How Do I Get My Phone Calls To AnswerFirst? (Dial Directly, DID, SIP & Other Options)

This article discusses the various ways clients can get their calls to AnswerFirst along with the benefits and disadvantages of each. There are four common methods and you can choose the method that works best for you.

  • Three of the four methods involve the use of DIDs (Direct Inward Dial) numbers.
  • Two of the methods require the use of ANI (Automatic Number Identification, also known as "Caller ID".)
  • One of the methods requires the use of SIP (Session Initiation Protocol).

 

1.  Forward Your Phone Number To A DID Number Or Use A DID Number As Your Business Phone Number

This is the most common way for clients to get their phone calls to AnswerFirst and requires a unique, assigned DID (Direct Inward Dial) phone number.  

The DID number can be provided by AnswerFirst or by the client. The majority of clients request that AnswerFirst provide a DID number. 

This method requires the client to forward their calls to the DID number* or the client may choose to advertise the DID phone number as their business phone number so that callers reach AnswerFirst directly without any forwarding required. 

*Clients must check with their providers for specific forwarding instructions. 

In this scenario all calls that are forwarded to the DID number or any calls that are dialed directly to the assigned DID route to the client's AnswerFirst account. 

 

PROS:

  • Easiest to set up on the client's end.
  • AnswerFirst is able to capture the original caller's ANI (Automatic Number Identification) or Caller ID.

 

CONS:

  • All calls forwarded to or directly dialed to the DID number will be answered.  This includes wrong numbers, solicitors, etc. (THESE CALLS ARE BILLABLE TO THE CLIENT.)

 

2.  Use A DID Number To Forward Calls To AnswerFirst And Use The Client's Phone Number As The ANI 

This is the second most common way for clients to get their phone calls to AnswerFirst and requires a unique, assigned DID phone number. 

The DID number can be provided by AnswerFirst or by the client. The majority of clients request that AnswerFirst provide a DID number.

This method requires the client's phone carrier or phone system to be programmed to always send the client’s phone number as the ANI (Caller ID) when forwarding calls to the DID phone number.

In this scenario only calls forwarded to the assigned DID that also provide the client's phone number as the ANI (Caller ID) would route to the client's AnswerFirst account.

 

PROS:

  • Only calls forwarded to our DID which come from the client's phone number will be answered.  All others will be disconnected.

 

CONS:

  • Setup can be difficult, requires some telephony knowledge and is not available with all phone providers (client will need to check with their provider.)
  • AnswerFirst is unable to capture the original caller's ANI (Caller ID).
  • Calls that do NOT show the client's phone number as the ANI (Caller ID) will be disconnected.

 

3.  Using A SIP Trunk To Forward

This is the third most common way for clients to get their phone calls to AnswerFirst and does not require the use of a DID phone number.

Using this requires a high level of SIP telephony and trunking knowledge on the client's side.  (Every setup is unique on the client's end.)

In this scenario all calls forwarded through the SIP trunk will route to the client's AnswerFirst account.

 

PROS:

  • Only calls forwarded through the SIP trunk will be answered. 
  • AnswerFirst is able to capture the original caller's ANI (Caller ID).

 

CONS:

  • Setup will be difficult and require advanced SIP telephony knowledge.  (Client will need to check with their provider.)

 

4. Using A DID Number To Forward And The "Diversion" Information In Call's Headers

This is the fourth most common way for clients to get their phone calls to AnswerFirst and requires a unique, assigned DID phone number. 

The DID number can be provided by AnswerFirst or by the client. The majority of clients request that AnswerFirst provide a DID number.

This method requires consistent call header information, which includes the original caller's ANI (Caller ID), the original phone number dialed (client's phone number) and terminating number (our DID).

In this scenario only calls forwarded to our DID number which includes the proper "diversion" header would route to the client's account. 

 

PROS:

  • Only calls forwarded to our DID which come from the client's phone number will be answered. All others would be disconnected.
  • AnswerFirst is able to capture the original caller's ANI (Caller ID).

 

CONS:

  • Setup can be difficult as not all providers offer or include "diversion" information.
  • Can be extremely unreliable as many providers strip out or do not pass along diversion information.
  • Calls not including proper diversion information will be disconnected (CREDITS WILL NOT BE GIVEN FOR MISSED CALLS)


Recommended Articles