Large companies have been using VoIP for a long time, but this type of communication is of great benefit for small businesses as well. You will get better voice quality, lesser costs, and more features for professional customer service. But when the company has a small team, what's the right fit - softphones or IP-phones, and how to make that choice? Let's figure out the features of these communication tools and describe the scenarios for connecting IP telephony for a small business.
Softphone Key Features
By softphone is meant an application downloaded to a device with an Internet connection and is used to make calls. You can install a softphone on a computer to communicate with customers more conveniently, for example, while entering customer data into CRM. It's more expedient to download a softphone to a smartphone if you're a business owner who travels often.
Why is a softphone more helpful than a simple messenger? Unlike WhatsApp or analogs, it's not necessary to have the same app for calls for the person you want to call. Softphones have many handy features:
- Contact book where you can add and manage contacts as you like. For example, assigning different priorities for groups of numbers;
- Call forwarding system;
- Collecting call history and data;
- Extensions to connect with colleagues quickly.
And with all the possibilities, you do not need to buy additional equipment because you can use existing devices.
IP Phone and its Features
Externally, the IP phone looks like a traditional office phone. Although data transmission is carried out via the Internet using the SIP protocol and not an analog telephone wire. An IP phone is pre-configured via the web interface.
IP phone key features:
- Capable of supporting multiple calls, several virtual numbers;
- Wired and wireless network connection depending on models;
- Busy Lamp Field (BLF) and Presence indicators;
- Auto-attendant and voicemail;
- Other features, depending on the model.
Comparison of Softphone and IP Phone
To choose which type of device to prefer, entrepreneurs need to assess why do you need VoIP? IP phones will be familiar to many users, especially if your office already has stationary phone devices connected. First, you need to configure the IP phone from the computer, but then it works autonomously.
Softphones can be installed on a computer, tablet, or smartphone to receive and make calls from the office or on the go. But here, you still somewhat rely on your device's operating system performance.
Choosing a Suitable VoIP Telephony Arrangement
After you determined the preferred devices, you have to sort through the VoIP telephony use cases for businesses of different forms:
1. Companies with up to 50 employees
For organizations with a small support team, having one virtual number with a particular city or country code makes it convenient for customers.
You can choose call forwarding to a softphone and connect additional services if necessary, for example, voicemail, conditional call forwarding, callback. This VoIP telephony arrangement tends to be more cost-effective since the team can receive calls to any device provided it has a headset.
2. Companies with over 50 employees
Larger companies need communication between different departments, which can be on and off-premise, for example, your office plus a warehouse. Stationary equipment (IP phone) will be more convenient for managers in the office. And for communication with people working in the field, warehouse workers, it is more convenient to use forwarding to a mobile phone with a softphone.
It's easier to manage calls with a virtual PBX. You can adjust the number of internal lines and receive calls to several phone numbers like a virtual multichannel Toll-Free number or a landline. Virtual PBX allows you to customize the IVR and greeting message, conduct conference calls for several people. This multifunctional tool makes it easier to track the productivity of your sales and support team. In addition, the VoIP provider Freezvon offers a trial period to check the advantages of a virtual PBX and then choose a suitable service package.
VoIP telephony is the optimal solution for small businesses. When choosing a device for calls, you should focus on personal preferences and budget. VoIP is easy to scale, and you can quickly add new features for any device by connecting services from Freezvon.