A call center phone system can help teams handle incoming call traffic by answering calls and routing callers to the right extension, even when there is a high volume of incoming calls. They also can include advanced features like unlimited domestic calling and interactive voice response (IVR) features. We looked at the best call center solutions available today and compared them based on pricing, features, and ease of use.
Call Center Software
(Best Overall) Teams seeking a powerful solution with exceptional reporting and analytics features
Businesses that want to customize their system with individual add-on capabilities
Healthcare teams needing an HIPAA-compliant service
Call centers that want collaboration modules like shared contact lists
Smaller teams that want a free, no-frills call center platform
Companies with multinational operations that need unlimited calling to 52 countries
How We Evaluated Call Center Software
Today’s best call center system offers standard features like voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) calling, call management settings, and the ability to connect data with customer relationship management (CRM) platforms. Some solutions also include detailed reports on employee performance in workforce management tools, which you can learn how to use in our article on call center metrics. Services should be priced at a level that most small businesses can afford.
We evaluated business phone services and software designed for call centers based on the following:
- Ease of use
- Call quality
- CRM integration
- Analytics and reporting
- Interactive voice response
- Training and coaching
- Hardware and equipment
- Customer support
Based on the above, we recommend Freshcaller to most small businesses looking for a powerful, complete call center solution. It comes with a robust set of features while offering price points that are friendly for most budgets. It is also exceptionally easy to use.
Freshcaller: Best Overall Call Center Phone System
What it is: Freshcaller is a VoIP phone platform with a free version as well as paid editions starting at $15 per user, per month.
Why it is great for call centers: Freshcaller includes common call center features such as call queuing, call record, and advanced metrics that give you a detailed outlook of your team’s performance. It also comes wrapped up in a user interface (UI) that most workers will be able to use without issue once they get used to it. Freshcaller offers the best balance of pricing, usability, and features.
Free version available
Easy to use
Interface can be overwhelming at first
Full set of features
Advanced functionality locked behind paid versions
- Sprout: Free with desktop notifications, custom greetings, and call metrics
- Blossom: $15 per user, per month with number porting, call queuing, and call record
- Garden: $29 per user, per month with IVR, call monitoring, and advanced call queues
- Estate: $45 per user, per month with advanced call metrics, call barging, and queue callback
- Forest: $69 per user, per month with omnichannel routing, service-level monitoring, and an artificial intelligence (AI) voice bot for incoming calls
- Call queuing: The Blossom edition and above allow you to place incoming callers in a queue based on the order they called in.
- Call recording: Save your most important customer conversations with call recording functionality.
- Voicebot: The Forest version of the service offers an AI voice bot (still in beta) to automatically handle all of your incoming call traffic 24 hours a day, seven days a week.\
RingCentral Contact Center: Best Phone System for Customized Plans
What it is: RingCentral Contact Center is the industry-leading VoIP service’s specialized platform for helping small businesses manage their customer service and sales team operations.
Why it is great for call centers: The service is backed by RingCentral’s powerful private branch exchange (PBX) business phone system technology. It comes with features such as call management, granular call routing, and activity reports. The service does not offer public pricing at this time. What sets the solution apart is that it offers an open application programming interface (API) that lets your team build out your own integrations and custom features. This makes it ideal for teams that want a solution with custom features.
Customization requires development experience
No public pricing available
Uses RingCentral’s proven VoIP technology
Chat, SMS, and other channel support locked behind Advanced tier
RingCentral Contact Center does not offer pricing information to the public. You will have to call their team and negotiate a price.
- Basic: Standard IVR menus, team collaboration via chat, video, and phone
- Advanced: Advanced multilevel IVR, email, chat, and SMS support, CRM integrations
- Ultimate: Outbound dialing functionality, predictive dialing, and agent scripting capabilities
- Advanced IVR: The Advanced and Ultimate versions of the system offer a multilevel IVR that can host complex voice menus and forward calls to external numbers.
- Omnichannel support: Premium tiers of the service offer the ability to provide support over SMS, email, and webchat.
- Open API: If you have a capable developer on your team (or you want to hire a freelancer), RingCentral Contact Center lets you build out your own integrations and features.
For more information about RingCentral, you can check out our user reviews page of the phone system.
Talkdesk: Best HIPAA-compliant Call Center Phone System
What it is: Talkdesk is a call center platform that offers, among other things, a power dialer, call queuing, and HIPAA compliance for all communications.
Why it is great for call centers: Healthcare organizations have legal obligations to protect patient data. What separates the solution from competitors is that it offers guaranteed compliance with HIPAA for all of your communications data. As such, it is our recommendation for healthcare-related organizations that need to protect sensitive patient information.
Guaranteed HIPAA compliance
Cluttered user interface (UI) can be intimidating
Integrates with third-party business apps
Mobile functionality locked behind Professional Plus tier
Automatic call distribution (ACD) module
Custom dashboards can be difficult to set up
Talkdesk does not offer concrete pricing for its service plans. You will have to call and receive a customized quote.
