Call center software

Discover impressively powerful yet surprisingly easy call center software that can help you build better relationships with your customers.

With the rise of social media, live chat, email, chatbots, and other digital forms of communication, you might think traditional phone calls have gone the way of the dodo. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

According to the Zendesk Customer Experience (CX) Trends Report, the majority of customers still resolve issues via phone conversations.

Fortunately, that doesn’t mean call centers must rely on outdated technology to service their customers. Modern call center software can enhance the customer and employee experience while minimizing operating costs.

Our guide details the world of call center software and provides a variety of market-leading contact center solutions to help you to pick the right one for your business.

What is call center software?

Call center software is a program that helps organizations handle large volumes of inbound and/or outbound calls. It executes tasks such as routing calls, collecting caller information, triggering prerecorded FAQ answers, and transferring callers to other channels.

How does a call center phone system work?

At a high level, call center phone systems work by enabling you to gather caller data, exchange data between systems, and configure call flows according to business rules.

For example, when a customer calls your business, your call center phone system will prompt them to provide their information. The call center software can use that information to match it with an existing customer record in your CRM and serve it to the agent handling the call for a more personalized experience.

Why use call center software?

Any business with a high volume of outgoing and/or incoming phone calls can use contact center solutions to improve the quality of their phone support service while decreasing ongoing operating costs.

For example, automating call-handling processes can significantly reduce the frequency and impact of human error while also lessening agent burnout.

Who uses call center software?

Call center software isn’t necessarily industry-specific. Customer service and sales teams may use call center phone systems in these industries:

  • Healthcare
  • Financial services
  • Ecommerce
  • Retail
  • Technology
  • Business process outsourcing
  • Consulting
  • Business services

Many industries use call center software, but depending on the call volume you receive, you may or may not need it.

What are the different types of call center solutions?

Call center solutions can differ based on what the software is designed to do. Some solutions are geared toward outbound calling, others are built for inbound calling, and many are a combination of the two. Both outbound and inbound call center software can be cloud-based, hosted, or on-premise.

Hosted, cloud-based, and on-premise call center solutions

Hosted, cloud-based, and on-premise refer to the delivery method of the software.

  • Hosted means the software vendor stores the system and your data on their servers.
  • Cloud-based means the software vendor stores the system and your data on the servers of a third-party vendor like Google or Amazon.
  • On-premise refers to software stored on your own servers.

How your call center solution is hosted (or not) affects your maintenance cost. Generally, on-premise is the most expensive because it requires you to take on the cost and maintenance of your own servers—including updating the software yourself. Hosted software is less of a burden maintenance-wise but is still less cost-effective than call center cloud solutions.

Outbound and inbound call center software solutions

Outbound call centers are for sales teams, research organizations, or any business that makes a high volume of outbound calls. The difference between the two comes down to the features each type of software offers to facilitate outbound or inbound calling.

For instance, outbound call center software will include functions specific to outbound calling (like power dialers), whereas inbound call center solutions boast features designed to speed up inbound calls (like IVR).

Omnichannel solutions

The best call center software helps you meet your customers on their communication channels of choice. Along with phone calls, an ideal omnichannel solution includes digital channels like:

  • Email
  • Live chat
  • Social media

An omnichannel solution also displays a complete customer view during each interaction—across all channels—providing the key customer context agents need when jumping into the account. This helps create a consistent and personalized customer experience, regardless of which channel the interaction started on.

What are the benefits of a call center phone system?

Depending on the size of your business and your business needs, there is a lot to consider when making the investment in new software. Here are a few benefits of a call center phone system that can help your team when calls start rolling in.

Improves call center efficiency and productivity

The best call center software helps your team handle higher call volumes with more efficiency. Properly routing calls can provide the boost your team needs to serve customers more effectively while making their job easier.

Contact center solutions can help your team by:

  1. Routing calls (and caller info) to the right available agent.
  2. Redirecting callers to less busy service channels when agents aren’t available.
  3. Providing pre-recorded answers to frequently asked questions.

As a result, you can handle higher call volumes with lower operating costs. For certain businesses, this can mean the difference between profit and loss.

Enables 24/7 self-service support

For most businesses, offering live service around the clock simply isn’t feasible. But if your software features an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, you can.

While you can’t yet replace a live agent with contact center software, you can offer customer service with voice-prompted help menus. Of course, you won’t be able to answer all customers’ questions with pre-recorded messages, but you can answer some of them.

Plus, if it’s integrated well, your software can redirect callers to a different self-service channel that might provide more answers than the call center.

