Scorebuddy QA. It offers AI-powered analysis and QA auto-scoring to paint a picture of just how effective your interactions are and where you can improve.

    Contact us now to schedule a free demo and see how Scorebuddy can boost your metrics.


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      What is the difference between the ANI and DNIS of a phone call?

      DNIS helps in identifying and routing calls based on the number dialed by the caller, making it essential for managing multiple services or campaigns.

      ANI, on the other hand, identifies the caller's phone number, aiding in caller identification, call logging, and providing a personalized customer experience.

      Together, these features enable efficient call handling and enhance overall customer service.

      Is dialed number identification service (DNIS) free?

      Dialed number identification service (DNIS) is generally not free, with costs varying based on the telecommunications provider, service plan, number of DNIS numbers needed, and integration requirements. Expenses may include setup fees, maintenance, and support.