The best CRMs for call centers combine internal and/or external calling software with contact management features to provide a view of all customer touchpoints. We compared a dozen software options based on cost, integrations, ease of use, and phone system features to find the six best, including the best overall CRM call center software.
Top 6 CRM Call Center Software
|CRM Call Center Software||Best For|
|Freshsales||(Best Overall) Call centers wanting a customizable, all-in-one call center CRM|
|Voicent||Call centers needing a scalable CRM with advanced, high-volume phone features|
|Nextiva||Businesses and call centers wanting a CRM with advanced customer service features|
|Zoho CRM||Companies wanting an inexpensive call center CRM with robust team collaboration tools|
|Bitrix24||Small business call center teams needing a basic, free CRM|
|Agile CRM||Call centers needing a CRM with robust marketing automation capabilities, including SMS/text|
How We Evaluated CRM Call Center Software
CRM call center software should include or integrate with telephony systems to help manage thousands of contacts from a single screen. It should also provide a 360-degree view of customers and contacts across all touchpoints, giving reps the information they need to have effective conversations, whether it’s an inbound support request or outbound sales call.
The criteria we used to evaluate the best call center CRMs include:
- Cost – The costs per user and any upgrade costs for additional items like extra file storage, increased contacts and emails, and data backup were reviewed.
- Ease of Use – We compared set up and user interfaces by trialing or demoing platforms.
- Integration – Native and third-party integration phone system options for features such as interactive voice response (IVR) as well as other functions such as help desk, email, and marketing automation were considered.
- Automation – We evaluated each product’s ability to automate sales and marketing functions such as tasks, follow-up, email nurturing, and marketing.
- Reporting and Analytics – Reporting capability for real-time and historical data in areas such as sales performance, sales rep activities, call tracking, ticket resolution, and more were compared.
- Customer Support – We reviewed the level of support included with each product, the depth of each software’s knowledge base, and its community involvement.
- Customer Satisfaction – Represents how satisfied customers are overall and what, if any, common issues they had.
Based on this criteria, we think Freshsales is the best overall call center CRM because of its integrations with a suite of phone and help desk software, its ease of use, and its vast customization options. These options allow growing businesses to expand their capabilities easily and inexpensively, while providing their reps the tools to sell and service clients efficiently. Take a look at our article on CRM Software Providers to learn more about using a CRM in a more general capacity.
Best Overall CRM Call Center Software: Freshsales
With a free tier and paid plans starting at $19 per user per month, Freshsales is a mid-priced, all-in-one CRM with a built-in phone system and multiple calling features. There are customization options for contacts, assignments, and notifications, and integrations with customer service platforms Freshdesk and Freshcaller provide even more call center capabilities. This makes it ideal for B2B teams needing a feature-rich and customizable call center CRM.
The Free plan includes a built-in phone and contact management. The paid plans range from $12 per user per month to $49 per user per month—the lower end of those we reviewed—and include more advanced customization and reporting. Add-ons Freshdesk and Freshcaller offer advanced service and phone features, respectively, with free and paid plans.
Customer service and calling features can be added on as follows:
- Freshdesk – Customer support software with ticketing, team collaboration, and automation with a free plan as well as paid plains ranging between $19 and $49 per user per month.
- Freshcaller – Call center phone software that integrates with Freshsales and Freshdesk with a free plan for unlimited users plus pay-per-minute rates as well as paid plans costing between $19 and $40 per user per month.
Freshsales Tiered Features
|Website visitor tracking|
The Free plan includes the built-in call service from Freshcaller, basic contact management, lead scoring, and a free integration with customer service platform Freshdesk, which provides basic service features such as email ticketing, auto-ticket assignment and email notifications, and agent reporting. Lead scoring helps reps quickly identify clients or prospects that may be sales-ready.
Freshcaller requires no extra hardware or software. Purchase local numbers starting at $1 per month plus per minute rates, log and record calls, and track with activity reports. Missing from the free CRM are sales reports like those found in Zoho CRM. Therefore, it’s best for low volume service or sales teams that need basic contact management, support, and phone service.
