Disclosure: This content is endorsed by the reader. So if you click on some of our links we may receive a commission.
How about for your company never to miss a call again?
Nothing scares off new business like hard-to-reach customer service or unorganized sales pitches. Adopt the best call center software and you will equip your teams with the tools they need to communicate effectively.
Today, an affordable call center is available to any business with an internet connection.
Forget the needs of a physical office space, infrastructure, or even a business phone system.
Modern call center software is all you need to be up and running. You still have the hard work of getting your clients and customers involved, but all of the heavy lifting that comes with maintaining a call center is off your plate.
The top 5 options for call center software
- Five9 – Best for mixed call centers
- Aircall – Best for collaboration
- 8 × 8 Contact Center – Best for Enterprise
- Dialpad – Best for Startups
- Talkdesk CX Cloud – Best for Best for Salesforce integration
How to choose the best call center software for you
I use the phone when I want to think about a new product or service. Lots of people do.
The human connection is real, intimate, and – unfortunately – easy to mess with.
A call was dropped. A fake name from an agent who spoke to 35 other people in an hour.
It doesn't take much to lose a head start or get a 1 star rating on the internet.
You are looking for a system that builds trust with customers because they know they can call and speak to the right person quickly.
It must also include an interface that allows agents to see calls, customer histories, and other information they need to resolve problems in real time.
Customers need quick responses from helpful agents. End of the story.
The best call center software has everything you need to meet these two basic call center goals and more.
Let's look at the key features of the call center that businesses can use to make their customers happier and their agents more productive.
With the Blended Call Center software, the same agent can receive incoming calls and make outgoing calls. This is not the case with every product as some are limited to a single direction: inbound or outbound.
This can work to your advantage.
If you only need one or the other, you may be able to get a cheaper plan that is easier to secure and manage. A help desk might only need inbound calls and a sales team might only have outbound calls.
For outbound call centers, proper dialing can make a huge difference in agent productivity (and sanity). The four types you are likely to see are:
- Preview of the dialer: Lets an agent review contact information before calling
- Progressive dialers: Automatically selects one contact per available agent
- Power dialer: Automatically selects multiple contacts per available agent
- Predictive dialer: Automatically dials based on the agent's predicted availability
Dialers dramatically reduce agent downtime and completely eliminate the manual grinding process of making calls from their cognitive workload.
The call center software should be able to record any channel you are currently using or plan to use in the future. If you see something billed as omnichannel it should cover:
Ensure that customers can seamlessly interact with agents in all supported corporate channels regardless of your product.
The call center software has routing capabilities that segment and route incoming calls and potentially automate the processes that connect callers to the expert or agent they are looking for.
Some of the common call forwarding features were explained:
- Automatic call distribution (ACD): Greets customers and allows them to choose from a main menu or enter an extension to route themselves.
- Automated support: Takes calls when all agents are busy, plays music on hold, forwards waiting times and reminds callers that their time is valuable.
- Intelligent call forwarding: Uses automation, AI, or interactive voice response to direct customers to the most appropriate agent.
- Mobile device routing: Allows calls to be forwarded to mobile devices.
- Omnichannel routing: Allows calls to be forwarded on any channel.
- Virtual stop: Allows customers to get a call back when an agent is ready instead of waiting on the phone.
- Warm transfer: Allows customers to speak to a new agent before transferring the call and allows the previous agent to explain any reasons already covered.
If the call center software has intelligent call routing, it can be assumed that it supports most, if not all, of the features listed above.
Interactive voice response
Interactive Voice Response (IVR) enables customers to access information from a connected database through a telephone system. This could be someone calling to find out their balance, the status of their order, or to pay an invoice.
If customers are calling regularly to access information, implementing IVR can save you a lot of phone time. It's a true self-service solution that lets people get what they want without ever speaking to an agent.
Telephone call recording
You have probably heard a thousand times that "this call is being recorded for security or training purposes". Well it's all true.
Call recording is extremely important. Managers can listen to calls from trainees and offer advice on how to improve. In the event of a legal or compliance issue, call recording has your base covered.
Good call center software makes it as easy as possible to store and store every call in a highly organized, searchable database. If you integrate your CRM, each recording can also be linked to the corresponding customer or customer account.
An advanced call recording feature that can be very useful for sales teams is Voicemail-to-Email. This will send an email with an audio attachment or a transcription of the voicemail to the account owner who missed the call. This is a huge time saver, especially for agents who are remote and on the go.
How efficient is your call center? How do you know?
Reporting and analysis are important features of modern call center software. Look for products with historical and real-time reporting capabilities to aid HR management and optimization.
By tracking key metrics on calls, waiting times, and resolving the first contact, supervisors can better predict staffing needs to meet fluctuating demand.
