This article is part of a larger series on VoIP.
The best cloud contact center providers offer a comprehensive suite of communication tools, including call recording, inbound and outbound calling, and interactive voice response (IVR). Most solutions provide voice, chat, email, and messaging support, but not all providers have transparent pricing on their websites. Based on our expert evaluation, here are the top cloud contact center software providers for different business needs and budgets:
- Nextiva Contact Center: Best overall cloud contact center
- RingCentral Contact Center: Best for extensive digital channel support
- Vonage Contact Center: Best for customer relationship management (CRM) phone system integration
- Talkdesk: Best for industry-specific cloud contact center packages
- 8×8 Contact Center: Best for team monitoring features
- NICE CXone: Best for call and contact center reporting
- Zoom Contact Center: Best for video engagement
Best Cloud Contact Center Providers at a Glance
Cloud Contact Center Software Provider
Monthly Starting Price (per User)*
Customized pricing; approximately $50
4.33 out of 5
Customized pricing; approximately $150
4.22 out of 5
4.18 out of 5
4.16 out of 5
4.14 out of 5
Customized pricing; approximately $100
4.08 out of 5
Customized pricing; plan add-ons start at $60 per year
4.05 out of 5
*Some providers offer custom pricing, and rates are not published on their websites. The pricing indicated is based on our research and industry reports.
Not what you’re looking for? Check out our business phone systems guide to determine which option is aligned with your needs.
Nextiva Contact Center: Best Overall Cloud Contact Center
Nextiva Contact Center is our top pick for the best cloud contact center for small businesses because of its native team collaboration feature set and affordability. Its Cospace app for team collaboration comes with video conferencing, team chat, and centralized file sharing. It has customized or template-based conversational artificial intelligence (AI) for efficient customer engagement.
Nextiva provides call recording, workforce and quality management, and customer sentiment identification. These tools help ensure your contact center operates optimally, improving customer service and client satisfaction. Its four plans offer distinct packages, making it easier for small businesses to identify which package suits their needs. Small teams looking for voice and digital engagement will find the Premium plan’s offering adequate.
Nextiva Contact Center is excellent for small teams needing an omnichannel contact center with unified communications as a service (UCaaS) features like team meetings and calendaring. However, Nextiva’s contact center and phone system packages require separate subscriptions. If you’re looking for an all-in plan, RingCentral Contact Center subscriptions integrate unified communications (UC) capabilities, giving you a single but powerful communication platform.
Nextiva Contact Center Features
- Quality monitoring: Improve your customer’s call experience with real-time monitoring, so supervisors can step in and assist struggling agents. Monitoring insights helps identify performance gaps or strengths.
- IVR: Use interactive voice response (IVR), an automated call handling and messaging tool that answers incoming customer calls using a touch-tone keypad or speech recognition to navigate the menu.
- Call recording: Listen to calls between agents and customers, which can be reviewed later for efficiency and settling support disputes.
Want to learn more about the best contact center? Read our Nextiva Contact Center review and explore everything you need to know, from pricing and features to alternative providers.
RingCentral Contact Center: Best for Extensive Digital Channel Support
RingCentral Contact Center is an omnichannel solution that allows customers to choose from various communication channels, ensuring contacting your business is never an inconvenience. Interact with your customers via voice, chat, email, and over 30 digital channels, including popular messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. You can also receive and sort interactions from social media networks, such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.
RingCentral is on our list of best voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) for small business needs. Its contact center plans provide access to RingCentral MVP, a robust phone system integrating video conferencing, team chat, and voice calling. It’s a cloud phone system offering advanced features like call delegation, call park, and hot desking. Use features like call monitoring to speed up issue resolution and ensure your contact center’s efficiency and effectiveness.
Unfortunately, RingCentral does not publish its rates on its website, and based on research, it appears to have one of the more expensive packages on this list. If you need a simpler, more affordable option, consider Zoom and Nextiva. Both offer omnichannel support and are generally more budget-friendly.
RingCentral Contact Center Features
- Team messaging: Collaborate with colleagues easily using RingCentral’s team messaging. This tool lets you chat, share files and links, and set up virtual meeting rooms for quick conversations or meetings.
- Outbound voice: Optimize your outreach strategy and initiate conversations with quality leads or customers with concerns.
- Skills-based routing: Match the agent with the most relevant skill set with each of your customers. This is more deliberate and efficient than routing clients to any available agent.
Found RingCentral interesting? Browse our comprehensive RingCentral Contact Center review to learn more about this provider.
Vonage Contact Center: Best for CRM Phone System Integration
When it comes to cloud-based contact center platforms for seamless CRM integrations, Vonage wins because of its ready-to-use integration with popular platforms like Salesforce and Zendesk. Vonage and Salesforce’s integration provides agents with real-time, updated customer data to deliver personalized support. This integration lets agents customize their screens with the right tools and data and use the available data to steer conversations toward resolution.
