Call center phone systems help companies improve the customer experience when clients call for support or sales. Business owners use call center software to take advantage of features, such as interactive voice response (IVR), integrations, and performance analytics. However, contact center services and options differ by provider. We looked at several solutions to uncover services with the best features, prices, and packages.
According to our research, the best call center phone systems are the following:
- Freshdesk Contact Center: Best overall call center software system for small businesses needing affordable software with custom reports and call routing options
- RingCentral: Better for companies wanting workplace optimization tools
- 8×8: An excellent call center solution for industries with strict data security requirements, such as medical providers or financial services
- Zendesk: Well-suited for businesses needing an omnichannel solution
- GoToConnect: Better for companies requiring quick call center software deployment
- CloudTalk: A better option for businesses with an international presence
Freshdesk Contact Center: Best Overall Call Center Phone System
*Rates based on an annual payment. Monthly plans are available for an added cost. Phone numbers cost an extra $1 to $2 per month, and per-minute charges apply.
Freshdesk Contact Center is a cloud-based private branch exchange (PBX) offering modern call center features. It provides several affordable plans, including a free package for an unlimited number of agents. Freshdesk Contact Center comes with call center metrics, notes, and custom greetings. Many companies appreciate the advanced features found on paid plans, such as call queues, call recording, and warm transfer.
The software is less expensive than other call center phone systems, offers a lengthy free trial, and all packages include 24/7 email support. However, companies with a high-volume of incoming calls may prefer a GoToConnect’s plan offering unlimited calling.
Freshdesk Contact Center Features
- Custom reporting: Choose from prebuilt reports or create your own and schedule them to send automatically to your inbox. Reports include conversation analytics, team analytics, and call or agent summaries.
- Supervisor oversight: Ensure you’re meeting service-level expectations by monitoring conversations and barging in when needed. Service-level metrics offer real-time insights, while call monitoring software helps train or assist team members on or after a call.
- Call routing engine: Freshdesk Contact Center offers speech-enabled IVR and automated responses to common questions. Call routing options include team, time, or intent-based call routing. Plus, users can customize their routing for split business hours and holidays.
RingCentral: Best for Call Center Workplace Optimization Tools
*Prices are based on a custom quote.
RingCentral is well-known for its voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) services. However, it also provides equally excellent help desk software. It offers plenty of call center phone system features—from IVR to omnichannel tools. However, it stands out for its workforce optimization features. The admin dashboard enables leaders to plan agents’ schedules, monitor agent performance, and gamify the employee experience.
Additionally, supervisors can provide coaching or feedback in real time or review call details for coaching opportunities. Contact center plans come with voice, video, and team messaging capabilities, and prices are available via a custom quote. For business users wanting to keep their existing VoIP service, consider Freshdesk Contact Center, as it provides three plans with the “Bring Your Own Carrier” (BYOC) feature.
- Intelligent routing: Direct clients to the right agent with skills-based routing and leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to understand incoming messages. RingCentral also supports voicemail routing, allowing callers to receive a timely callback.
- Supervisor tools: Record screens and calls to oversee and help agents. Tools like speech and text analytics let supervisors spot trends and patterns, whereas monitoring evaluation scores allows coaching at just the right time.
- Automation: IVR self-service options let callers get basic information and choose to wait for an agent or receive a callback. Moreover, RingCentral offers call deflection, where callers can select a different communication method with a shorter wait time.
Explore RingCentral features and plans by reading our RingCentral review.
8×8: Best for Call Centers Dealing With Highly Sensitive Data
*Pricing is based on an annual payment. Customers can mix and match plans depending on their specific needs.
8×8 is a unified communications provider offering small business VoIP services and virtual contact center plans. Its low-priced VoIP packages combined with more expensive advanced call center options make it a scalable solution for businesses. 8×8 supports PBX and SIP trunking, so as your needs change, you can mix and match plans to get the most from your budget.
8×8 is known for its comprehensive security measures, including multiple third-party security and compliance certifications, such as HIPAA, Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI), and Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). Thus, companies in the medical and financial industries would benefit the most from these security protocols.
Pricing for 8×8’s call center software starts at $87 per user, per month with an annual payment. Other call center solutions, such as Freshdesk Contact Center and CloudTalk, cost much less per month than 8×8 and feature open APIs that allow users to integrate call center services into existing tools.
- Security: 8×8 provides top-notch security to maintain customer privacy, protect financial information, and safeguard your network. Its fully redundant, geographically diverse data centers are audited using the Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) standards.
- Advanced analytics: View visualizations of the customer journey to find and improve interactions. Speech analytics provide insights about conversations, making it easier to give feedback to agents in real time, or supervisors can send agents conversation highlights with annotated notes.
- Service management options: 8×8 offers service management plans with two, five, or 10 hours of service per month. Services include a dedicated technical point of contact and customer advocate. They’ll help with implementation and number porting.
Check out our 8×8 review to learn more about its all-in-one VoIP services.
Zendesk: Best for Omnichannel Customer Support
*Pricing is based on an annual payment. Monthly plans are available as well. Phone numbers and minutes aren’t included in plan pricing.
Zendesk is a seamless, all-in-one help desk solution with live chat, email services, and an integrated support ticket system. Packages provide call recording, over 1,000 prebuilt apps and integrations, and a unified agent workspace.
It comes with five Twitter handles and up to five WhatsApp numbers, making Zendesk great for companies offering customer service through social media and messaging channels. With pre-set handles, business owners can keep their existing social media feeds for promotions and direct customers to dedicated support options.
