Call centers have had to update their communication technologies to keep up with the information age. With the advent of the Internet, more call centers are moving from on-premises data storage to a cloud-based data management and routing model.

Call center software is designed to streamline customer relations management (CRM) with new features and applications. Upgrading a company’s call center software can help with customer and agent communication.

Top 10 Best Rated Call Center Software

8x8 operates in more than 150 countries, serving some 40,000 customers worldwide. The company's range of business services includes a cloud-based contact center that can improve customer experiences and relationships.
RingCentral offers a free trial to give businesses a chance to try before they buy their next phone system. The service uses integrated communications via an app to bring mobile devices into the communications hub.

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What features matter most?

Features

Most call center software comes with a host of features to maximize employee efficiency and customer contact. Unique features are often the first aspect to consider when making a decision about which call center software to purchase.

  • Autodialing: Call center software, especially software designed for sales teams, is capable of automatic dialing. This feature frees agents from tedious tasks to give them more time with customers. Some software companies even have predictive dialing features that seek out new potential customers based on available data.
  • Routing optimization: Many call center software programs have built in algorithms to connect customers with the agent most suited to customer’s needs. By setting up automatic queues for agents, automatic routing ensures that agents do not waste time transferring calls.
  • User interface: Agents in call centers are often required to multitask, and a crowded interface can hamper productivity. Depending on the company’s needs, a simpler, more streamlined interface may be a priority when selecting new call center software.
  • Application integration: Most call centers already use a host of applications for agents to contact customers along with applications required for office management and communication. Some call center software companies develop their products with application integration in mind. Application integration allows call center agents to keep using communication tools they are already familiar with instead of learning new software.
  • Analytics and data: Call center software often keeps track of data so managers can monitor productivity in real time. This data can be useful when evaluating team performance and customer satisfaction.

Current call center type

Knowing where the company’s call center keeps its information is key when adopting new software. A company that hosts the call center software on its premises may have a harder time adopting new software designed for cloud-based implementation.

  • On-premises call centers: Older call center systems are localized to the premises of the business. Often necessitating local storage space for data, most on-premises call centers are being phased out with cloud-based technologies, and upgrading an on-premises system may be costly and tedious. A benefit of on-premises call center software, however, is that consumers do not have to pay subscription fees.
  • Cloud-based call centers: Cloud-based call centers have their software hosted in the cloud, so they do not require on-site data storage for all of their software. This makes the call center more adaptable and easier to install. Using cloud-based call center software frees up company storage space and allows for easier, more centralized data management. Usually, these services require a subscription.
  • Hybrid call centers: Most call centers that host some of their software on premises and some in the cloud are in the midst of moving toward a cloud-based platform. A company looking to upgrade from their on-premises call center to a cloud-based system may want to implement a hybrid system to make the transition smoother.

Customer service options

One of the most important functions of call center software is customer support. Some software developers have worked to improve customer satisfaction and improve relationships between agents and customers.

  • Customer profiles: For teams in sales or customer service that want to emphasize one-on-one relationships with customers, software that allows for creating customer profiles can help foster agent/customer relations and improve customer satisfaction.
  • Customer-preferred communication options: Because customers have their own preferred means of communication, call center software sometimes integrates email, social media messages and video chat. This way, agents can communicate with customers through the channels the customers feel most comfortable using.
  • Customer self-service: Some call center software allows consumers to create means that allow customers to help themselves. Integrated voice recognition (IVR) allows consumers to consult automated voice messages, and pre-programmed text and social media message responses allow customers to troubleshoot simple problems without the aid of an agent.

Consumer assurance

Software is an expensive investment in terms of both money and time for training and installation. For this reason, companies often allow consumers to try their programs for free or offer information to make sure their product is right for the consumer.

  • Timed trials: It often takes time for users to become familiar with software. Therefore, call center software companies often allow for free timed trials of their products to make sure it’s a good fit for the company.
  • Online demos: Potential customers can sign up for online demos of call center software. These demos are often videos detailing the features and functions of the software.
  • Successful case studies: Many websites offer case studies of companies that have improved through successful implementation of call center software. These case studies are comprehensive and free to view.

