Virtual call center software
Virtual call center software allows customer service agents to provide high-quality customer service remotely with a cloud-based computer program. Discover the top 10 virtual call center tools businesses use to support customers in 2023.
A guide to the best virtual call center software
When customer service team members are working remotely or from different offices, virtual call center software ensures they don’t miss a beat.
Full-featured virtual call center software can also reduce overhead costs, improve employee satisfaction, and make it easy to scale your organization. In this article, we’ll share some top virtual call center tools and tips for picking the right one for your business.
- What is virtual call center software?
- At a glance: Virtual call center solutions
- The 10 best virtual call center software of 2023
- How is a virtual call center different from a traditional call center?
- Virtual call center platform features
- 3 benefits of virtual call center platforms
- How to choose the best virtual call center software for your business
- Frequently asked questions
- Try virtual call center software for free
What is virtual call center software?
Virtual call center software systems are cloud-based computer programs that allow agents to make and receive phone calls from different locations, including regional and work-from-home offices.
Other than its distributed nature, virtual call center software functions similarly to traditional call center software that uses a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system.
How do virtual call centers work?
Virtual call centers use cloud-based software so agents can make calls online rather than paying for costly hardware and equipment. The software also allows agents to communicate via channels such as email, SMS, and social media, which is why some people refer to virtual call centers as contact centers.
Once a business deploys virtual call center software, all agents have to do is log in, learn the system, and get to work. For a virtual call center to work, your agents need a computer, a reliable internet connection, and a headset.
The software is ready to use right after setup, but system administrators can configure their intelligent contact center system to the business’s specifications.
Generally speaking, businesses can use the software to collect caller data, configure call flows, provide self-service menus, and match call records with existing customer records—but functionalities will vary depending on the configurations your team makes.
At a glance: Virtual call center solutions
Learn more about the top virtual call center software businesses use to provide remote support in 2023. All vendors were chosen for the list based on the benefits of their CCaaS software, user reviews, and available features.
|Virtual call center software||Starting price||Free trial||Features|
|Zendesk||$55 per agent/month (billed annually)||14 days||
|Aircall||$40 per user/month||7 days||
$24 per user/month
|Talkdesk||$75 per user/month||Unavailable||
|Five9||$149 per month||Unavailable||
|NICE CXone||Contact sales||60 days||
|8×8||$85 per user/month||Unavailable||
|Genesys Cloud CX||$75 per named user/month (billed annually)||30 days||
|Bright Pattern||Request a quote||30 days||
The 10 best virtual call center software of 2023
Here are the 10 best virtual call center systems of 2023. Click on the jump-to list below to review the software profile and its features.
Zendesk virtual call center software facilitates a seamless customer experience (CX) regardless of where your agents work from. The Zendesk platform does this using a series of workforce engagement management (WEM) tools that improve agent experiences and streamline operational processes.
Zendesk positively impacts omnichannel customer experiences with an agent workspace that keeps customer service teams current on all pertinent customer information. The Zendesk platform ensures agents have access to relevant customer context and interaction histories by automatically running the caller’s number against business records.
The omnichannel workspace also supports productivity by allowing agents to take calls, leave notes, log conversations, and reference customer data on a single platform, eliminating the need to switch between tabs.
Since Zendesk integrates with more than 90 telephony providers, you can easily plug in your preferred call center solution. Or you can use Zendesk as your standalone telephony provider. Either way, you can customize the integrated voice software with additional tools and services such as advanced call transcription, redaction, and quality assurance capabilities.
See the full list of features here.
- Suite Team: $55 per agent/month
- Suite Growth: $89 per agent/month
- Suite Professional: $115 per agent/month
- Suite Enterprise: $169 per agent/month
*All plans are billed annually.
Aircall is a virtual call center solution that claims to be as simple to set up as your email.
Software companies and e-commerce brands use Aircall to deploy basic call center functionalities like call routing and IVR. Businesses can also use Aircall to craft automations, analyze call data, and integrate with other tools.
