Understanding Post Dial Delay for Seamless Calls


Nobody likes delays, especially when they have a problem that requires urgent assistance. So what happens when a customer attempts to ring your organization, and they are impacted by post dial delay (PDD)?

This PDD could mean that they don’t hear a ring tone until ten or twenty seconds after dialing? At the very least, PDD can cause confusion for the listener, particularly when silence is all that can be hard at the other end of the phone.

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What is Post Dial Delay? 

The standard definition of PDD is:

“The time or delay that occurs from the time when a number has been dialed, until the caller or called party hears ringing.”

Bandwidth, a leading US carrier who offers communication application programming interfaces (APIs) which allow organizations to embed voice calling and messaging capability into their applications, describes that “PDD occurs because each carrier can take a few seconds to acknowledge their ability to complete the call.”

Most carriers in the telecommunications industry consider a PDD under seven seconds to be acceptable. As such, they generally don’t troubleshoot anything below this threshold. However, while seven seconds may not appear lengthy on paper, for someone requiring an immediate response, it will be. Imagine, trying to make an urgent call to an emergency helpline and being faced with this delay; each second would feel like an eternity.


The Challenge

In contrast to a typical call scenario where a phone may ring before being answered, many of our customers’ numbers are set to answer immediately. Upon answering, an IVR welcome message automatically greets the caller, aiming to minimize wait times and provide a smoother customer experience.

Consequently, PDD, by its definition, doesn't align with the requirements of these customers. For this reason, Cyara uses a specialized approach to calculating PDD which aligns better with the specific needs of our customers.


How Does Cyara Measure Post Dial Delay?

Cyara’s tests replicate the exact flow of your customer’s calling experience. We place a number of test calls which are configured to automatically answer. This means, in a typical test call flow, ringing won’t be heard. Let’s take a look at a typical Cyara call test flow:

  1. Cyara initiates the call.
  2. The provider (or multiple providers, if applicable) establishes the connection.
  3. The call reaches the called party and the caller hears ringing.
  4. The called party answers (picks up) the call. As noted above, these calls are generally  automatically answered by our customers’ systems.
  5. The call then ends.
  6. The test results are presented back to the customers for problem identification, resolution and benchmarking purposes.

In summary, the Cyara PDD test serves as a 'call answer time' metric, which better includes any delays introduced by your intermediary networks and carriers. It also allows for the identification of delays that go beyond those identifiable by the industry-standard PDD calculation.


Benefits to Cyara’s PDD Testing

  • Identifies connectivity issues associated with high post dial delay.
  • Provides a reliable, robust, and comparable benchmark for call answer times.
  • Enables identification and reporting of potential issues before they affect your customers, safeguarding your brand reputation and customer loyalty.
  • Accurately measures the delay between dialing the number and the call answering.
  • Presents essential data for identifying necessary changes to reduce your organization’s PDD, thereby enhancing the customer experience.
  • Reduces your troubleshooting time by enabling more proactive carrier management and ensuring their adherence to their service-level agreements (SLAs).