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What is a Softphone and How Can It Help Your Small Business

Many customers still want to call a company to handle orders, problems, or other issues. Even though companies use email, text, and chatbots in addition to phone calls for customer service, a call makes things easier. Sometimes a quick call resolves issues much faster and easier than other methods.

Phone lines are essential for nearly every business. Companies interested in reducing their telecom overhead are moving to Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems that use their existing Internet service. Although VoIP-enabled phones are available, using just a computer and a headset can be a more economical business option.

To make calls with a computer, you’ll need a program called a “softphone.” This software turns your computer (or smart mobile device) into an online phone line that works from anywhere. It works on any device that can run the software. Additional dedicated hardware, such as a desk phone, isn’t necessary. A softphone is ideal for a small business on a tight budget but needs strong customer communication and interaction.

How a Softphone Works

You’re probably familiar with programs like Skype, Google Voice, and other programs that allow you to call others on a PC or Mac. These are examples of personal-use softphone technology, although Skype is also available for business use. For business applications, a VoIP softphone is similar but with significantly more features.

why choose a softphone for computer
With a softphone, users can make and receive phone calls using their computer, laptop, or tablet.

This softphone software program replaces traditional analog or VoIP desk phones. The software uses your data connection to access your service provider. Callers can use WiFi, mobile cell data, or a direct Internet connection to make calls from anywhere.

With a VoIP softphone, employees can work wherever they can access the Internet. The softphone lets employees call each other on their computers or a phone number just as they would with a cell or landline phone.

A softphone is a computer based phone. With the soft phone software installed on your computer, and a headset, you can make phone calls over the Internet without needing designated physical hardware, and it can be installed on desktops and mobile devices. Basically, softphones help you make telephone calls without a physical  telephone

What You Need For Softphone

These applications work on any device, including:

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Linux
  • Web browsers
  • iOS
  • Android

The softphone interface looks just like the face of a standard hard-wired telephone. The app only needs an input/output device, such as a headset, for someone to make calls.

Making A Call

Using a softphone is simple: pull up the application on your screen (or through a web browser) and start dialing. A softphone app can do everything a traditional landline can do and more.

The interface simulates the appearance of a desk phone with a range of features. Users can transfer calls, put callers on hold, have multiple lines, and utilize voicemail. Users can also transfer calls to remote coworkers working in different locations, including their homes and branch offices.

Just dial your number on the dial pad, and the system connects the call to any phone number, including another softphone. Speak as if you were on a desk phone or smartphone. The person on the other end likely won’t know you’re on a softphone unless you tell them.

Hardware And Equipment

In addition to the software and a VOIP headset, you must have a reliable Internet connection for the best calls. You can use a softphone on any connected device, such as a:

  • Laptop
  • Desktop
  • Tablet
  • Smartphone

You won’t need a typical desk phone like you would with a basic VOIP setup. For a computer, we recommend using a VOIP headset rather than speakers and a microphone. A headset reduces or eliminates ambient noise such as keyboard clicking, HVAC systems, and other people talking in the same area.

The Benefits Of a Softphone

Your company already pays for a business Internet service connection, so put it to work for you.

One of the benefits is cost savings. VoIP is already a cost-saving over traditional PBX phone service. The app may have a nominal cost from your VoIP provider. But there’s no need to buy additional handset equipment. Speakers and a microphone, built into modern laptops, are all that’s needed. (We do recommend VoIP headsets for optimal call quality on any computer.)

  • Team communication is visible and manageable from a central dashboard. You can re-route calls for a team member who is out ill to the person taking their place. Another employee can assist a customer without any interruption.
  • Portability. Since softphone software also works on smartphone devices, employees don’t have to wait at their desks for a call. Eliminating “phone tag” lets employees help customers faster. Remote workers use their “desk number” just as if they were sitting in the office.
  • The office number from anywhere. Best of all, there’s no need for a separate desk and cell number. The same “office” phone number rings on a mobile device, so clients and customers don’t need additional contact information. Employees can keep their cell phone numbers private. With a WiFi connection, they don’t have to use their data for business calls.

Other Tools

Softphones also include tools such as:

  • Instant Messaging (IM)
  • Video conferences and calls
  • Voicemail
  • Incoming caller information
  • CRM integration
  • “Click-to-dial”
  • Portability
  • Call recording
  • “Presence,” or the ability to see if someone is available, in a meeting, at their desk, etc.
  • Team messaging
  • Shared company directory
  • SMS service

Because of the all-in-one nature of the softphone, you have all the features of the most sophisticated analog phone system available on your PC, Mac, or mobile devices.

Exchanging a hard-wired traditional phone system for VoIP and softphones can offer significant cost savings to small businesses. Does a softphone sound like something your company could use? Contact Press 8 Telecom today to learn more about our softphone service and how it could benefit your company.

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