Blossom costs $12 per user per month and adds email tracking, standard reports, and intelligent workflows, which let reps automate everyday tasks using “if/then” rules. Added to the calling features for Freshcaller ($19 per user per month) are call queues, forwarding, transfer, multiple mailboxes, and an interactive voice response (IVR) system for routing calls.
The corresponding Freshdesk plan ($19 per user per month) adds surveys and agent productivity tools. For sales teams, there is no forecasting option like that found in Zoho CRM’s similar-priced plan. Blossom is best for teams that want additional automation features and advanced phone features such as IVR with the similarly-priced Freshcaller add-on.
The Garden plan costs $25 per user per month and adds bulk email campaigns and lots of additional reporting: sales forecasting, velocity and trendline reports, sales activity, and custom reports. CRM customization includes the ability to create and rearrange subgroups, as well as reorder and rename default fields.
The Freshdesk Garden plan ($35 per user per month) adds round-robin and skill-based ticket assignment, while Freshcaller ($40 per user per month) adds call monitoring, advanced call metrics, and conference calling. However, unlike Zoho CRM and Agile CRM, it is missing a reports dashboard. The Garden plan is ideal for fast-growing businesses with multiple product lines that want the ability to customize their lead data collection and reporting of data.
The Estate plan, at $49 per user per month, provides additional customization for leads, contacts, accounts, deals, pipelines, scoring, and sales activities that can then be filtered and reported on, providing valuable, granular insight for service and sales reps. The range of custom options are features not found in any of the plans reviewed.
Lead scoring is intuitive and puts leads in three predefined categories: cold, warm, and hot. This makes it easy for both service and sales reps to identify selling or upselling opportunities. Filter for property, email activity, application, and web activity. With its advanced customization options for managing and reporting on prospects and deals, this plan is ideal for B2Bs such as software that need better insight for identifying service issues and sales prospects.
What Freshsales Is Missing
Unlike Agile CRM and Zoho CRM, Freshsales doesn’t pull in social media feeds from Twitter and Facebook, making it less suited for reps that want to add social selling to their toolbox. Also, while the CRM tiers are relatively inexpensive, adding the caller and help desk features can start to add up, though it’s still relatively inexpensive compared to many other CRM call center software.
What Users Think About Freshsales
Reviewers like the user-friendly interface, saying it’s generally intuitive and easy to navigate. They also like the many integration options with the other platforms, such as Freshcaller and Freshdesk. To read in-depth reviews, visit our Freshsales review page.
Best Call Center CRM with Advanced Telephony: Voicent
Voicent is a CRM with a powerful phone system and customer service communication tools. Starting at $29 per month, it’s also the most expensive CRM we reviewed when its add-ons are included. However, teams with heavy phone use will appreciate its extensive call center features, such as inbound/outbound IVR, text marketing, and surveys. Voicent is therefore best for large call centers, nonprofits, and schools that need a CRM with advanced calling capabilities.
The base plan is $29 per user per month and includes predictive dialer, auto-dialer, agent dashboard, and contact management, among others. Add-ons include inbound call center, call center supervisor software, interactive text messaging, email campaigns, and workflow automation.
Calling minutes are available in different price tiers as listed:
- Inbound Call Center – $15 per user per month and includes interactive voice response, business phone system, and virtual receptionist
- Call Center Supervisor – $10 per user per month
- Interactive Text Message – $15 per user per month and includes bulk message sender, click-to-text template, auto-responders, and dedicated phone number
- Email Campaign – $5 per user per month
- Workflow Automation – $99 per user per month
Voicent Pricing per Calling Minute
|Calling Minutes (1 credit equals a 1 minute call or 1 text message)|
|Pay as you go|
|2,500 monthly credits|
|6,500 monthly credits|
|25,000 monthly credits|
Voicent includes contact management and an agent dashboard that lets agents field incoming calls, hold, park, or transfer calls. There’s an outbound predictive dialer, progressive dialer, and auto-dialer to send mass pre-recorded calls. The add-on inbound caller includes an IVR, agent reports, phone surveys, scripts, and more. The text add-on provides bulk text messaging, used for things like RSVPs, news alerts, service updates, and quick polls.
