Software Advice helps call centers choose the right call center software so they can distribute inbound calls to agents and execute outbound campaigns. How does it work?

Call Center Software


 
Five9 Cloud Contact Center logo
 
Five9 is used by call centers around the world to manage inbound, outbound, blended or multi-channel contact centers.  It offers IVR with speech recognition, multi-channel ACD, predictive dialer and customer relationship management... Read More
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Five9 is used by call centers around the world to manage inbound, outbound, blended or multi-channel contact centers.  It offers IVR with speech recognition, multi-channel ACD, predictive dialer and customer relationship management... Read More
 
Aspect Zipwire logo
 
Aspect Zipwire delivers cloud call center features in a scalable environment. Its multi-channel inbound and outbound capabilities are a fit for small to enterprise-level organizations, and everything is stored online. Aspect Zipwire’s... Read More
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Aspect Zipwire delivers cloud call center features in a scalable environment. Its multi-channel inbound and outbound capabilities are a fit for small to enterprise-level organizations, and everything is stored online. Aspect Zipwire’s... Read More
 
Nextiva VoIP logo
 
Nextiva's Business VoIP solutions offer telephony services for small businesses with functionality that eliminates the need for a traditional phone system. The packages include VoIP phone systems, scalable PBX trunks, online faxing... Read More
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Nextiva's Business VoIP solutions offer telephony services for small businesses with functionality that eliminates the need for a traditional phone system. The packages include VoIP phone systems, scalable PBX trunks, online faxing... Read More
 
Convoso Cloud Contact Center logo
 
Convoso Cloud Contact Center is a robust, integrated call center solution with a predictive dialer and inbound call support.  This cloud-based solution gives small and midsize businesses a full set of tools and is priced based on... Read More
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Convoso Cloud Contact Center is a robust, integrated call center solution with a predictive dialer and inbound call support.  This cloud-based solution gives small and midsize businesses a full set of tools and is priced based on... Read More
 
ChaseData Call Center logo
 
ChaseData Call Center software offers web-based, standalone call center functionality with customer service and support built into the software. It’s designed for outbound, inbound, and blended call center teams. Dialing capabilities... Read More
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ChaseData Call Center software offers web-based, standalone call center functionality with customer service and support built into the software. It’s designed for outbound, inbound, and blended call center teams. Dialing capabilities... Read More

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RingCentral Contact Center logo
 
Coud communications provider RingCentral has recently expanded into the Call Center space with their Contact Center solution. The suite is powered by inContact and offers Automatic Call Distribution, Interactive Voice Response, CTI,... Read More
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Coud communications provider RingCentral has recently expanded into the Call Center space with their Contact Center solution. The suite is powered by inContact and offers Automatic Call Distribution, Interactive Voice Response, CTI,... Read More
 
Desk.com logo
 
Created for customer service professionals, Desk.com is a customer support engine for rapidly-growing companies. The system integrates with Salesforce, and contains a variety of reporting features that aim to help administrators make... Read More
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Created for customer service professionals, Desk.com is a customer support engine for rapidly-growing companies. The system integrates with Salesforce, and contains a variety of reporting features that aim to help administrators make... Read More
 
Oracle Contact Center Anywhere logo
 
Oracle Contact Center Anywhere Software provides a call center system with a host of features that include call queuing, call routing, as well as callback requests including email, online chat and web callback. Calls can be routed... Read More
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Oracle Contact Center Anywhere Software provides a call center system with a host of features that include call queuing, call routing, as well as callback requests including email, online chat and web callback. Calls can be routed... Read More
 
VanillaSoft Pro logo
 
VanillaSoft is a powerful sales management software designed for inside sales teams. This solution combines important features for CRM, lead management and telemarketing in an easy-to-use, simple solution that can be accessed from... Read More
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VanillaSoft is a powerful sales management software designed for inside sales teams. This solution combines important features for CRM, lead management and telemarketing in an easy-to-use, simple solution that can be accessed from... Read More
 
PIMS Dialer logo
 
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... Read More
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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... Read More