Improves customer service management

Managing customer service teams can be a complex task with several moving parts. Providing management with the right tools can help them stay organized to better lead their customer service teams. Call center software tools can include:

  • Analytics that give management an overview of agents’ performance metrics in real time.
  • Call monitoring that lets managers listen to live calls to identify coaching opportunities.
  • Reporting that uses historical data to provide insight into areas where call center operations can improve.

Creates a good customer experience

Ultimately, businesses want to provide positive experiences throughout the customer journey. Two of the most common pain points that affect the customer experience are:

  • Waiting to speak with an agent
  • Repeating the same information

Customers who are stuck in a phone queue can get irritated quickly, potentially damaging their opinion of your brand. Call center software equipped with an IVR can offer scheduled callbacks so customers can put the phone down and go about their day without losing their place in line. If customers choose to wait on hold, the IVR can group calls during peak times and prioritize customers with higher-stakes issues.

Once the customer connects, the agent already has their interaction history in front of them—in one place—so they can continue the conversation without having to repeat information.

Adds flexibility

Businesses that invest in cloud-based call center software have more flexibility with their workforce—and ultimately with their customers.

Cloud-based software provides the opportunity for virtual call centers, which offer advantages like:

  • Remote employees
  • A wider talent pool for new hires
  • Staggered shifts and larger coverage for teams distributed across time zones

If your company chooses the flexibility of a remote workforce, you can employ more people without the additional costs of physical office space.

Text messaging

Mobile phones allow customer communication to happen quickly and conveniently, so why not have call center software that lets you meet customers where they are?

Remember, text messaging means more than just SMS. Social messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp offer even more channels to interact with customers. Text messaging through these channels results in:

  • Higher customer engagement
  • Higher CSAT results
  • More personalized support

More personalized support

According to our CX Trends Report, 90 percent of customers spend more money with companies that personalize their experience. Call center software gives agents a single view of customer data and conversation history, so they have the context to personalize their interactions.

With this information at their fingertips, agents can immediately build rapport and form a deeper connection with the customer. An agent can kick off the call by saying the customer’s name and offering recommendations based on their purchase history and preferences.

The best part? Agents having this information readily available saves customers from having to repeat themselves, leading to a great customer experience.

What are the essential features of call center software?

Depending on the brand of software, features can vary. Here are a few of the most important features to look for when picking your call center software.

Features of call center software

Intelligent call routing

If contact center software had a secret sauce, intelligent call routing would be it. After all, a big part of what makes contact center solutions valuable is their ability to route incoming calls to the right person as quickly as possible—that isn’t possible without configured call routing based on what works best for your business. This is why intelligent, automated call routing is a call center feature you can’t go without.

Call monitoring and whispering

Call monitoring and call whispering are essential contact center software features. They help managers train and coach new and existing employees more quickly.

Call monitoring is exactly what it sounds like: It enables managers to listen in on agent-customer interactions. This is critical because it gives managers a better understanding of what’s working and what’s not, so they can tailor their feedback and coach each agent appropriately.

Call whispering allows managers to “whisper” advice or coaching to agents while the agent interacts with a customer—without the customer hearing the exchange. This lets managers help new agents build confidence while they learn the ropes.

In the end, both features enable contact centers—which often struggle with high turnover—to train agents more quickly and efficiently.

Call center analytics

While call monitoring and whispering allow managers to observe and coach their employees in real time, call center analytics provide the big picture. Call center analytics allow you to report on various metrics, including:

  • Average handle time
  • Missed and declined calls
  • Transfer rate
  • Call abandonment rate
  • Average first response time
  • Customer effort score
  • Customer satisfaction score
  • Total resolution time

Using reports on these call center metrics, managers and agents alike can learn where they need to improve.

Unified agent workspace

Eliminating customer pain points starts with having crucial customer data and context in one place. A unified view that displays the user profile, interaction and conversation history, and order history and details will help your agents quickly find the necessary information to better serve the customer.

Easy access to customer data also helps reduce the back-and-forth with the customer, even if they need to be transferred across departments to resolve their issue. The interaction and resolution can move faster, saving valuable time for your customers and agents.

Essentially, a unified workspace empowers agents to do their jobs well and boosts the agent experience. This results in higher employee satisfaction, leading to higher-quality service and happier customers. Considering that 75 percent of shoppers will spend more with companies that provide a good customer experience, it’s safe to say that you’ll also build customer loyalty along the way.