User support

Even after a trial or demo, a consumer may still need help with the call center software. For this reason, many companies offer online webinars and tutorials to help consumers get to know the software and troubleshoot it if necessary.

  • Webinars: A few company websites offer free webinars for users. These presentations often show how to use the call center software in inventive ways to increase productivity.
  • Tutorials: Some websites offer tutorials, either as PDF documents or videos, for reference. These are usually free and available to current or potential consumers.
  • Live chat: Companies selling call center software tend to make themselves available to consumers with questions. Many websites offer live chat for customer support and troubleshooting.

Pricing

Different companies have different pricing models, but the standard trend is to charge the consumer a rate proportional to the number of agents using it. In other words, most call center software is priced per user. Flexibility varies across companies, and there are often options to consider when shopping for the right price.

  • Plan options: Some call center software is better suited for sales teams while other software is more useful for customer support. There are programs that are suited to both, but knowing whether a company deals with more incoming or outgoing calls can be helpful when evaluating which software to use.
  • Contracts: Certain call center software companies may require a business to sign a contract. The length of these contracts differs across companies. There are also certain call center software producers that do not require contracts at all and can be paid on a monthly basis with no long-term commitment.

What are different types of call center software?

Inbound

Inbound call center software routes customer calls to agents and manages queues of customers waiting for help. In general, inbound software is most useful for customer service teams who troubleshoot problems or answer questions.

Outbound

Outbound call center software manages dialing to potential or current customers. Outbound software often employs automatic dialers to minimize tedious tasks for agents so they can devote more time to customer communication. Outbound call center software is generally best for sales teams and other customer outreach agents.

Blended

Call center software that monitors both incoming and outgoing calls is called blended software. If a contact center is dialing out as often as it is receiving calls, consumers may want to consider blended call center software.

Who's it for?

Customer service teams

Call center software is designed for agents to connect with and service costumers. A company looking to upgrade their customer service team’s productivity may need to look into newer call center software.

Sales departments

Call center software makes sales easier by automating dialing processes and connecting to customers through various apps and social media services.

Team managers

With many programs that monitor contact center data, call center software makes it easier for managers to evaluate employee performance and identify trends in sales and customer service.

Multitaskers

Agents in call centers often need to work with multiple apps, and upgraded call center software streamlines many of these process. Omnichannel app integration creates a central hub for all the programs call center agents use, helping the team operate at peak efficiency.

Company reviews

  • Talkdesk

    Talkdesk is a world-leading developer and distributor of cloud-based call center software.

    • Best for Talkdesk is best for businesses looking for a cloud-based call center software designed to be easy to use.

  • VanillaSoft

    VanillaSoft is an industry leader in software built for sales by phone.

    • Best for VanillaSoft is best for call centers wanting simple software meant to improve sales.

  • Five9

    Five9 is a provider of cloud-based contact center with an emphasis on integration.

    • Best for Five9 is best for companies looking to update their premise-based call center software and move it to the cloud.

  • Promero

    Promero has been a business consultant and a provider of call center solutions since 2001.

    • Best for Promero is best for consumers who want to compare call center software solutions to find the best product to fit their needs.

  • inContact

    inContact is a developer of cloud-based call center software meant to help organizations meet their customer service goals.

    • Best for inContact is best for companies who are looking for call center software and telecommunications service.

  • Vocalcom

    Vocalcom is a contact center software company that uses cloud-based technology and omnichannel management to meet customer needs.

    • Best for Vocalcom is best for companies attempting to streamline and improve customer service.

  • Voicent

    Voicent is a developer and seller of affordable, easy-to-use communication solutions.

    • Best for Voicent is best for smaller companies that want to improve sustainability and efficiency by using software mostly available for larger businesses.

  • Aspect

    Aspect is a developer of on-premises and cloud-based communication software.

    • Best for Aspect is best for company’s looking to improve workforce efficiency through automated messaging and customer self-service.

  • Nextiva

    Nextiva is a developer of cloud-based call center software designed to improve customer relations and workplace communication.

    • Best for Nextiva is best for companies wanting to improve inter-office communication and customer support.

  • Aircall

    Aircall provides cloud-based phone systems and call center solutions designed for support teams.

    • Best for Aircall is best for small businesses or remote teams working in offices abroad.

11 – 12 Best Rated Call Center Software