With so many VoIP phones on the market, it’s challenging for providers to select the best equipment and market it effectively to their customers. Picking the right phones comes down to knowing the users’ needs and technical familiarities as well as the capabilities of the system. On most systems, though, the following features are big selling points.
Not everyone likes to pick up the phone. It occupies one hand, making it difficult to type or take notes during a conversation. Conversely, should the user pin the phone between his or her neck and shoulder, it can lead to unwanted aches over time.
Cheaper onboard microphones make speaker phone a poor solution to the hands-free problem. Really, nothing trumps a headset—cabled or wireless. With Bluetooth, the user can at least venture away from the desk and still enjoy strong voice quality.
Technically, even if a phone provides Busy Lamp Fields (BLF) functionality, it relies on the phone system itself to work. Nevertheless, BLF can be a nice option for users. It lets them quickly see when another user is on a call—sometimes even with whom they’re speaking to and for how long.
The value of BLF somewhat hinges on some of the other available features. For instance, if a system does not have call parking or queuing, then it’s more useful for users to know when others aren’t available for a transfer.
In most cases, beautiful VOIP phone displays are purely aesthetic. Sure, touchscreen adds a bit of usability—users needn’t fumble with the hotkeys and arrows—but it’s not a necessity. Touchscreen only becomes essential in the higher tier, where phones come with operating systems like Android.
That said, high quality screens do offer readability benefits at larger and smaller font scales—not to mention, the adjustable brightness can help tweak the phone to suit the working environment.
Most VoIP phone manufacturers do a good job placing the most popular features on the dashboard, giving users single pushbutton access to them. That said, some users may prefer to customize which features are available from the dash. The more programmable feature keys available, the more flexible the device will be for the user.
This feature mostly deals with the firmware. If your customers live in different countries or speak different first languages, letting them change the default language on the device is a big deal.
Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) can be a useful VoIP phone feature in offices with limited power supply spaces. PoE lets users juice their phones through the same source as the internet supply, eliminating the need for an outlet. Additionally, PoE makes it easy to plug in the device on-the-go where only a laptop or computer is available.