Vonage’s click-to-call feature allows agents to auto-dial any number with a single click, which is ideal for businesses using web-based CRM systems. Like its voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) solutions, Vonage Contact Center offers a la carte contact center plans, allowing you more control over the features you’re using and paying for. Unfortunately, it has limited artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. Choose Nextiva for robust conversational AI and self-service capabilities for high call volumes.
Vonage Contact Center Features
- Call continuity: Vonage detects when phone connectivity is lost and automatically directs calls to a backup number (U.S. or Canada).
- Receptionist console: This add-on tool, only available on the Vonage desktop app, helps businesses handle large daily call volumes. User extensions tied to this console can handle up to 50 concurrent calls.
- Note-taking: Control call recording allows your supervisors to listen and pause call recordings to take notes. Notes are flagged in the progress bar and time-stamped for reference.
Read our comprehensive Vonage Contact Center review and learn about this provider’s general and niche features, pricing, and best use cases.
Talkdesk: Best for Industry-specific Cloud Contact Center Packages
Talkdesk is best for businesses looking for a contact center designed for the unique needs of specific industries, mainly banking, insurance, healthcare, and retail. Its cloud offerings for the said industries deliver a personalized customer experience based on your sector. For example, insurance companies can access built-in policy administration and claims management system integrations, making claims processing more efficient for agents.
Industry addition includes a total of two add-on packages. Businesses can choose two of these four options: workforce management, customer experience analytics, agent assist, and proactive outbound engagement. All experience cloud industry editions also come with a 100% uptime service level agreement (SLA), guaranteeing you are online and available at all times.
While Talkdesk is a great platform, there are reports of glitches in CRM integrations. If you’re looking for robust third-party integrations, RingCentral is for you. This UC platform integrates with over 200 applications, ending tedious app switching and communication silos.
- Real-time dashboard: Talkdesk Live’s dashboards offer a live view of contact center performance against key metrics. Identify areas for coaching and customer satisfaction insights quickly.
- Proactive outbound engagement: Use Talkdesk’s outbound products, like preview and power dialing, for efficient client outreach.
- Feedback: Create and deploy surveys on different channels to generate customer feedback. This helps businesses make informed decisions and discover opportunities for higher customer satisfaction.
Learn about Talkdesk’s robust call management capabilities and third-party business tools in our comprehensive Talkdesk review. It discusses the strengths and challenges of using the platform so you can decide if it’s right for you.
8×8 Contact Center: Best for Team Monitoring Features
8×8 Contact Center wins over other cloud contact center providers when it comes to agent monitoring because all plans come with monitor, whisper, and barge features. These are great tools that help supervisors and managers monitor agent conversations. 8×8’s supervisor analytics tools also provide coaches and managers with real-time call activity for selected ring groups and call queues. Identify key trends and data to optimize your communication channels.
Supervisor tools are integral to ensuring the quality of customer service, agent productivity, and team coaching. 8×8 Contact Center software is excellent for daily calls, text messages, and video conferencing. It’s a feature-rich solution that supports external and internal conversations. 8×8’s base plan has robust call management tools like multi-level auto-attendant, unlimited internet fax, and unlimited extension-to-extension calling.
While 8×8 Contact Center supports omnichannel support and enhanced agent performance through extensive analytics and team messaging, its third-party integration isn’t as robust as other providers. Small businesses looking for a platform compatible with popular CRM platforms and productivity software are better off with RingCentral. Check out our guide to learn more about RingCentral’s top integrations.
8×8 Contact Center Features
- Customer surveys: Gather customer feedback after an interaction and share insights with agents to improve performance.
- Call and screen recording: This tool has record, pause, resume, and redact functionality to meet compliance standards. Determine recording access, and 8×8 makes it easy to search, archive, playback, and download recordings.
- Virtual agent: Use customizable virtual agents to reduce customer effort and increase resolution times. Using virtual agents for more straightforward tasks frees your agents to focus more on tasks that require critical thinking.
Our detailed 8×8 Contact Center review recommends the platform for those looking for a comprehensive omnichannel solution. Read our guide to find out if this cloud contact center software is what you’ve been looking for.
NICE CXone: Best for Call & Contact Center Reporting
Nice CXone makes it easy to produce custom reports thanks to its 90-plus prebuilt reports. Get immediate insights based on key business trends by tracking metrics, such as agent status and performance. Small teams new to contact center phone systems will find report-building challenging, but CXone lets you customize templates or use prebuilt reports. Use its filter settings and create custom reports by selecting from over 250 out-of-the-box metrics.
Nice CXone allows you to create reports specific to the data you need to see. Users can generate virtually any report, from company-wide analytics to a single agent’s call statistics. It recommends that you only run 30 days of data at a time to minimize the report timing. If you need to run more data, Nice CXone recommends scheduling the run during non-business hours.