Call scripting

Using call scripts is more than just reading lines to your customers during a call. It should be a guide to creating richer interactions and deeper conversations with your customers. Good call center scripting can help you move the conversation toward a resolution while adding personalized touches along the way.

The best call center software features scripting that allows you to tailor scripts for your business. Integrating a searchable knowledge base into your scripts can help agents find answers fast. You can also create tags and categorized answers within scripts so support agents can pull up information easily.

Integration options

Sometimes, customers want to feel a human connection and speak to a live agent on the phone rather than communicating via text or email. Integrating a voice solution that syncs with all other channels lets your agents view all customer information immediately, so you can provide that personal touch they’re looking for. Here are a few integrations to consider:

  • Instant customer information: Important customer data is displayed immediately upon connecting with the customer.
  • Unified conversations: Handle all customer interactions—like calls, text messages, voicemails, live chat, emails, and social messaging—from one place.
  • Call recordings: The customer call recording is attached to the ticket for easy reference.
  • Embedded voice: Integrate a call button that provides customers with a seamless way to contact you within the mobile app or browser.
  • Automatic ticket creation: This provides customer details and automated call documentation for faster resolution and wrap-up time.

Cloud-based calling

Cloud-based software can be installed quickly and provides a cost-effective and flexible alternative to on-premises systems. It allows teams to work remotely, opening your company to hire the best talent rather than limiting your prospects to a local applicant pool.

Cloud-based software requires no physical space to house your servers, equipment, or hardware. Most of the time, the vendor handles updates, maintenance, and support, so your IT teams can focus on internal tickets instead of managing the system.

Reporting and analytics

To effectively manage your call center, you’ll need contact center software that provides detailed call data through reporting and analytics. These features can help your team see what’s working and what’s not.

  • Real-time and historical data: This data allows management to analyze past and current trends.
  • Pre-built dashboards: Analyze your team’s performance with pre-built dashboards that display pre-loaded customer experience metrics.
  • Customizable dashboards and charts: Tailor your dashboards with custom metrics, charts, and filters.
  • Sharing and collaboration: Keep the entire team in the loop with shareable dashboards and reports that allow for easy collaboration between teammates and stakeholders.

Interactive voice response (IVR)

As customer service standards and expectations continue to rise, you need call center software with features that enable you to serve customers faster, better, and more conveniently. An IVR phone system can be that solution.

An IVR can be the first point of contact for customers when they call in, helping to resolve their issues without involving a human agent. Here are a few ways an IVR system can improve the customer experience.

  • Faster resolution time: Pre-recorded responses can answer FAQs and resolve simple issues quickly, while scheduled callbacks and intelligent call routing ensure customers are directed to the appropriate agents for faster resolutions.
  • Higher first-contact resolution: Customized prompts and menu options route customers to the right place, so issues are resolved the first time around.
  • Around-the-clock support: Automated call center support and prerecorded messages can provide the assistance your customers need—even if your call center is closed.
  • Call prioritization: IVR can recognize higher-value customers through assigned contact information, prioritize the call, and route it to the appropriate agent.
  • Conversational customer service: You can seamlessly continue conversations across channels for a better customer experience.

Automation

Some contact center solutions—like Zendesk—feature automatic ticket creation to help agents document and end calls faster. It can record call details like:

  • The number the customer called from
  • The customer’s location
  • Talk time
  • The agent who handled the call

The best call center software can also save customer service teams time and effort with automations, including:

With integrated call center CRM software, every customer interaction can continue if it gets transferred to another department. The agent will instantly have the details from the prior agent and the complete conversation history, so the customer won’t have to repeat themselves.

What do you need to set up contact center software for your business?

To get your call center software set up, you can start by signing up for a free trial or subscribing to a paid plan with a software vendor. Through this vendor, you can port over your existing business phone number or purchase a new one.

From there, it’s a matter of configuring the software based on your company’s desired outcomes for call management. Part of that configuration may also include integration with other tools your business uses to provide customer service, like a call center CRM, help desks, ticketing systems, and more.

Depending on your call center software vendor, the configuration and integration process will vary.

Top 20 call center software solutions

We’ve compiled the best call center software solutions into one comprehensive list to help you pick the best platform for your business.

