Need to quickly launch a basic, easy-to-use call center for your distributed team? Or are you looking to upgrade your call center software and customize it to better fulfill your customers’ expectations? Either way, there’s a call center solution (or two) built to meet your unique needs. The trick is figuring out which one works best without trying them all. This guide leverages the experiences of real-life users to help you find the right software option for your call center.

What to look for in call center software

When searching for a call center solution, you’ll want software with critical characteristics, such as easy setup, modern technology, customizations, and CRM integrations.

Easy setup

Advanced features don’t mean a thing if they’re too difficult to implement. Prioritize a solution that’s fast and simple to roll out so you can reduce your call center’s time to market, avoid customer service interruptions, and ease the burden on your IT team.

Modern technology

Call center tech has come a long way in the last few years. Look for solutions that offer many (if not all) of the following software features:

Centralized agent desktop

Chances are, your call center now handles customer communications over phone, email, chat, social media, and more. A centralized agent desktop funnels all those channels into one workspace for the agent. This gives your team full visibility into every customer interaction across channels. It also allows your staff to work from a single platform instead of switching between tools to manage each channel.

Simple, powerful customizations

There’s no one-size-fits-all call center solution. Call center software companies should give users the ability to customize the platform based on their individual needs. Pick software that provides APIs, integrations, and flow builders so you can create custom call flows and add features that empower your team and your customers.

CRM integration

Your agents don’t want to waste their time answering calls in one tool and submitting tickets in another. By integrating your call center with your CRM, you can eliminate extra work. A CRM integration also makes it easier for your agents to get full customer context and collaborate with marketing, sales, product, and engineering teams.

Actionable analytics/reporting

Your data is useless if it doesn’t give you the right insights. When comparing call center software, look for analytics and reporting features that provide:

  • Real-time visibility into what your team and customers are doing. Get metrics on team performance, agent activity, call and ticket volume, backlog, and other time-sensitive signals. This information allows you to adjust your team’s behavior on the fly to proactively avoid problems or stop them in their tracks.
  • Full context across all channels, so you can ensure your team is providing a seamless experience for customers, no matter how they reach out to you.
  • Insight into trends related to customer experience, customer satisfaction, resolution times, and more. By keeping an eye on trends and analyzing all customer interactions with your brand, you can offer more proactive support and make smarter team-wide decisions.

Aside from these six software characteristics, you should consider your team’s preferences or requests for more specialized features when choosing a solution. We’re also here to help you hone in on the best call center software for your company—we picked 12 highly rated systems offering most (if not all) of the must-have features listed above, plus a few extras.

Instead of scouring product pages, we took to review sites to learn how each option delivers on its promises from people who actually use it. These customer reviews can provide useful intel on the strengths and weaknesses of the software, allowing you to pick and choose what makes sense for your team. (Note that every callout we make below is backed by multiple reviews, not just the ones we feature.)

1. Zendesk

Zendesk offers a powerful, integrated voice system that satisfies all the core needs of modern call center teams. It provides numerous ready-to-go customization options through integrations and apps.

Zendesk call center software

Users particularly love Zendesk because it:

  • Delivers rich conversational experiences—right out of the box
  • Offers an exceptional ticketing experience
  • Integrates with your CRM and hundreds of apps that further extend its call center capabilities
  • Makes it easy to collaborate across teams and stakeholders
  • Provides manager visibility and coaching

Consider Zendesk if you want something that works out of the box and is easy to customize to fit your company’s unique needs.

“We wanted out-of-box support solutions, so we moved from Salesforce to Zendesk. ... Everything comes out of the box, and as an admin, [you] just [need] to read their Knowledge [Base] and configure the system to meet [your] business needs.” —Capterra review

Teams also prefer Zendesk for its superior ticketing system and automation, like macros, triggers, ticket routing, and automated replies.

