What is a Softphone?

A softphone is technology that allows users to make or receive phone calls using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) on their computers or handheld devices. The call functions are controlled by clicking or touching commands on the user interface which activates typical features such as making and answering calls, transferring calls and putting callers on hold, as well as unique features like call recording. To use softphones, a caller just needs a device such as a computer, tablet or mobile phone and a high-speed internet connection. Special softphone headphones are usually recommended, as well. In a nutshell, with softphones a device takes the place of a physical telephone and the Internet becomes the "phone line."

This last point is one reason softphones appeal to businesses - they don't have to buy business-grade telephones or run lines for new employees. Additionally, using softphones can eliminate the need for a costly PBX. Softphones also support mobile or at-home workers because they can make and receive calls wherever they are located. But softphones aren't a perfect solution. If, for example, the internet connection goes down or the device runs out of battery power, users have to revert to other methods of making calls.

Softphones in the contact center

Contact centers are increasingly using softphones. Some of the benefits include:

  • Unified communications and data backbone - contact centers can use the same provider for phone and data transmission.
  • At home agent support - softphones enable an at-home agent model because calls can be answered anywhere, given the right equipment and connectivity.
  • Integrations with CRM applications - with softphones, computer telephony integration (CTI) is easy, for example, setting up an environment where a sales agent can initiate a call just by clicking on a phone number on a CRM screen.

Whether or not softphones are the right option for an organization depends on their unique situation. It's a solution worth investigating.

How NICE inContact can help

NICE inContact CXone is the market leading contact center software in use by thousands of customers of all sizes around the world to help them consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences. CXone is a cloud native, unified suite of applications designed to help a company holistically run its contact center operations. CXone includes:

Omnichannel Routing – routing and interaction management that empowers agents to positively and productively interact with customers in digital and voice channels. These solutions include an automatic call distributor (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), interaction channel support and proactive outbound dialer.

Workforce Optimization – unlocks the potential of your team by inspiring employees' self-improvement, amplifying quality management efforts to enhance customer experience and reducing labor waste. These solutions include workforce management (WFM), quality management (QM), recording and performance management (PM).

Open Cloud Foundation – enables rapid innovation with an extensible enterprise-grade platform that scales securely, deploys quickly and serves customers of all sizes globally. We guarantee an industry-best 99.99% availability and offer easy customization through RESTful APIs and DEVone developer program.

CXone also includes pre-defined CRM integrations and UCaaS integrations with most leading solutions on the market. These integrations provide a holistic contact center software solution capable of elevating customer experiences for companies of all sizes.


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