  1. Zendesk
  2. Webex
  3. Zoho Desk
  4. LiveAgent
  5. TalkDesk
  6. GoToConnect
  7. NICE CXone
  8. Bitrix24
  9. Dialpad
  10. Five9
  11. CallHippo
  12. Twilio Flex
  13. VICIDial
  14. Aircall
  15. 3CX
  16. MiCloud Connect
  17. Vonage
  18. CloudTalk
  19. Nextiva
  20. Ringover

1. Zendesk

Zendesk

Zendesk’s call center software is embedded in the Zendesk Agent Workspace for a seamless customer experience. Our software helps growing teams quickly resolve issues while measuring and improving phone support operations.

Zendesk provides omnichannel support that helps businesses differentiate themselves from their competition by meeting their customers where they are—whether it’s on the phone, email, or Instagram. Our CX Trends Report found that companies with omnichannel support see higher CSAT scores, faster response times, and stronger CX metrics than those that don’t.

Our call center software operates out of one centralized portal so your team can be more productive and focus on delivering the best customer experiences.

Your team can track and measure every customer service interaction. Managers can measure agents’ performance for customer conversations, call recording, or queue volumes in real time with out-of-the-box reporting and monitoring. You’ll easily understand how your phone support fits into multichannel operations with our centralized reporting—and learn exactly where your business can improve.

Simple to set up and fully cloud-based, Zendesk allows teams to get up and running with full call center functionality in minutes. That means there’s no need to involve IT, hire additional technicians, or manage new vendors.

With our flexible range of plans, you’re sure to find one that suits your needs.

Pricing

  • Suite Team $49 per agent/month
  • Suite Growth $79 per agent/month
  • Suite Professional $99 per agent/month

Features

  • Overflow, group, and after-hours call routing
  • 90+ telephony providers
  • IVR
  • APIs, SDKs, and integrations
  • Omnichannel support
  • Advanced reporting
  • Priority phone numbers
  • Embedded call back within the web widget
  • Voicemail and text messaging
  • Call recording
  • Outbound caller ID
  • Mute and call forwarding
  • Click-to-call

2. Webex

Webex

If reliability, relatively easy implementation, and robust features are among your priorities, Webex’s call center software is a worthy contender to consider. As many as 1,000 on-site employees, remote employees, or a mixture of both can seamlessly and simultaneously operate on this cloud-based solution.

Despite its enterprise-level power and sophistication, Webex is also a good option for smaller businesses looking to get their call center off the ground. Also, if you’re looking for internal collaboration tools like video conferencing, Webex can act as your productivity suite. Choose the Call plan, which is aimed at call center software, or the Meet + Call plan, which includes both productivity and call center functionality.

Pricing

  • Meet: $15 user/month
  • Call: $17 user/month
  • Meet + Call: $25 user/month

Features (Call plan)

  • Unlimited domestic and local calling
  • Unlimited messaging
  • Screen sharing
  • Call waiting, hold, transfer, and forwarding
  • Conference calls
  • Call recording
  • Visual voicemail
  • Interactive whiteboarding

Learn more about Zendesk for Webex.

3. Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk is many things—a help desk, website builder, CRM, and more—but did you know it’s also a solid option to consider for your call center solution? As with its other products, Zoho’s call center software is cloud-based, comes with a friendly user interface, and integrates well with everything in the Zoho product ecosystem.

If you’re already a Zoho Desk user, you’ll find implementing, using, and maintaining the software especially easy. Plus, you’ll be able to leverage the tight integrations between your other Zoho tools to provide a great customer and agent experience. Just keep in mind that you’ll need either the Professional or Enterprise plan to access the call center features.

Pricing

  • Standard: $20 user/month
  • Professional: $35 user/month
  • Enterprise: $50 user/month

Features (Zoho Desk Professional)

  • Call logging
  • Calls reports and dashboards
  • Agent availability tracking
  • Call-to-ticket conversion
  • Call transfer, recording, hold, and mute
  • Call queue management
  • Zoho Desk CRM and help desk integration

4. LiveAgent

LiveAgent

Like Zendesk, LiveAgent is much more than call center software. LiveAgent packages include full help desk capabilities such as live chat, ticket management, omnichannel support, and much more. The call center software features of LiveAgent are accessible in the All-inclusive plan, which also comes with the aforementioned help desk features.

If you’re set on just call center software, LiveAgent may have many features you don’t necessarily need. But if you still want to give it a try, you can do so for free. LiveAgent offers free trials for up to 14 days. And if you need more time, it’s worth asking—you may be able to get your trial extended to ensure you like the software.