Voicent’s CRM includes these main features:
The CRM includes deal management with drag-and-drop functionality and 50,000 contacts per user. In contacts, there’s a section that shows a variety of clickable predefined lists for things such as assigned to me, today’s leads, today’s follow-ups, and more. You can add attachments, make notes, assign a follow-up, and see engagement history.
While contacts are easy to create, they lack the customization options of Freshsales for drilling down into the actions and activities of a rep with a contact, for example. Also lacking is the ability to create multiple pipelines like Freshsales, Zoho CRM, Zendesk Sell, and Agile CRM. There’s also no ability to modify the stages of the pipeline. These features are crucial for companies that have multiple lines of business and need customization.
Voicent’s CRM-integrated telephone capabilities are the most advanced of the CRMs we reviewed. It includes an inbound IVR with auto-attendant, phone menus, call queues, surveys, and voice-to-email. The outbound IVR has dial-out surveys, delivery notifications, bulk SMS, and an auto-dialer that can be used to send broadcast messages in both English and Spanish.
Call surveys let you create text-to-speech or audio files for content such as political polls, satisfaction surveys, and research. This feature is not found in any of the other platforms. All call activity is managed through the agent dashboard, which pulls up a CRM pop-up screen, call scripts, call routing, call recording, and whisper coaching.
You can create unlimited automated workflow triggers, for example, if you want to notify your agents about when to start a certain call campaign. The automatic web lead (custom web forms can be created in the CRM) follow up will trigger an automated call to a lead or add that lead to a particular campaign.
The marketing automation feature lets you send automated emails, texts, and phone messages based on links clicked, date joined, and other categories. None of the other CRMs we reviewed had this combination of channels for marketing.
What Voicent Is Missing
Unlike Freshsales, Zoho CRM, and Agile CRM, there is no ability to create multiple pipelines. This is a must-have for businesses with different product lines that have different sales steps, which easily makes it the most expensive CRM on our list. Also missing in their base price plan (it’s a $5 per month add-on, making it $36 per month) is email marketing like what’s found in the free versions of Zoho CRM and Agile CRM.
What Users Think About Voicent
There are very few reviews on the Voicent CRM, and most are focused strictly on the telephony, but what’s out there is positive. Users like that it integrates easily with all of the other platforms, like telephony, and feel it is affordable, scalable, and easy to use. One user said they were using the phone features for a political campaign within five minutes of signing up. In my trial, I found setup easy but not as user friendly as the others once I started to perform routine CRM tasks.
Best Call Center Software with Customer Experience Features: Nextiva
Nextiva is a VoIP phone system provider offering a CRM bundled with intelligent customer experience features like Smart Topics, free domestic calling, chat, and analytics at a starting price of $35 per user per month. Rounding out the suite are case management, custom surveys, and automated task management, making it great for teams wanting a best-in-class business phone system and advanced customer service automation.
Nextiva’s Basic CRM plan is $35 per user per month and includes all of their base features: CRM, voice service, chat, surveys, and analytics. The Pro is $45 per user per month and adds more advanced capabilities for each of the base features; Enterprise at $55 per user per month provides even more advanced features.
Nextiva Tiered Features
|Auto Attendant (IVR)|
|Customer experience score|
|Advanced roles & permissions|
|User & team performance|
The Basic plan costs $35 per user per month and includes basic functionality in each of the platform’s core features: contact management, phone, chat, surveys, and analytics. It includes Smart Topics, which lets users categorize case subjects that will automatically calculate changes in the customer’s experience score. Agents can make calls, chat, and email directly from their screens, and the built-in Wiki displays articles related to the case.
Unlike any of the other CRMs, the voice service provides a free local and toll-free number along with unlimited, free calling in the U.S. and Canada. It is our pick as the overall best phone system for small business. However, there is no marketing automation like what’s found in Freshsales, Zoho CRM, Bitrix24, and Agile CRM. This plan is best for call center teams that want free domestic calling and basic customer service features built into their CRM.