A common theme in negative reviews about Aircall is the pace and efficiency of the onboarding process. Several G2 reviewers noted that Aircall support staff seemed “hands-off” and “slow.” The more positive feedback centered around Aircall’s ease of use and effective integrations.
- API and 95+ integrations
- Call recording
- Unlimited calling in the U.S. and Canada
- Call queuing
- Essentials: $40 per user/month
- Professional: $70 per user/month
- Custom: Call for details
Growing businesses need virtual call center software that can expand with them. In that respect, CloudTalk fits the bill with phone numbers for more than 140 countries. Large multinational logistics companies, car manufacturers, and retailers trust CloudTalk as their virtual call center software.
CloudTalk includes all the basic and advanced features you’d expect from your software. Call queuing, call recording, extensions, SMS support, personalized greetings, and much more come standard in every plan.
While CloudTalk plans range in price, businesses must purchase a custom plan to enable outbound calling.
- Click to call
- Smart dialer
- Power dialer
- Toll-free numbers
- Automatic call distribution (ACD)
- International numbers for 160+ countries
- Starter: $25 per user/month
- Essential: $30 per user/month
- Expert: $50 per user/month
- Custom: Contact sales
*All plans are billed annually.
Although Talkdesk’s website features several CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) tools, the software is primarily a virtual call center solution.
In addition to its core virtual call center functionality, Talkdesk includes a self-service portal, workforce management capabilities, employee collaboration tools, and robust CX analytics. Plus, the mobile app enables sales and service reps to make and receive calls from anywhere.
G2 reviewers give Talkdesk high ratings, with many customers highlighting the solution’s easy-to-use interface, valuable reports, and simple implementation. However, some customers have noted that the analytics and call recording in Talkdesk leaves something to be desired.
- Talkdesk Studio
- Real-time dashboards
- API access
- Knowledge management
- Contact center workflow integrations
- Virtual agent
- CX Cloud Essentials: $75 per user/month
- CX Cloud Elevate: $95 per user/month
- CX Cloud Elite: $125 per user/month
Five9 can help businesses that need to fill gaps in their existing CX solution.
Many service-based businesses use Five9 to power their call centers. Five9 allows businesses to integrate their call center software with third-party tools. Plus, the company offers other phone solutions if you ever need to expand.
However, since the tool is more expensive than most virtual call center alternatives—and none of the pricing packages include all communication channels—businesses should ensure they don’t want to introduce contact center capabilities before committing.
For those that do plan to upgrade to a contact center, consider requesting a custom quote that includes all channels first or selecting another vendor.
- Omnichannel ticket routing
- Real-time and historical dashboards
- Predictive dialing
- Intelligent virtual assistant
- Outbound dialer
- Call recording
- Web callback
- Workflow automation
- Digital (Digital-only): $149 per month
- Core (Voice-only): $149 per month
- Premium (Digital + Voice): $169 per month
- Optimum (Digital + Voice + WEM): $199 per month
- Ultimate (Digital + Voice + WEM + Analytics): $229 per month
6. NICE CXone
NICE CXone is a virtual, open-cloud call center software solution. Users like the tool because it’s easy to deploy and comes with intelligent features such as intelligent routing, workflow automation, and a virtual agent that provides agents with guidance to boost their performance.
When NICE CXone is fully functional, however, G2 reviewers report that NICE CXone is sometimes difficult to navigate and crashes when call volume surges.
Unfortunately, NICE doesn’t publicize its pricing. You’ll have to contact the company to get information about licensing and implementation costs.
- Workforce management
- Live chat
- Native integrations
- Self-service knowledge base
- Customer feedback surveys
- Live chat software
- Customer engagement: Contact sales
- Contact center essentials: Contact sales
- Contact center core: Contact sales
- Contact center complete: Contact sales
Trusted by more than 7,000 customers spread throughout 60 countries, Ameyo is a contender in the virtual call center software space. In addition to its virtual call center software, Ameyo provides inbound and outbound call centers, a cloud contact center, and conversational AI solutions.
