Phone support is unrivaled when it comes to providing personalized service. Clients often prefer to reach out to customer service by phone, even in today’s digital age.
It is not news that small and expanding companies find managing phone support an uphill battle. To provide the most effective support for your customer service team, a call center software system that automates processes is essential. Supervisors may also be affected because they will encounter challenges trying to monitor call volume and trends.
Having call center software that routes calls to the right agents enhances employee competence and enables management to implement an integrated approach. Whatever size your call center is, selecting the right tools to build it is crucial.
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What is a call center?
A call center is where employees of a company assist customers over the telephone by handling inquiries, providing technical support, or making sales. Their basic duty is to respond to incoming calls from customers. They take orders, answer questions, troubleshoot problems, provide information, and reply to complaints about the organization’s products or services.
The call center industry has advanced in recent years beyond simply answering phones. It has evolved into a robust client management platform that supports productivity within the organization. It now incorporates integrations across more channels of communication including email, chat, and social media. As a result, choosing the right call center software is crucial to your business productivity.
Call center software is broadly classified into two types:
- On-premise call center software: With an on-premise system, you will be able to manage the phone system on your own. However, you will need to pay for the hardware and ensure that the phone system is maintained. Secondly, this type of system comes with challenges when trying to expand to multiple locations.
- Cloud-hosted call center solution: A cloud-based call center is free from any hardware requirement and has a flexible price based on usage. It will not require installation either. There are benefits of such systems such as no hardware maintenance required, and accessibility (anytime, anywhere).
Key features to look out for in a call center software
Many options exist when it comes to calling center software. Several will suit outbound call centers, whereas others will suit inbound call centers. It is important to understand that each solution offers different benefits and features. With this in mind let’s consider some of the standard features that should be in the call center software you choose.
- IVR (Interactive voice response): IVRs let the caller choose a specific agent based on their needs via an electronic voice menu. While the customer waits for an agent, using IVR presents the opportunity for the client to resolve issues by following the self-service prompts. It also creates a means for gathering basic data about the customer that could aid the agent in offering excellent customer service.
- Call routing: Any standard call center software must include skill-based call routing. Using automatic call routing saves both time and resources. With skill-based call routing, the customer has directed to the most suitable agent and not just the next available agent.
- Omnichannel: Your new call center software needs to integrate well with your other support methods. In addition to calling, It should be able to integrate with things like live chat, email, social media, etc.
- Call Recording: Call recording is a common practice, so the software system you use should be able to do that as well. In addition to helping you train, they can also increase productivity and customer satisfaction.
- CTI (Computer telephony integration): The majority of call center software includes a CTI module that allows your phone to communicate with your PC. The CTI helps you transform your computer into a virtual call center in an instant.
- CRM Integrations: Ideally, your team’s software should help them work faster, more efficiently, and better. Communication between your tools is needed to achieve this. Identifying a customer through their phone number and surfacing previous interactions through browser pop-ups is an ideal example. Your call center software should be able to integrate with your CRM (Zendesk, Salesforce, etc.) and helpdesk systems seamlessly.
- Reporting: Managing a call center calls for managers to constantly monitor the center’s performance. Your call center software should be able to provide a variety of analytical tools at this point. You can enhance team performance and data-driven changes in workflows by measuring and tracking analytics. From missed calls to processing time, call center software differs in its analysis and tracking features.
- Support/training options: Choosing a call center software with great support resources is crucial. With remote work, most employees are spread across various regions and access to in-person training may be slim. Software with multiple options for customer support will aid in training agents and timely resolution of technical issues as they arise.
Now let’s get to the business of the day. Below is 9 exceptional call center applications ideal for any size of business.
Best call center software
RingCentral is call center software that offers multi-channel customer care management so that customers can interact however they choose. Native features include voice, web chat, SMS, email, and fax. Social media support is optional. Advanced inbound and outbound media routing and distribution features let businesses of all sizes increase their customer support response times.
It provides both agent-based and self-service routing functionality through IVR (interactive voice response). This includes an option for account inquiries and bill-paying allowing customers to self-serve and reduce the workload of agents.
A key feature of RingCentral is the My Agent Experience tool that displays customer CRM details and caller information to agents. It also enables CTI (Computer Telephony Integration) screen pops that simplify call handling thereby improving customer experiences. Pre-built reports, ad-hoc reports, and custom reports are available with up-to-date data.
The integrated platform allows agent managers to easily add or remove agents based on demand.
- RingCentral Contact Centre lets its remote agents use the platform from anywhere with an internet connection.
- Customers can reach agents using the method of their choosing, including voice, webchat, social media, email, SMS, and fax.
- Scheduling, tracking, and training agents are provided with a variety of tools to optimize their productivity.
- RingCentral Contact Centre provides integrations with Salesforce, Google, Zendesk, Box, and more third-party applications.
- Analytics and reports are user-friendly and help users make better business decisions.
- An ACD (automated call distribution) engine is built into the solution to match requests to agents who are best suited to handle them.
- Web-only supported platform
- No appointment management and automatic lead distribution features.