The Pro plan increases the functionality of each core feature and costs $45 per user per month. Building on the service focus, a customer experience score is created each time a customer triggers certain predetermined actions. This is useful for proactively reaching out to those customers who might be at-risk of churning. The satisfaction surveys will automatically reopen cases with negative responses that negatively impact the customer experience score.
It also allows for the creation of custom dashboards, custom surveys, and advanced automations in case management. Round-robin distribution and transfer chat are added to the base chat plan. However, unlike the other pro-level CRM plans reviewed, this does not include lead scoring to help sales qualify leads. This plan is best for call center teams such as service providers that are in industries with a high degree of customer turnover.
Enterprise costs $55 per user per month and includes more advanced features, such as SMS/text, call recording, chat customization, and chat queue limits, to ensure agents aren’t overwhelmed. You can create an unlimited number of surveys and ask an unlimited number of questions for each. With reports, you can view data at both the individual and team level. The “coming soon” customer experience features will make this software stand out from the crowd.
Advanced roles and permissions let administrators set an almost unlimited number of user options at the team and individual level. This is the most flexible of any of the CRMs I trialed. However, like the other Nextiva plans, it’s missing email and marketing automation—features found in all the other brands. This plan is best for call center teams in highly competitive spaces where customer turnover is high and products and services are constantly changing.
What Nextiva Is Missing
There is currently no email or marketing automation capability like what’s found in the other CRMs reviewed, but these features are on their roadmap and “coming soon.” In addition, though there is sync capability with Gmail, the service is not compatible with Outlook. There is also no mobile app in their Basic plan, which is included in the other CRMs at a similar price.
What Users Think About Nextiva
Users were surprised at how easy it was to switch from their old software to Nextiva’s, noting that the onboarding process was smooth and easier than they anticipated. Some complained that there was limited customization, especially in the lower-tier plan. You can read more reviews on our Nextiva review page.
Best Call Center CRM for Team Collaboration: Zoho CRM
Zoho CRM is an inexpensive CRM, with a free plan and paid plans starting at $12 per user per month. It offers dozens of phone service integrations, robust social media features, and a suite of additional applications allowing companies to run their entire business. It also includes access to their free and paid help desk platform. This makes it best for call center teams that want an all-in-one CRM with social media communication, help desk functionality, and team collaboration tools.
Zoho CRM Pricing
Zoho CRM’s free plan integrates with dozens of telephony providers via PhoneBridge and their native customer service software, Desk. It includes basic contact management, workflow management, help center, and agent dashboards. The paid plans are $12 per user per month and $20 per user per month, and include additional social, sales, and service features.
Zoho CRM Tiered Features
|Zoho Desk Integration|
|Website visitor tracking|
|Social interaction from Twitter/Facebook|
|Social interaction with leads/contacts|
Zoho CRM’s free plan does not have native telephony and does not integrate with Zoho’s native PhoneBridge for call centers, unlike Freshsales/Freshcaller. This plan, when combined with Zoho Desk, provides basic service, sales, and marketing functions, making it ideal for a startup that needs room to grow from their technology.
It includes contact management with advanced filters, reports, and integration. It also includes 10 email templates, web-to-lead forms, a document library, and team collaboration with direct messaging. This plan integrates with the free version of Zoho’s Desk product to provide ticketing, a knowledge base, and dashboards to track service reps.
The Standard plan costs $12 per user per month and integrates with many of Zoho’s native apps, such as PhoneBridge and Desk, their customer support platform. PhoneBridge connects the CRM with several dozen call center platforms such as RingCentral, Avaya, and Aircall. Standard includes sales forecasting, email insights, and visitor tracking, which tracks email activity such as opens and clicks.
Reporting lets you set KPIs for sales reps and create up to 10 custom dashboards, both features not found in other similarly-priced plans. This plan is best for call centers with multi-person service and sales teams that want social CRM functions, the ability to integrate with a native help desk solution, and multiple options for third-party call center software.