Its virtual software includes all the basic and advanced features to improve customer engagement, whether that’s through inbound or outbound calling.
Notable features include call disposition, voice blasts, a preview dialer, and intelligent call routing with IVR and ACD. On the agent experience side, Ameyo is a unified agent desktop, allowing reps to handle tickets across channels.
Ameyo doesn’t share pricing information on its website. To get more information about its virtual call center software prices, book a demo through the Ameyo website.
- Predictive dialer
- On-call options (hold, mute, transfer, etc.)
- Call summary notes
- Mass notifications
- Number masking
- Customer relationship management (CRM) integrations
- Call and screen recording
- Call center analytics
Many Zendesk customers use the 8×8 virtual contact center integration to serve their customers more efficiently.
8×8 has call-handling capabilities, comprehensive configuration management, and a seamless interface. The platform offers support to agents whether they’re using a desk phone, desktop, or mobile device.
But 8×8 doesn’t just focus on call handling. The software also includes workforce engagement management tools, including call volume forecasting, customer surveys, call recording, and real-time performance dashboards.
- Conferencing (video and audio)
- Reporting and analytics
- Skills-based routing
- Call recording
- Call monitoring
- Contact center X6: $85 per user/month
- Contact center X7: $110 per user/month
- Contact center X8: $140 per user/month
Genesys Cloud CX supports workforce engagement and virtual contact center functionalities to simplify customer experiences across all channels. Genesys bills its software as a means to communicate quickly and seamlessly over the phone as well as through social media, a website, and live chat.
Genesys can handle inbound and outbound calling and comes equipped with basic technologies like IVR and ACD for call routing.
You can buy Genesys licenses in two ways: with one of three packages or a custom software package. The packages range from $75 to $155 per month and require a minimum commitment of $2,000 per month.
- Performance dashboards
- Real-time and historical reporting
- Inbound voice routing
- IVR and web callback
- Genesys Cloud CX 1 (voice): $75 per named user/month
- Genesys Cloud CX 2 (digital): $95 per named user/month
- Genesys Cloud CX 2 (digital + voice): $115 per named user/month
- Genesys Cloud CX 3 (digital + WEM): $135 per named user/month
- Genesys Cloud CX 3 (digital + WEM + voice): $155 per named user/month
*All prices are billed annually.
10. Bright Pattern
Striking a balance between sophistication and ease of use, Bright Pattern helps virtual call center agents leverage the power of embedded AI to ensure high-quality customer experiences. Bright Pattern enables omnichannel communication with customers across platforms such as email, live chat, SMS, MMS, voice, and more.
Bright Pattern also comes with many popular CRM integrations including Zendesk, Salesforce, Oracle Service Cloud, and ServiceNow. Support teams can utilize these integrations to fine-tune the CX.
- Inbound voice calls
- Outbound voice calls
- Personal routing
- Journey history
- Customer profiles
- Reporting and customizable dashboards
- Knowledge base
- API access
- Call recording (90 days)
- Screen recording (30 days)
- Voice Select: Request a quote
- Pro Package: Request a quote
- Premium Package: Request a quote
How is a virtual call center different from a traditional call center?
|Customer service agents must make and receive phone calls from a physical call center.||Customer service agents can manage customer calls from anywhere with an internet connection.|
The main difference between virtual and traditional call centers is that the former enables agents to work from anywhere. This is because the technological capabilities of virtual call center software exist in the cloud rather than in a server that’s only accessible from one location.
However, the fact that virtual call centers reside in the cloud isn’t just about accessibility. With cloud-based software, there are far more possibilities for integrating other systems and data. Integrating data from traditional call centers into cloud-based CRM might require costly configurations, but users can do it in virtual call centers with pre-built integrations.
