The best call center phone systems offer robust call management capabilities: automatic call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR) systems, and call queues. They feature different outbound dialing modes, helping teams be more efficient in customer outreach.
Additionally, they integrate with various third-party business tools and allow companies to add calling capabilities to their existing tech stack. Below are our best call center phone systems:
- Dialpad Ai Contact Center: Best for artificial intelligence (AI)
- RingCentral Contact Center: Best for team collaboration
- Nextiva Contact Center: Best for workflow automation
- Zoom Contact Center: Best for strategic call flows
- CloudTalk: Best for customer outreach
- Aircall: Best for third-party integrations
Best Call Center Phone Systems Compared
Monthly Starting Price (per user)
FSB Rating out of 5
4.60 out of 5
4.50 out of 5
4.45 out of 5
4.43 out of 5
4.28 out of 5
4.25 out of 5
If you want to explore other communication solutions for managing phone calls efficiently, refer to our buyer’s guide on voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) phone systems. Learn the pros and cons of each provider before buying a subscription plan.
Dialpad Ai Contact Center: Best for Artificial Intelligence (AI)
*Pay only $80, $115, and $150 per user for the tiered subscription plans when you choose annual billing.
Dialpad ranks first in our list of top call center phone systems, providing not only robust call management features but also excellent AI tools, which further improve the efficiency of call center operations. It shows call transcriptions in real time, reducing the need for manual note-taking. Its real-time assist feature presents communication spiels while on a live call and enables agents to offer accurate, meaningful advice and remain professional when situations become tense.
The AI-powered platform evaluates past customer interactions. It analyzes customer sentiment and satisfaction levels in real time. When conducting quality assurance, you have the option to add AI-suggested questions to your scorecards. Similarly, the AI tool pre-answers scorecard questions based on its analysis of phone calls, saving managers precious time and letting them provide feedback to agents more quickly.
While Dialpad is our top pick among the best call center phone systems, you need to integrate it with Playvox to access workforce management. If you prefer a call center with a native workforce management tool, RingCentral and Nextiva are great options with robust scheduling features.
Dialpad Ai Contact Center Features
- Company dictionary: Teach the phone system’s AI to understand words you typically use in call center activities by adding keywords to the dictionary. These may include competitor names, industry terms, and acronyms. With a comprehensive dictionary, you’ll get more accurate call transcriptions.
- Call barge: When you need to address customer concerns directly, use call barge to join a live call between an agent and a caller. This tool is likewise useful for de-escalating tense situations between call participants.
- Call transcription: Be fully present during customer conversations as the phone system takes over taking notes of the call. The transcription is displayed on the agent’s screen in real time.
Artificial intelligence is one of the breakthrough technologies dominating call center operations. Learn more about other key contact center market trends.
RingCentral Contact Center: Best for Team Collaboration
RingCentral Contact Center is the ideal call center phone system for team collaboration, as it natively integrates with the provider’s unified communications platform. Handling customer queries becomes more efficient not only because of the wide range of call management features but also because you’re able to collaborate with other service representatives through instant messaging and video conferencing.
The platform’s team chat supports rich text editing, file sharing, task management, and search. Meanwhile, video meetings host a maximum of 200 participants. Use these tools to consult with agents, train team members, and build rapport with your team. In terms of call center phone system features, RingCentral is equipped with ACD, IVR, call monitoring, and outbound dialers.
Unfortunately, RingCentral Contact Center may be overwhelming for some users, as it has a full suite of call management and unified communications capabilities. If you want a more beginner-friendly phone system for call center activities, Zoom Contact Center is a better option. Its clean, intuitive interface makes navigating through features easy.
RingCentral Contact Center Features
- Call deflection: Divert incoming calls to an alternate customer service channel, such as messaging. With this, customers will get faster customer service and won’t have to wait long in the queue.
- Compliance risk mitigation: Ensure outgoing calls are sent out at authorized time windows. RingCentral lets users comply with Do Not Call requests at all times.
- Scripting: Create clear, effective spiels for customer service and sales. By making your messaging uniform and professional across all agents, you establish credibility among customers.
Computer telephony integration (CTI) allows phone calls to be distributed through a computer. Learn the benefits of this technology in our What Is CTI explainer.
Nextiva Contact Center: Best for Workflow Automation
Nextiva is the best cloud-based call center phone system for businesses wanting to reduce manual processes in their operations, as it offers an entire workflow automation suite. It automates the process of connecting with customers not only through phone calls, but also via SMS, email, and social channels. Additionally, it features prebuilt integrations, so you’ll instantly access key information from the third-party business apps you use.
With Nextiva’s workflow automation, customer service teams reduce or eliminate human errors and allow agents to focus on more high-yield tasks, like building rapport with customers or upselling products and services. Before choosing this omnichannel contact center software solution, note that its intelligent virtual agent is available as an add-on only.
