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What is Automatic Number Identification (ANI)?

What is Automatic Number Identification (ANI)?

In this post, we’ll go over the ANI telephony feature and how businesses use this feature to provide better support and sales.

What Does ANI Mean in Telephony?

In telecommunications, ANI refers to Automatic Number Identification. This phone feature, offered by many cloud telephony and VoIP providers, works in conjunction with call data and is used primarily for billing purposes. Let’s find out how:

What is Automatic Number Identification?

Automatic Number Identification allows the recipient of an incoming call to determine and display the number of the phone that originated the call. In other words, it displays the number of the person dialing or placing the call.

Before ANI, telephone operators manually requested the phone number of the person calling, especially for a toll call. But now, telecom providers can use this service to help users (your business) understand and analyze their call data, volume, and traffic.

Are ANI and Caller ID Services the Same?

This feature is often understood in relation to caller ID services; however, they’re not the same since they utilize different underlying technology.

Automatic Number Identification is the Billing Telephone Number (BTN) used by carriers and assigned by the telco switch. Caller ID, on the other hand, is the display number provided by the caller’s equipment (VoIP or PBX setup) or originating carrier (outbound calling service).

Users can change the outgoing caller ID when making outbound calls. However, one cannot change or block the ANI number.

An image of automatic number identification for international calling.

How is ANI Used in Businesses and Call Centers?

1. Use call detail records for billing purposes:

Automatic Number Identification is especially useful in cases where incoming calls (toll and toll-free) are charged based on the caller’s (your customer’s) number and location. For example, toll-free costs for incoming calls vary depending on where your customer is calling from or where the call originated from.

By identifying where your calls come from, you can better understand your VoIP phone bill. This includes:

  • local, regional, and international call charges
  • how much you pay as a customer
  • and, sometimes, what your VoIP provider owes its own carriers.

ANI systems and reports keep track of your call data. And in some advanced reports, you can even see specific charges for each call. Based on this information, you can then make adjustments to your phone service accordingly.

2. Use call data to improve customer experience:

Such call data can also give you key insights into where your calls come from and, by extension, where your customers are located. Once you’ve analyzed this call data, you can decide how to serve them best.

For instance, say you have a lot of international clientele. With advanced call routing, businesses and call centers can route calls based on a variety of preset rules. So, you can forward calls from specific regions to a call center or support team closer to the destination — all based on the caller ID and area code of the caller.

Or, if you have enough after-hours call traffic, you can outsource those calls to a remote agent or your personal phone. Such time-of-day routing lets you offer 24/7 support.

How United World Telecom Can Help

United World Telecom uses ANI in our system for billing purposes. This enables our customers to see the caller ID of their callers. And our call detail records and billing reports can help you understand call traffic and identify new growth opportunities. Additionally, they also have access to features like location-based routing so they can serve customers wherever they are located.

To learn more, call us today at 1 (877) 898 8646 or chat with us online!

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