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PureCloud logo
 
PureCloud by Genesys is a call center solution for businesses of any size and in any industry. Among its modules are Automatic Call Distribution, Interactive Voice Response, Computer Telephony Integration, Auto Dialer, a mobile call... Read More
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PureCloud by Genesys is a call center solution for businesses of any size and in any industry. Among its modules are Automatic Call Distribution, Interactive Voice Response, Computer Telephony Integration, Auto Dialer, a mobile call... Read More
 
Freshdesk logo
 
Offering multi-channel customer support, Freshdesk brings together every customer conversation into a centralized interface, helping customer support agents address and resolve trouble tickets. Whether the interaction occurs over... Read More
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Offering multi-channel customer support, Freshdesk brings together every customer conversation into a centralized interface, helping customer support agents address and resolve trouble tickets. Whether the interaction occurs over... Read More
 
Newfies-Dialer logo
 
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 pull... Read More
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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 pull... Read More
 
CrazyCall logo
 
CrazyCall is a cloud-based call center software solution. Key features include live analytics reporting, an agent panel, workforce management and a dialer that matches agents with leads. CrazyCall’s agent panel automates dialing... Read More
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CrazyCall is a cloud-based call center software solution. Key features include live analytics reporting, an agent panel, workforce management and a dialer that matches agents with leads. CrazyCall’s agent panel automates dialing... Read More
 
inContact Cloud Contact Center logo
 
inContact is a SaaS-based call center software that helps businesses to maximizes the quality of leads and minimizes the cost of client interaction. The solution comprises of many features required to process inbound support requests... Read More
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inContact is a SaaS-based call center software that helps businesses to maximizes the quality of leads and minimizes the cost of client interaction. The solution comprises of many features required to process inbound support requests... Read More

Call us for a free FastStart Consultation: +35 376 680 1856


 
Connect First Call Center logo
 
Connect First is a Web-based contact center solution designed for companies of all sizes. It delivers multi-channel contact management, automated call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), computer telephony integration... Read More
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Connect First is a Web-based contact center solution designed for companies of all sizes. It delivers multi-channel contact management, automated call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), computer telephony integration... Read More
 
ContactWorld for Sales by NewVoiceMedia logo
 
ContactWorld for Sales is a Web-based contact center solution for organizations of all sizes and industries. The software provides integration with Salesforce, which enables agents to directly work in the Salesforce user interface.... Read More
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ContactWorld for Sales is a Web-based contact center solution for organizations of all sizes and industries. The software provides integration with Salesforce, which enables agents to directly work in the Salesforce user interface.... Read More
 
X5 Cloud Contact Center logo
 
X5 Cloud Contact Center developed by Ytel is used by various SMB call center companies and businesses with dedicated phone support teams. This solution offers an integrated call center suite with features including automated call... Read More
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X5 Cloud Contact Center developed by Ytel is used by various SMB call center companies and businesses with dedicated phone support teams. This solution offers an integrated call center suite with features including automated call... Read More
 
Streams UC logo
 
Streams UC is a cloud-based call center solution created by PanTerra. Users can manage and monitor inbound calls from any device with an internet connection, giving call center employees the ability to telecommute. Call center seats... Read More
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Streams UC is a cloud-based call center solution created by PanTerra. Users can manage and monitor inbound calls from any device with an internet connection, giving call center employees the ability to telecommute. Call center seats... Read More
 
Cloud Contact Center logo
 
Cloud Contact Center, by Telax Voice Solutions, is a call center management solution designed for SMB companies in various industries. Government agencies, retail, energy, healthcare, insurance, professional services, engineering,... Read More
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Cloud Contact Center, by Telax Voice Solutions, is a call center management solution designed for SMB companies in various industries. Government agencies, retail, energy, healthcare, insurance, professional services, engineering,... Read More
 

FrontRunners for Call Center, May 2017

Powered by Gartner Methodology

What Is the FrontRunners Quadrant?