Four pricing plans exist with a 14-day free trial available. They include;
Five9 is a cloud-based contact center and call center software that uses artificial intelligence. It provides inbound and outbound call management, predictive dialer, progressive dialer, chat, social media customer support as well as automatic call distribution (ACD).
One of its key features is the Smart dialer. It automatically bypasses no-answers, “do not call numbers” and busy signals so the next prospect is available when the agent is ready. This allows agents to talk to real customers more. It makes the most of intelligent routing by routing calls to the right agents.
The IVR of Five9 provides intuitive self-service options. Through Practical AI, Five9 makes contact centers more efficient, so agents can be more effective, and customers can have a great experience across all channels.
- A Five9 call center can be set up and running within days. Agents only need a headset and access to the internet.
- Hardware investment or maintenance costs are not required. Fully cloud-based.
- Real-time performance reporting.
- Supports web and iPhone/iPad platforms
- Free IT resources are available
- No Access control/permission feature
- Does not support Android devices
It offers flexible pricing options which are available on request. They include;
Monthly On-Demand —Companies looking to quickly scale their operations with minimum costs
Per-Minute Fees — Products such as voice message broadcasting or IVR with Speech recognition
Annual Contracts — Reduced fee compared to monthly on-demand pricing.
CloudTalk is an intuitive phone system that offers more than 50 advanced features. Customer support and sales teams working for startups, SMBs, or e-commerce companies tend to use the software. CloudTalk gives teams from sales and call centers the ability to manage calls anywhere on any device, with international numbers in more than 80 countries.
With seamless integrations across 25+platforms, teams can always access up-to-date information. CloudTalk provides features such as basic call features, automated call distribution, interactive voice response, real-time customer cards, custom reporting, click-to-call, call statistics, real-time dashboards, conference calls, etc.
A prominent feature of CloudTalk is its Smart Dialer, which creates a list of numbers and lets you call them with a single click.
It also integrates with most of the popular CRM, Helpdesk, and eCommerce platforms. These include Zendesk, Freshdesk, Pipedrive, Salesforce, etc.
- Feature call center dashboard provides all the important data about your team in one place.
- Real-time monitoring of your sales or customer support team.
- Streamline communication with your customers by integrating your phone system with popular CRMs, eCommerce platforms, or customer support systems like Pipedrive, Helpscout, or Shopify.
- Outbound callers can be called from local numbers by creating an automated outbound ID based on the destination country.
- CloudTalk users can add personalized tags to their contacts and identify them later using these tags.
- Web-only platform
- Limited call center features
- No self-service portal
It offers four pricing plans with the 4th as a tailored plan. They include;
All plans have a 14 day free trial period.
LiveAgent’s call center platform is integrated into the company’s multi-channel help desk, so you can talk with customers on any channel that will work for you (or them). It is one of the few tools on our list that doesn’t charge a usage fee per minute, making it a cost-effective option for businesses that provide phone support.
Thanks to 180+ support features, you will be able to link almost every possible support channel such as email, Facebook comments, Twitter, contact forms, live chat, or telephone calls. Automated Help Desk features include priorities, statuses, tags, rules, POP3 accounts, ticketing automation, SLA, tags, and email routing.
LiveAgent is offered as both web-based (cloud) software and on-premise installations. A key feature of LiveAgent’s platform is its custom-built live chat functionality.
- Supports multiple platforms; web, android, and iPhone/iPad
- It is also available for a small one-time fee as a self-hosted license for privacy options.
- 24 hours customer support all year round.
- Using LiveAgent, all support channels can be accessed from one interface.
- App support for unlimited brands, with no extra cost
- No single sign-on feature
- Limited integrations with other tools
It has flexible plans as well as a forever free account with limited features.
- Ticket $15/user/month
- Ticket + chat $29/user/month
- All-inclusive $39/user/month
Free trial is available for all plans.
The CallHippo cloud-based VoIP phone service is perfect for startups and small businesses. It is both web-based and mobile-based – enabling sales, marketing, and customer service teams to make and receive international calls. With CallHippo, businesses can purchase virtual phone numbers in more than 50 countries, add new users, and call receivers worldwide.
Time zones can be displayed on a company’s dialer before and after making international calls. This resolves any confusion about the current time, and users can set their availability status. The voicemail and on-hold music feature let businesses answer calls with a recorded message or custom music outside of working hours and when placed on hold.
Real-time call analytics from CallHippo provides information on callers, call quality, and duration. Call recording is automatic and records of conversations during a campaign can be reviewed on managers’ dashboards.
- Multiple platform support – web, Android, and iPhone/iPad
- Businesses can buy a single number for all of their communications needs, or they can buy individual numbers for different departments.
- Supervisors can track key performance metrics using the software’s interactive dashboard and take business-relevant decisions based on the software’s display of agents’ calls.
- It provides online virtual phone systems for small businesses to make and receive calls using any internet-connected device.
- All recordings and missed voicemails are sent to the admin in audio format.
- No chat/messaging feature
- No alert/escalation feature
It has 3 pricing plans as well as a customized enterprise plan available on request. Additionally for a fee, you can purchase some add-ons to enhance your package.