“If you are looking for a better and alternate ticket system, then Zendesk is the best. You can easily set up macros and triggers [and] apply tags to tickets, which helps you filter out the tickets. You can route tickets and set automated responses and follow-up replies. Zendesk provides better reporting than other ticketing systems.” —Capterra review

Zendesk is a great choice if you want to add capabilities to your existing, custom, or preferred CRM or call center solution—that’s because it integrates with 90+ other telephony providers. (Many of them, such as RingCentral and Aircall, are on this list of software options.) You can further extend Zendesk capabilities with apps that offer additional analytics, quality assurance, transcription, and redaction features.

“There are many integrations within Zendesk, and a lot of them work out of the box. Our workflow where we can get notifications on tickets in a [S]lack channel and keep tabs on appropriate tickets works really well. And if you are looking for basic triage functionality of taking in a ticket, assigning an SLA to the ticket and pushing into a L1/L2 queue and L3 for analysis, the product works really well as this is its core functionality.” —G2 review

Teams choose Zendesk when they want to share knowledge and collaborate on customer issues across support, sales, marketing, and product.

“The biggest pro is the collaboration part. Zendesk allows us to have more effective communication with customers and relevant stakeholders. This was a much-appreciated improvement.” —Capterra review

Zendesk user ratings:

  • 4.3 out of 5 on Capterra
  • 8.2 out of 10 on TrustRadius
  • 4 out of 5 on G2

2. Five9

Five9 is a robust, customizable call center solution that reviewers say can be challenging to set up.

Five9 call center software

Source: Five9

Five9’s customer service team goes above and beyond, which helps make up for any finicky product experience. Users raved about the support they’ve received.

“The speedy and effective customer service is by far the highlight of Five9.” —G2 review

“The service and customer support are very good. They are timely, and everyone we have worked with is very knowledgeable. The system itself is very user-friendly. Since you are so involved in setting the system up, you quickly become familiar with how to work with it and how things actually work.” —Capterra review

“The sandbox-style design gives us the best flexibility to build our campaigns to work with varied client needs. The extensive list of integrations and APIs [Five9 offers] is essential in growing our footprint in the market with services our competitors can't match with their own technology.” —G2 review

But many teams reported that they needed to put in a little elbow grease to get Five9 set up.

“Installing [Five9] was a multi-step process. And I could see how this could go wrong for some doing this at home with no IT, if they're not particularly tech savvy.” —Capterra review

“It's very robust software, but the implementation is not worth the trouble—it's made for calling a large body of numbers with little need to change the leads within the campaign.” —Capterra review

Five9 user ratings:

  • 4.2 out of 5 on Capterra
  • 7.9 out of 10 on TrustRadius
  • 4 out of 5 on G2

3. CloudTalk

CloudTalk is a reliable call center solution that offers a free option so teams can try before they buy. Users say that CloudTalk is quick to set up and offers superior call quality, even internationally, if you have a strong Internet connection.

CloudTalk call center software

Source: CloudTalk

Users especially like CloudTalk for its:

  • Reliability
  • Excellent call quality
  • Ease of setup
  • Free trials

Consider CloudTalk if you need a reliable, affordable option that can handle high volumes of inbound and outbound calls.

“We currently use CloudTalk for our sales department. ... It definitely helps with making our outbound calls easier and takes inbound as well.” —TrustRadius review

“We use CloudTalk through a direct integration with our software. It's fast, [it’s] reliable, and [it] enables all our agents to get their job done without compromising quality or functionality.” —TrustRadius review

“CloudTalk is excellent for any organization that gets a lot of calls and wants to stream calls to specific agents while saving on the need [to] purchase additional phone lines.” —TrustRadius review

Users also applaud CloudTalk for its superior call quality, thanks to the company’s partnerships with telco providers across the world.

