Using VoIP Softphone Technology to Your Advantage
Today, companies are finding it easier and more cost-effective to use VoIP headsets rather than handheld desk phones to make calls. Using a VoIP softphone and hands-free technology, employees gain the opportunity to strengthen communication efforts and boost overall productivity—ushering in a new era of worker efficiency.
What Is a Softphone?
In a nutshell, a “softphone” is another term for a VoIP software feature that lets users make and receive calls on their computer or tablet. Contact can be made to another party as long as the VoIP user has an Internet connection, a speaker, a microphone, and the VoIP software downloaded.
Although a VoIP softphone headset isn’t required for use, it’s an extremely popular configuration as it keeps the phone call private to the individual and leaves his or her hands free to type, take notes, review contact and account information, or attend to any other activity that would be helpful to the call. Those who have a wireless VoIP headset are able to move away from his or her computer and walk around the room if needed.
How Does a Softphone Work?
Softphone VoIP calls are made using the software’s VoIP dialer. Traditionally, the dialer’s interface looks similar to the keypad on a regular phone and may be designed to represent a physical phone device for familiarity.
Numbers can be dialed either by pressing the keypad numbers directly or by typing the numbers out on the user’s keyboard. Once the call is dialed, the call works exactly as it would on a physical phone. That said, once a call is finished, users can end the call by pressing an end call button or by letting the other party end the call first.
Other special features may apply depending on the VoIP service provider, such as virtual collaboration spaces, instant messaging and presence features, and other integrated software features. Additionally, some companies may allow employees to use a VoIP softphone download from a 3rd party, although this is not necessarily recommended.
Who Can Use a Softphone?
Any employee that works primarily with a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet can benefit from using a hands-free softphone. Although in-office workers are the most common business softphone users, mobile employees can also use a softphone by downloading a provider-specific app on their smartphone or tablet.
- Salespeople – Salespeople find the hands-free capabilities especially useful when talking with prospective or current clients. During a call, a salesperson has both hands free to access the client’s information—giving them the opportunity to facilitate smarter, more pointed conversations to drive leads and foster relationships.
- Call Center Agents – Call centers are perhaps known most for using softphones and VoIP headsets. Without the need for physical phones, center agents have full computer access to customer accounts and information while on a call—an integral ingredient to quick and smooth customer care.
- Office Workers – General office workers find it easier and intuitive to access contact info in a centralized location rather than scrolling through files on a computer or clunky interfaces on a VoIP desk phone. Many people also claim they can hear better and are more comfortable when using a headset, which can be huge for productivity.
- Mobile Workers – Although mobile workers will use a tablet for mobile communication, softphone VoIP software still allows those users to make and receive calls, store contact information, share files, and instant message critical contacts—all while using their own business phone number.
How Much Will a Softphone Save Me?
The short answer: a lot. To calculate your company’s specific savings, however, simply compare the price of the VoIP desk phones you use to the price of the same amount of headsets. Although prices in both VoIP phones and VoIP headsets will vary greatly, the price of a desk phone will definitely outweigh the cost of a hands-free VoIP device. Plus, there’s no hardware to update, upgrade, or maintain. Just update your VoIP software for free and you’re good to go.
Looking for a VoIP softphone solution? All DOTVOX service plans come with a softphone and hands-free capabilities—so what are you waiting for? Find the DOTVOX plan that’s right for you here.