Integrations, APIs and SDKs
Put important customer data in front of your agents by integrating customer data sources with your call center software. The top products have seamless integrations that work instantly with leading CRMs such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.
Many top call center software options have APIs and software development kits (SDKs) that you can use to build custom solutions.
The better the connectivity you can provide, the more extensive the customer information your call center gathers.
Done right, you're providing data-driven insights to marketing, sales, and customer service to guide their efforts.
Even if your customers don't give their social security number over the phone, they are giving away personal and potentially sensitive information. It's awkward to imagine how much chaos an attacker could wreak with full access to a database of customer conversations.
Be aware of potential vulnerabilities associated with deploying call center software. Is it built into your current security stack? If not, add the cost of securing your new IT perimeter to the total cost of ownership.
The different types of call center software
It is becoming less and less important for call center solutions to offer traditional business telephone systems. Some do, but most focus on helping organizations gradually migrate to a centralized, cloud-based, multi-channel interface.
As important as the phone is, the reality is that customers are reaching more and more channels.
For this reason the name "Call Center" is deleted in favor of "Contact Center".
It just shows that companies need to be able to respond regardless of whether they are contacted: phone, chat, email, etc.
Whether you're starting from scratch or looking to modernize your existing system, choosing the right call center software is the first step.
Call center software on site
Many companies still have their own call centers, and it can be important to keep everything in-house for compliance reasons.
If this is a problem, make sure you choose an option that supports your infrastructure needs.
Cloud call center software
Cloud-based call center software offers the same functionality as a traditional call center, but is provided as a service. Companies don't have to manage hardware or software.
A SaaS call center can be deployed in just a few hours or days as not much is required to work with headsets and devices.
It is very easy to run a distributed call center or a call center from home with a cloud-based solution. This is another reason why these solutions are so popular.
Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) centralizes all the channels through which your teams communicate externally.
While a cloud call center may only offer VoIP, a CCaaS solution will also include text, chat, social networking, and video.
Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) has all the functions of a CCaaS, with an additional focus on the integration of older communication technologies such as fax and telephone conferences.
These products really combine all forms of communication and help companies to introduce future-proof solutions when they let old devices run out.
# 1 – Five9 – Best for mixed call centers
With Five9, call center agents can offer their customers the best possible experience by providing true omnichannel functionality from anywhere on an intuitive interface.
Agents can switch between chat, email, mobile, social media, video, or voice to maintain seamless customer interactions.
Thanks to the integration in top CRM platforms, all data is recorded and an end-to-end contact center solution is provided. Whether agents are making contact or answering a call, they always have up-to-date information about who they are talking to.
There are also built-in workforce management tools that make accurate forecasting and planning much easier.
With all the power of the Five9 call center software, this is not overwhelming, and employees can quickly master the tools at their disposal, such as:
- Predictive, Power, Progressive and Preview Dialer
- Intelligent omnichannel routing
- Historical and real-time analytics dashboards
- Six integrated CRM integrations
- Cloud APIs and SDKs
Blended call centers will definitely see greater efficiency with Five9. Active Blending, one of the intelligent routing features, automatically sends incoming calls to agents who run outbound campaigns when the call volume is high.
Five9 pricing is based on whether you want inbound, outbound, or mixed service. You will need to contact sales, but there are three payment options:
- Monthly on request
- Minute charges
- Annual contracts
The lowest price comes with an annual contract, but businesses can scale quickly and cheaply with on-demand pricing when needed.
As elegant as it is, Five9 is one of the top call center solutions for businesses that need to incorporate legacy technology. If you're considering using a cloud-based solution for your mixed call center, Five9 can help you no matter where you start.
# 2 – Aircall – Best for collaboration
Aircall is a CCaaS that you can deploy this afternoon.
VoIP quality is great, calls are never dropped and agents can work from anywhere on their laptop or personal mobile device. It's a great solution for cloud virtual call centers because of its built-in security, people management, and collaboration features.
Customers can leave voicemails that can be quickly assigned to the right person. New hires can listen to calls to see what good service sounds like. In fact, you can record up to five people on a live call.
One of the biggest advantages for teams is the ability to assign, tag, and comment on calls. This is very helpful: assign the call to a person, tag it to a specific department and leave a brief explanation of what went on.
It's not that other call center software can't – it's just easier in Aircall.
For easy Aircall use, it's a full CCaaS that provides
- Automatic callback
- Intelligent call forwarding
- Power dialer
- One-click CRM integrations
- Call center analysis
The Aircall prices are divided into three levels:
- Basics: from $ 30 per user / month
- Professional: from $ 50 per user / month
- Custom: Contact sales
One quick thing: Salesforce integration happens only at the professional level, while integrations for Pipedrive, Zendesk, Hubspot, Slack, and more than 60 others come with Essentials.
Aircall continues to support traditional telephone systems, making it an attractive option for businesses looking to expand their call center operations to the cloud at their own pace.
