I want to offer ten helpful tips to improve call quality when working from home and using a softphone application.
- Try to be on a wired internet connection
- You want a high quality wired headset. No earbuds. (and please no PC speaker and mic)
- Use a network test for each user to identify if the local internet is slow. Your softphone application may also show you a quality indicator
- Monitor other usages in the household. Are others in your household streaming videos at the same time?
- Is the router modern and high end?
- Monitor your browser for open tabs. Are other applications slow and buggy, or super zippy?
- Restart your computer
- Place a sign on your door or near your space to let your housemates know you ere on a call
- Avoid using a mobile phone
- What type of phone are you calling?
1. Try to be on a wired internet connection
Wired internet will give a higher quality connection than wifi. If a wired internet connection is not possible where you sit, then a range extender could help.
This $20 range extender has an ethernet port and is an easy way to improve wifi.
2. You want a high quality wired headset. No earbuds (and please no PC speaker and mic)
So I said it. Please do not use your PC speaker and mic for a work conversation. A high-quality headset designed for phone calls is an excellent investment. These headsets have noise-canceling microphones and are a better option than earbuds.
Office Depot has these Jabra headphones selling for $65
A SIP phone I found on Amazon may also be a good idea for home. This CISCO is about the same price as the headset.
3. Use a network test for each user to identify if the local internet is slow.
It is a good idea to test your network connection. There are many tests available. Try Google “network speed test” You will need to avoid results like this.
Your softphone application may also show you a quality indicator
4. Monitor other usages in the household. Are others in your household streaming videos at the same time?
In my house, my son is on Xbox all day long; my daughter is watching videos. My wife (a doctor) is on video calls with patients all day. If the bandwidth in your household is not sufficient, it may be time to call your provider and ask about the upgrade plans.
5. Is the router modern and high end?
This suggestion can be a bit more technical. Your internet router is the hub for all your connected devices. If the router is not very high-end or is quite old, you might want to think about an upgrade. BestBuy has GeekSquad, who could come out and hello with the setup and installation.
6. Monitor your browser for open tabs. Are other applications slow and buggy, or super zippy?
Open tabs in your browser will use valuable system resources. I like this Chrome plugin “The Great Suspender” to close my unused tabs. Keeps too many tans open will reduce your system RAM and slow performance. If other applications are slow and buggy and not super zippy, the problem could be RAM. A computer restart is also a good idea.
7. Restart your computer
8. Place a sign on your door or near your space to let your housemates know you are on a call
A pretty simple idea but can be practical.
9. Avoid using a mobile phone
I saved the best for last. I know using a mobile phone is very convenient, but this may not be the best connection for call quality. And looking back to the points above, the headset on your mobile phone may not be great. The speakerphone on your mobile is not the best way yo speak with a client.
10. What type of phone are you calling?
This last one is not so much a tip, but it is crucial. If you are calling a prospect on her mobile phone, you cannot control the “far” side of the conversation. You cannot control #1-9 above. So do the best you can to improve your part of the call. Two users each on a mobile phone will not have the same quality as two users on softphones. Calling a user on her yacht or in a convertible driving through a tunnel is not going to give you a high-quality phone call.