90% of consumers expect an immediate response after reaching out to a company’s customer support team, which is why customer support representatives must resolve customers’ issues quickly. If you have few support agents or a high volume of calls, this is often impossible—at least, it is if you aren’t using any call center software. To help you take customer service to the next level, we researched the industry’s finest solutions for call centers. Scroll down to discover these software products’ essential features, along with our in-depth reviews and a guide for choosing between them.
Only the top-performing software solutions are featured in the table above. Our evaluation process consists of two steps, the first of which is software classification. In this step, we categorize the software based on the industry and company size it caters to, and we examine the upsides and downsides of each software model.
The second step of the process involves finding the core capabilities that are essential for this kind of software. The same step also includes a thorough price check comparison, so we can recommend the software that provides the best value for the money.
Call center software reviews are the last piece of the puzzle. In this section, you can get the actual product information, including its essential features, pros and cons, and pricing policies.
This type of software is used in a variety of industries, including the following:
The list of industries that use these products is nearly endless. In a nutshell, any business that needs to contact its customers or that has marketing and sales departments can use it.
Apart from the industry focus, this kind of software might also be tailored for businesses of different sizes, i.e., small and mid-size companies, large enterprises, or even freelancers.
There are four different platform types, depending on where the software is installed. This includes on-premise, hosted, cloud-based, and browser-based solutions.
With this type of software, the communication infrastructure, software, and hardware are all located on your company’s premises. This means that your company’s IT team will be responsible for setting up the infrastructure, installing the call center software solution, and the entire implementation process.
The cost of on-premise software requires a substantial initial investment, but after that, businesses should only need to update the software and hardware every 5 to 10 years. The ongoing payments that come with cloud solutions are non-existent.
In turn, this type of software comes with a high level of security, as confidential information is stored in-house. It also offers a lot of room for customization.
Hosted call center software is often confused with cloud-based platforms. The reason for this is that hosted solutions fall somewhere in between on-premise and cloud-based software. Neither offers the same level of customization as on-premise platforms, nor do they fit entirely in the SaaS category.
Vendors that offer this type of software run physical servers on their own or in third-party data centers that host a call center product. To fall into the cloud-based category, this type of software would have to support multi-tenant architecture that allows multiple users to use the allotted server resources provided by the vendor. The takeaway here is that hosted solutions will require separate servers and installation for every user.
Cloud-based call center software currently dominates the market, although only a decade ago, the adoption rate of cloud call centers stood at 2.2%. Today, 62% of organizations have moved to the cloud thanks to the cost-efficiency, scalability, and reliability that cloud-based solutions offer.
The software doesn’t require significant initial investments, allowing it to offer budget-friendly pricing models and quick software deployment. Due to their caching capabilities, these call center solutions don’t require that users have internet access. Instead, they can access data even if they’re offline.
Browser-based software is very similar to cloud software. One of the few differences between the two solutions is that with cloud-based products, users access the services through an app. Conversely, with browser-based software, users access their sessions via a web browser.
When choosing between different tools, it’s essential to differentiate inbound and outbound software solutions. Inbound call centers receive calls from customers, while outbound solutions are designed to make calls to a targeted audience.
These two types of call centers can be combined into blended call centers, which handle both inbound and outbound calls. Blended call centers use automatic call distributor (ACD) technology for managing incoming calls and predictive dialers for the outgoing ones.
One of the core features of these products is unlimited calling. Most solutions on the market allow users to make unlimited calls. Some providers, however, have separate pricing for minutes outside the predetermined free minute quota available with a particular plan. After spending all the free minutes, each additional minute is billed separately.
Taking this into account, we analyzed software solutions that support the unlimited calling feature, which is available for the US and Canada. Additionally, we chose the providers that offer free minutes for calling abroad, so you don’t have to worry about the cost of international calls.
Another aspect we looked into when ranking the best call center software is the option of making an unlimited number of concurrent calls. This feature allows call center agents to answer calls at the same time without making an impact on the quality of the calls.
