Entrepreneurs and companies of all sizes are always looking for a way to make their business leaner and meaner. Investing in the right technology is the first step towards increasing team efficiency and streamlining various work processes.
As VoIP technology is reaping enormous benefits for industries of all verticals, softphones are gaining massive popularity due to various reasons such as flexibility, portability, and security.
Softphones allow businesses to skip the hassles of buying expensive landlines and other equipments such as cabling wires. Additionally, companies don’t have to staff a technical team to set up the VoIP phone system for your business.
In this article, we will discuss what are softphones and how they help businesses in several ways by providing advanced features such as call recordings, easy contact management, host audio and video meetings, call forwarding, and so on.
Let’s first understand what softphones are and how it works.
What Are Softphones?
A softphone is an application or program which facilitates internet calling via a desktop or laptop. To configure a softphone, you have to download the app and install it in your system. After that, you can configure your softphone with the settings provided by your VoIP provider. Once your softphone is set, you can start making inbound and outbound calls.
In simpler terms, a softphone is a piece of a program written for desktops and mobile phones to support VoIP calls. Thus, allowing your agents to move around here and there from their desk phones without worrying about missing any critical customer calls.
To work with a softphone, your agents require a personal device that can be either a desktop or a laptop. Laptops offer more portability than desktops. If you want your agents to travel for business purposes, then working on a laptop can have a significant boost in their productivity.
Why does your business need softphones?
Softphones can be integrated with your existing VoIP phone system, and even if you switch to a different VoIP provider, it is only a matter of minutes to reconfigure your softphones.
Softphones eliminate the requirement of hard phones or landlines for calling purposes. Hence, you don’t need to buy expensive hardware such as PBX servers, phones, etc. to utilize cloud telephony services. With a good internet connection, you can use a softphone to dial out numbers and receive incoming calls without any issue.
Another great benefit that softphone brings with it is that it allows agents to use business work phones from their laptops or smartphones anywhere and anytime.
4. Audio Conferencing
With the help of softphones, your agents can easily collaborate and host basic audio conferencing meetings such as 3-way calling. The best part is that some softphones let your agents or meeting hosts to pause specific participants, remove someone from the call, and other necessary call conferencing settings.
5. Video Conferencing
Video conferencing has reduced the requirements for company owners, entrepreneurs, etc. to travel from one location to the other location for business purposes. As VoIP supports video calling via the internet out of the box, you can have the same functionality with a softphone. Do note that every softphone doesn’t allow you to make video calls. Therefore, do check this feature while choosing a softphone for your business.
6. Decluttered Office Environment
If you plan to use the hard phones for your VoIP phone service, you have to go through the cumbersome task of configuring each extension on your employee’s desk. The process involves cabling each phone and connecting it to the local area network of your company.
In the case of softphones, all of these additional steps are eliminated. Your employees need to install and configure softphones on their work desks or personal devices to start using your company’s VoIP phone system.
7. Call Recording
Softphones also provide you the handy option of recording conversations with your customers. Depending on your VoIP provider, your softphone recordings can either be saved locally on your PC or the cloud based on your requirements. Call recordings help you to analyze customer requirements and plan a strategy to direct your agents for faster query resolution.
Softphone Features To Look At
1. Call Forwarding
Quickly forward calls to other extensions or phone numbers based on various conditions, such as if the call is unanswered for X seconds or all incoming calls during a time group.
For instance, if you want to forward incoming calls automatically to your cell phone when the call is unanswered for 30 seconds. You can check your softphone, and if it provides you the option to forward calls, you can set this rule quickly.
Different softphones might offer different call forwarding rules, and in some cases, you might not get this feature. For that, you can configure call forwarding settings of your VoIP phone system.
With this feature, you can configure your softphone to direct the incoming VoIP call to your voicemail. As per your softphone provider, you can find the settings to transfer calls to voicemail. You can access your voicemail from the admin portal of your VoIP provider.
3. Personalized greeting
As softphone runs on the VoIP technology, you can leverage its auto attendant phone system feature to automatically greet your customers with a personalized message or custom music on hold.
4. Echo cancellation
Call quality is an essential factor to represent your business as a professional entity in front of your customers. Just like some expensive VoIP phones, some softphones also provide the essential echo cancellation feature. Thus, allowing you to enjoy HD VoIP calls with your customers and clients.
5. Contact Management
Managing contacts with a softphone is like a cakewalk.. Depending on your softphone, you can manually enter contacts or import a CSV, Excel, or any other file format to add all customer and team members’ contacts at once.
6. Set Do Not Disturb
Busy in an important meeting? With softphones, you can enable its DND or do not disturb mode to avoid getting sound notifications of incoming calls. Besides that, you can also configure your softphone to forward inbound calls to any other extension, cellphone, or even direct it to your voicemail when its DND mode is enabled.
In this article, we discussed all about softphones and how they are useful for businesses, especially startups. Softphones allow businesses to save money as there is no requirement of buying expensive hardware equipment such as landlines, cabling wires, etc. Additionally, softphones offer a much-needed ability to work remotely and allow your agents to take their desk phones wherever they go.