Virtual call center platform features
A reliable virtual call center system will include a few standard features to support agents as they provide customer service and increase operational efficiency. The top features you should look for include an omnichannel agent workspace, IVR, call routing and transfers, advanced reporting, and workforce engagement.
Omnichannel agent workspace
While virtual call center software manages inbound and outbound calls, support agents and customer service representatives can still benefit from an omnichannel agent workspace. Integrate virtual call center software into your workflows to increase job performance and eradicate call center burnout.
Omnichannel agent workspaces give representatives access to customer profiles where they can view contextual information from other communication channels. This serves a dual purpose of eliminating data silos and maintaining continuity of service, which are common consumer expectations.
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Interactive voice response is a computer-operated call center tool that provides callers with several options via an automated message before instructing them to press a number and confirm their selection.
When this happens, the virtual call center software runs the caller’s number against a company’s internal database to gather customer information.
Once the user makes a choice, the IVR directs them to the correct department, and the agent can accept the call, armed with all the information they need to resolve the customer’s issue.
Call routing and transfers
Much of the value of your virtual call center will come down to how efficiently it routes calls. Generally, two key features determine how a call routes to an agent: automatic call distribution (ACD) and IVR.
Once the IVR collects preliminary customer information, ACD kicks in. Based on the customer’s answers to the pre-recorded questions, ACD routes calls based on preset rules.
You may configure these preset rules so customers are directed to the agent with the skill set to serve them—this is called skills-based routing.
Advanced reporting and analytics
For business leaders to make data-driven insights and decisions, the virtual call center platform they use must be capable of advanced reporting and analytics. Some analytics your system should track include:
- Agent activity, performance, and availability
- Queue times
- Call reports
- Service-level agreement (SLA) adherence
Workforce Engagement Management (WEM)
Workforce engagement management (WEM) is a suite of virtual contact center applications that increase employee engagement and productivity company-wide.
Closely related to workforce management (WFM) and workforce optimization (WFO), WEM software automates several call center processes that streamline tasks such as onboarding, scheduling, performance management, metric and key performance indicator (KPI) tracking, and reporting.
3 benefits of virtual call center platforms
Virtual call center software is a worthwhile investment for businesses because it enhances agent experiences, boosts efficiency, and improves productivity through integrations, automations, and data-sharing functionalities.
1. Enhances the agent experience
Virtual call center services provide the tech you need to allow service agents and their managers the flexibility to work remotely. And with the competition for competent service agents as hot as ever, workplace flexibility is a critical recruiting tool.
As we discussed earlier, better agent workspaces can also improve the employee experience (EX) by making it easier to resolve issues without clicking through unorganized open tabs or accidentally missing important customer information.
2. Boosts call center efficiency
Before the rise and proliferation of cloud-based tools like virtual call center software, outsourced business process outsourcing (BPO) call centers were the most economical option for businesses of all sizes.
Today, businesses can use cost-effective virtual call center software to efficiently manage customer calls in-house. With the correct tools, customer support agents can serve customers from anywhere with an internet connection, and features like robust workspaces help them close out tickets faster.
3. Creates seamless connectivity with other tools
Compared to traditional call center software, virtual call center services are far easier to connect to your other cloud-based tools.
Most virtual call center solutions have pre-built integrations with popular CRMs, help desks, analytics tools, ticket management solutions, and more. These integrations help enhance the agent and customer experience to level up your virtual call center solution.
Not all vendors take the same care in building effective, intuitive integrations. To ensure the software you’re considering is compatible with tools your team relies on, check virtual call center software reviews and the vendor’s website.
How to choose the best virtual call center solution for your business
If you’re selecting an online call center solution for your business, you have many options—a blessing and a curse. We recommend focusing your selection process on the following five areas:
- Assess your organization’s needs
- Quality of fit with current team
- Expected return on investment
- Speed and efficiency of deployment
- Start a free trial
To understand your needs, assess customer service data and take stock of existing resources.