The Professional plan is $20 per user per month and includes the addition of SalesSignals, lead capture, and interaction with leads from Facebook and Twitter. SalesSignals sends real-time notifications from customers who interact on social media, allowing reps to respond right away to both positive and negative streams. Lead generation automation allows you to add leads from social based on predefined filters.
SalesSignals’ ability to send notifications from social, email, and other applications is not found in any other platform we reviewed. It integrates with the fully-featured social management platform Zoho Social and Zoho Finance, an invoicing and inventory suite. The Professional plan is for call centers that want the flexibility of adding native platforms for increased business capabilities as they grow.
What Zoho CRM Is Missing
Unlike Freshsales, Voicent, and Nextiva, there is no native call center software; you must integrate with third-party phone providers. And unlike Agile CRM, Zoho CRM does not have native mobile marketing capability. Also, the cost of adding additional storage can add up quickly, but there are integrations with Dropbox and Google Drive as storage options.
What Users Think About Zoho CRM
Zoho CRM users like that the company offers a lot of business application features under one roof that can all be linked to the CRM. There were some users who complained that the user interface wasn’t intuitive, but my experience proved to be the exact opposite. For more user reviews, visit our Zoho CRM review page.
Best Free, No-Frills Call Center CRM: Bitrix24
Bitrix24’s free plan has all of the features needed to run a small business call center, combining internal and external voice options, contact management, help desk, and live chat, though there are paid plans starting at $39 per month with additional functionality. Highlights of the free plan include sales automation, social integrations, and unlimited records. Therefore, it is best for small businesses that want a basic, free CRM to help manage their call center.
All three Bitrix24 plans include unlimited contacts, live chat, social integration, email marketing, integrated telephony, and leads from forms. The free plan allows for up to 12 users, the Plus costs $39 per month for 24 users, and the Standard is $99 per month for up to 50 users with customization and automation features.
Bitrix24 Tiered Features
|Website live chat|
|Custom CRM fields|
|Emails from CRM|
|Texting from CRM|
|Activity stream workflows|
This plan is free for up to 12 users and includes an integrated phone system that lets you use your own numbers or rent numbers (one max) and pay per-minute charges for outbound calls. Other phone features in this plan include call greetings, routing, transfer, and recording. There is, however, no ability to set up an interactive voice response (IVR) menu, unlike the free plan from Freshsales/Freshcaller unless you use a third-party phone system.
It includes contact management and multiple ways to communicate: telephony, email, social, text, live chat, and web forms. The social connections for Slack, Instagram, and Facebook, among others, let you manage all of your social interactions from the dashboard. Therefore, this plan is best for call centers that want a free, basic CRM with lots of calling features only found in paid plans
The Plus plan adds CRM automation with triggers, unlimited call recording, and voice broadcasting, which lets you deliver pre-recorded phone messages with an auto-dialer. This feature is not found in any of the other CRMs we reviewed. To learn more about phone systems for small businesses, visit our article “VoIP versus Landline.” It costs $39 per month for up to 24 users and two admins.
The automation feature lets you send texts, auto-calls, and emails based on your predefined rules, which takes routine follow up out of the hands of reps. Like the Free plan, Plus does not include an IVR, which may necessitate a third-party phone system. The additional automation and communication features make this plan ideal for organizations needing multiple channels to reach prospects and customers.
The Standard plan costs $99 per month, allows for up to 50 users and five admins, and provides 100 GB of online storage. You can create an unlimited number of chat messengers, helpful for companies with multiple websites. With telephony, you can rent unlimited numbers and set up two levels of IVRs, which makes this comparable to Freshsales/Freshcaller.
The number of features in this plan and the ability to have 50 users for under $100 per month makes this the most affordable plan by far of those we reviewed. Therefore, this plan is best for companies that need a call center CRM with lots of features and a low cost per user price.
What Bitrix24 Is Missing
Unlike Agile CRM, the text marketing campaign function is not customizable, i.e., you can only send bulk texts rather than action triggered-based texts. With so many features, the interface can feel overwhelming and though you can hide menu items, there is still room for improving the user experience via the layout.
