Showing 1-20 of 134 products
Vonage Business Solutions is a cloud-based communications solution suitable for small and midsize companies. The solution offers a business phone system that enables businesses to connect their VoIP phone system to internet-enabled... Read more
Zendesk is a cloud-based help desk management solution offering customizable tools to build customer service portal, knowledge base and online communities. The solution offers a customizable front-end portal, live chat features and... Read more
Recent recommendations: 2 recommendations
Designed for organizations of any size, Dialpad Talk is a cloud-based communications platform that allows businesses to access voice, messaging, meetings and video from any computer, smartphone, or tablet. Other key features include... Read more
Talkdesk is a cloud-based call center solution that helps businesses improve customer satisfaction while simultaneously reducing customer support costs. It uses interactive voice response (IVR), automatic call distribution (ACD) and... Read more
Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations
NICE inContact is cloud-based call center software that helps businesses to maximize the quality of leads and minimize the cost of client interaction. The solution comprises many features required to process inbound support requests... Read more
Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations
UJET is a cloud-based call center application that integrates with customer relationship management (CRM) solutions. It offers both voice and chat channels for customers to reach their support agents. Users can connect with agents... Read more
PureCloud by Genesys is an on-premise and cloud-based call center solution for businesses of any size and industry. Key modules include Automatic Call Distribution, Interactive Voice Response, Computer Telephony Integration, Auto Dialer,... Read more
Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations
Service Cloud from SalesForce is a cloud-based customer service management solution that is designed to initiate customer service activities from anywhere. Built on the Salesforce1 Platform, Service Cloud works to centralize and optimize... Read more
Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations
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
Recent recommendations: 3 recommendations
VanillaSoft is a cloud-based sales management solution that combines features for CRM, lead management and telemarketing which helps sales teams in businesses manage their daily operations. VanillaSoft uses a queue-based sorting system... Read more
ChaseData Call Center software offers cloud-based, standalone call center functionality with customer service and support built into the solution. It’s designed for outbound, inbound and blended call center teams. Dialing capabilities... Read more
Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations
Verascape is a cloud-based call center solution that caters to businesses in a variety of industries. Key features include call logging, call recording, a progressive dialer, call scripting, escalation management and voice recognition. Verascape... 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 pull... Read more
XenCALL is a cloud-based call center solution for companies of all sizes in a variety of industries. Key features include automatic call distribution, interactive voice response, auto dialing, scheduling, performance analytics and... Read more
Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations
Balto is a cloud-based call center solution for businesses of all sizes. The solution deploys artificial intelligence to support sales, customer service and collection teams in training reps and analyzing customer issues. Balto listens... Read more
VCC Live is a cloud-based call center solution designed for call and contact centers of all sizes. The solution offers multiple contact center solutions, communication channels and other services. Key functionalities include database... Read more
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
Convoso’s all-in-one contact center platform generates and converts leads faster using multiple communication channels. The cloud-based solution offers multiple dialing modes (predictive/power/preview) along with two-way texting,... Read more
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
eTollFree Predictive Dialer is an integrated cloud-based call center solution for businesses of all sizes. It works as both outbound and inbound call center software with interactive voice response built in. The customizable campaign... Read more
Recent recommendations: 7 recommendations
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
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.
Here are some common functionalities you can expect to find in a typical call center software package:
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.
Applications that automatically dial numbers from a list or at random. There are 3 major types:
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.
These are three standard call control features used by call center supervisors:
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:
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:
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.
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).
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A Graphic of the Top-Rated Call Center Products
FrontRunners uses real reviews from real software users to highlight the top software products for North American small businesses.
Our goal is to help small businesses to make more informed decisions about what software is right for them. That’s why we engineered FrontRunners.
To create this report, we evaluated over 121 Call Center products. Only those with the top scores for Usability and User Recommended made the cut as FrontRunners.
Scores are based on reviews from real software users.
The Different Graphics Show Different Sizes of Vendors
Small and Enterprise refer to the size of the software vendor company—not necessarily the size of customers they serve.
We break vendors into two groups for two reasons: It’s a more equal comparison of products, and software buyers have told us it’s helpful.
To determine who’s Small and who’s Enterprise, we look at how many employees the vendors have. All products in FrontRunners, whether Enterprise or Small, are evaluated using the same process.
Each graphic shows the top 10-15 performers for each the Enterprise and Small vendor categories. You can switch views simply by clicking on the version you’d like to see (above the graphic). You can read more in the full FrontRunners methodology here.
Products Are Scored Based on User Reviews
The gist is that products are scored in two areas—Usability and User Recommended—based on actual user ratings.
To be considered at all, products must have at least 20 reviews published within the previous 18 months, and meet minimum user rating scores. They also have to offer a core set of functionality—for example, automatic call distribution with skills-based routing, CTI, monitor/whisper/barge and call performance management and analytics.
From there, user reviews dictate the Usability and User Recommended scores. Usability is plotted on the x-axis and User Recommended on the y-axis.
You can download the full FrontRunners for Call Center Software report here. It contains individual scorecards for each product on the FrontRunners quadrant.
Check Out Our Additional Resources!
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For more information about FrontRunners, check out the following:
FrontRunners constitute the subjective opinions of individual end-user reviews, ratings, and data applied against a documented methodology; they neither represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by, Software Advice or its affiliates.