The Best Call Centre Software A roundup of the best call centre phone systems and software available on the UK market. Ross Darragh December 6, 2021 9 min read About Us Startups was founded over 20 years ago by a serial entrepreneur. Today, our expert team of writers, researchers, and editors work to provide our 4 million readers with useful tips and information, as well as running award-winning campaigns. Our site is governed by the Startups editorial manifesto. This article was authored by: Ross Darragh Writer Our independent reviews and recommendations are funded in part by affiliate commissions, at no extra cost to our readers. 0 out of 0 backward forward Provider Best for Cost Compatible with multiple phone systems? 8×8RingCentralAvayaFreshdeskCisco WebexNextivaSmall businesses looking to scale in the futureSmall businesses with teams who need unified communications to collaborate with easeCompanies in need of a small business solutionSmall businesses wanting simple, easy-to-use call centre setupsSmall businesses wanting a fully bespoke, personalised call centre solutionSmall businesses wanting a comprehensive VoIP solutionX6 Package = £76 per user/per monthX7 Package = £86 per user/per monthX8 Package = £105 per user/per month Bespoke pricing that depends on package features and integrationsVoice Package = £53 per user/per monthAll Media Package = £83 per user/per monthGrowth Package = £12 per user/per monthPro Package = £35 per user/per monthEnterprise Package = £60 per user/per monthStarter Package = £10 per user/per monthBusiness Package = £20 per user/per monthEnterprise Package = BespokeCall Centre Pro = £37 per user/per monthCall Centre Enterprise = £74 per user/per monthUse our free comparison tool to compare prices from the best call centre software providers Compare Costs According to our research, the best call centre phone system provider is 8×8. Its call centre solution offers an advanced platform with multi-channel support, plus excellent hardware integration to help you get set up with ease – all at an incredibly affordable price.But the important question is, regardless of 8×8's title as our best call centre software provider, is it the right choice for your business?It isn't the only game in town – the other providers on our list all offer great features and benefits. For a handy price comparison, we recommend taking a moment to get personalised call centre software pricing quotes for your business. This service is free, takes just minutes, and there are zero obligations on your part.Or, if you want to carry out further research, read on for our review of the best call centre software for small UK businesses. We’ll also give you some top tips on choosing the right service for your business. Save by Comparing Telephone System Quotes Do you already have a telephone system? Yes No Get quotes – it only takes a minute The best call centre software: UK providersAccording to our expert research, the best call centre phone system providers are: 1. 8x8 2. RingCentral 3. Avaya 4. Freshdesk 5. Cisco Webex 6. Nextiva The best call centre software and phone systems: deep divesThe top six call centre telephony systems are provided by RingCentral, Avaya, 8×8, Nextiva, Cisco, and Freshdesk. Whether you’re searching for the best support, pricing, scalability, or more, we’ve profiled each of these top call centre software providers for small UK businesses to help you find the best match for your priorities. 1. 8×8 Cost:X6 Package = £76 per user/per monthX7 Package = £86 per user/per monthX8 Package = £105 per user/per month Best for: small businesses looking to scale in the future8×8’s contact centre software offering is great for anyone after a sophisticated solution. Its outbound and inbound call features are just as strong as its customer management features, making it a great out-of-the-box option for businesses that don’t need a bespoke package. Not only that, as well as a native CRM solution, 8×8 offers CRM integrations – so you can set up your call centre software to work alongside your current customer relationship management system. You can even set up payment processing to keep all of your operations in one place. With customer journey analytics, workforce management, webchat, queuing, and callback features all part of the solution, 8×8’s tools offer everything you need to grow and manage your customer base. Just bear in mind that it’s not the most intuitive of platforms to use. Software integrations include:Dynamics 365Salesforce CRMNetsuite Compatible phone systems include:Yealink Cisco Polycom Top Features: Manage call quality with dashboard reporting and agent scoring Open APIs to integrate with a range of existing software platforms Use intelligent AI to help build an efficient contact centre Manage workforce with shift scheduling, forecasting, and holiday planning Access cloud-based reports from any device with a login 2. RingCentral Cost: Bespoke pricing that depends on package features and integrations Best for: small businesses with teams who need unified communications to collaborate with easeRingCentral has three call centre packages to choose from. Its basic package is ideal for small-scale call centre solutions – inbound and outbound calling capabilities, interactive voice response (IVR), and automatic call distribution (ACD) are three of its main features. These features allow call centres to filter out any customers that can be assisted by a recorded message, and free up live agents to handle more complex calls. It also means the call queue is handled in a way that ensures queries go to the agents with the right qualifications.RingCentral’s most popular offering is its Advanced call centre package. This package allows call centres to interact with customers and clients on an omnichannel basis, including via email, chat, SMS, and social media. RingCentral has been developed for use on Android and iOS tablets and phones, Windows-operated computers, and Macs. There are a huge number of integrations available, too, allowing businesses to build a bespoke call centre software package. Software integrations include:amoCRMZoho FlowFreshdesk Premium CTI Compatible phone systems include:Yealink Cisco Polycom Top Features: AI digital routing to interpret and direct inbound communications IVR to enable self-service for admin-based enquiries Workforce management tools to arrange shifts and manage performance Supervisor tools to