- Professional: Full HIPAA compliance, IVR, SMS surveys, Mood sentiment, and integrations with more than 60 business apps
- Professional Plus: All the features of Professional with mobile apps for iOS and Android devices and real-time reporting tools
- Enterprise: A 100% service uptime agreement, custom dashboard creation tools, and more integration features
- HIPAA compliance: Talkdesk offers protection for all of your sensitive healthcare content.
- SMS surveys: Follow up all of your customer service calls with a text survey to measure how well your team is doing. This is in addition to both hosted PBX and SIP trunking capabilities.
- Third-party integrations: Talkdesk comes with integrations for more than 60 popular business applications, such as Salesforce, Zendesk, Slack, and Microsoft Teams.
Aircall: Best Call Center Phone System for Collaboration
What it is: Aircall is a VoIP call center solution that is unique in the sense that it offers standard collaboration tools, including a shared contacts list and a communal inbox for call center staff.
Why it is great for call centers: Aircall comes with all of the tools you need for your team to work together at full capacity. It also includes unlimited inbound calling, automated call queuing, and modules for monitoring all of your call traffic. Pricing starts at $30 per user, per month. We think it’s ideal for teams that tend to work together in solving customer problems.
Helpful collaboration features
Requires at least 3 users
Essentials plan can only hold 5 callers in a queue at one time
Dedicated account manager in Professional edition
UI not as intuitive as other systems
- Essentials: $30 per user, per month for custom greetings, collaboration tools, smart queueing, and IVR
- Professional: $50 per user, per month for Salesforce integration, live call monitoring, queue call back, power dialer, and a dedicated account manager to help you as needed
- Custom: Contact Aircall if neither plan suits your needs and you want a customized package with negotiable pricing
- Collaboration features: A shared contact list and voicemail inbox help foster a more collaborative environment in your call center.
- Live call monitoring: Being able to listen in on calls can be very helpful for training and evaluation purposes.
- Dedicated account manager: The Professional version of the system comes with an account manager who is specifically assigned to help your team with whatever you may need.
Zendesk Talk: Best Free Call Center Phone System
What it is: Zendesk Talk is a call center platform that offers a free version as well as paid plans starting at $19 per user, per month.
Why it is great for call centers: Zendesk Talk comes with modules for voicemail, call recording, and call routing functionality. Like competing systems, it can also be used with any telephony hardware you have, like a call center phone. It also comes with advanced features like prerecorded greetings and IVR. Zendesk Talk’s free version serves as a great choice for teams that are on a budget but can still benefit from a free, no-frills system.
Zendesk Talk Strengths
Zendesk Talk Weaknesses
Free version has a respectable set of features
Free version limited to one phone number
Works with the rest of the Zendesk product ecosystem
Can get expensive in premium editions
Voicemail transcription available
Somewhat clunky interface
Zendesk Talk Pricing
- Lite: Free, comes with one phone number, automatic ticket creation, call recording, and voicemail transcription
- Team: $19 per user, per month for multiple numbers, text messaging, and a widget for contacting Zendesk directly from the app
- Professional: $49 per user, per month for IVR phone trees, the ability to send callers to voicemail outside of business hours, call monitoring, conferencing, and agent recording
- Enterprise: $89 per user, per month for monthly diagnostics, extended queue wait time, and a guarantee of at least 99.95% service uptime
Zendesk Talk Features
- Free version: While it’s not as powerful as a proper paid solution, the free edition still comes with ticket management tools and phone support. It’s great for any organization that wants to try out call center features for the first time.
- Business hours: The Professional and Enterprise editions of the service let you configure your business hours so that customers who call after your office closes will be automatically sent to voicemail.
- Dashboards: Real-time dashboard features give you an accurate picture of what your agents are doing and how busy they are.
GoToConnect: Best Call Center Phone System for International Calling
What it is: GoToConnect is a call center platform with impressive international calling capabilities that offers a free version as well as paid plans starting at $19 per user, per month.
Why it is great for call centers: GoToConnect comes with modules for voicemail, call recording, and call routing functionality. It also comes with advanced features like prerecorded greetings and IVR. GoToConnect’s free version serves as a great choice for teams that are on a budget but can still benefit from a free, no-frills system.
Unlimited international calling
Minimal call center features compared to other systems
Advanced call routing capabilities
Unlimited call queues
Phone features could be overkill for some teams
- GoToConnect costs $29.95 per user, per month for one to four users; volume discounts are available as you add more users
- International calling: GoToConnect offers unlimited calling to more than 50 countries all over the world.
- Unlimited call queues: No matter how many people call your organization, they will automatically be placed in a queue so they can be served on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Custom hold music: GoToConnect lets you upload any audio file you want for your hold music.
GoToConnect’s call center phone service was previously known as Jive.
Call center phone systems can be a huge benefit for sales and support teams. They use internet technology like a traditional VoIP service, but they come with features like call queueing and IVRs that lend themselves well to the high volumes of incoming call traffic that most call centers have. Additional features like shared inboxes increase the overall usefulness of these systems.
We recommend Freshcaller to most companies looking for a new call center system. It’s a powerful, yet affordable service that offers all the functionality you need to handle your call traffic. Click the button below to get started for free.