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Best contact centre software solutions

22 min read
Making your contact centre more efficient requires technology that can empower your agents to solve issues more quickly and effectively. But which solutions deserve a spot in your tech stack? Here’s a no-nonsense guide to the best contact centre software available right now.

Author: Adam Bunker

Subject Matter Expert: Dave Pabley

What is a contact centre software solution?

A contact centre software solution is a collection of automated software processes that work together to make a contact centre more efficient, better equipped, and better able to serve its customers.

It can be used to:

  • Streamline costs and increase business efficiencies
  • Evaluate and coach contact centre agents
  • Track and improve the customer experience
  • Monitor regulatory compliance and reduce risk

Agent script compliance drop alert

What’s the difference between a contact centre solution and call centre software?

A contact centre encompasses all the potential touchpoints a customer might use to reach out to your business, including:

  • Inbound calls
  • Social media interactions
  • Chat and chatbot interactions
  • Emails
  • SMS/text
  • and more

Call centre software usually focuses specifically on handling incoming calls, whereas contact centre software likely includes multiple communication channels.

Learn more about Qualtrics® Contact Centre Experience software

What are the different types of contact centre solutions?

There’s a wide range of contact centre software types out there, each with its own purpose. Depending on the sort of contact centre you operate, you may need one or more working together.

For example, you might implement a solution for:

More efficient operations and workforce optimisation

For contact centres to understand and meet their customers’ needs, contact centre leaders need to plan strategically. Using leading software can help to optimize your operations – you’ll know what areas of the business need prioritizing and what you’re doing well.

Say one agent is performing well and another is scoring lower than expected. Contact centre software can pick up on that discrepancy and deliver it as insights, allowing you to coach and enable your agents to do what they do best: deliver a great customer experience.

Examples might include:

  • Real-time reporting software
  • Smart call routing / automatic call routing for business phone systems
  • Workforce management tools
  • A cloud-based contact centre platform

An improved customer experience

Sometimes it’s not about powering the contact centre or optimising operations – it’s about providing a more helpful, intuitive or pleasant customer experience. Contact centre software should enable your customer service teams to provide more personalised phone support, or your marketing team to present tailored offers.

Examples might include:

  • Help desk software
  • A cloud-based solution for your CRM
  • Call recording for customer feedback analysis
  • A self-serve customer service portal
  • Performance management tools
  • Omnichannel messaging

The benefits of using contact centre software

Contact centre leaders need to think strategically about where to invest their funding to ensure that both internal and external stakeholders’ needs are met. Contact centres don’t just have to be for addressing customer questions – they can be a hub for innovation and insights when powered by the right software.

For this reason, using contact center software can unlock multiple benefits across your business. From better customer relationship management to reduced strain on your customer service teams, investing in contact centre software options provides tangible ROI.

For example, you might see:

Better customer experiences

In our research on global consumer trends, 62% of customers we surveyed said helpful agents made them happy in their contact centre experience, and 52% said agent empathy made a difference. When customers get the right customer support the first time, with agents who understand their history with the brand, they feel more warm towards your business.

That positive sentiment can go a long way toward higher customer satisfaction and boosted sales.

Conversation analytics with intent, emotion and sentiment

Reduced costs

When your contact centres are powered by all the features we’ll discuss later, you’re able to revolutionize your operations and reduce costs.

For example, when incoming calls are streamlined, your contact centres don’t have to work so hard to meet customer needs. You can deploy agents only where needed for priority calls, allow customers to self-serve, use artificial intelligence (AI) to live chats and reduce the rate of repeat calls and escalations. All of these actions reduce cost-to-serve and improve customer lifetime value.

You can also utilise cloud contact centre software to eliminate your need to have a location-specific centre. With a cloud-based contact centre, your agents can be situated anywhere, without the complicated infrastructure that traditional and likely outdated telephone hardware can bring. This can significantly reduce business costs.

Improved loyalty and advocacy

How a customer feels after interacting with a brand is more important than whether they were even able to do what they aimed to do. Contact centre software that improves the customer experience – from swift customer support down to personalised customer journeys – generates positive sentiment.

Customers who find it “very easy” to interact with a brand are 8.1 times more likely to recommend that brand to others, and customers who “completely succeeded” in getting the experience they were after are 6.3 times more likely to recommend.

Easier management with in-depth insights

Ideally, your contact centre should be agile, with iterative management that can flex with customer and business needs. No more missing small problems that snowball into larger issues – real-time reporting and insights mean you’re constantly uncovering risks, opportunities, and emerging trends – and taking action on them.

Creating a technology-based ecosystem for contact centre support ensures information gets where it needs to go, faster. For example, being able to handle interactions more efficiently with help desk software that’s customer insight-led means your agents can handle priority issues with all the information they need.

Data-based insights delivered on a holistic platform mean that vital information on pain points, common issues, and technological failures is seen instantly by the right people.

Happier and more engaged agents

It’s not just your customers who benefit from better contact centre software – your support teams also stand to see an improvement in their experiences. More than one-third (38%) of contact centre agents don’t feel they have what they need to succeed, and just 54% of agents believe their leadership has invested in their support team. Your support teams need support, too.

Streamlining customer workflows in your contact centre means your agents can spend less time on tedious, repetitive everyday queries and can focus on priority interactions for maximum effectiveness. Lower call volumes lead to less workplace stress and lower agent turnover.