A Graphic of the Top-Performing Call Center Products

FrontRunners quadrants highlight the top software products for North American small businesses. All products in the quadrant are top performers. Small businesses can use FrontRunners to make more informed decisions about what software is right for them.

To create this quadrant, we evaluated over 240 Call Center products. Those with the top scores for their capability and value made the quadrant.

Scores are based largely on reviews from real software users, along with other product performance details (e.g., what features they offer, how many customers they have).

Is One Quadrant Better Than the Others?

Nope, Products in Any Quadrant May Fit Your Needs

Every product in this quadrant offers a balance of capability (how much the products can do) and value (whether they’re worth their price/cost) that makes them stand out in the race for small business software success.

FrontRunners has four sub-quadrants:

  • Upper Right = Leaders: Leaders are all-around strong products. They offer a wide range of functionality to a wide range of customers. These products are considered highly valuable by customers.
  •  
  • Upper Left = Masters: Masters may focus more heavily on certain key features or market segments than Leaders do. If you need a more specialized set of functionality without bells and whistles, then a product in the Masters quadrant might be right for you.
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  • Lower Right = Pacesetters: Pacesetters may offer a strong set of features, but are not rated as highly on value. For example, a Pacesetter might offer greater functionality, but cost more.
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  • Lower Left = Contenders: Contenders may focus on a more specialized set of capabilities that are priced at a higher point. This makes them ideal for companies willing to pay more for specific features that meet their unique needs.

Depending on the specific needs of a software buyer, a product in any of these sub-quadrants could be a good fit.

Why? To even be considered for this FrontRunners, a product had to meet a minimum user rating score of 3.8 for both capability and value. This means that all products that qualify as FrontRunners are top-performing products in their market. They appear in the quadrant in relation to how their peers performed.

For some buyers, a specific FrontRunners quadrant might be best. For example, a number of vendors in the Leaders and Masters quadrants offer a full range of Call Center applications, including workforce management/agent scheduling modules. Additionally, a number of these vendors offer industry-specific functionality, such as vertical dialing for collection agencies.

Many vendors in the Pacesetters and Contenders quadrants, on the other hand, offer scaled-down suites that are more appropriate for first-time buyers and small contact centers.

You can download the full FrontRunners for Call Center report here. It contains individual scorecards for each product on the Frontrunners quadrant.

How Are FrontRunners Products Selected?

Products Are Scored Based on User Reviews and Other Data

You can find the full FrontRunners methodology here, but the gist is that products are scored in two areas, Capability and Value.

To be considered at all, products must have at least 10 reviews and meet minimum user rating scores. They also have to offer a core set of functionality—for example, skills-based routing and computer-telephony integration (CTI).

From there, user reviews and other product performance details, such as the product's customer base and the features it offers, dictate the Capability and Value scores. Capability is plotted on the x-axis, and Value is plotted on the y-axis.

Got It. But What if I Have More Questions?

Check Out Our Additional Resources!

For more information about FrontRunners, check out the following:

  • Check out the "FrontRunners FAQ for Technology Providers," linked at the top of this page, for more detailed answers and information about how it works.
  •  
  • Check out the complete FrontRunners methodology to understand the scoring.

Have questions about how to choose the right product for you? You’re in luck! Every day, our team of advisors provides (free) customized shortlists of products to hundreds of small businesses.

  • Simply take this short questionnaire to help us match you with products that meet your specific needs.
  •  
  • Or, talk to one of our experienced software advisors about your needs—it’s quick, free, and there’s no-obligation—by calling (844) 687-6771.

One Last Thing—How Do I Reference FrontRunners?

Just Follow Our External Usage Guidelines

Check out the FrontRunners External Usage Guidelines when referencing FrontRunners content. Except in digital media with character limitations, the following disclaimer MUST appear with any/all FrontRunners reference(s) and graphic use:

FrontRunners scores and graphics are derived from individual end-user reviews based on their own experiences, vendor-supplied information and publicly available product information; they do not represent the views of Gartner or its affiliates.