Pricing

  • Ticket: $15 user/month
  • Ticket + Chat: $29 user/month
  • All-inclusive: $39 user/month

Features (All-inclusive plan)

  • Chat satisfaction surveys
  • Unlimited agent devices
  • Video calls
  • IVR
  • Advanced reporting
  • API and integrations
  • Call transfers and routing
  • Unlimited call recordings
  • Live chat

5. Talkdesk

Talkdesk

Some call centers only take inbound calls, some only make outbound calls, but some do both. For those hybrid call centers, Talkdesk provides the features you need to handle both kinds of calls. And thanks to its fully cloud-based deployment, you don’t need to download new software to your local computers.

Talkdesk includes useful modern features, such as an intuitive mobile app for agents to use wherever they are. And the software is exceedingly flexible—you can even use after-hours or part-time staffing features to handle calls when volume and/or staffing is low. Talkdesk plans come in four varieties and there are no free trials, but you can request a software demo.

Pricing

  • Essentials: $75 user/month
  • Elevate: $95 user/month
  • Elite: $125 user/month

Features (Elevate plan)

  • 60+ out-of-the-box integrations
  • 80+ AppConnect marketplace
  • API access
  • Virtual agent
  • Screen recording
  • Conversations mobile app
  • Feedback
  • Real-time dashboards
  • Self-service portal

Learn more about Zendesk for Talkdesk.

6. GoTo Connect

GoTo Connect

If you know what software-as-a-service (SaaS) is, you might be interested in GoTo Connect’s contact-center-as-a-service. The CCaaS concept is the same as SaaS, except it is specific to call center software. GoTo Connect features multiple plans—all fully cloud-based—that offer a wide range of call center functionality.

GoTo Connect’s customizable contact center software is capable of serving the needs of inbound, outbound, and blended call centers. Plus, you can add a VoIP service to set up an internal phone system for your business if you decide you like the contact center software.

Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that GoTo Connect is well-known for its reliability and relatively long history of industry expertise.

Pricing

  • Basic: $24 user/month
  • Standard: $29 user/month
  • Premium: $39 user/month

Features (Standard plan)

  • Voicemail to email
  • Audio conferencing
  • Existing number porting
  • Unlimited extensions
  • Smart call routing
  • Call forwarding, ring groups, and call queues

Learn more about Zendesk for GoTo Connect.

7. NICE CXone

NICE CXone

By delivering customer context and robust call center features into one intuitive interface, NICE CXone empowers your agents to provide better, more efficient customer experiences. While it could work for smaller businesses, NICE CXone is a bonafide enterprise solution. Larger, complex service organizations will find everything they need to simplify their call center ops.

NICE CXone also includes features for managers to raise customer service standards while controlling costs. These features include quality management and workforce planning tools that help facilitate ongoing improvements in resource planning and service delivery.

Pricing

  • Core: Starts at $100 per user/month

Features (Core plan)

  • Automation workflows
  • Ticket routing
  • Native integrations
  • Knowledge base
  • API
  • Workforce management
  • Customer surveys
  • Live chat software
  • Tracking and reporting
  • Self-service portal

Learn more about NICE inContact CXone Agent for Zendesk.

8. Bitrix24

Bitrix24

Bitrix24 is a call center software not unlike Zoho Desk, though admittedly it’s far less well-known in the space. In addition to call center features that support inbound, outbound, external, and internal calling needs, Bitrix24 provides project management tools, a website builder, and a standalone CRM.

Another big plus is Bitrix24’s free plan. While its feature set is limited, the free plan can give you a good feel of what to expect from the Bitrix24 interface. From there, you can make an educated decision about whether Bitrix24’s flexible contact center software is a fit for your business.

Pricing

  • Basic: $49 per month for five users
  • Standard: $99 per month for 50 users
  • Professional: $199 per month for unlimited users

Features (Standard plan)

  • Business hours setting
  • Call routing, transfer, and forwarding
  • HD video calls
  • Call back widget
  • IVR
  • Call transcription
  • Call recording playback speed
  • Automatic dialing

9. Dialpad

Dialpad

For a sleek and modern call center solution with a robust feature set designed for both inbound and outbound calling, Dialpad doesn’t disappoint. Among its many innovative features are call sentiment analysis, real-time text transcription, and a built-in AI that automatically delivers question-specific call scripts for agents. And its mobile app allows you to stay connected from anywhere on any device.

Dialpad also has a unique pricing structure for its software, of which there are two versions: Enterprise and Pro. To use Pro, you need to purchase at least three licenses. For Enterprise, you must purchase at least 100 licenses.