enable call recording, as well as silent monitoring Agent tools including script assistance, call transfer, and availability setting 3. Avaya Cost:Voice Package = £53 per user/per monthAll Media Package = £83 per user/per month Best for: companies in need of a small business solutionAvaya’s call centre phone system isn’t quite as sophisticated as RingCentral’s system, but it’s still packed with features. There are two packages to choose from: Voice and Digital, the latter of which enables agents to correspond with customers and clients through email, chat, and SMS as well as over the phone.Businesses that invest in an Avaya call centre phone system can expect an intuitive user experience – great for onboarding call centre staff – and live monitoring in case a manager needs to assist in a call. There’s also voice-to-text transcription to aid in delivering real-time prompts to call centre staff, and other useful tools to aid productivity. Inbound and outbound calls can be accounted for on a pay-as-you-go or pay monthly basis, depending on which option is the most cost-effective for your business. Avaya also has a range of compatible handsets, enabling businesses to benefit from a complete call centre phone system solution. Software integrations include:Google for WorkSalesforce CRMHubSpot Compatible phone systems include:Avaya J179 Avaya J189Avaya J139 Top Features: Skills-based routing to ensure callers speak to the right agent Quality management and training with Digital package Ability to send real-time prompts to agents to help them through difficult calls Multi-channel communication with Digital package Real-time and historical reporting with both packages 4. Freshdesk Cost:Growth Package = £12 per user/per monthPro Package = £35 per user/per monthEnterprise Package = £60 per user/per month Best for: small businesses wanting simple, easy-to-use call centre setupsFreshdesk can be used as a basic ticketing system to address customer enquiries, or it can be used as a full-on call centre software solution. The software supports email, social media, web chat, and bots, in addition to a call centre phone service. Unlike some of the more heavy-duty call centre phone systems featured on our list, Freshdesk is available as a browser app, meaning agents can access the software on their mobile phone or tablet. With knowledge base management to help advisors answer customer questions, and the option to build customer satisfaction surveys, Freshdesk is a great solution for a small business looking for a lite yet scalable call centre solution that will enable them to place their focus on customer service. Software integrations include:Zoho CRMGoogle AnalyticsQuickBooks Compatible phone systems include:Cisco PanasonicPolycom Top Features: Available as a mobile app or browser-based app Multi-channel ticket assignment automatically given to available agents Integrates with other business solutions and 300+ native apps to create seamless workflows Helpdesk performance management integration to monitor staff performance Free plan available (though it severely limits the call centre services you can offer) 5. Cisco Webex Cost:Starter Package = £10 per user/per monthBusiness Package = £20 per user/per monthEnterprise Package = Bespoke Best for: small businesses wanting a fully bespoke, personalised call centre solutionCisco is one of the biggest names in UK telecoms, so it makes sense that it has a whole suite of solutions for businesses to take advantage of. Its tools have been designed so that they’re easily integratable with each other, as well as with third-party software.The telecommunication giant’s call centre phone system has been designed with enterprise businesses in mind. It supports up to 3,000 agents, and comes with advanced ACD and IVR. Companies can also set up chatbots, and benefit from omni-channel communication.The Webex platform is browser-based, meaning it’s not designed for use on tablets or mobile phones. If you do want to use VoIP phones in addition to headsets, then you’ll need to select phones from Cisco’s range of IP handsets. Software integrations include:GoogleMicrosoftSalesforce Compatible phone systems include:Cisco IP DECT 6825 HandsetCisco IP Phone 8800 Series Cisco IP Phone 7800 Series Top Features: Supports inbound and outbound voice, email and web chat Historical dashboards and live reporting to assess performance Skills-based routing for all channels to promote effective customer service Open API so developers can integrate a whole range of software Cloud-based web application to support remote workers 6. Nextiva Cost:Call Centre Pro = £37 per user/per monthCall Centre Enterprise = £74 per user/per month Best for: small businesses wanting a comprehensive VoIP solutionThe majority of Nextiva customers comment on how easy its call centre phone system is to get to grips with. It offers all the features you'd expect from call centre software, including IVR, call recording, and automatic call distribution.In addition to offering all the tools your agents need to effectively manage inbound and outbound calls, Nextiva provides call centres with reporting and dashboard capabilities, meaning team leaders can see how well individual agents are performing.Nextiva offers businesses a complete VoIP phone system solution, meaning your contact centre phone system can easily integrate with your business’s telecommunication infrastructure. For example, call centre agents can forward calls to internal handsets, and auto-attendants can divert calls away from your contact centre if specific advice is needed. Software integrations include:HubSpotSalesforce CRMZendesk Compatible phone systems include:Cisco Poly Yealink Top Features: Call analytics include total calls, talk time, and both inbound and outbound calls VoIP app allows agents to take calls on their mobile phone while on the go Route calls to agents in a certain order depending on experience Tools such as barging and call pulling allow for a seamless experience when adding agents to the call, or transferring to a different device Omnichannel support lets you assist on a preferred channel How to choose the right call centre software for your small businessLook at the call centre software first, and make sure it offers you all the features you need. Will it allow your team to ring out (make outbound calls), as well as take calls? Can you set up things like an auto-attendant and interactive voice