Making the decision between a softphone and desk phone can be a difficult one. Having already made the switch from a traditional switched phone network to a VoIP system, your contact center has proactively taken an important step in the process. By working on a VoIP system, you are essentially working over the Internet, which allows your employees to be more mobile and the system itself is more reliable and scalable as the company grows. The VoIP system works anywhere you have Internet access and providers ensure that their networks are extremely reliable, reducing the risk of dropped or missed calls.
Adjusting to a VoIP system is a step towards the future, showing your confidence in the business that it will continue to grow for years to come. After deciding to invest in the future of the company with a VoIP phone system, it is time to decide between a softphone and hard phone.
What are the benefits of a softphone?
A softphone is a software program downloaded onto your computer or smartphone that allows your employees to send and receive phone calls. The most well-known softphone program is Skype, which allows users to make phone calls from a PC utilizing only the Internet. This type of software necessary for a softphone is low cost, easy to install and allows an incredible amount of flexibility for agents to work from a variety of locations.
What are the benefits of a hard phone?
In contrast to a softphone, a hard phone is a piece of hardware that looks like a “regular” phone that connects to the VoIP network through an Ethernet cord instead of a regular phone jack. While hard phones are typically more costly for a company to purchase and install, they offer a variety of benefits that require consideration before making a final decision. A hard phone provides employees with something physical to hold while speaking and, it is possible that many employees actually prefer to work with a “real” phone in hand as opposed to just a software program. In addition, hard phones are typically built to provide better call quality with echo cancellation already included.
An important difference to note is the reliability. If your contact center deals with emergency calls or situations on a regular basis, a soft phone may not be the best choice for your business. Softphones, when attempting to dial 9-1-1 or other local emergency numbers, may require that the contact center agent login and navigate to a specific screen in the software program, wasting valuable time in an emergency situation. The ease of dialing 9-1-1 from a hard phone is extremely easy and comparable to dialing from a regular phone connected to a traditional phone network.
All in all, it is important that your contact center takes some time to consider its specific needs before deciding between a softphone and a hard phone since there are pros and cons with each option. Regardless of the phone chosen, KOVA can help optimize your center with our WFO solutions.