Pricing

  • Standard: $20 per user/month
  • Pro: $30 per user/month
  • Enterprise: Pricing not available

Features (Pro plan)

  • Toll-free number support
  • In-queue callback
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Call history
  • Manager alerts
  • Real-time transcription
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Smart dialer

Learn more about Zendesk for Dialpad.

10. Five9

Five9

Usage fees for contact center solutions can easily pile up, especially if you’re on the hook for long-distance charges and you have widely dispersed customers. But Five9 helps you keep operating costs manageable while powering a top-tier experience for customers and agents alike. Five9’s packages include no-fee long-distance calling and can be set up on your existing equipment, depending on your needs.

Aside from its powerful call center software, Five9 also offers a range of telephony solutions, including business VOIP. Put simply, any phone-related needs you have can be covered by one or more of Five9’s packages.

Pricing

  • Core: $149 per user/month
  • Premium: $169 per user/month
  • Optimum: $199 per user/month
  • Ultimate: $229 per user/month

Features

  • Omnichannel routing
  • Predictive dialing
  • Intelligent virtual assistant
  • Real-time and historical dashboards
  • Workflow automation
  • Outbound dialer
  • Call recording
  • Web call back

Learn more about Zendesk for Five9.

11. CallHippo

CallHippo

Built for support and sales teams, CallHippo is a smart call center solution that simplifies both inbound and outbound calling. This cloud-based telephony solution comes in four varieties for startups, small teams, SMBs, and enterprise businesses. However, regardless of your team size, you may need a higher-tier plan if you want the most sophisticated features.

In addition to its packages, CallHippo offers paid add-ons for capabilities like custom caller ID, call transcription, voicemail transcription, and more. To get an idea of the many combinations of CallHippo packages and add-ons you can buy, check out the company’s pricing page.

Pricing

  • Bronze: $16 per user/month
  • Silver: $24 per user/month
  • Platinum: $40 per user/month
  • Enterprise: $48 per user/month

Features (Platinum plan)

  • Skills-based call routing
  • Free call recording
  • Call tagging
  • Call queuing
  • Power dialer
  • Multi-level IVR
  • Call script
  • Call barging

12. Twilio Flex

Twilio Flex

If you’re a DIYer with the time and resources to hire developers, or you already have a staff of engineers well-versed in APIs, Twilio Flex will be an intriguing option for you. Rather than pre-packaged software, Twilio Flex provides a voice SDK and open API, which your developers can use to create a call center solution fully customized to your company’s needs, desires, hopes, and dreams.

With Twilio, everything from custom building your own web-based call center app to call transcription and queue management is on the table. Put simply, Twilo Flex can help you build all the features you’d want in an enterprise-level call center solution. Twilio’s pricing is flexible—you can pay a flat rate or a usage-based fee.

Pricing

  • Twilio Flex (per-hour pricing): $1 per active user hour
  • Twilio Flex (flat rate): $150 per user/month

Features

  • Call tracking
  • Embedded calling
  • IVR
  • Masked calling
  • API and SDKs
  • Alerts and notifications
  • Call transcription
  • Voice recognition
  • Omnichannel support
  • Reports and dashboards

Learn more about Zendesk for Twilio Flex.

13. VICIdial

VICIdial

If you’re looking for open-source, hosted contact center software, VICIdial is an option to consider. The software is fully open source, so you don’t pay an upfront cost to use, modify, or distribute it. But in practice, you can’t get up and running with VICIdial without expending resources. Because VICIdial is open source, you’ll need a specialized developer to help you implement it.

If you choose to, you can pay for hosting services offered by VICIdial. With VICIdial hosting, you will store your software and data on a dedicated VICIdial server. Once configured, VICIdial provides all the call center capabilities you’d expect for outbound and inbound calling as well as several bonuses, like email and website chat.

Pricing

  • Free software, but hosting requires monthly costs and fees

Features

  • Open-source software
  • Inbound and outbound calling
  • Email and website chat
  • Skills-based routing
  • Dedicated hosting
  • Queue prioritization

14. Aircall

Aircall

Aircall is a cloud-based call center solution that bills itself as a productivity-enhancing tool for support and sales teams. Its greatest strengths include an easy setup on your own hardware (unless you decide to upgrade), plenty of intuitive integrations, real-time monitoring, and project management features.

If you decide to integrate Aircall with your help desk and/or CRM, you can access all sorts of useful capabilities in your CRM or help desk, such as automation and call activity monitoring. On top of all that, each of Aircall’s plans includes unlimited inbound and outbound calling within Canada and the continental United States.