Before selecting a new tool, it’s best practice to take time and understand what works and what doesn’t regarding your existing software. Complete this step before doing anything else because your final decision will ultimately come down to the facts you uncover at this stage rather than opinions or a strong sales pitch.
Business leaders can also use the knowledge found in this stage to shortlist a select few providers and speed up the decision-making process
For any software to be useful to your organization, it has to become an extension of your team—present and future. That means prioritizing solutions you can configure around your current processes. But it’s not enough to just consider your current team’s constraints.
Your team and your business will change over time, and that’s where the flexibility of your virtual call center becomes very important. After all, even the best tools for you today may quickly become expensive if you have to switch once your company grows, change how your team is organized, or pivot your business.
When you’re considering a solution, you can’t know exactly how it will impact your operations. But that shouldn’t stop you from making some return on investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO) projections.
Always consider how new technology will financially impact your business to ensure it will do more good than harm.
To do this, outline how you’ll generate revenue through CX processes and tool upgrades. Typically, customer service generates income by upgrading existing accounts and either increasing customer retention or bolstering referrals.
If you can pin down how new software might impact one of these revenue streams, you can accurately calculate the ROI.
You can also evaluate how a given solution will lower costs through, for example, reduced headcount or improved employee retention. However you decide to calculate ROI, your projections can help contextualize the cost of each solution.
If you’ve ever purchased a major software product in a corporate setting, you know it’s not enough for your team to see the potential value. Executives and other stakeholders also need to see the value of a product. Otherwise, funding and buy-in can quickly dry up. That’s why it’s so important to consider how long it will take for the virtual call center service you choose to start creating tangible value. The sooner you can show the effectiveness of the tool, the easier it will be to integrate it within your organization.
Finally, the best thing you can do before committing to new call center software is to start a free trial. Research and demos are useful, but none of that will tell you if a tool is the right fit.
During the free trial period, keep tabs on any features you don’t like or understand. Try to find online resources or contact support to find a solution. Doing this will help you gauge the experience you expect from the company while you’re onboarding and learning to use the software.
Free trials can also illuminate functionalities that you do and don’t like, which can further inform your search if you decide to keep looking.
FAQs about virtual contact center solutions
Learn more about virtual call center services and contact center systems and the impact each can have on business.
How can a virtual contact center system improve customer experiences?
Virtual call center solutions enhance the customer experience by:
- Improving the agent experience and employee engagement
- Enabling 24/7 service, making it possible for agents in different time zones to operate within the same call center
- Speeding up average resolution time and minimizing manual work for agents
- Integrating with other tools that provide contextual customer data and empower agents to provide more personalized service
- Linking other communication channels, such as social media, live chat, SMS, and more
How do virtual call center solutions increase agent productivity?
Virtual call center software enhances agent productivity by:
- Routing calls automatically based on preset rules related to agent skills and availability, customer information, and time zone
- Providing context to the agent, such as order history, so they can tailor their service to the individual
- Enabling agents to work from home with fewer distractions
What is the best virtual call center solution for small business?
The answer to this may vary based on current needs and organizational goals. However, Zendesk is the best all-around solution and a top choice among small and midsize businesses (SMBs).
Small business owners often select Zendesk for their virtual call centers because the platform has a low TCO, a high ROI, and can scale with any organization as it grows.
When do you need a virtual call center?
If your organization has remote employees that regularly field or make large volumes of inbound or outbound calls, you need a virtual call center. Companies that currently outsource call center services may benefit from implementing a virtual call center service. In short, when you need to automate call-handling processes and improve the quality of your phone customer service, you’d benefit from a virtual call center.
CoreLogic powers CX by unifying communication channels
“There’s been a 63 percent usage of digital engagement – a channel we didn’t have before. It’s given customers the option for self-service, where it makes sense, and reduced the burden on our clients seeking simple answers from us in an 'analog' way.”
Try Zendesk for free
If you’re looking for a virtual call center solution, you should try it first. Start a Zendesk trial today and start seeing how it can help you deliver better customer experiences.