Having the right tools to monitor a call center’s activity is essential for meeting quality assurance standards. With that in mind, we pay special attention to whether these platforms have call center monitoring software.
Using different coaching and monitoring tools, call center managers can listen to live calls in the background as they happen. Neither call agents nor callers are aware that someone’s listening to their conversation.
This practice is excellent for reviewing agents’ work and spotting weak spots in caller-agent interactions. Based on the results, managers can provide agents with instant feedback and additional training in areas that can be improved upon.
Call center software solutions with the live-call agent coaching and monitoring functionality typically support the following:
Along with call recording and call disposition, which we’ll later discuss in more detail, these three features are all essential components of call center management software.
Their primary uses are training agents efficiently, improving the overall quality of customer service, and identifying any potential issues in customer-agent interactions.
Another essential call center feature, pivotal in evaluating a call center’s performance, is a set of reporting tools. When looking for the best-in-class software, we don’t stop once we find that it has real-time reporting tools. Instead, we go a step further to make sure the software features historical reporting tools as well.
When used together, these two types of reporting tools help call centers compare their performance with industry benchmarks and check if they’re meeting service-level agreements (SLAs). Additionally, by using call center reporting software metrics, they can also get a 360-degree view of the call center’s activities.
When it comes to real-time reporting tools, they’re of tremendous value to call center managers. These tools allow them to observe and analyze core call center metrics and, based on real-time data, make immediate data-backed decisions.
Historical reporting tools, on the other hand, allow businesses to dig a bit deeper into their call center data. These tools help create reports and get insights for specific periods of time.
The call center software companies we included in the table provide a wealth of historical reporting tools. These tools include extensive collections of report templates and advanced filtering and grouping options, which are essential for simple report creation.
Along with call center management tools, inbound call routing and ring groups are the primary tools for improving a call center’s average handle time. It’s vital to emphasize that none of these tools harm the customer experience, while they successfully shorten handle times.
Call center routing software tools help businesses improve the quality of their customer service. The goal of routing tools is to assign available agents with calls from clients. These tools prevent long hold times, avoid multiple client transfers, and generally help avoid poor customer satisfaction levels.
There are many ways to route calls to an agent or an entire company’s department through call groups.
While doing our research on the leading call center platforms, we looked for software that supports more than the traditional routing approach—which assigns customer calls to available agents. Connecting clients and agents based on an agent’s availability doesn’t guarantee best-in-class support, as not all call agents are the same. Some agents excel at upselling customers; meanwhile, some have great people skills and are particularly efficient in calming down irritated customers. Taking this into account, we looked for call center system software that supports ACD technology, which among other features, enables skills-based routing.
Most solutions have a built-in ACD system that can recognize, answer, and route incoming calls. Apart from call routing, distributors collect usage data, allow businesses to forward calls and validate callers, help achieve the optimal use of phone lines, etc.
Businesses can use ACD systems to handle a large volume of incoming calls, automate answers to frequently asked questions, and manage calls outside work hours.
During the evaluation process, we give priority to the customer service call center software that supports the following ACD features as well:
Interactive voice response is a menu system where computers can interact with humans. The system works together with ACD technology. The primary functions of an IVR system are recognizing, answering, and routing calls. However, it isn’t always possible to route a call, especially when a business is handling a large volume of calls.
This is where IVR systems come in. When agents can’t take a call, customers are put in a queue until an agent is free to take their call. One of the crucial roles of an IVR system is to help customers solve their problems without talking to an agent, which makes it an indispensable call center automation software tool. The system allows businesses to create prompts and, using dial pads or voice recognition, obtain the information they’re looking for.
Additionally, when using IVR-enabled software, businesses can pre-record a message that will greet their customers. This strategy adds a note of professionalism to a company’s customer service while also making the waiting process less annoying.
If a customer can’t get the information they need to solve an issue, the IVR system collects their data to ensure the call will be transferred to the right agent.
