A softphone is a piece of software that makes VoIP calls on any internet-connected device, including a desktop or laptop computer, tablet, or smartphone. The interface offers a simple-to-use system that doesn’t require a physical desk telephone but allows team members to communicate easily with customers and each other. You’ll need to have reliable broadband or an internet connection to make and receive calls.
A softphone may not be the first choice out of all the available options for small business telecom. When switching to VoIP, your decisions depend on your small business’s needs and nature. If your company includes remote working, your team can benefit the most because of its innate portability. Even those without remote working will appreciate the softphone’s features and usefulness. The cost savings over traditional or VoIP desk phones are also attractive.
How does a softphone work?
A softphone app simulates a physical telephone on your smartphone or your computer. It includes a dial pad and call-handling features like muting, holds, and transfers. This app not only replicates the capabilities of a traditional desk phone but also introduces a plethora of additional features. These include familiar functions such as call transfers, holding calls, managing multiple lines, and voicemail.
So, what can a softphone do for a small business? Of course, cost savings are one of the best reasons to switch since physical desk phones aren’t required. A softphone app like Bria also includes advanced features such as real-time presence indicators, an ability to seamlessly transfer calls to colleagues regardless of location, and informative notifications about incoming calls, such as detailed caller information. Team members can conveniently access a shared corporate contact directory while safeguarding their personal contacts’ privacy.
Here, we’ll discuss five softphone features that make communication easier and more efficient for small businesses.
A softphone adds tremendous flexibility.
This is one of the most significant features of the softphone and VoIP in general. Using the internet to make and receive calls lets you and your team members work in the office or remotely easily with no difference in service. The softphone has an interface just like a desk phone, so it’s as easy to use as one. A softphone can work on both iOS and Android, as well as both Windows and Mac machines.
Users can continue their calls across different devices. If you receive a call through the smartphone app, you can continue the call on a desktop or laptop just by picking up a headset and logging in. What if the power goes down? You can continue or re-establish the call from the PC onto a smartphone to finish your conversation without skipping a beat. Users can continue calls interchangeably on multiple devices as needed, all while using the same phone number.
Using a softphone makes your business more flexible.
When a business needs to add more phone lines, they can easily spend more than they can afford to install more hardwired desks. Each additional phone line also costs the company more every month. When those extra lines are no longer needed, the company will also pay to have the lines terminated and the physical phone uninstalled.
A VoIP softphone system lets small businesses quickly add and subtract phone lines in the online dashboard. Hiring a new team member? You can give them their office number easily. Want to advertise in a different city? Your business can have a “local” presence with a number in that city. Because everything is handled in the cloud, you won’t need to call a tech to add or remove numbers or update entries.
All the features of a desk phone plus more.
The softphone interface’s design looks like a standard handset unit. Team members can answer, transfer, park, and put calls on hold, just like they would be using a desk phone, and handle communications efficiently.
Things a softphone can do that a desk phone cannot:
- Transfer calls by dragging and dropping
- Visual Voicemail
- Voicemail in email
- Instant messaging
- Importing and sharing contact lists between team members
- Smartphone notifications of incoming calls and voicemail notifications
- “Presence,” where team members can see who is online, offline, in a meeting,
- Real-time screen sharing
- Video calls and conferences that you can schedule right in the app
- Instant call bridge numbers
Conference calls are much easier with a softphone, from scheduling to starting, including file sharing. You can also switch from a phone call to a video call at the touch of a button.
Import contacts from your CRM
Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, is not just for keeping customer contact and order information. It’s a complete system that consolidates and tracks client data and all communication with each client for better management.
Importing your contacts into the softphone app from your CRM offers the added benefit of having a customer’s information available when they call.
Do you need a microphone headset with your softphone?
A microphone headset is required when using the softphone app on a desktop or laptop. But when using a smartphone, you can talk to anyone through the softphone app just as you would using Skype, Zoom, or any other telephony app. Users can also use wired or Bluetooth earphones on a smartphone for hands-free talking through the app.
When employees use their cell phones for company business, they may begin receiving calls from customers on their mobile phones and on their own time. This also makes the manager’s job more difficult if they can’t monitor customer interaction and keep customer data secure. If your small business requires any level of compliance, employees on their phone numbers can cause added problems, especially if you need a record of every customer interaction.
A softphone eliminates the issues when employees use their mobile phone numbers for company business. Instead, employees can use their company phone number on their smartphone or PC through the softphone app. Using a softphone system also records every customer interaction, including sales, customer service questions, updates, and complaints.
Softphones offer a range of features and capabilities far beyond standard desk phone service. If your small business can benefit from moving to a VoIP-based softphone system, get in touch with Press8 Telecom. They will answer any questions or concerns you may have while searching for the right solution.