As technology is becoming more sophisticated, businesses are now using softphone apps instead of landlines to communicate within and outside the business. These technological innovations have been accepted and implemented in the companies to ensure the accessibility and cost-effectiveness of the business phone systems.
Here is everything you need to know about softphone apps, their usability, and how to find the right softphone app for small businesses.
What is a Softphone App?
Despite its name, a softphone is not a phone. It is software that allows businesses to use a computer, tablet, or phone to place internet-based calls. It is typically provided by the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provider and functions as a familiar, user-friendly interface that operates similarly to a traditional phone, where users can dial numbers and access their VoIP features such as voicemail auto-attendant, do not disturb, etc. Therefore, first, you need to know how to choose softphone software.
Top features of Softphone App
To find the right softphone app for small businesses, you first need to know about its features. In a softphone app, you can,
- Make, receive and transfer calls
- Manage contacts
- Set up call waiting and do not disturb
- Assign rules for call forwarding
- Keep cell phone calls private
- Share contact lists
- Sent instant messages to co-workers
- Do video call
How to Choose a Softphone Software
While choosing the best softphone app for your business, consider features and cost first. While softphones are largely considered a low-cost option compared to other phone systems, monthly service costs and features vary according to the provider. You should also get the information about the free trials as many providers to offer free, limited versions of their software, which may work for you, according to your needs. Along with remembering these aspects, you should consider the following points to find the right softphone app for small businesses.
- You can do an analysis to see how each provider compares features and costs to ensure they deliver you appropriate and satisfactory services.
- The features that you should look for include voicemail, call forwarding and transfer, redial, hold, auto-answer and call ignore.
- Along with the features, you should also look at how many phones, or lines, you will need. Choose a provider that can easily support the number of lines you need.
- Consider the operating system as not all softphone apps are compatible with every operating system, so it is vital to choose software that works with your operating system, be it macOS, Windows, iOS or Android.
- Check to see what other systems the softphone app integrates with, such as a CRM, Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) or Outlook.
- Ensure that your softphone supports the same protocol as your VoIP provider. Protocols determine how data is processed and transferred over the network. There are multiple protocols supported by VoIP services and softphones.
- See what kind of security measures your provider offers. Softphone apps are susceptible to hacking or malware because of their internet-based nature, so it’s critical that your data is protected against breaches.
Pros and cons of softphone apps
Softphones offer various benefits by providing flexibility as well as reliable solutions. Along with these, they have several detriments.
Pros of Software Apps
- The biggest benefit of softphones is their low cost. They are software-based, which means minimal equipment is needed, just a smart or internet-enabled device, a headset, which includes maintenance in your monthly service fee.
- Choosing a software-based business phone system also gives your business scalability. Through this, your softphone system can easily adjust as your business grows.
- An additional major benefit of softphones is their flexibility. As you can use your softphone from any internet-enabled device, you can make and receive calls from anywhere in the world from your phone, tablet, or computer.
- Software Apps are easy to use with easy upgrades. Precisely, rather than having to fiddle around with buttons on the phone, these apps can be controlled with the click of a mouse.
- In particular, real-time presence is one of the key elements to managing calls effectively. Using a desktop softphone, you will be able to view the availability of business associates in your network.
Cons of Software Apps
- Softphones may not be the right solution for every business, though. They aren’t a feasible option for businesses that do not have a reliable internet connection. Softphones are entirely internet-based, and without them, the software is a complete fail.
- If the employee’s device is not up to date, then the software will not work properly. Therefore, check that your employees’ devices are up to date and function well since softphone access also heavily depends on the device used for the call.
- Softphones may not always offer the same call quality as traditional phones, especially when using your device’s internal microphone and speakers. So, you will need to determine how you and your employees will make and receive your calls, which means whether you will use the speaker and microphone included on your device or if you will purchase headsets.
There are many options for how to find the right softphone app for small businesses. So, you need to identify it properly, understanding all the pros and cons.