From customer service centers to sales, one thing communication-based organizations need to run smoothly is an effective phone system.

 

If you’ve looked into phone systems for businesses, you’ve no doubt come across the term ‘softphone’. A softphone is a great way for companies to connect employees and customers through a central, virtual phone system. But how do they work, and is a softphone the right choice for your business?

 

Image of a businesswoman using a headset to speak on the phone

 

What is a Softphone?

First things first – what is the definition of a softphone, and what exactly is softphone software?

 

A softphone is a type of software application that can be used to make phone calls when installed on an internet-connected device. A softphone works via a user-friendly desktop app to streamline call processes when compared to a traditional hardwired phone.

 

Softphone software provides an interface that works alongside your existing VoIP system. This allows you to access existing VoIP features, while the softphone interface means users can customize additional settings and features. Softphone software allows you to perform actions such as mute, hold, and transfer through the interface on your computer, rather than through buttons as you would with a traditional hardwired phone. Additional softphone features depending on your specific software can include call logging, call waiting, call forwarding, and much more.

 

How Does a Softphone Work?

In terms of the equipment you need, a softphone works well with your usual workplace computer set up. A softphone needs to work alongside an internet-connected device – most commonly this would be a desktop computer or a laptop in a business setting, but an internet-connected device such as a smartphone can also work with a softphone app. You also need a headphone/microphone system on the computer you are using; ideally, a VoIP headset is recommended due to its clearer sound.

 

As mentioned, this equipment is likely already in place in a typical business or call center – so to get started with a softphone, you simply just need to install the softphone software to your device and follow the setup instructions. Then, as long as your device is connected to the internet, you’re ready to start making and receiving calls.

 

Image of staff speaking on headsets in a busy call center

 

 

What are the Benefits of a Softphone System?

So, we know softphones are straightforward to introduce into a business. But why exactly should your business be using them?

 

There are many advantages to switching to softphones for business – here are some of the top benefits a softphone can provide.

 

1. Less physical equipment

No one likes the look of an office space full of wires and equipment. With a softphone setup, you have fewer wires and less equipment to handle, as a softphone requires none of the wiring or hardware that is needed when setting up a landline.

 

Everything is managed virtually through your softphone software, meaning you can enjoy a more presentable and streamlined office space. Plus, this virtual setup means new phone lines can be added with the click of a button with no need to wire up new desk space, making it easier to set up new staff with phone lines.

 

2. Ease of use

In the modern workplace, most tasks run through a computer system. The addition of softphone software gives staff the ability to review voicemails and manage calls on a user-friendly screen interface rather than dialing and listening to options as they would when using a hardwired phone. The ability to control calls with the click of a button saves both time and effort in a work or call center setting, improving overall efficiency and employee productivity.

 

3. Accessibility

A key highlight of opting for softphone software is the accessibility and flexibility it provides a business. Softphone software can be downloaded onto any internet-connected device. This means employees who are traveling or working from a different office can simply download the softphone software onto their cell phone or laptop and everything they need will be there, ready to go.

 

The rise of remote working also makes a softphone system something that businesses should be considering, as it allows staff to stay connected to the organization’s central phone system from home. Employees working from home can then answer calls to the office phone number through their headset or even on personal cell phones while keeping their personal number private.

 

4. One central platform

It is always more efficient to have staff in a business working across one central platform. Having a softphone eases communication between employees, allowing users to schedule calls, IM, or video conference with colleagues at the touch of a button. This quick and easy communication is much more seamless than comms with a traditional landline phone and ensures staff are always connected, no matter their location – a must in any modern workplace.

 

 

The value of solid communication and collaboration in the workplace can never be emphasized enough, and softphone virtual software is a great way to seamlessly connect the workforce while offering easy accessibility and flexibility. With the ability to connect with colleagues, clients, and customers at the click of a button, efficiency and productivity across the team will naturally increase and your business will be set for success.