Pricing

  • Essentials: $30 user/month
  • Professional: $50 user/month

Features (Aircall professional)

  • API and webhooks
  • Voicemail by email
  • Call analytics
  • Post-call automations
  • Click-to-dial
  • Call tagging
  • Call monitoring and whispering
  • CRM and help desk integrations
  • Intelligent dialing

Learn more about Zendesk for Aircall.

15. 3CX

3CX

With 3CX, call center agents and their managers can work from anywhere, conducting virtual meetings with web conferencing and serving customers on the phone, via live chat, and more. Plus, if you want flexibility in how you deploy your contact center software, 3CX provides it with on-premise, hosted, and cloud-based options.

Along with deployment flexibility, 3CX provides enterprise-level functionality with features like call pop-ups, click-to-call, and call journals. If you’re already using Zendesk for ticket management and you like 3CX contact center software, you can easily integrate 3CX with Zendesk.

Pricing (license for five users)

  • Standard: $0 per year
  • Pro: $145 per year
  • Enterprise: $180 per year

Features (Pro plan)

  • Contact synchronization
  • Call pop-ups
  • Call journals
  • Zendesk and other popular app integrations
  • Click to call
  • 3CX browser extension

16. MiCloud Connect

MiCloud Connect

For enterprise-grade performance, MiCloud Connect by Mitel is a great choice. This cloud-based contact center software includes messaging, screen sharing, conferencing, and more. Mitel’s intuitive user interface, omnichannel support, and seamless agent experience also make it an ideal solution for improving agent efficiency.

But the software goes beyond the day-to-day productivity improvements you can expect. Mitel also throws in real-time reporting, which you can use to optimize your workflows and resource planning for maximum call center productivity.

Pricing

  • Tailored pricing per business

Features (Premier plan)

  • Real-time KPIs
  • Inbound and outbound call queues
  • Skills-based routing
  • Priority routing
  • Agent status controls
  • ACD call pick-up

Learn more about Zendesk for Mitel.

17. Vonage

Vonage

If buying your contact center software and hardware from the same company is a priority for you, Vonage is worth a look. The call center is fully customizable with intuitive add-ons and robust out-of-the-box functionality. Vonage integrates with popular CRMs, including HubSpot and Zendesk, but its Salesforce and Microsoft Teams integrations are particularly well-implemented.

Vonage’s features are what you’d expect from an industry leader and include core functionality such as call monitoring, call tagging, and native messaging. As a full-service business telephony provider, Vonage can also meet your VOIP needs, making it a true one-stop solution.

Pricing

  • Mobile: $19.99 per month/line
  • Premium: $29.99 per month/line
  • Advanced: $39.99 per month/line

Features (Advanced plan)

  • Call transfer, hold, and call forwarding
  • Mobile and desktop apps
  • Call waiting
  • Visual voicemail
  • Paging groups
  • Call logging
  • On-demand call recording
  • Call queue management

Learn more about Zendesk for Vonage.

18. CloudTalk

CloudTalk

CloudTalk Voice is an intuitive cloud-based outbound and inbound call center solution. In addition to facilitating seamless phone connections between your business and customers, CloudTalk helps you control call center operating costs, monitor call quality, and much more.

A few of CloudTalk’s most popular and powerful features include the easy-to-use integrations, call recording, intelligent dialing, and two-way sync. CloudTalk has three packages at varying price points, but to access outbound calling features, you’ll need a custom plan billed at a flat rate.

Pricing

  • Starter: $30 user/month
  • Essential: $40 user/month
  • Expert: $60 user/month

Features (Essential plan)

  • SMS capabilities
  • Advanced analytics
  • Workflow automation
  • Skill-based routing
  • Unlimited inbound and intracompany calls
  • Mobile app
  • Open API
  • Real-time dashboard
  • International numbers for 140+ countries

Learn more about Zendesk for CloudTalk.

19. Nextiva

Nextiva

Nextiva’s cloud-based call center software is built to fit the needs of any kind of business. Designing call routing workflows is simple with tools like its Call Flow Builder. The visual editor requires no code, which makes Nextiva easy to use for non-developers. If you happen to like Nextiva’s contact center solutions, the company also offers a variety of phone-related services that you can try, such as VOIP.

Nextiva is an excellent way to equip your team with hardware along with your new software. You can try either of Nextiva’s calling plans with a free trial.