NICE CXone is a comprehensive solution with advanced communication solutions like audio recording and customer feedback analytics. If you’re a small business looking for a platform offering a more straightforward feature set, choose Talkdesk or browse our other recommended small business VoIP services.
NICE CXone Features
- Automatic contact distribution (ACD): Route your omnichannel interactions to the right agent, ensuring all employees are equipped to handle the calls they receive. Intelligent routing also resolves issues quickly and keeps customers satisfied.
- Conversational bots: Boost efficiency and interact with customers 24/7 using AI bots. CXone allows you to bring your bot or use the platform to build your own.
- Workforce engagement management: Give your team the tools they need to dazzle customers.
Explore other features in our comprehensive Nice CXone review. This guide evaluates the provider’s ease of use and customer support.
Zoom Contact Center: Best for Video Engagement
Zoom Contact Center has the distinct advantage of being a video-optimized Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS). While it supports voice, SMS, and web chat, Zoom is best for businesses prioritizing visual engagement. Being a video-first platform, it has video waiting rooms for customers to receive messages from your team while waiting. Its analytics dashboard offers insights regarding agency competency and outcomes of client interactions.
Video conferencing offers many applications, but it’s advantageous in high-touch industries like healthcare and learning, where interactions usually benefit from visual interaction. For example, for health insurance providers, agents can evaluate or do the initial screening of non-emergency cases for more nuanced referrals and endorsements.
While Zoom offers omnichannel solutions, it lacks robust workforce management capabilities. If you’re looking for the best cloud contact center offering workforce and quality management features, check out Nice CXone. It uses AI and machine learning technology to help you anticipate business demands and workforce optimization opportunities.
Zoom Contact Center Features
- IVR designer: Design your call routing profiles and rules based on your operations and ensure your customers are routed to the right agent every time.
- Analytics dashboard: Use your historical data to understand your contact center’s call volume and wait times. Users can subscribe to Zoom’s email reports and customize their center’s wallboard.
- Outbound SMS: Agents can send outbound SMS with up to 500 characters. Use Zoom’s messaging controls to transfer the chat or upgrade to a video engagement.
Learn more about Zoom’s capabilities in our Zoom Contact Center review. Our evaluation covered the provider’s general features, customer support, pricing, and ease of use.
How We Evaluated the Best Cloud Contact Center Providers
We examined various cloud contact centers that provide multiple plans, discounts, and essential and robust features, such as chatbots and call monitoring. We rated each provider according to price and features to develop scoring criteria showing overall value and ease of use. Learn how we evaluated the top cloud contact center providers by clicking on the tabs below:
15% of Overall Score
We reviewed the prices of all cloud contact center software, including discounts for annual prepayment and multiple user subscriptions. Plus, we looked at the number of available subscription plans and the base price.
30% of Overall Score
We examined each provider’s general features, including whether it offers ACD and the range of support channels available to clients. We also prioritized solutions with call monitoring and call activity analytics.
20% of Overall Score
For advanced features, we considered a provider’s workforce management capabilities and whether it has an AI virtual assistant (chatbot). Similarly, we awarded additional points for the various outbound dialers and extensive integration for greater efficiency and productivity.
10% of Overall Score
We assessed each provider’s user-friendliness by testing it and pouring through reviews from reliable websites. We considered if there are learning curves during the setup and configuration phase.
10% of Overall Score
We checked if each provider offers multiple client support channels, including phone, live chat, email, help desk, and community forum. Additional points are given if all support channels are available 24/7.
15% of Overall Score
We assessed each provider’s overall quality and performance by looking at its standout qualities and value for money. We also considered their level of popularity and user-friendliness.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Businesses use cloud contact centers to improve customer experience and expand customer engagement. Unlike traditional call center phone systems that rely on legacy phones, cloud contact centers offer multiple phones and digital channels for customers to contact a business. Cloud contact center providers offer plans that combine call management tools and advanced features like AI and machine learning technology to improve center performance.
Cloud contact centers offer various benefits, including lower operational costs, advanced engagement tracking and analytics, and greater agent versatility. These all contribute to improvements in customer service success and better operational efficiency.
When selecting a cloud contact center provider or software, there are five things to remember: price, omnichannel offering, reporting capabilities, scalability, and security. As a business owner, keeping these given elements in mind will help you narrow down which provider is the most suited for your company.
As more and more businesses turn to cloud communications, small businesses need to ensure their chosen cloud contact center provider offers a reliable, affordable, and user-friendly interaction solution. Although several solutions are available, the best cloud contact center software ultimately depends on your budget, communication patterns, and the features your team needs.
Based on our criteria, Nextiva Contact Center earned the highest rating. It offers a robust contact center solution with call recording, geo-redundancy, and interaction analytics. Although its subscription rates are not published, based on Nextiva’s other product offerings, its rates are competitive and small business-friendly. Visit Nextiva Contact Center today and learn more about its products and services.