The best call center software products support skills-based routing. This call assignment strategy sends customer calls to specific agents, most commonly based on their area of expertise instead of relying on your agents’ availability. Other criteria that make an agent adequate for a particular call include the agent’s language, location, unique skills, etc.
The call queuing feature allows businesses to put calls in a virtual line and manage these calls based on their priority before callers are connected with an agent. During our research, we focused on software that offers advanced call queue management options.
Taking this into account, the call center software featured in the table allows multiple queue creation, moving clients from one queue to another, and setting values for maximum waiting times.
Another feature essential for call centers, as well as for enhancing first-call resolution times, is the automatic screen-pop feature. To make the most out of this feature, a business will need to support computer telephony integration (CTI) and integration with customer relationship management (CRM) call center software. So how do screen pops work?
CTI enables communication between a computer and a phone system, whereas CRM helps collect and manage customers’ data. When a customer calls customer service, CTI technology shows the caller’s data on a desktop interface.
Most platforms collect a caller’s data through a customer database functionality. However, CRM call center solutions offer more extensive data about a customer, including previous purchases, buying preferences, etc. Because having the right information about a caller at the right time is essential for increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty, the software that supports CRM integration gets a better spot in our table.
The basic call control features allow users to mute a call, put it on hold, include other agents in a call (conference calling), and transfer the call to an agent or a group of agents—or transfer it to an external number in the case of outbound call center software.
Apart from these call handling capabilities, some software solutions divide the call transferring functionality to blind and warm call transfers. The difference between the two is whether the agent that transfers the call has introduced it to the agent that should take over. If the call is announced, we’re talking about warm call transfers, and if not, agents are dealing with a blind transfer.
While warm call transfers may seem like an ideal way to transfer calls, during a busy day, the blind transfer feature comes in handy too. Taking this into account, we double-checked if the top call center software solutions in the table offer both call transferring options.
Disposition codes are another essential call center feature that allows agents and managers to add labels to the outcome of each call (transferred, issue solved, refund, complaint, left voicemail, etc.). Some software solutions support notes along with disposition codes. After assigning a disposition code, call center agents and managers can write a few lines about a call using notes, which simplifies call reviews later on.
When it comes to call center performance management software tools, the option of recording live calls is a must-have feature. Agents that need to get up-to-speed with a customer case can listen to a recorded call at any time. Call center managers also benefit from call recordings by using them as a powerful feedback tool. Listening to call recordings gives managers in-depth insight into an agent’s performance and can help identify areas that could use additional coaching.
While doing our research on call center recording software, we also checked if call center companies offer call recording storage options, as this eliminates the need to use a third-party service.
During peak hours, many call centers face the same problem: they don’t have enough agents to cover all calls. For this reason, call centers can’t afford not to have a voicemail feature, which allows callers to leave a verbal message when all agents are busy. As soon as an agent becomes available, they can listen to a caller’s voicemail, and follow up on it.
Top-performing call center software vendors often offer the option to either enable voicemail at all times or during work hours only. Additionally, this type of software usually supports the option of transitioning from a call queue to voicemail. So in case a caller doesn’t want to wait in the queue, they can leave a voicemail and wait for call center agents to get in touch in them when available.
Lastly, the voicemail feature goes hand in hand with a voicemail transcription tool. The tool converts voicemail audio to text files, which allows agents to review the texts at any time—in case they don’t have time to listen to voicemail messages.
Dialer software for call center support is of enormous importance to outbound call centers, especially the predictive dialer system. The system helps improve agents’ efficiency by automatically dialing phone numbers at the right time, typically taking into account a client’s timezone and geographical location. All agents have to do is add phone numbers to the system, which filters out disconnected and busy numbers, as well as voicemails and no-answer calls.
Your call center product should support multi-channel functionality whether your customers want to reach out via Facebook, email, or website chat. Customers want to receive immediate support regardless of the channel they’re using to get in touch with customer service. Taking this into account, omnichannel support has become one of the call center benchmarks.