What Users Think About Bitrix24
Users like that the platform is very versatile and has lots of features to manage service and sales with many third-party integration options. Also, users like that the free version has enough features to get a new business started. Many complained about the user interface, saying it’s too complicated (though some commented it has gotten better) and the software can be hard to get used to.
Best Call Center CRM with Advanced Marketing Capabilities: Agile CRM
Agile CRM has a built-in help desk with ticketing for support plus a contact management system with a free plan and paid plans starting from $9.99 per user per month. There’s social monitoring, lead scoring, and marketing automation that allows customized campaigns with event triggers and text-based marketing. Therefore, this platform is for businesses that want CRM call center software with advanced marketing automation capabilities.
Agile CRM Pricing
Agile CRM’s free plan allows 10 users and includes contact management, lead scoring, email campaigns, and landing page builder. The paid plans are $9.99 per user per month and $39.99 per user per month and include marketing automation and social monitoring. All plans include help desk features, integrations, reports, and a Chrome extension.
Agile CRM Tiered Features
|Contacts & Companies|
|Email templates builder|
|Contact level analytics|
|Service level agreements|
|Custom deal tracks|
|Email & phone support|
The Free plan allows for up to 10 users and includes ticketing, smart views, support workflows, canned responses, and reports to track ticket status, priority, first response, and other support metrics. Support workflows automatically route incoming tickets by conditions such as priority and status. There’s also contact management, lead scoring, and email marketing.
However, with only one integration allowed, the plan is seriously limited for teams that need to connect multiple features, such as a ecommerce, support desk, and other service providers. This plan is therefore ideal for a small business such as a service company that needs contact management and service features but doesn’t require multiple integrations.
The Starter plan costs $9.99 per user per month and includes marketing automation, social monitoring, and up to three integrations. Social monitoring shows live streams and monitoring feeds for brand mentions in Twitter, for example. You can also post updates, interact with customers and leads, and monitor streams for keywords.
Marketing automation lets you create multi-channel campaigns for processes like onboarding new users with scheduled messages to help reduce service calls and increase customer satisfaction. There’s also an A/B testing function, which is found in only one other platform we reviewed. This plan is best for call centers that want additional customer context with social media and email automation to reduce customer churn and enhance the customer experience.
The Regular plan costs $29.99 per user per month and includes mobile marketing and the ability to add over 50 integrations with third parties such as RingCentral, Shopify, Zendesk, Stripe, and others. Automations let you create follow-up actions for both incoming and outgoing calls based on the call status. For example, create follow-up messages for a customer who leaves a message after hours, letting them know when you’ll be in touch.
With mobile marketing, you can send text messages using triggers for service follow-up, upgrades, subscriptions, and billing. This feature is found in only one other platform we reviewed. With its mobile marketing and extensive integrations, this is best for higher volume call centers that want automated high touch using multiple channels, both native and integrated.
What Agile CRM Is Missing
Unlike Freshsales, Agile CRM’s telephony solutions are with third parties, leaving key features like IVR with another vendor. Its social feature also lacks the Facebook automated campaign feature that’s found in Zoho CRM. There’s also no anonymous website visitor tracking. In addition, in order to cancel a subscription, you must call their support team first, which irritated a lot of paid subscribers.
What Users Think About Agile CRM
Agile CRM users like that it provides an affordable solution for marketing, sales, and service. A few complained they had to upgrade to the highest tier to be able to create multiple pipelines. Visit our Agile CRM reviews page to learn more about the platform.
The Bottom Line
The best CRM call center software for a small business is affordable, intuitive, and provides the features needed for service and sales reps to resolve issues and close sales. It should also be capable of handling support requests with ticketing and integrate either natively or with third-party apps such as phone systems, help desk, and other service-related platforms.
We found that Freshsales offered the most capability for all of these functions with their customization options, low cost tiers, and suite of call center business software such as Freshcaller and Freshdesk. It’s a versatile, all-in-one platform ideal for any small and medium business needing a call center CRM. Try it for free with no time restrictions.