response? Can you set up call queuing and recording?Make sure the software is scalable. Check whether you can add sophisticated features like ticket assignment, omnichannel support, and voicemail transcription. Also look at whether it integrates with your existing customer relationship management (CRM) system or whether it offers a sufficient native CRM system. Then start choosing your call centre phones. Different software packages are compatible with different handsets, and most suppliers will recommend the right phone package for either a complete on-premise or cloud-based call centre phone system solution.It can be an extremely time consuming task researching and organising the setup of call centre software. If you feel like you need help finding the right call centre phone system and software for your small business, you can always use our free phone system comparison tool to receive bespoke, personalised quotes. Our cost comparison tool has been designed by our telephone system experts to help guide businesses to the right solution. Once you’ve answered a few simple questions, you’ll be sent free no-obligation quotes from providers that match your needs. The comparison tool is free to use, and has helped countless small businesses over the past year alone.Best call centre phone systems and software: a summaryAs mentioned earlier, the best call centre software provider is 8×8. Its call centre solution offers an advanced platform with multi-channel support, plus excellent hardware integration to help you get set up with ease, all at an incredibly affordable price. If you’re after a sophisticated out-of-the-box call centre solution, you should look into RingCentral. For a bespoke, scalable call centre solution that you can bring in-house as well as access remotely, Cisco is worth a look. Cisco’s team will be able to create a call centre package for the most niche of business setups. For a solution that’s sophisticated but a little less tech-heavy, Nextiva and Avaya are good options to consider, while small businesses looking for a lite solution that can be integrated with an existing VoIP phone system may want to look at Freshdesk. Regardless of our opinion, you should always compare call centre software providers before signing on the dotted line. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a contract with a service that doesn’t fulfil the needs of your business, even if it is, generally speaking, a great product.This is where our custom-built comparison tool comes in. We've partnered with some of the best call centre phone system suppliers to help you get the best service for your business. Simply provide us with a few basic details, and providers will be in touch with bespoke personalised quotes for you to compare, along with further details about why the service they offer would best suit the needs of your business.Call centre phone system FAQsWhat are some of the burning questions when it comes to choosing a call centre phone system? What are the main call centre phone system features?What are the top six features you should be looking for when it comes to choosing a call centre phone system? Inbound call management – makes handling calls more efficient through interactive voice response and automatic call distributionOmnichannel support – assists customers via multiple digital channels, including email, SMS, and instant messagingOutbound call management – auto-dials numbers to increase the likelihood of reaching a potential customerCRM integration and an open API – integrates your call center phone system with customer relationship management software and other business toolsCall centre reporting – a dashboard that displays things like number of calls taken, cases resolved, and time spent on the phoneInteractive voice response – a machine answering system through which callers can complete basic tasks like registration or payment What are the benefits of a call centre phone system?A call centre doesn’t necessarily mean hundreds of employees sat behind a computer screen answering phone calls. It can simply be a couple of employees using a dedicated call management system, which assists with customer enquiries or outbound sales calls. By making the call centre software and phone system investment, businesses can benefit from:Increased efficiency – calls are directed to call handlers with expertise in a specific area, increasing customer satisfactionImproved customer experience – dedicated and trained call handlers ensure customer calls are dealt with professionallyBusiness growth – staff are trained to convert casual enquirers into committed buyers, and are shown how to retain customers that may have a complaintSales funnel management – dashboards alongside customer accounts will give you a bird's-eye view of your sales funnel How much does a call centre phone system cost?A call centre phone system can cost from around £40 per user, per month for the software alone. The overall cost depends on the features you need (for example, whether you’re looking for voice-only or omnichannel customer handling), and whether you’re considering purchasing handsets, too. If you are investing in handsets as well as call centre software, you’ll need to consider the cost of configuring the handsets, plus any installation costs. VoIP handsets can cost upwards of £100, while installation costs can range from hundreds to tens of thousands of pounds depending on whether you’re looking at a cloud-based or on-premise solution. Startups.co.uk is reader-supported. If you make a purchase through the links on our site, we may earn a commission from the retailers of the products we have reviewed. This helps Startups.co.uk to provide free advice and reviews for our readers. It has no additional cost to you, and never affects the editorial independence of our reviews. Share this post facebook twitter linkedin Ross Darragh Writer Ross has been writing for Startups since 2021, specialising in telephone systems, digital marketing, payroll, and sustainable business. He also runs the successful entrepreneur section of the website.Having graduated with a Masters in Journalism, Ross went on to write for Conde Nast Traveller and the NME, before moving in to the world of business journalism. Ross has been involved in startups from a young age, and has a keen eye for exciting, innovative new businesses. Follow him on his Twitter - @startupsross for helpful business tips.