Call center ticketing software is an efficient way of providing customer self-service, as most help desk ticketing solutions include a knowledge base. Help desk software also gathers customer support requests across different channels—email, chat, SMS, etc.—and stores them in a single location.
Taking into account that different types of organizations have different needs, you should be able to thoroughly customize how your call center software works. The goal of software customization is to simplify the process of scaling up and down, hiring a remote workforce, working while traveling, employing flexible agents, and so on.
We make sure these software providers offer near round-the-clock technical support. We also check the average response rate for customer support issues as well as their average time to close a ticket.
One of the crucial things to keep in mind is that our primary focus is not to recommend cheap call center software only. While budget-friendly solutions are a big plus, we go through all of this research to introduce you to software solutions that have a perfectly balanced, quality price ratio.
We also look for prices that align with industry standards. Anything much lower or higher than the industry standard is not included in our list. Plus, software solutions that offer a free trial or a money-back guarantee get a better spot in our rankings.
With over 18 years of experience, Five9 has established itself as one of the best vendors for this type of software. The company has over 2,000 customers. Their product is designed to fit the needs of every company, however small or big it may be.
Five9 excels at helping businesses deliver a personalized customer experience. This call center platform relies on telephone-computer integration technology for providing on-screen caller info. It uses skills-based routing for transferring calls to the appropriate agent. Five9 allows call center agents to interact with customers across different channels, while some of the many integrations the software supports include Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics, Zendesk, and Salesforce. The platform can also be integrated with the company’s appointment scheduling software, Appointment Plus.
Apart from all of these features, Five9 also offers call center staffing software tools to help companies hire the right number of agents.
Five9 doesn’t offer a list of prices on their website. To learn about its pricing models, you’ll have to contact the vendor.
Zendesk Talk uses cutting-edge technology to help companies run a call center in which making and taking calls happens without a glitch. The software puts no limits on who can use it—small, medium-sized, and large companies can use Zendesk Talk to take their customer support to the next level.
Zendesk provides call center software for voice, text, and email customer-agent interactions. It’s integrated with the Zendesk Support ticketing software, so every call and voicemail is automatically turned into a ticket. Zendesk Talk’s other features include call monitoring and barging, call queue management, call recording, and essential call control tools. Plus, when it comes to call transfers, agents have the option to take a transferred call either from a mobile device or landline.
Zendesk Talk offers a free plan, and four paid plans. The least expensive plan is $9 per agent per month. However, to get the most out of this product, you have to opt for the more expensive plans that support conference calling, extensive reporting tools, and IVR menus.
Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to Zendesk Talk’s call center software pricing is that the total cost of using the software is not calculated based on the plan you choose only. It also includes usage, which takes into account phone numbers, minutes, voicemail transcriptions, and text messages.
This cloud-based software prides itself on offering over 40 advanced call center tools and features. The software supports inbound calling for support teams and outbound calling for sales teams. It also provides customized solutions for e-commerce companies, traders, and brokers.
CloudTalk has a lot to offer when it comes to advanced, yet highly customizable call center features. It supports call queue management, IVR menus, and skills-based routing, among other features.
Users can also purchase toll-free, international, and even five-digit numbers. Additionally, CloudTalk offers intelligent call recording software for call center establishments, automatically storing recordings and allowing users to pause and unpause recordings when necessary.
CloudTalk pricing plans range from $10–$35 per user per month with a yearly subscription. Plus, users can contact the vendor for a custom plan tailored to their needs.
The Starter plan offers some basic features, such as automated call distribution, unlimited calls and queueing, etc. The Essential plan includes everything from the Starter plan, as well as skills-based routing, integrations with other platforms, and an open API.
The Expert and Custom plans allow the most advanced features, which include a Sentiment & CSAT score, a dedicated account manager, and developer support, among other features.
Regardless of a company’s size and industry, LiveAgent software is designed to fit every company’s requirements. Apart from being one of the best small business call center software solutions, LiveAgent is highly flexible and can be easily scaled up and down so that it follows a company’s growth. The quality of the software is also recognized by over 4,500 users who reviewed LiveAgent on different review sites with an average rating of 4.6 stars.
