5 Reasons Your Business Should Switch from Deskphones to Softphones
Updated: Nov 12, 2020
Everyone understands what a deskphone is – a plastic handheld receiver on a base with numbered buttons. This has been the traditional method of voice communication in offices for years.
By contrast, a softphone is voice (VoIP) software powered by the internet on a computer. As they are application-based, softphones don’t take up any physical space and can be used on any device. Think Skype, but a more structured, secure business version.
The 5 Reasons
Softphone applications run on any device, so your office is wherever you happen to be. Simply log in on your smartphone, laptop, tablet, or desktop and you’re ready to make/receive calls. According to a Gallup survey, “62% of employed Americans currently say they have worked from home”, a number that has doubled since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The flexibility of the softphone means you’re never restricted to your desk.
Softphones are quick and easy to deploy – an expert can remote into your computer, set up the software, and you’re done in just a few minutes! Systems admins can also monitor and update the VoIP software across all machines at once. Compared to deskphones, which must be ordered, configured, and installed individually, softphones dramatically reduce your time to fruition.
Deskphones are an investment in physical hardware, with costs for buying/renting phones, installation/configuration, and replacing outdated equipment. Softphones use the existing devices your employees already have, meaning there’s only an affordable monthly service fee. In a study by Gartner, “softphones resulted in average savings of $1,727 per month in cell phone and long-distance charges”.
4. Ease of Use
One of the best aspects of softphones is how user-friendly they are. Softphones run on both Mac and Windows computers as well as iOS and Android devices. Need to transfer a call? You don’t have to dial extensions or enter PIN numbers – just click and drag it over to your co-worker’s name in the contact list. Voicemail is easier too! Review messages in a visual format or forward them to email for better organization.
5. Overall Features
Video Conferencing – Softphones can host multi-party video calls for team or customer meetings. But instead of using third-party software like Zoom, you have a secure connection built into your corporate voice solution.
Instant Messaging – Start a chat thread to share documents and links during a call instead of emailing them after the fact. Sending files through a single tool reduces distraction.
Centralized Number – Reroute your work calls to your cell phone for out-of-the-office access. This allows you to keep your personal phone number private. You can also implement a shared contact database with all employees.
Call Control – Set custom notifications for incoming calls including flashing/bouncing alerts, pop-ups, or specific ringtones. For example, configure your ringtone to play loudly in traffic but pop up silently on your screen during meetings.
Reporting & Analytics – If you’re in a management position, understanding your team’s work is critical. Softphone systems provide clear metrics for when calls are made, how long they are, and who clients have spoken to.
Communication tools continue to evolve, especially those that will support the growing mobile workforce. Many companies are beginning to transform their voice environments with a mix of softphones and deskphones. It all comes down to finding a strategy that works best for your business.