“I like the call quality. From what I understand, CloudTalk has a lot of its own infrastructure, which enables them to make sure the call quality is top notch. Many of the competing services are built up on a third-party API; they just create the UI. With Cloudtalk, they are a telco operator. So this was one of the deciding factors.” —Capterra review

CloudTalk is a good option for teams that want to get up and running quickly, without a headache.

“[CloudTalk is] very easy to set up and configure. It took literally a few minutes to start making our first calls.” —TrustRadius review

It’s also a winner for teams hoping to test out the product before purchasing a plan.

“[CloudTalk] was very easy to set up and a great freemium. [It is] easy to use in day-to-day ops, and we are still happy. We tried other tools before this one, and [they were] either really hard to implement or extremely expensive and would not allow us to try the calling experience beforehand.” —TrustRadius review

CloudTalk user ratings:

  • 4.6 out of 5 on Capterra
  • 7.4 out of 10 on TrustRadius
  • 4.3 out of 5 on G2

4. RingCentral

RingCentral is another call center solution that works well across devices and offers customized routing and reporting, though users report they occasionally need help with customizations.

RingCentral call center software

Source: RingCentral

Users hail RingCentral for its:

  • Ability to flip calls between devices
  • High-quality video calling

Consider RingCentral if your team needs a flexible, cross-platform ability to chat on video with people across the world. RingCentral also makes it easy to invite customers and team members to calls.

“RingCentral is easy to use anywhere. It is easily downloaded on my phone and allows me to be in touch with my team no matter where I am. I'm able to easily connect with my remote team and show them how to handle things directly on my screen with ease. I am also able to have remote meetings with clients without having to travel. We handle clients all over Canada, [the] USA, and even Puerto Rico, so it is very hard to always be able to travel and have face-to-face meetings with our clients. RingCentral … makes face-to-face meetings easier without having to spend the additional cost of travel and accommodations.” —G2 review

“RingCentral is incredible for my small team and has been crucial in keeping us productive while working from home during the pandemic. Users can call support, and each of us gets a notification and the opportunity to answer the call from our computer. Further, it is great for setting up interviews—it's as easy as sending out a link. I couldn't recommend this more to support teams, as it has everything you need to help customers along their way when they have an issue.” —Capterra review

Users indicated they sometimes had trouble understanding how to use RingCentral features, though. Teams should be OK with leaning on RingCentral’s responsive customer service to learn about the product and set up some of its customization features.

“Because of the wide range of ways the call routing can be configured, it is somewhat difficult at the start to determine how to do it. However, RingCentral's customer service is always available and has always been able to help me when I call.” —Capterra review

RingCentral user ratings:

  • 4.3 out of 5 on Capterra
  • Not posted on TrustRadius
  • 3.5 out of 5 on G2

5. Aircall

Aircall is an easy-to-install, user-friendly call center solution that integrates with a CRM and other tools. While those are big benefits of the software, it falls short on SMS messaging and more advanced features, according to users.

Aircall call center software

Source: Aircall

Users particularly like Aircall for its:

  • Fast deployment
  • Core call features for support

Teams that need to get something up and running quickly might want to try Aircall.

“You can set up Aircall in a few minutes (software part) and onboard agents easily. [It has] basic useful features; [it’s] really great for small businesses.” —Capterra review

But beware if you’re looking for a product that offers more than basic features for support teams.

“Honestly, it seems great for support—and our support team did love it—but it was terrible for sales.” —TrustRadius review

You should also consider an alternative if you communicate with a lot of customers through text messaging. User reviews repeatedly pointed to Aircall’s lack of messaging features.

“Everything is good, but this could improve if it allowed us to send text messages, too! I see that sending messages to my clients is a must, and I found it as an inconvenience to switch to another software to do just this.” —Capterra review

Aircall might be ideal for teams wanting to promote collaboration, particularly in Slack.