LiveAgent is an easy to use software solution, and setting it up is quite straightforward. Apart from all the features this type of software comes with, LiveAgent also has a special call center agent software feature, called the Ranking feature. Customers can choose whether the agent should be rewarded or rebuked, and the LiveAgent software generates a report based on customer feedback. These reports can be very useful in determining the quality of customer service, as well as in evaluating the performance of each agent in the call center.
There are three plans available, including the Ticket, Ticket + Chat, and All-Inclusive plans. However, only the All-Inclusive plan supports LiveAgent’s call center solution. The price of this plan is $39 per user per month, and it supports all core call center features, etc.
Another option is to purchase a one-time license if you want an on-premise product. The cost of the license is $11,950, while the Enterprise license comes with a custom price tag.
The company refers to its software as the cloud call center in your pocket. The call center application software is packed with call handling and monitoring features to help businesses provide an excellent customer experience. Perfect for small businesses and startups, it helps boost your agents’ and call center’s overall performance.
With a multitude of call center features, Freshcaller is one of the best call center products on the market. The software is equipped with IVR technology, call queue management tools, service-level monitoring, and more. Call center managers can also use call monitoring and barging to check the performance of agents, as well as provide assistance to them if needed. On top of it all, businesses can purchase a number from Freshcaller, including local, vanity, and toll-free numbers.
Freshcaller’s call center software prices range between $19 and $59 per user per month. These prices, however, only include agent licenses, while call charges are billed on top of the selected plan. So even though Freshcaller has a free plan, with call charges attached to it, we can’t classify it as free.
As far as pricing models go, Freshcaller has a monthly and yearly subscription, with the latter offering up to a 20% discount on all plans.
RingCentral has something for everyone. Whether you own a small business or an enterprise, RingCentral can cater to your needs. The provider also offers software products based on the industry and business’s requirements. So if you need cross-team collaboration, an omnichannel call center, retail or healthcare call center software, or to expand your global presence, you can do it all with RingCentral.
RingCentral is an all-in-one solution for call centers. Some of the many features the software supports include customizable routing and IVR rules, excellent reporting tools, and unlimited calls (within the US and Canada). One of the features worth noting is the provider’s call center workforce management software. It allows managers to monitor a single agent or an entire team and, based on their performance, provide coaching where needed.
There are four plans available with RingCentral. The most basic one, the Essential plan, as the name suggests, provides essential call center features, but it lacks quality of service reports, video and audio conferencing, custom app development and deployment, and multi-level auto attendant. These call center software features are available with the next best plan, the Standard plan.
When it comes to integrations with Salesforce and Zendesk, multi-site support, and single sign-on, these features are available with the Premium and Ultimate plans only.
Plus, there’s a difference in the number of toll-free minutes per month, and the number of people per audio or video meeting. The Essential plan supports only 100 minutes, while with the Ultimate plan users can enjoy up to 10000 toll-free minutes and up to 200 people per meeting.
CrazyCall’s online call center software offers some pretty impressive features for both inbound and outbound calling. Regardless of the size of your contact base, CrazyCall is fully equipped to help you handle your call center’s call volume. The call routing system allows businesses to transfer a customer call to the right agent while saving time and improving the quality of customer service at the same time. On top of all that, the software vendor offers pretty competitive prices.
The robust CrazyCall IVR system decreases the time customers spend on hold and helps call center agents limit the time spent on call transfers. When it comes to CrazyCall’s call center tracking software tools, companies have access to a rich library of report templates, a full 13 of them. Call center managers can generate reports based on call monitoring and evaluate how effective call agents are, as well as get insight into the outcome of each call.
Businesses can choose between the Starter, Team, and Professional plans. The differences between plans aren’t too drastic, taking into account the features they include. What the Professional plan has, and the Starter and Team plans don’t are three things: tailored reporting, IP restriction, and unlimited calls to the US and Canada.