Runners Up

Providers listed as Runners Up were considered for inclusion in the quadrant, but were ultimately not included for one or more reasons: they did not have enough reviews; they did not meet the reviews score minimum; they did not meet the ultimate Value and Capability minimum scores; or they did not meet our functionality requirements for the market.

Aavaz
ActiveDEMAND
AddSource
Adobe Connect
Advisor
AgentDialer
Aircall
AireContact
Aspect Zipwire
AT&T Connect
AuguTech
Autodialer
Autom8 Enterprise
Automatic Call Recording
Avatar Dialler
BroadcastByPhone
Business Voice
Business VoiceEdge
bxp software
C-Zentrix Contact Center
Calabrio Call Recording
Calabrio One Suite
Calibre
Call Center Dialer
Call SWEET! Worx
Callcap
CallCenterNOW
CallFire Cloud Call Center
CallFire Hosted IVR
CallFire Voice Broadcast
CallHub
Callmaker
CALLN
CallPro CRM
CallScripter Synergy
CallShaper
CallTools
CallTrackingMetrics
CASH+ Call Recording Software
Centcom
Cincom Synchrony
Cisco Call Center
Cisco Unified Communications Manager
Clarity Connect
ClarityTel Business VoIP Solutions
Click2Coach
Clicktools
Cloud Predictive Dialer by 3CLogic
Cloud Predictive Dialer by LeadsRain
Cloud Predictive Dialer by SafeSoft Solutions
Cloud-Based Predictive Dialer
CloudCall
Connect First
ContactPro Hosted Dialler
contactSPACE
Convirza
Crazy Call
CXM
CyCC
Desk.com
Dezide
DialersPro Predictive Dialer
DialogTech
DialogTech Call Tracking
Digium Switchvox
Dolphin Pro
Easycall Cloud
eTollFree Predictive Dialer
Evolve IP Phone System
Exelysis Contact Center
EZTalks
Fenero
Focus Contact Center
Fonality
Freshdesk
FreshOffice
FrontSpin
Fuze
Genesis Communications
Genesys
Hello Hunter
Helpshift
Highfive
HoduCC
Hosted Predictive Dialer
Hot Prospector
IBM Sametime
ICTBroadcast
inConcert Allegro
inContact IVR Software
iNexus
Intellicon
InterDialog UCCS
InVision Enterprise WFM
Invoca
IP Phone System
Irene
itPBX
iuvoDesk Help Desk
IVR Studio
IVR with Speech Recognition
KANA Express
KiteDesk
KPS Knowledge Management Software
KronoDesk
LiveAgent
LiveOps
LiveVox
Lunar CRM
Marketing 360
Megacall
Metaphor Contact Center
MiContact Center
Microsoft Dynamics CRM
MightyCall
Mikogo
MiVoice
MyOwnConference
nanoRep
Nectar Desk
NetVanta 7100
Newfies-Dialer
NewVoiceMedia
neXorce
Nixxis Contact Suite
Noble Solution Suite
OneContact CC
OnSIP Hosted VoIP
Ooma Office
OptifiNow Sales Process Automation
Oracle Contact Center Anywhere
Oracle Right Now
Oracle Service Cloud
Oreka TR
OXON
PanTerra Unified Cloud Services
PARTH
Phone.com
PhoneBurner
PhoneCall
PhoneWagon
PICS
PIMS Dialer
Plum
PREDICTIVE DIALER by Five9
Predictive Dialer by Innitel
Predictive Dialer by interCloud9
Predictive dialer PBX
Predictive Dilaer
PrimoDialler
ProcedureFlow
Profile Watchdog
PureCloud Engage
QueueMetrics
ReadyTalk
RECITE
Restaurant Call Center
Ricochet
Ringio
Ringostat
SalesExec
Salesforce.com Service Cloud
Scorebuddy
SendHub
Sideline
simplyCT All-in-One Virtual Call Center
Skype
Slingshot VoIP
Solgari
SonicView
SpeechLog Recording System
SpiceCSM
SpitFire
Storacall
SYNTHESYS
SysAid
T-Max Predictive Dialer
Talkdesk
TelePacific Hosted PBX
Tenfold Sales Dialer
Tentacle Cloud
Thinking Phones
TouchStar Dialler
TrueERP
Ubicentrex
UiPath
UniVoIP
UniVoIP - VoIP
Upcall
VanillaSoft Sales CRM Software
VanillaSoft Telephony Solutions
VHT Callback
Virtual Office by 8x8
Virtual PBX
Vivocha
VoApps
Voice Broadcasting
VoiceGuide IVR
Voiptime Cloud
Vontio
VSLogger Call Recorder
WhatConverts
Whisbi
WinBill
Windstream Virtual PBX VoIP
X5 Cloud Contact Center
Xen Call Call Center Suite
Xperience
Xtreme Locator
Yonyx
Ytel
Zendesk
Zent.io
Zingtree
Zoiper