“Aircall integrates perfectly with a Slack - Talkus - Aircall workflow, [which] allows for using our team Slack channel to funnel both calls and chat requests through a #support channel. This enables the entire staff to be more responsive to support requests.” —Capterra review

Aircall user ratings:

  • 4.2 out of 5 on Capterra
  • 7.3 out of 10 on TrustRadius
  • 4.5 out of 5 on G2

6. Dixa

Dixa is a newer call center solution that gives nontechnical team members the ability to customize call flows with a drag-and-drop editor, though some reviewers wished for more capabilities.

Dixa call center software

Source: Dixa

Here are a few reasons why users like Dixa:

  • Great call quality
  • Live drag-and-drop flow builder
  • Dixa is an up-and-comer in the call center space

Consider trying Dixa if your team struggled with good call quality when using other software in the past and if improving call quality is a priority in 2021.

“The quality of the calls are fantastic—98% of the calls go without interruptions and with good sound quality.” —Capterra review

Dixa also gives teams the ability to create and customize call flows using a drag-and-drop builder. Users like that this feature offers them more control over different call scenarios without needing IT expertise.

“The thing that I like about [Dixa] is that you can customize almost everything in the system (starting from the call flows and the ability to set priority for the agent up to the color of the chat widget).” —Capterra review

But according to a few reviews, it sounds like Dixa doesn’t provide enough customization for more complex support teams.

“Dixa feels a bit ‘undercooked.’ While it functions as an all-in-one communication system quite well, it's sorely dependent on your setting up of its various flows and what kind of implementation you need. For our company's setup, it doesn't fit and that's a costly lesson for us." —G2 Crowd review

You may choose Dixa over other software solutions if you want to work and grow with an up-and-comer in the space that’s more flexible in what it provides users.

“What I like best is that Dixa is a new tech firm, which means that it isn't built on an old, rigid foundation. It seems like it's more agile and open-minded for new ideas.” —G2 review

Dixa user ratings:

  • 4.4 out of 5 on Capterra
  • Not posted on TrustRadius
  • 4 out of 5 on G2

7. Voximplant

Voximplant gives more technical teams the ability to create a fully custom call center solution, complete with Dialogflow and voicebot-enhanced IVR.

Voximplant call center software

Source: Voximplant

Users particularly like Voximplant for its:

  • Ability to customize with SDK and APIs
  • Voicebots and Dialogflow Connector

Consider Voximplant if your team wants to create more capable, “human” voice systems. The tool offers advanced fine-tuning and customization for IVR using its Dialogflow Connector and voicebots. While Voximplant isn’t the only call center software that offers Dialogflow capabilities, it’s one of the few with users that celebrate the feature in their reviews.

“Dialogflow Connector—[Voximplant is] the only CPaaS vendor on the market with a full set of Dialogflow APIs. Connecting to an existing Dialogflow bot only takes a couple of minutes.” —G2 review

Voximplant is also a good option for companies that have a desire to build a custom call center solution with JavaScript and APIs and that have a dedicated IT team to do it.

“Voximplant’s serverless, cloud-based application engine is key for us—we can create call-control scenarios of any complexity using JavaScript. Start with something simple. When you need more in the future, Voximplant most likely has you covered. First, we built a cloud PBX, then we upgraded it to a full contact center and recently launched video conferencing using the same platform!” —G2 review

“We are a cross-platform chatbot platform and a team of developers. For us, being able to build our own serverless [VoIP] gateway functions allowed us to build a great integration in record time.” —G2 review

Voximplant user ratings:

  • No reviews on Capterra
  • No reviews on TrustRadius
  • 5 out of 5 on G2

8. LiveAgent

LiveAgent is a call center solution that stands out with users for its flexible pricing and chat features. It also allows for customization, though it requires some technical expertise.

LiveAgent call center software

Source: LiveAgent

Users love LiveAgent for its:

  • Flexible pricing
  • Chat functionality and personalization
  • Ability to customize

Budget-conscious teams prefer LiveAgent’s pared-down, free version and affordable tiers. With LiveAgent, you pay for what you need.