On the other hand, when it comes to the number of free minutes available with each call center software plan, there are some big differences. The Starter plan offers 200 free minutes, while with the Professional plan that number sits at 1,250 minutes. For this reason, getting a free trial of the software might be a good idea before selecting one of the plans.
With Agile CRM, businesses can now provide customer support 24/7, which is a huge plus today, as customers want you to help them solve their issues at any time of the day or night. The software comes with an intuitive interface and provides its users with core call center software functionalities.
The software supports various telephony integrations, so you can integrate Agile CRM with VoIP, Twilio, Skype, etc. Agile CRM also has call monitoring features, helping call center managers evaluate an agent’s performance, as well as easily reference calls in case of disputes. When it comes to handling incoming calls, Agile CRM is equipped with a robust call routing system.
When it comes to call center software, free plans are always a good option. The good news is that Agile CRM offers a free plan for up to 10 users. There’s also the Starter plan, which is $8.99 per user per month when billed bi-annually. The Regular plan costs $29.99, while the all-inclusive Enterprise plan is $47.99, again with a bi-annual subscription.
8x8’s cloud platform is designed to fit the needs of both small and medium businesses and enterprises. The software also caters to various industries, which is why it’s often used as government, insurance, retail, and medical call center software.
8x8 software boasts numerous features that help call centers function flawlessly. The Queued Callback feature helps agents manage call queues efficiently, giving callers the option to leave the queue and request a callback. The IVR system allows for calls to be routed to agents that are capable of handling the call and available. Another use of the 8x8 IVR system is to allow self-service by giving customers the information they need.
Apart from the standard call center features, 8x8, in partnership with Teleopti, provides call center scheduling software tools, in addition to forecasting and reporting solutions.
When it comes to 8x8 pricing, the vendor offers two sets of plans: one for small businesses and one for enterprises. Small business plans range from $12 to $110 per user per month. Enterprise plans, on the other hand, start at $25 per user per month and go up to $172 per user per month.
For anyone looking for free call center software, Bitrix24 is currently one of the best options available on the market. The software is available both as an on-premise or cloud solution. It comes with a mobile app for Android and iOS devices, so users can manage their calls on-the-go.
Bitrix24 is a solid option for users looking for free software. It has an IVR system, and it allows for free inbound calls—if we don’t count toll-free numbers. Additionally, the software comes with a detailed call history feature and helps collect a great amount of user data thanks to the built-in CRM functionality. If we ran a quick call center software comparison, Bitrix24 would come out on top based on the feature set it offers with its free version.
When it comes to Bitrix24’s price tag, the software has paid plans for those who want more advanced call center features. There are two special plans, namely CRM+ and Project+, both of which have a monthly fee of $55.20 when billed annually. Apart from the special plans, Bitrix24 also offers two business plans: the Standard and the Professional plan. The Standard plan is categorized as an advanced business tool suite at $79.20 per month, whereas the Professional plan, or the unlimited business tool suite, is priced at $159.20 per month, of course, with a yearly subscription.
Although we’ve finished ranking the software, our work doesn’t stop here. We’re also here to help you decide which software solution to go with. Below, you’ll find our software buying guide, which will help you shortlist and ultimately purchase the perfect software.
The first thing you should do is identify the call center software that doesn’t fit your company size and industry, and scratch it from the list. There are two reasons to do this.
First, different products specialize in different industries. Since you want the software to be a complete match with your business needs, you should look for vendors that cater to your industry. Second, if you own a small business, you shouldn’t be paying for enterprise plans and features you’re likely never to use.
The second thing on your list should be the features you expect to find. When shopping for call center software, review all the features different solutions offer and choose the ones that are, for instance, highly customizable or have multi-level IVR.
Once you do that, select software solutions that support the features your business needs. Then compare these solutions with the ones that you didn’t eliminate during the first step (the ones that cater to your business size and industry).
The final step is to determine your budget. Find the software that matches your budget, and after that, compare these solutions with the software you’ve obtained in Step 2. The call center software that best falls within your budget is the one you should ultimately go with.