What is a softphone? Contrary to logic, a softphone isn’t even a phone. Confused? Don’t be.
In our guide ‘What Is a Softphone and Why Should I Have One?‘ we’ll answer:
- What is a softphone?
- What can a softphone do?
- Why do you need a softphone?
- Who uses softphones?
- What do you need to consider before choosing a softphone?
What Is a Softphone?
A softphone is a piece of software, like Skype or Slack, that allows you to use your computer, smartphone, or tablet as a phone to place calls using the internet. With a softphone, a headset, microphone, and VoIP provider, you can place video calls and Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, calls.
What Can a Softphone Do?
As the demand for softphones continues to increase, various developers have created a plethora of systems with a variety of features, including some that come with actual phones. Some are very basic, but others have extensive features that give you the control you need over business communication. With a softphone, you have an interface on the device of your choice so that you can:
- Place, receive, and transfer calls
- Manage your contacts
- Set call waiting and do not disturb settings
- Update rules for how calls forward
- Reroute calls
- Call with a single click
- And more
While cost savings are high on the priorities of many, bear in mind that the “real cost savings come from using a fully hosted model wherein all of your phone system hardware, aside from the actual handsets, reside in the cloud,” according to a Reno-Gazette Journal article.
While it may not even be a phone, your business communications will benefit from softphones.
Why Do I Need a Softphone?
Take a look at what you spend on your communications hardware, maintenance, and support. Then figure out what you spend every few years to upgrade. The costs can rise into the stratosphere.
With VoIP and a softphone, you can cut all those costs and usually just pay a per-seat fee, plus the cost of any optional features you need. In addition to reducing your costs, you can expect:
- Lower monthly service charges and international call costs
- Advanced calling features — even video conferencing
- To add or remove phones with ease
- The ability to work from anywhere and still have the same phone number with the same features
- To present a unified and professional company image
- Options such as call centers, voicemail transcription to email, and integration with CRM
There’s another reason you need a softphone.
According to a recent study by Deloitte, voice communications are predicted to continue to decline, and will account for only 47% of customer interactions by 2019. That’s because many people prefer to text or use a chat application instead of picking up the phone. With VoIP and a softphone, you can add those features and please everyone, allowing customers to communicate the way they want.
Who Uses Softphones?
- Separate providers for voice, messaging, conferencing, and call recording
- Staff that travels
- Call center employees
- Multiple locations
- A need to make frequent long-distance calls
- A desire to appear larger than they might actually be
- A need to record calls for training purposes
- Customer support staff
Out of the office? Don’t let travel affect the quality of your customer service.
Use Case #1
An important prospect calls while your account executive is traveling. The call goes to voicemail but the potential client is impatient. He hangs up and calls your competitor. With a softphone, the call could have been routed to someone else — and that prospect could have become a client.
Use Case #2
A valued customer calls the salesperson she’s been working with because she has a technical problem. Sales can’t answer the question, but can’t transfer the call either. Customer gets angry and frustrated when she has to hang up and call a different number. A softphone enhances the customer’s experience.
Use Case #3
You’ve got multiple office locations, served by various providers, all with different systems. You need telephony staff at each location to deal with hardware issues. A hosted VoIP system with a softphone eliminates the staffing need, saves you money, and keeps things in working order.
Some businesses aren’t ready to give up desktop phones and go directly to computer calling. That’s fine. You can use a VoIP physical phone with softphone tech. VoIP phones range from entry-level to sophisticated and can come with conference units, cordless handsets, and attendant consoles.
Before Choosing a Softphone
You might think a phone is a phone is a phone. In some instances, you’re right, but there’s more to it. Your VoIP service provider is what will make the difference between you loving your phone communication or hating it.
- If your provider just makes use of multiple internet service providers, your call could experience delays and jitter.
- If your provider just hooks you up with phones and has you provision them, issues could arise.
- If you’re sharing your internet connection with voice and data, you could experience constraints and degradation.
On the other hand, if you have a dedicated voice connection, you’ll get high-quality voice calls, and if you have a team ready to support you 24/7/365, you’ll never have an unanswered question or phone issue.
And that’s what Voxter offers — a team of softphone, VoIP and engineering experts whose goal is to make you love your communication system. Discover how by contacting us today, or giving us a call at 866-381-8647.