Since omnichannel features come with all plans, Zendesk is an affordable solution for multichannel support in contact centers. The channels include Twitter, WhatsApp, email, live chat, Facebook, phone, and website. Prices start at $49 per user, per month with an annual payment. For companies focusing on phone support, consider GoToConnect, which offers unlimited calling and is half the price of Zendesk.
- Help center: All Zendesk plans provide knowledge base functionality, while upper tiers offer multiple help centers and a customer portal. Help desk tools like structured content suggest relevant articles by adding a web widget or mobile software development kits (SDKs).
- Omnichannel: Unlike other call center software, Zendesk provides omnichannel functionality on all plans. Users can personalize live chat and messaging widgets, set up Twitter or Facebook support channels, and install website call buttons.
- Support tickets: Zendesk provides a ticketing system with its call center package. All incoming calls, voicemails, and texts automatically generate a support ticket. Agents can attach files to tickets and view interaction history by pulling up a list of recent tickets from a customer.
GoToConnect: Best for Fast Call Center Software Deployment
*Pricing based on an annual payment for two to 10 users. Monthly plans available for an added cost, and volume discounts are offered.
GoToConnect offers several options for small business communications, such as support center services included on the Premium plan or available as an add-on package. Users enjoy the benefits of a small business phone system combined with CRM integrations, IVR, and real-time performance evaluations.
The support center software also has one of the quickest deployment times, only taking around 24 hours, making it a great option for call centers that want to ramp up as soon as possible. Prices start at $22 per user, per month when paid annually, but call center functionality requires the top-tier plan, which is $39 per user, per month.
Unlike Zendesk, GoToConnect doesn’t provide multichannel customer support options. To incorporate help desk support tickets or interact with customers via social media, consider GoToConnect.
- Real-time call management: With real-time call queue details, supervisors can watch abandoned call rates and hold times and proactively assign calls to agents. The support center comes with a spy feature, allowing supervisors to monitor calls, coach agents via whispering, or take over calls.
- Quick deployment: The installation guides, responsive customer service channels, and drag-and-drop functionality make it easy to set up and deploy your contact center.
- Advanced ring strategies: GoToConnect provides an intuitive drag-and-drop dial plan editor for the auto-attendant. Users customize call routing options and use the “Find me, Follow me” feature for frictionless call routing.
CloudTalk: Best for International Customers & Agents
*Rates are based on annual payment, but month-to-month plans are available.
CloudTalk provides call center software and international numbers in more than 140 countries, whereas Freshdesk Contact Center supports over 90 and RingCentral MVP supports over 100. CloudTalk administrators can route calls to employee phones worldwide and offer local or toll-free numbers to global clients.
The entry-level plan includes unlimited incoming calls and calling between team members. Other popular features include call recording, a real-time client dashboard, and VIP queues on upper-tier plans.
The Starter plan doesn’t include interactive voice response service or skills-based routing. Administrators may prefer the Essential plan to create personalized greetings, transfer calls, and offer callback options to customers.
- International numbers: Add international phone numbers from the administrative dashboard and immediately start using them. Users can configure custom business hours for each phone number and direct calls to any agents, regardless of location.
- Call queues: Set predefined rules, create personalized messages, and add on-hold music for call queues. Administrators can also offer information on the number of people in the queue or the current waiting time.
- Free internal calls: Keep your remote teams connected with agent-to-agent calling using a four-digit extension. Users may also transfer calls to other agents or send them to a call queue using a three-digit extension code.
How We Evaluated Call Center Phone Systems
Upgrading to call center services helps small businesses handle incoming callers efficiently. Call center software is a reliable solution with features essential to contact centers, such as integrations with customer relationship management (CRM) programs and automatic call distribution (ACD). Other providers also offer comprehensive analytics, call monitoring functionalities, and open application programming interfaces (APIs) for custom integrations.
With a score of 4.15 out of 5, Freshdesk Contact Center is our top pick for call center software. It features 99.97% uptime, is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant, and has plenty of features, including IVR, ACD, and performance analytics. Plus, it’s the only service on our list offering a free version. Learn more about Freshdesk Contact Center by signing up for a 21-day free trial of the highest-plan tier.
Click on the tabs to learn how we compared the top call center phone systems:
20% of Overall Score
We explored the affordability of services by checking out the number of plans and their scalability, availability of a free version or free trial, and overall cost per plan.
30% of Overall Score
To find the best solutions, we reviewed various features, such as IVR, ACD, call barge, and monitoring analytics. Moreover, we looked at the uptime and availability of CRM integrations.
30% of Overall Score
We examined plans to find services offering on-hold music, performance evaluations, and speech analytics. Additionally, we checked for HIPAA compliance that most call centers require.
20% of Overall Score
We compared call center providers according to ease of use, popularity, and overall value for the money. Furthermore, we also considered advanced or unique features, such as built-in reports, call recording, and international phone numbers.
Call center phone systems help companies connect with customers using desktop computers, cell phones, or call center phones. It provides features designed to improve customer service and support clients across multiple platforms.
Freshdesk Contact Center offers affordable plans with an advanced routing engine and supervisor controls. The user interface is straightforward and doesn’t have a huge learning curve. Furthermore, all plans include Freddy, the AI answer bot, answering your customers’ basic questions. Find out if Freshdesk Contact Center is suitable for your team by signing up for a 21-day free trial.