How to Choose the Right Softphone App for your Small Business

By Special Guest
Sam Ben
  |  September 03, 2020



Businesses are constantly innovating to keep abreast of new and emerging technologies. Among the areas that have seen tremendous growth is the communication sector. Most organizations are shifting from using dedicated hardware to making calls over the internet using software programs. Softphone apps have come in handy due to their accessibility and cost-effectiveness. In this article, we shall highlight everything you need to know about softphones to determine if this technology is the right solution.

What is meant by a softphone app?

A softphone app is a software that is configured to enable you to make online calls on your internet gadgets like the computer system, the phone, or the Tablet. The software is typically provided by the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) provider. Its architecture is designed to accord you a user-friendly communication interface like that of the traditional phone. With phone-like features, the software allows users to dial a call, send and receive voice messages and texts, just like a standard phone.

How can I operate the smartphone app?

First of all, you must have the necessary infrastructure to operate or use a softphone app such as a mobile phone, laptop, desktop, and other digital devices that access the internet. In addition to the above, you need a stable internet with a Wi-Fi connection. You can also opt for a VoIP handset designed to offer superior sound quality with diminishing ambient noise.

What are the best features of Softphone?

As a business person, you need to weigh the importance of any technology before implementing it. Softphones function just like our normal phones. They enable you to:-

  • Make and receive calls
  • Call Transfer, Forward, or Hold
  • Store and manage contacts
  • Enable call waiting and do not disturb functionalities
  • Send and receive instant text messages
  • Video conferencing services
  • Call recording

What is the difference between a VoIP and software?

The Voice over Internet Protocol is the service that enables you to operate the internet phone. At the same time, the software is a set of instructions that tell the Voice over Internet Protocol how to function by providing a user-friendly interface on your laptop, mobile, or Tablet.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of softphone apps?

The strength

  • Low operation cost

Softphones are cost-effective to operate. If you have a smart gadget that can receive the internet and the VoIP software, you are good to go. By this, you will cut costs since you will neither need to purchase expensive hardware to run it nor constant hardware maintenance. You only need to run its software updates, and you are set. When making an international call, you pay a small fraction of what you would have paid using the traditional phone.

  • User-friendly client

A Softphone software usually features an easy to use interface that allows you to dial, make, and receive calls. Since you already use a computer for other tasks, a softphone integrates seamlessly with your other tasks.

  • Increased accessibility

Unlike fixed phones, softphones are highly accessible and allow for complete portability. They work with all major platforms, including Mac, Windows, Android (News - Alert), and iOS. They can operate entirely on the cloud, making them accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.

  • Software upgrades

Hardware system requires routine, corrective maintenance, and constant replacements. Software only needs to be upgraded for purposes of compatibility. You only need to configure the software to receive automatic updates, and that’s it.

  • Teleconferencing

 Most businesses are working from home due to the effects of COVID 19; softphones allow the user to make video calls to clients and the employees. This is particularly important because by looking at someone, you can tell whether you are on the same page, annoyed or happy with the message you are relaying to them.

  • No cluttering

A critical feature of Softphone is that it offers the user clutter-free service. Most businesses like to operate in a clutter-free environment, and therefore with software, there is no additional clutter in the home or business office.

The weakness

For starters, you must have top-notch hardware like smartphones, laptops, and tablets that are internet-enabled so as to use softphone service. It would help if you also had a stable non-buffering internet connection since this is an internet-based service. Quality of service is ordinarily laden with communication inconsistencies because the software has variations typically depending on the hardware, especially when there are issues of incompatibility and interface conflicts.

Softphones do not allow you to track call locations, which can be a challenge in cases of emergencies.

Features to consider when choosing a softphone solution for your business

Features of the software and the cost of the Softphone are the two primary issues that you should consider before deciding on the choice of a softphone. Make sure that the features that are being provided are those that you need. Some of the essential must-have features are: - voice mail, call transfer, call forwarding, redial, hold, auto-answer, and call-ignore.

If you are a large organization, you should consider the number of lines on offer. Also, ensure that the software is compatibles with your operating system. Another crucial feature that you should look for is customer support on offer. Some providers have inferior customer service.

Security features of the Softphone are critical. You should find out which security protocols the softphone provider has put in place. Some softphones are susceptible to hacking, which can cause a serious breach of your valuable data, leading to huge losses. That’s the importance of using a competent softphone like the Counterpath’s clients for your business.

Conclusion

When you decide to invest in a softphone service, you should get one that is tailor-made for your needs. Consider the cost implication and be keen on the kind of security feature the service is offering. Though there are many service providers, choose a provider that will add value to your business. Don’t overlook any aspect of the service, and if you are not sure, ask until you are confident that what you are signing up for will bring the best ROI to your business.