- Bronze plan: $15/user/month
- Silver plan: $30user/ month
- Platinum plan: $45/ user/ month
6. Nectar Desk
Cloud-based Nectar Desk provides inbound, outbound, and blended call center solutions. It provides basic and advanced call center capabilities, such as call recording, queue management, real-time monitoring, interactive voice response (IVR), automatic call distribution (ACD), call transfer, custom agent statuses, and call analytics.
With Nectar Desk’s inbound call center tools, callers are directed to the right department or agent based on ACD, ring groups, and skills-based routing. A call queue of unlimited length ensures that no caller is disconnected due to busy signals, and it allows callers to request callbacks.
The Nectar Desk system allows users to document inbound and outbound calls and stop or start recording sensitive conversations as they require. Clients’ activity logs automatically store recordings, and users can review stored recordings at any time. It also includes an automated voicemail system that records and sends computer-readable audio extensions and transcripts of voicemail communications.
- Multiple queues can be monitored in real-time through the multi-queue dashboard, and calls can be routed to specific agents, canceled, and agents assigned to ring groups.
- Callers can request a callback from an agent, eliminating the need to wait in queues.
- A computer-readable audio extension accompanies voicemail notifications automatically via automated voicemail
- User statuses can be customized to meet specific business needs, and statuses can be viewed by users.
- Web-only supported platform
- Limited customer support resource
It has three pricing plans with a limited free plan available. They include;
- Basic voice $29/month
- Multi-channel $49/month
- Unlimited $99/month
With ChaseData CCaaS, call centers with five agents or more can benefit from a complete cloud-based call center management solution. The solution provides outbound predictive dialing, queued progressive dialing, and managed preview dialing all in one. ChaseData’s inbound and outbound call features are supported by an automated IVR system.
The advanced pacing algorithm enables management to set call rates that are flexible based on the number of agents and the working hours. Supervisors can track the progress of campaigns and identify key performance indicators using the PowerStudio feature.
It also includes an open API for integrating the solution with internal CRM and communication solutions.
- Multiple campaigns can be run simultaneously in the call center with real-time switching between campaigns.
- Using their built-in list manager, ChaseData’s customers can sort, update, update or email contact lists directly from within their solution.
- Using this solution, every call can be recorded and stored for a minimum of 90 days on cloud servers for reviews and rating purposes.
- Multiple dialing modes are supported
- Web-only platform
- No self-service feature
It has 3 pricing plans including a free plan. They are;
- Small business $89/user/month
- .Professional $139/user/month
- Enterprise $169/user/month
Dialer360 is a call center software package that allows users to have calls delivered with a perfect British or American accent when they speak. Using an autodialer program, you can make thousands of calls using pre-recorded voices, tailored to fit your particular business needs.
Agents can manage incoming calls with features such as call transferring, auto-dialing campaigns, IVR (interactive voice response), local caller ID, callback scheduling, 3rd party conferencing, and script display. All call information is recorded, allowing users to view a complete log of each call, including the total call duration.
Dialer360 also offers a time clock app, custom web page, broadcasting with pre-recorded messages, and drop calls to voicemail. This company offers a seven-day money-back guarantee.
- Using time zone management technology, agents are automatically informed when to contact certain states and when not to contact others.
- Users have access to real-time metrics that provide insight into the performance of the call center and agents.
- The Dialer360 platform allows managers to monitor agent performance by checking out or entering live chats between agents and customers.
- Log-in flexibility
- Web-only platform
- Limited call center features
No monthly subscription is available but it offers a pay-as-you-go plan based on specific needs.
Justcall is a cloud-based call center software suitable for remote support and sales teams. It is an ideal choice for businesses in the healthcare, eCommerce, finance, real estate sectors for making international calls. With Justcall, you can get phone numbers, make and receive calls to over 70 countries in just minutes.
Amongst its prominent features include interactive voice response (IVR), call management, bulk SMS campaigns, auto dialer, call whispering, and more. JustCall’s real-time tracking and analysis of call recordings analyze call activity hassle-free.
Also, managers can create custom greetings for voicemails and assign specific caller IDs to multiple phone numbers.
- Supports multiple platforms – Web, Android, and iPhone/iPad
- Businesses automatically respond to SMS and SMS messages with multimedia messaging services (MMS).
- Track and analyze class in real-time.
- Android and iOS devices are capable of sorting call logs based on date and time.
- Limited training support
- No Activity tracking feature
It has 3 pricing options with the 3rd, (Enterprise), tailored to suit specific business needs. They include;
- .Standard $20/user/month
- Premium $40/user/month
- Enterprise available on request
Having great call center software will in no small measure boost your team’s productivity. Offering an excellent and robust support system to meet customers’ ever-increasing needs is key to not only meeting their expectations but also growing the bottom line of your business. With the above list, it’s time to take your customer service delivery to a whole new level.
Daniel Ndukwu is the CoFounder of Growth Boost and the Founder of KyLeads. He brings extensive digital marketing experience to the table and enjoys helping people on their entrepreneurial journey. When not creating internet-first brands, he spends as much time as he can with his family.