“LiveAgent's pricing options are scaled towards the extent of your usage (e.g., if you don't use the chat or social media options, you can omit them). The other options tended to leave out core functionality in their basic packages that became an obstacle to efficient usage.” —Capterra review

Consider LiveAgent if you want more chat functionality and personalization capabilities.

“We use LiveAgent to manage chat conversations on our website with the aim of converting initial inquiries into qualified sales leads. There is far greater functionality than our previous chat software solution, and [LiveAgent] is far more customizable, with options to brand and personalize it to our business. The other key feature for us is that it is the No. 1 ranked chat widget for website loading speed, an important part of our SEO strategy.” —Capterra review

Teams that need a fully programmable solution and have the developer support to take advantage of it might prefer LiveAgent as well. Even though LiveAgent is a powerful option for customization, users said it can sometimes take longer to set up. Reviews also indicated that the added complexity occasionally introduced errors and bugs.

“While I love the complete control of all the automated systems being programmable, [LiveAgent] could use some additional default built-in options. Comparing LiveAgent to competitors like Zendesk is like comparing Linux to Apple. LiveAgent gives you complete control, but you have to set up everything. The other software out there doesn't let you customize, but everything works for you.” —Capterra review

LiveAgent user ratings:

  • 4.7 out of 5 on Capterra
  • 9.5 out of 10 on TrustRadius
  • 4.5 out of 5 on G2

9. Avaya

Avaya offers contact center as a service (CCaaS), communications platform as a service (CPaaS), and unified communications as a service (UCaaS) options for call center teams. Users like it for its call monitoring and administrative features, particularly for high-volume needs.

Avaya call center software

Source: Avaya

Teams love Avaya for the way it helps them:

  • Monitor call queues
  • Route calls
  • Easily handle numerous calls

Consider Avaya if your team manages high call volumes and needs an easy way to track calls and route them appropriately. While many of the solutions in this list offer features to help with those tasks, Avaya users specifically highlighted these capabilities in their reviews:

“Administration is simple and allows you to quickly monitor the call queues, from the number of calls on hold to the time each call lasts. [Avaya] allows [you to assign] each code of a user to a specified queue, which allows [you to establish] different call lines according to the needs or service that you want to provide. [It also] allows you to create waiting options in which you can know why a user cannot receive a call: feedback, bathroom, break, etc.” —Capterra review

“[Avaya] has allowed me to administer ... the attention to my clients. More than anything, it has allowed me to monitor the calls that I receive in a much more practical and immediate way—it allows me to carry several lines simultaneously so that I can improve the efficiency of all my sales and customer service processes. Its interface has a fairly simple design that allows me to easily navigate throughout the entire system.” —G2 review

Avaya user ratings:

  • 4.5 out of 5 on Capterra
  • 6.9 out of 10 on TrustRadius
  • 4 out of 5 on G2

10. Dialpad

Dialpad is a great, simple call center option for teams that are on the move. Reviews show that users enjoy the ability to work from Dialpad on a browser, desktop app, or phone.

Dialpad call center software

Source: Dialpad

Users recommend Dialpad for its:

  • Straightforward, multiplatform experience
  • Easy deployment

Dialpad looks like a good option for teams (particularly those on the go) seeking something that’s easy to use across platforms.

“[Dialpad is] really simple to use ... you can use it on your web browser, [install] it on your computer, or use it on your phone. I prefer to use it on my phone for the simplicity that it provides when [I need] to answer or make calls or send/receive text messages.” —G2 review

“Dialpad is perfect for people that need to be able to answer their work phone when on the move. It's also nice because I don't have to give out my personal cell phone number to everyone and they can still get a hold of me. It's great having the app both on my cell phone and on my desktop.” —TrustRadius review

Consider Dialpad if your team prioritizes a simple deployment, too.

