Recommendations: Sorts listings by the number of recommendations our advisors have made over the past 30 days. Our advisors assess buyers’ needs for free and only recommend products that meet buyers’ needs. Vendors pay Software Advice for these referrals. Reviews: Sorts listings by the number of user reviews we have published, greatest to least. Sponsored: Sorts listings by software vendors running active bidding campaigns, from the highest to lowest bid. Vendors who have paid for placement have a ‘Visit Website’ button, whereas unpaid vendors have a ‘Learn More’ button. Avg Rating: Sorts listings by overall star rating based on user reviews, highest to lowest. A to Z: Sorts listings by product name from A to Z.
Squaretalk is a cost-effective, scalable, and simple-to-use cloud communications platform that gives your sales and support teams tremendous tools to boost efficiency and productivity.
Your sales and support representatives will ...Read more
Twilio is the worlds leading cloud communication platform that enables you to engage customers across channels - SMS, voice, video, email, WhatsApp and more. Pay-as-you-go APIs allow businesses to scale communications reliably. ...Read more
Genesys Cloud CX creates fluid conversations across digital and voice channels in an easy, all-in-one interface. Designed to provide exceptional experiences for your customers and employees, it deploys quickly, is intuitive to use...Read more
contactSPACE is a cloud-based callcenter solution which helps small to large-sized organizations manage contacts and track agent performance. Its key features include dynamic call adaption, voice recording, call prioritization, ro...Read more
Bitrix24 is a client management solution that provides a platform for businesses to organize and track interactions with potential or existing clients and partners. The software allows users to log and manage client interactions, ...Read more
Cyara's automated CX Assurance platform helps brands to deliver flawless customer experiences with less cost, effort, and risk. Cyara supports the complete CX software development lifecycle, from design to functional and regressio...Read more
XCALLY is an on-premise and cloud-based contact center solution that handles multiple channels including voice, chat, SMS, email, fax and others. It caters to inbound, outbound and blended call centers of all sizes. Primary featur...Read more
LiveAgent is an online Help Desk platform for e-commerce businesses at the small and midsize level. The platform offers live chat application, ticket management, online self-service portals and change and license management, all a...Read more
Newfies-Dialer is a cloud-based voice broadcasting, autodialer and phone survey solution that helps users manage concurrent calls from a centralized location.
Newfies-Dialer features live lead transfer which enables users to ...Read more
DialerAI is a cloud-based and on-premise predictive dialer software, which assists businesses of all sizes with processes related to live call transfer, interactive voice response (IVR) and voice broadcasting. Its key features inc...Read more
Avaya OneCloud UCaaS (formerly (formerly Avaya Aura Contact Center)) is a cloud-based and on-premise call center solution that caters to all businesses across various industries. The solution allows users to offer personalized int...Read more
The PIMS Dialer is flexible, scalable, and secure. It’s a cloud-based application, and the servers are housed in a state-of-the-art facility that’s operated around the clock, delivering extremely reliable uptime. Companies can cus...Read more
Mitel MiContact Center is a hybrid contact center solution that caters to businesses across various industries such as hospitality, healthcare, government, education and service providers. The solution can be accessed via web brow...Read more
Connect First is a cloud-based contact center solution, which provides users various applications such as multi-channel contact management, automated call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), computer telephony in...Read more
Huawei eSpace is a unified communications (UC) solution that can support up to 50,000 users at multiple sites, and offers UC features and secure virtual private network (VPN) connections on mobile devices....Read more
For mid-size and large companies in the Banking, Insurance, and Software industries, OptifiNow provides a Sales Management, Marketing Automation, and CRM system that provides a host of features, including reporting capabilities....Read more
NewVoiceMedia’s tight integration with Salesforce is reflected in its AppExchange 5-star rating and the large number of positive reviews. The solution is designed to work in tandem with Salesforce capabilities and data to deliver ...Read more
Ringio is a cloud-based call center management solution that features a CRM dialer, call routing, analytics and more. It’s used by sales teams in many industries such as healthcare, media, non-profit and banking.
The system c...Read more
CallPro CRM is a cloud-based sales and marketing solution that comprises email marketing, customer relationship management, lead profiling, website tracking, and outbound calling functionalities. It has the ability to build campai...Read more
TrackMyLeads is a cloud-based call tracking and intake management solution. Key features include lead management, internal messaging, call tracking and recording, advertising campaign statistics, and reporting and analytics.
Call center systems share characteristics with both standard business phone systems (also known as PBX systems) and customer service/help desk solutions. At the same time, call center software offers a number of dedicated features for both agents and supervisors that can't be found in other types of business communications solutions.