Other cloud-based call center phone systems like RingCentral Contact Center have this tool as a default feature. Choose this platform if you want to provide 24/7 customer support and reduce wait times.
Nextiva Contact Center Features
- Interaction analytics: Evaluate customer sentiment and agent actions to recalibrate communication strategies. Note that this feature is exclusively offered in the most expensive plan.
- Performance dashboard: Check call center metrics to gauge the efficiency of your operations. Nextiva reports the number of calls in queue, abandoned calls, and average call and idle times in real time.
- Call recording: Capture conversations between service representatives and customers to evaluate how you can improve services. Share these with agents during coaching and training sessions.
Zoom Contact Center: Best for Strategic Call Flows
Where It Falls Behind
- Lacks transparency in pricing
- Only integrates with five third-party apps
- No outbound dialers
Zoom Contact Center Monthly Pricing
- Custom pricing for routing profiles, analytics, agent profile management, and access to digital channels (webchat, SMS, and video conferencing)
Zoom Contact Center is included in our list of the best phone systems for call center operations, ideal for businesses looking for a platform that enables easy setup of call distribution. Its easy-to-use call flow editor features different widgets performing different actions. For instance, the “Route To” widget allows you to send phone calls to a queue, an inbox, an agent, or another call flow.
The “Collect Input” widget instructs the phone system to process inputs like key presses from the IVR menu. Meanwhile, the “SendMedia” widget lets you upload professionally recorded greetings. Simply drag and drop these widgets into the blank canvas to create a call flow.
While Zoom Contact Center is our top-recommended VoIP call center phone system for easy setup of strategic call flows, it’s not the best at telemarketing efforts, as it doesn’t have native outbound dialers. CloudTalk is a better alternative for customer outreach initiatives for offering robust automatic dialing modes and a flat rate for unlimited outbound calls.
Zoom Contact Center Features
- Active engagements: Get an overview of all the live conversations on the contact center system. Aside from phone calls, you’ll see customer interactions happening in other channels, such as video, chat, and SMS.
- Journey: When you accept an incoming call, the call center system shows you the list of the caller’s previous touchpoints. You’ll see the names of agents or the phone numbers they’ve talked to in the past, providing you with a much better context of the customer’s concern.
- Caller checkmark icon: This tool appears if the carrier considers the caller as an authorized party for using the phone number. This allows agents to quickly recognize and avoid spam calls that negatively impact productivity.
CloudTalk: Best for Customer Outreach
*The subscription plans are available for annual billing only.
CloudTalk is the ideal call center phone system software solution for customer outreach, as it features robust auto-dialers that make outbound calling easier and more efficient. Its power dialer lets agents place more calls quickly, as it automatically dials the next number on the list once the agent is available for a call. Listed as one of the best progressive dialer software solutions, CloudTalk lets service representatives review customer data before each interaction.
Its click-to-call feature converts phone numbers from different business tools into a link that immediately places a call when clicked. The platform’s smart dialer adds phone numbers scanned from any website, customer relationship management (CRM) system, or help desk tool to the call queue, enabling you to start telemarketing campaigns instantly.
Aside from outbound dialers, CloudTalk offers a flat rate for unlimited outbound calls in its most expensive plan, making it our solid choice for businesses prioritizing customer outreach efforts.
Unfortunately, CloudTalk doesn’t offer a monthly billing option. In contrast, Dialpad Ai Contact Center, Zoom Contact Center, and Aircall are more flexible in terms of payments, offering a monthly arrangement. Among the three, Aircall has the most affordable entry-level plan, priced at $40 per user for a minimum of four licenses.
- Call tagging: Place appropriate labels on calls depending on the type of customer concerns you get: technical support, customer complaint, or order or delivery status. By organizing customer interactions, you’ll understand callers better and spot trends and opportunities for improvement in your service.
- After-call work: When a call ends, the agent sees a dialog box that lets them rate the customer’s mood and call quality. An input field for call notes is likewise available.
- Automated call redirection: Send calls automatically to a preconfigured phone number when agents are busy or unavailable during business hours. This ensures you won’t miss any important client calls and that customers get the timely assistance they need.
Aircall: Best for Third-party Integrations
*The monthly billing option is only available for businesses getting a minimum of four licenses.
Among the top call center phone systems listed here, Aircall is the one with the most third-party integrations, making it the best platform for companies looking to connect their call center solution with existing business apps. Aircall natively works with over 100 platforms, like the popular CRM tools HubSpot, Salesforce, Zoho CRM, Microsoft Dynamics, and monday.com CRM. Given this, accessing customer profiles while conversing with a client is easier.