Buyer's Guide

by Justin Guinn,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: July 24, 2017


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 buyer’s 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.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Call Center Software?
Standard Features and Applications
How Call Center Software Differs From PBX and Customer Service Software
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Market Trends to Understand
Recent Events You Should Know About

What Is Call Center Software?

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:

five9


Agent Desktop Interface in Five9

Automatic Call Distribution (ACD)

Parks incoming calls in a queue, where callers wait until an agent is available.

Most call center systems are capable of a special mode of ACD known as skills-based routing, which distributes calls to agents based on rules that factor in agent skills and performance metrics.

Simpler modes of ACD can be found in standard business phone systems.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

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 like 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.

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)

A jargon term for integrations between phone systems and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. CTI integrations add features both to CRM systems and call center systems.

CRM systems gain click-to-dial functionality, where agents click on a customer’s phone number in a database of contacts to dial out.

Contact center systems gain “screen pop” (screen population) functionality, or displays that instantly appear on contact center agents’ screens when they receive an inbound call.

Screen pops pull data about the inbound caller from the CRM system to help the agent better manage the interaction.

Auto dialers

Applications that automatically dial numbers from a list or at random. There are 3 major types:

  • Progressive dialers automatically dial a new number when an agent becomes available.
  • Predictive dialers dial multiple phone numbers at once and distribute the answered calls to agents based on availability and wait time.
  • Preview dialers are progressive dialers that allow agents to see details about the upcoming call in the dialing list and choose to accept or reject it.
Workforce scheduling

Enables forecasting of staffing requirements based on historical data.

Performance analytics and reporting

Captures and analyzes information about agent interactions (frequently via integration with a call recording application for easy retrieval of problem calls).

This information is fed into agent scorecards and reports on team-wide statistics such as abandonment rate and average time in queue.

Call center scripting

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.

Monitor/whisper/barge

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.

Here are the major differences:

  • Standard business phone service providers don’t offer applications such as IVR, dialers and skills-based routing.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.)
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  • Outbound call centers focusing on sales will need a dedicated call center system such as the examples listed on this page.
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  • 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.
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  • Virtual contact centers, i.e. contact centers that rely heavily on remote workers, will need solutions that offer robust mobile apps and softphones.
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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.

Recent Events You Should Know About

Avaya Inc. Files for Chapter 11. Continuing in its struggle to shed the company’s hardware division, call center IT stalwart Avaya Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2016. The company was facing a mountainous debt reaching $6.3 billion.

Genesys acquires Interactive Intelligence. In a move to improve and expand its omnichannel communications and customer experience solutions portfolio, contact center company Genesys acquired Interactive Intelligence for $1.4 billion in December 2016.

BroadSoft Ranks as Visionary in Contact Center as a Service Magic Quadrant. For the second year in a row cloud contact center provider BroadSoft has been recognized as a Visionary in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS).

How it Works

We match organizations with software that meets their needs.

Our service is simple and 100% free to customers like you because software vendors pay us when we connect them with quality leads. You save time and get great advice. Vendors get great referrals. It's a win for everyone!

Call now for advice: +35 376 680 1856
Software Advice Advisors
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