# 3 – 8 × 8 Contact Center – Best for Enterprise
8 × 8 Contact Center is one of the most robust tools on the market. 8 × 8 has been around for a long time and can fully support the migration to a UCaaS call center.
It's a powerful solution that can help large companies in particular. Create complex IVR paths, optimize a large workforce and process payments via a navigable interface.
There can be a slightly larger learning curve with 8 × 8 than with other call center programs simply because the platform is so feature-rich.
Once you've got everything set up, there is enough support and online documentation to take advantage of 8 × 8's advanced features, including:
- Call and screen recording
- Predictive dialer
- IVR designer via drag & drop
- Speech analysis
- Customer surveys
- Native CRM and integration with top products
The price for the 8 × 8 contact center is divided into three levels:
- Contact Center – Voice
- Contact Center – Omnichannel
- Contact Center – Advanced
8 × 8 isn't going to be the most budget-friendly option, even if it's all about language.
To include digital channels, you need the omnichannel plan. You need Advanced for speech analysis and screen recording.
For voice-only call centers, other options from this list will meet your needs at a lower cost. However, when trying to build an omnichannel contact center, 8 × 8 gives you a level of visibility and control that lighter products cannot.
# 4 – Dialpad – Best for Startups
Dialpad is a next-generation UCaaS that fully supports today's distributed workplace on the go. Choose Dialpad for agile, constantly improving call center software.
You can add agents using the web client or the dialpad app. Both are updated regularly for security reasons and to add new features.
With all the flexibility offered to end users, Dialpad does not skimp on the reporting, recording or monitoring functions of the backend. This is huge for companies that are still trying to figure out what's important.
With Dialpad, your team can evaluate KPIs and identify important trends in real time. Simply integrate your CRM and watch how Dialpad shows the most important metrics from calls in clean dashboards or clearly visible leaderboards.
Some of the other great features of Dialpad are:
- Seamless mobile routing
- Call / voicemail transcription
- Warm transfer
- APIs and webhooks
- Integrations with top SSOs, CRMs, G Suite and Microsoft 365,
There are two plan options for the Dialpad Contact Center:
- professional: from $ 225 / month for 3 agents
- Companies: Contact sales, at least 100 agents
Businesses thrive with Dialpad because of its efficiency. Deployment is simple, integration is tight, and extremely powerful for organizations with many remote workers.
# 5 – Talkdesk CX Cloud – Best suited for Salesforce integration
Talkdesk is a leading CCaaS product that is well suited for large organizations that need to scale their contact center operations. Quickly provision new agents and securely connect them to sensitive customer data no matter where they are.
It's a feature-rich, yet very accessible solution. People who have never used Talkdesk can sit down and take calls.
Talkdesk has more than 60 built-in integrations, but the seamless connection with Salesforce CRM is definitely a major selling point. Agents can view a comprehensive history of who they are speaking to and all calls are automatically recorded in the right place.
If agents forget call details, they can hear back with just a few clicks.
Some tasks, like creating new IVRs, take getting used to, but for the most part, non-technical users can get the most out of all of its features, including:
- Intelligent routing
- Warm transfer
- Customer sentiment surveys
- Real-time dashboards for workforce management
- Custom IVR
- Guardian Standard Fraud Prevention
Talkdesk also offers AI-driven add-ons for speech analysis, human resource management and quality control.
Talkdesk has introduced cost-effective solutions for SMB call centers. By deploying something this powerful early on, you can achieve superior customer loyalty and even lower costs by increasing agent productivity.
Ten years ago it took months to set up a call center. Today you can deploy one over the weekend.
When making your choices, focus on how each product's feature set works:
- Customers can quickly connect to the right agent
- Empower Agents serve customers and connect with customers
While each option on this list is pretty easy to set up, Dialpad or Aircall are exceptionally easy in that regard. Aircall works better with older technologies than Dialpad when this is taken into account, and the collaboration features are more mature.
On the other hand, it depends on how you work together. The ease of forwarding calls between devices on the dialpad is phenomenal, which is vital for distributed call centers.
Five9 takes full advantage of many other contact center software when it comes to outbound dialing capabilities. Sales teams can automatically increase their call volume without increasing the number of abandoned calls. As the functionality for incoming calls is relatively extensive, Five9 is an excellent option for a mixed call center.
Companies using Salesforce CRM will enjoy Talkdesk. The integration works without any problems and the familiarity of the employees with the Salesforce interface makes the introduction of Talkdesk much easier.
Choose 8 × 8 if your company wants to benefit from setting up complex IVR paths. It's easy to design customer journeys in the drag-and-drop visual editor that really stands out from the crowd.
Plus, 8 × 8 security is industry compliant, so you can rest assured that connecting customers with sensitive information via IVR won't cause problems down the line.