The provider’s workforce management and quality assurance integrations include Playvox and EvaluAgent. Workflow automation apps like Zapier, Integrately, and Pipedream are likewise part of Aircall’s app gallery. If you need to build custom integrations, Aircall provides access to APIs and webhooks in all its subscription plans. However, the developer support is locked behind the most expensive package.
If you frequently host conference calls for your team, note that Aircall only accommodates up to five participants. Choose another platform if you regularly conduct large audio meetings. RingCentral Contact Center allows up to 1,000 attendees in a conference call.
- Warm transfer: Before moving a call to another team member, talk to the colleague first and inform them about the customer inquiry. While consulting with another agent, the customer is put on hold.
- Pause-resume recording: Pause and resume call recordings manually to ensure private information remains confidential. This is useful for concealing sensitive data like bank accounts or credit card details.
- Parallel calls: When you’re in an active phone call, it’s possible to dial another phone number and start a second call. Use this valuable feature when confirming important information with colleagues.
How We Evaluated the Best Call Center Phone Systems
To objectively assess call center solutions, we created a scoring guide that takes into account small businesses’ priorities when comparing phone systems, namely subscription rates, call management capabilities, user-friendliness, and customer care. We included our evaluation of the providers’ popularity and value for money as well.
Learn how we evaluated the best call center phone systems by clicking on the tabs below:
10% of Overall Score
To gauge the platform’s affordability, we compared the cost of its base plan that features call center tools to the prevailing market rate. We gave more points to those offering annual and volume user discounts.
30% of Overall Score
Since businesses need a reliable phone solution, part of the general features we evaluated is the uptime guarantee, favoring those with 99.999% service level agreement. Other capabilities we looked at were IVR, integration with CRM tools, and call barge. Those offering monitoring analytics without extra fees earned more points.
20% of Overall Score
The advanced features we considered were on-hold music and speech analytics. We favored providers offering robust tools for evaluating agent performance. We also checked if the platforms are compliant with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards.
10% of Overall Score
The providers with highly intuitive interfaces facilitating easy navigation within the platform earned more points in our rubric. We determined the learning curve for operating the system, as well as the level of technical skill required to set it up.
10% of Overall Score
As companies require timely assistance for technical concerns, we considered the customer service hours of each provider. The kinds of communication channels were likewise a priority, giving more points to vendors with phone, email, and live chat support.
20% of Overall Score
This includes our assessment of each provider’s value for money, ease of use, and standout features. We considered the popularity of the platforms among professionals by referring to third-party review websites and taking into account user ratings.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Call center platforms come in different types, catering to different communication needs and business goals. Before settling on a particular platform, familiarize yourself with these types of call center phone solutions:
- Inbound call center: The software primarily accepts and manages incoming calls. It’s ideal for businesses offering customer service, tech support, order processing, and loyalty programs. Common features you’ll find in an inbound call center are automatic call distribution (ACD), skills-based routing, and IVR.
- Outbound call center: This type of platform focuses on letting teams reach out to clients more efficiently. It suits companies executing sales and marketing campaigns, such as lead generation, payment collection, and audience research. Auto-dialers are the main features of outbound call centers.
- Blended call center: This combines the functions of an inbound and outbound call center. Thus, it’s best for companies aiming to provide excellent customer service and streamline sales and marketing efforts.
- Omnichannel contact center: Aside from phone calls, the software lets users manage customer communications across different channels, including SMS, email, and social media. It’s great for organizations wanting to interact with customers in multiple channels using only one platform.
Good call center software matches your communication requirements. When choosing among options, consider these aspects:
- Features: Your team’s needs and goals dictate which features to look for. For example, if you aim to reach as many clients as possible in a short period, then you should prioritize software with robust auto-dialers. If you frequently handle large call volumes, go for phone solutions with call queues that accommodate multiple calls.
- Integrations: Call center software that integrate seamlessly with other business apps make handling calls easier and more efficient. Find one that connects with frequently used tools like CRM, help desk, and productivity solutions.
- Customer support: A good call center software vendor has multiple lines for technical assistance. Aside from an online help center and a community forum, your provider must offer phone, email, and chat support, ideally available 24/7.
A call center accommodates voice calls only. These calls may be inbound or outbound, handled by agents from the customer service and sales departments. On the other hand, a CCaaS solution lets companies organize customer interactions in different communication channels, including SMS, email, chat, and social media.
The best call center phone solutions have a wide array of tools for managing large volumes of incoming calls and supporting multiple outgoing call campaigns for different teams. They have powerful analytics enabling businesses to identify trends in customer concerns and adjust communication strategies.
Among the platforms we reviewed, Dialpad Ai Contact Center stood out for its amazing AI tools that make call center operations more efficient. Moreover, its 100% uptime guarantee makes the platform highly reliable for companies wanting to provide consistent service to clients. Book a demo with the team today to see how it would benefit your organization.