This buyers guide will cover the major differences and points of overlap between these software categories to help you understand which best fits your needs. We'll also highlight the specific functionality that can only be found in a true call center solution.
Simply put, this is an umbrella term for applications dedicated for use in either a formal or informal call center. The closely related term "contact center software" is in many cases a synonym, but also refers to features used in call centers that handle a number of communication channels in addition to voice (e.g., email, instant messaging, SMS text, social media, and live chat).
Call center software supports the agents whose job it is to assist customers over the phone, or via one of those other channels. It also supports the supervisors who oversee the call center's operations.
Standard features and applications
Here are some common functionalities you can expect to find in a typical call center software package:
The technology underlying the voice menus that allow callers to complete actions over the phone via voice or keypad input.
IVR systems share similarities with auto attendants, but are much more flexible, enabling callers to do things such as paying a bill or checking an account balance.
IVR systems are defining components of inbound call center solutions. Businesses that only need to direct callers to the right extension don't need IVR; a standard business phone system and an auto attendant will suffice.
Enables supervisors to program agent scripts for sales calls and customer service calls. Also allows supervisors to control operational rules for calls and generates fields that feed data from calls into the CRM system.
These are three standard call control features used by call center supervisors:
Monitor allows supervisors to listen in on calls without the agent or caller knowing.
Whisper allows supervisors to coach agents without the other party on the line hearing.
Barge allows supervisors to immediately join the calls they've been monitoring.
How call center software differs from PBX and customer service software
Call center systems are built on the same technology as business phone systems, and offer many of the same features. Additionally, help desk and customer service solutions can be viewed as a specialized category of contact center software.
Call center systems are only appropriate for employees who are working in sales or support teams, though some systems include features for front office employees. Many call center vendors also offer standard phone systems and can deploy both, if needed.
Licenses for call center systems are, on average, significantly more expensive than licenses for standard phone systems.
Help desk and customer service solutions offer "trouble ticketing" functionality, i.e., when a customer contacts support, a ticket is created to help agents track the issue until it's resolved. This functionality can be added to call center systems, but it requires integration with a CRM system.
Help desk and customer service solutions are only appropriate for inbound contact centers. They don't offer features for managing sales campaigns in outbound contact centers.
Similarities and differences between call center, PBX, and customer service software
What type of buyer are you?
We've already seen that there's significant overlap between call center systems, business phone systems, and customer service systems. Different categories of buyers will need different types of solutions:
Small offices needing call queueing can usually make do with a standard business phone system. (See examples here.)
Outbound call centers focusing on sales will need a dedicated call center system such as the examples listed on this page.
Inbound call centers focusing on support can use either:
A call center system integrated with a separate CRM system for trouble ticketing functionality.
A customer service or help desk system with built-in trouble ticketing functionality.
Collections agencies need to work with vendors specializing in deployments for this industry segment. These vendors offer tools to help maximize debt recovery rates and to ensure that call centers operate in compliance with applicable regulations.
Virtual contact centers, i.e., contact centers that rely heavily on remote workers, will need solutions that offer robust mobile apps and softphones.
Market trends to understand
Contact center software has evolved as customers’ expectations and needs have shifted with the rise of mobile devices and social media. The following trends are particularly important to consider when selecting a solution:
Multi-channel contact centers: As more customers seek to engage businesses through other channels than voice (e.g., SMS text, live chat, and email), contact center software has evolved to enable agents to interact via these additional channels. Interactions across all channels in a multi-channel system feed into a unified agent queue.
Social media: Contact center software vendors are increasingly offering modules that allow agents to manage interactions via social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. New analytics tools also help businesses data-mine social media for signs of potential customer issues before phones start ringing.
Virtual queuing/web callback: Traditionally, callers had to wait on hold to maintain their place in an ACD queue. Now, a new technology known as web callback or virtual queueing allows callers to "virtually" hold their place in the queue after they hang up in order to receive a callback later. While this technology has proven popular with consumers, it's still not a standard offering in call center systems. If this is a must-have feature, you'll need to shortlist vendors that offer it.
Speech/text analytics: Call center reporting traditionally focused on metrics such as call length and call abandonment. Now, systems are emerging that can analyze audio data to detect anger, frustration and other emotions in callers' vocal tones. The results of this analysis can be used to identify trends in the performance of agents and the contact center as a whole.
Text analytics is used to scour textual interactions (e.g., emails, SMS text messages, and instant messages) for certain keywords that indicate frustration or satisfaction on the part of the customer. While powerful, these tools are still relatively rare offerings compared to standard applications such as ACD and call recording.