“Deployment cannot get any more simple. Set up the user in the web interface, [then] put in a 4-digit activation code on [your] phone. Done. Work from home—SIMPLE. With Office 365 integration, users simply use their email and pass to sign in to Dialpad from their personal cell phone, personal computer, [or] work computer.” —Capterra review

But teams that need advanced permissions or group settings might find Dialpad lacking.

“I do wish there were more permission settings to add a user (employee) in the field and only allow them to make outgoing or incoming phone calls.” —Capterra review

“We would like to have more control [in regards to] groups of people created within the app. Due to the current moment we are living in (pandemic), we are more connected than ever, and people love personalizing their groups.” —Capterra review

Dialpad user ratings:

  • 4.3 out of 5 on Capterra
  • 7.6 out of 10 on TrustRadius
  • 4.5 out of 5 on G2

11. Nextiva

Nextiva provides a breadth of call center features, but according to users, it is often a headache to implement.

Nextiva call center software

Source: Nextiva

Teams that want to use an all-in-one product to cover a lot of call center features—even if those capabilities come off a little lackluster—might want to try Nextiva.

“Nextiva is the perfect fit for our small business. We are using all the features that could enhance our business. Auto attendant, call groups, call recording, and call extension. These features have eliminated confusion in the office, and everyone is on the same page now.” —Capterra review

“I chose Nextiva over others because it offered many features. I was looking for [an all-in-one package]—Windows and Android softphone apps, online faxing, text messaging, online conferencing, voicemail to email. Unfortunately, they succumb to the ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ problem, and I'm now switching to multiple other providers for a better experience." —Capterra review

However, some users complained about how long it took and how frustrating it was to implement Nextiva.

“Our onboarding to Nextiva was, frankly, a terrible and protracted experience. While the staff I worked with were always helpful, the salesperson I worked with greatly oversold their onboarding turnover time. We were told our change from 8x8 could be resolved by month's end upon engaging their services. However, it took nearly three months to get our system going, which was frustrating because of the low complexity of our service requests. Once we made the full transition, our services were marred by constant technical issues with the phone app.” —Capterra review

“Setting up voicemail, call groups, and other features is a bit frustrating. There is definitely a learning curve to setting up this system, so give yourself some room to learn the admin panel and features.” —Capterra review

Nextiva user ratings:

  • 4.2 out of 5 on Capterra
  • 8.6 out of 10 on TrustRadius
  • 4.5 out of 5 on G2

12. Yodel

Yodel is ideal for teams that want to manage calls and work primarily through Slack.

Yodel call center software

Source: Yodel

While other software options in this list also offer Slack functionality, Yodel users made a point to call out the feature in their reviews. Yodel seems like a great choice for teams that want to communicate primarily on Slack.

“We are a smallish (12-person) team, and we are all remote. Slack is the way we all communicate. ... [W]e found Yodel, and it was perfect because we were able to set up one phone line that would ring centrally in Slack and be transferred to our available teammates. It's a super easy, no-brainer system for our type of business.” —G2 review

“My absolute favorite part about Yodel is the native support for Slack; it's obvious it was built for it. Any of the team can answer a call, transfer it, join in, and manage it.” —G2 review

However, teams that aren’t so Slack-focused might find Yodel less useful than other call center options.

“We are not using Slack, so we can’t use all the features that Yodel offers. I hope they will include these features [in] the desktop app as well in the future.” G2 review—G2 review

Yodel user ratings:

  • 3.8 out of 5 on Capterra
  • Not posted on TrustRadius
  • 4.5 out of 5 on G2

Zendesk is here to help you understand your needs

If you’re ready to launch a call center for your brand, we can help you navigate the complexities of running an efficient and effective call center.

Whether you’re unsure how to best train your call center team or you’re struggling to improve customer satisfaction, take a peek at our resources that cover these call center questions and much more.

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Customers want companies to meet them where they are and expect easy, fast, and personalized support experiences regardless of channel. Find out how you can keep the conversation going with our free guide.