How & Why to Add SMS Texting to Your Direct Dial (DID) Phone Number
What if you could add text messaging to your direct dial phone number at work? That way, people could call or text you at the same number, and you could leave work at the office instead of carrying it around in your cell phone.
How does that sound?
Below I’ll cover why you should add text messaging (SMS) to your DID number, how you can do it (it’s easy), and more.
What exactly is a “DID” phone number?
“DID” stands for Direct Inward Dialing. It’s a way for you to get your own phone line - with your own 10-digit phone number - while staying on your office’s private telephone network (called a PBX or Private Branch Exchange).
A DID is also different than an extension. With an extension, you share a phone line (and a phone number). With a DID, you get your own.
So why should you add text messaging to your direct line?
7 Reasons to Add Text Messaging to Your Direct Dial Phone Number
1. Messaging is what people want (and do).
A text is 4X-5X more likely to be read than a phone call is to be answered, and 9/10 people wish they could text with a business.
Adding SMS to your direct line helps you reach people where they are (on their phones) how they want to be reached (via text), and vice versa.
2. Professional communications need to be compliant.
Employees texting with customers, clients, or even other employees about work from personal cell phones is not compliant (for most industries), nor is it something we’d recommend. Professional communications need to be four things:
- Recorded permanently
- Owned by the business or organization
Text messages from personal cell phones are none of these, but there’s an easy way to fix that.
If you add text messaging to your direct dial phone number using Text Request, then all your messages inside Text Request will be secure, recorded permanently, easily searchable, and property of the organization. (I’ll cover how Text Request works with your number later.)
This kind of compliance is great for you as an employer or employee, and is ideal if you’re in a heavily regulated industry.
3. Using one number makes everything easier.
Would you rather keep up with one phone number or several?
Being able to text and call (or receive texts and calls) from the same number is more convenient for you, and for everyone trying to contact you. All your contacts only need to save one number, which they can easily recognize on their cell phones whenever you text or call them.
Plus, you can just say “text or call me at this number” anytime. Isn’t that simple?
4. Contacts can text you anytime without you being “on call.”
If you don’t want texts to follow you everywhere, you can login to your Text Request account when you’re in the office, and logout when you leave.
If you do want to keep up, you can create up to four different types of notifications for new messages, so that you never miss one.
You can also make sure people get responses ASAP, even when you're not in the office, using Text Request's Autoresponder. It’s like an out of office email for texting, and you can schedule as many as you might need for all sorts of situations (e.g. after hours, weekends, lunch breaks, meetings, etc.).
With these options, people can text you whenever they need, and you can keep your peace.
5. Create new opportunities to grow your business.
Once you add text messaging to your direct dial phone number, you instantly get all the opportunities texting provides, including:
- Generating leads through SMS (Click-to-Text on your website, Google listing, and more)
- Sharing new opportunities or promotions through BCC group messages (instead of calling every individual)
- Following up with sales leads or potential clients
- Scheduling and rescheduling appointments
- Sending reminders or quick encouragement for payments, meetings, and more
- Increasing online reviews
- Providing better customer service
- Touching base about renewals or (semi)annual services
- And more
Text messaging can help you save time while increasing revenue, especially if you normally call lots of people for the same thing. Now you can just send one message.
6. Messages last longer than employees.
It’s a best practice to have a complete record of every interaction you (or someone at your organization) has with a particular customer or client. But what happens if one of your employees leaves?
Do all those conversations and touch points walk out the door with them?
With Text Request, you’ll have a complete history of every text with every customer or client, whether an employee stays for three months or 30 years. If someone leaves - no sweat - you can pick up the conversation right where they left off.
7. You also get MMS on your direct line.
With Text Request, you can send and receive pictures just like you can on a cell phone. So if you use Text Request to add texting to your direct line, then you also get picture messaging.
This is helpful for sending over paperwork (like resumes and contracts), sharing screenshots for customer service, and all sorts of situations where a picture is worth a thousand words.
How does Text Request work?
Text Request is an online business texting software. When you sign up for Text Request on our Pricing page, you'll get to choose which phone number you will be texting with. You can either use a current business number (like your direct dial number), or get a text-only number on us.
After choosing a number, all text messages with that number will live inside your Text Request account. If you use a current business number, nothing changes to your voice services.
To access messages, just login to Text Request from any device (e.g. your computer or smartphone). You will be able to send and receive messages, manage groups, add contacts, and much more.
How to Add SMS Texting to Your Direct Dial (DID) Phone Number
Confirm that your number is eligible for text messaging on our Landline Texting page. All landline and toll-free numbers are eligible. We can also add texting to VOIP numbers, but VOIP providers handle phone numbers differently, so please contact us if you have a VOIP number.
Choose a Text Request plan on our Pricing page. We have no contacts, a 30-day money back guarantee, and you can change your plan at any time. Which plan you choose is not important (just go with your best guess), but you have to pick a plan before we can add text messaging to your direct line.
After you’ve purchased a plan, choose to “SMS-enable your existing number.” We’ll have you verify the number via phone call.
You’ll need to e-sign a letter of authorization (LOA) stating that Text Request has permission to route your text messages through our dashboard. This will be emailed to you after you verify your number. Once the LOA is processed, you’re good to go!
The first three steps only take a moment or two. The fourth step may take a few hours to process. (Exception: Toll-free numbers take two days.)