Pricing

  • Professional: $20.95 user/month
  • Enterprise: $26.95 user/month

Features (Enterprise plan)

  • Unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada
  • Call recording
  • Real-time analytics
  • Unlimited business SMS
  • Integrations with popular tools

20. Ringover

Ringover

Flexible, modern, and intuitive, Ringover’s call center software is available as a custom plan or in one of two packages: Smart and Power. Regardless of the package or plan you choose, Ringover delivers software that effectively integrates group messaging, video conferencing, and an advanced phone system with business texting.

Key benefits of Ringover include comprehensive reporting simplified into dashboards, affordable international calling for 110 countries, and powerful call management features. Not to mention, Ringover seamlessly integrates with all the most powerful CRMs and help desks on the market.

Pricing

  • Smart: $24 per user/month
  • Power: $49 per user/month

Features (Power plan)

  • Unlimited calls to 110 countries
  • Custom greetings
  • Instant setup
  • Live call monitoring
  • Popular integrations
  • Advanced analytics and call reporting

Learn more about Zendesk for Ringover.

How to pick the best call center software for your team

Pick the best call center software

The best way to pick the right contact center software for your team is to ask yourself the following three questions:

How will the software fit with my current and future teams?

The best option isn’t usually the one with the most features—it’s the one with the specific features that fit the needs of your business. Consider call center solutions that can integrate with the tools you already use. Analyze the support channels you currently offer and the ones you should add to meet customers where they are. Find software that provides those channels and can easily integrate with your existing systems.

Remember that your team will change, and your business will evolve. Call volumes may go up, new products might require different types of services, and your team could expand. Customers and employees may prefer different or newer communication channels. These factors will determine which software is the ideal option for your team. It’s best to balance your future needs with your current state so you don’t outgrow your software.

What is the total cost of ownership?

Every business, no matter the size, considers its budget when picking a new software vendor. But there’s more to consider than list prices. Companies need to consider the total cost of ownership (TOC) of the software to understand the full value.

Some additional things to think about when calculating the TOC of call center software include:

  • Implementation costs
  • Consultants
  • Maintenance fees
  • Add-ons
  • Hidden fees

Some software vendors offer a free version but will exclude the features you want to get you to upgrade to a premium plan. Look at the features you need and invest in the plan that makes the most sense for your business.

What is my time to value and ease of implementation?

No business wants to spend extra time and money to install a new system and train their employees how to use it when they don’t have to. You want contact center solutions that you can set up easily and integrate with your existing systems. This will allow you to get up and running quickly and see a return on your investment sooner rather than later.

When your call center software offers the following, you’ll be able to get to work faster with a lower cost of ownership:

  • Intuitive interface
  • Easy customization
  • Simple administration

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) on contact center solutions

FAQs, handshake

Here are some frequently asked questions that can help you better understand call center software and its benefits.

How can you transform customer experience with a call center system?

You can transform customer experience with a call center system by:

  • Offering 24/7 self-service via voice or touch-tone-activated IVR.
  • Creating more bandwidth for your agents with automated call routing.
  • Making it easier for customers and agents to switch between service channels.
  • Reporting on key performance indicators to optimize training and resource allocation.
  • Consolidating ticket and customer relationship management with help desk software and CRM integrations.

How much does a contact center phone system cost?

The cost of your call center phone system depends on the number of phone numbers, users, features, and the software delivery model. Cloud-based call center phone systems are the most affordable, with plans ranging from $20 to $150 per month per user. They also entail one-time development costs of a few thousand dollars and usage fees of approximately $0.10 per minute and up.

Do agents need specific training to use call center software?

It’s always a good idea to ensure employees know how to use contact center solutions effectively. Here are a few things to practice with your team so they feel confident using the software.

  • Answering calls
  • Transferring calls
  • Muting and unmuting
  • Adding another person (manager) to the call

What if you don’t like the contact center software after you buy it?

If you end up not liking the contact center software you purchased, your recourse depends on the terms. If you bought an annual plan, you may have no other option but to serve out your term. But it’s certainly worth asking your vendor if you can cancel your contract and get a full or partial refund.

What is the best CRM to implement in a call center?

The best CRM for one business may not be the best for another. However, there are important criteria that your business should consider when evaluating a CRM. These considerations include:

  • Number of agents the CRM can support
  • Pricing
  • Features
  • Customization
  • Ease of use
  • Ease of implementation

Ready to try call center software?

Connecting with your customers is vital to your company’s success. With Zendesk, you can help your support team resolve issues faster, review key customer support metrics, and improve phone support operations across the board. If you’re ready to deliver better customer experiences across every channel, try Zendesk call center software today.