Katy ratican headshot b w april 2021
Written by
Katy Ratican
27 Apr 2022
5 minutes

What is a softphone? Discover the features and business benefits

Looking for a modern phone system for your business? Here’s your complete guide to softphones
What is a softphone?

The digital world needs digital solutions. Legacy phone systems cannot meet the demands of the modern workplace. Whether as a primary or second number for work, the softphone is changing the way business is conducted.

What is a softphone?

Conventional landlines use dedicated copper lines to connect users. A softphone only needs the internet to work. That’s why it’s also referred to as VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol. Using softphone software, you can make and receive calls and send and receive texts.

Older phone systems require specific devices for you to use them. A softphone can work on any device that’s connected to the internet, like a smartphone or a computer. You don’t have to buy expensive devices or hardware to install a softphone system.

Why are softphones becoming popular now?

While softphones have been around for years, remote and hybrid work have brought them into the limelight. That’s because softphones are not tied to locations. You can use them from anywhere as long as there’s a reliable internet connection.

The other significant difference between softphones and traditional systems is the business tools you get with this VoIP technology. From auto-reply to voicemail to call routing, there’s a lot that businesses can gain with softphones.

How exactly do softphones work?

Traditional phones require devices and physical infrastructure. They also need time for installation. If you want a softphone, all you’ve got to do is create an account with a VoIP service and download the app on a compatible device.

You’ll get a new number that will be linked to your account and not any specific device, unlike the traditional phone systems. Think of it as an email account that you can access from any device with an internet connection. You can log in from your phone, tablet or laptop and make and receive calls and texts.

How do businesses use softphones?

Using a private number for business poses risk to privacy and destroys work-life balance. Every employee needs a dedicated second number for work and that’s exactly what you get with a softphone.

Now employees don’t have to share their personal mobile phone numbers with customers or vendors. Softphones also make it exceptionally easy to connect remote teams both with their colleagues and outsiders.

How to get a softphone

The first step in getting a softphone is to understand your requirements. These include the strength of your team, additional features you want, whether you have a remote or hybrid team, and whether you’ll be using it for a specific purpose such as a customer support number.

The next step is to compare softphone providers and find one that suits your budget. The one you choose should be scalable and should have reliable customer support. Finally, you can go for a service that has a free trial. This will show you whether it suits your needs.

Are softphones reliable?

If you work from a location that has a steady internet connection, whether it’s your office or home, your softphone should be reliable. Secondly, as long as your softphone is scalable, you’re unlikely to have any problems. This is important because some providers may not have the bandwidth to accommodate a higher number of calls.

Benefits of softphones

The reason why small businesses and freelancers are interested in softphones is that they help reduce costs, improve efficiency and streamline operations.

Cost efficiency

With softphones, businesses save on hardware, installation and maintenance costs. You also don’t have to worry about high monthly fees since softphone subscription fees are considerably lower.


You can use a softphone from an office, residence, cafe, hotel or airport. You can also direct calls to your remotely placed team members. This means that your customers will always be able to reach you and your team.


When team members can reach each other, there will be better collaboration and increased productivity. When queries can be handled immediately, it will also improve your customer service and reputation.

Streamlined communication

With a single interface, you’ll be able to centralise your business communication. No need to coordinate with your team members to find out how many calls you have received or who dealt with them.

Work-life balance

With a second line for work, employees can separate their work and personal lives. They will know which calls are related to work and how to prioritise them, depending on the time and place.

Softphones for business – Try Chalkboard

If you’re looking for a softphone, why not choose a superior alternative that’s precisely designed for the needs of small businesses, freelancers and independents? Chalkboard offers you everything you would get from a softphone –plus a whole lot more.

  • You get a second number for work that you can share with customers and vendors

  • You can organise customers into various groups

  • You can broadcast SMS to whole groups instead of sending each manually

  • You get auto-reply for calls that you might miss

  • You get a virtual number at exceptionally affordable rates

  • Your business gets a highly scalable solution

  • Your phone will use cellular networks, which are far more reliable

  • You can use your phone even in areas without internet connectivity

Download Chalkboard and try it now.

It’s the next-generation phone system your business needs.

Add team numbers to any phone
Keep work separate, personal numbers private, and share calls and texts with your team 🚀
Wedding Shop

Continue reading

Help & advice
5 minutes

Looking for a VoIP phone system for your business? Here’s everything you need to know

Help & advice
5 minutes

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of VoIP if you're considering using it for your local business