Contact centre agent profile

Additionally, rather than scoring your agents on a handful of sampled calls, you can automatically evaluate every interaction they have with customers to get an accurate and objective  view of their approach and the potential progress they can make. You can also offer real-time coaching prompts to help them improve as they go.

All of these actions help the members of your support team to feel more engaged with their work, reducing churn and offering insight-driven progression and development.

Learn more about Qualtrics Contact Center Experience software

The best contact centre features you should be looking out for

AI with Natural Language Processing (NLP)

Natural language processing tools can monitor conversations happening on any touchpoint – from calls to social media posts – understand what’s being said, and bring everything together to provide agents with a clear view of customer histories and opinions. By understanding the effort, intent, and emotion underpinning any and every customer interaction, AI-enabled tools can route queries to the right channel or person – and provide agents with real-time prompts to ensure that customers feel listened to, understood, and empathised with.

Omnichannel messaging

Customers no longer stick to one channel when it comes to customer service. They move from channel to channel, often giving feedback on third-party platforms that can’t always be monitored manually. As such, today’s contact centre software needs to think and work with an omnichannel mindset – it needs to enable your team to understand the customer journey across platforms and touchpoints seamlessly.

Automatic call routing with ACDs and IVR

A contact centre can often primarily be a call centre,  meaning you need a call centre solution that can get customers’ queries to the right person in real time. You can use a system that utilises automatic call distributor (ACD) software for call routing to the most appropriate department or representative.

Ideally, you’ll also have contact centre software powered with Interactive Voice Response (IVR), allowing customers who phone in to choose their call direction with a menu. This enables your customer support teams to better triage customers for more efficient and helpful interactions.

Rather than be left waiting on hold and find out they’re speaking to a general department or even the wrong person, Interactive Voice Response allows customers to self-direct to a relevant responder.

An integrated CRM tool with CTI

Customers like to feel as though brands know them, and the last thing they want is to explain time and time again who they are and their history with your business. Offering your support team the vital context they need via computer-telephony integration (CTI) software that integrates with your customer relationship management (CRM) tool. This means they can automatically identify callers, see their interaction history, and subsequently provide a personalised experience.

Automated call summary with text analysis

Cloud contact centre software

Moving to a cloud-based contact centre means you can essentially operate from anywhere. Cloud-based calling and other digital interactions can be made without a conventional, on-premise telephone system, breaking your brand free of the cost of maintaining a physical solution.

Cross-channel support becomes easier, and you can automate more efficiently. Not only that, but you can operate from anywhere in the world.

Top 10 contact centre solutions to explore

Ready to supercharge your CX? Here are 10 market-leading software suites that can help empower your contact centre agents to go above and beyond.

1. Qualtrics

Overview: Ours is a total, fully-featured solution that wraps up everything the modern contact centre needs to outperform the market when it comes to CX.

Key features:

  • Real-time feedback uncovers agent coaching opportunities
  • Real-time prompts that guide the agent conversations
  • Frontline recognition programs
  • Score 100% of interactions in multiple languages
  • Reduce cost to serve by automating manual work
  • Connect 35+ digital and human channels to a single platform
  • Automatically identify the root cause of common issues
  • Optimize chatbots to provide more accurate, empathetic responses
  • Identify key moments of friction along the customer journey
  • Automatically trigger insights to be shared with the right teams
  • Become a hub of insights for the organisation

Why this is a top contact centre solution:

Qualtrics knows what consumers expect, and what agents need to deliver on those expectations. That’s why our solution combines web-wide listening and natural language processing with AI-powered agent prompts and tools, alongside proactive scoring and coaching. Market-leading insights and analytics present your team with actionable next steps for improving every step of every customer journey – and transform the contact centre into your business’ informational nerve centre.

Learn more

Contact center solution - overview dashboard

Unlock CX excellence with Qualtrics Extensions…

Qualtrics offers a bunch of out-of-the-box and tailored extensions that let you use our features with other popular CX suites. These tools allow you to get the most out of Qualtrics while seamlessly integrating with your existing products.

For each of the below contact centre software providers, we’ll let you know if we have a relevant extension that can help you drive stronger customer connections.

You can learn more about our extensions here.

2. ZenDesk

Overview: ZenDesk brings customer information into one place and provides agents with a simplified workspace that incorporates customer history.

Key features:

  • Unified agent-friendly workspace
  • Smart ticketing and task assignment
  • Customer history and context information in one place
  • Customisable self-service tools
  • CX data and analytics that merge information from every channel

Why this is a top contact centre solution:

ZenDesk’s agent workspace brings all custom conversations, updates and information into one place, reducing the need to jump around from window to window to get full customer context. That’s on top of omnichannel messaging, unified ticketing and next-step actions, and CRM analytics.

Learn more

✅ Works with Qualtrics

The Zendesk extension allows you to create and update Zendesk tickets, profiles, and records based on responses collected with Qualtrics surveys.

3. Talkdesk

Overview: A cloud-based contact centre software with pre-built ​​’Experience Clouds’ designed specifically for individual industries.

Key features:

  • Customer self-service features
  • Inter-agent communication tools and analytics
  • Hiring platform for recruiting new agents
  • Packages pre-built for specific industries
  • AI automation tools

Why this is a top contact centre solution:

Talkdesk has a specific focus on enabling contact centres to perform remotely – from home or wherever they need to be. One unique feature here is the inbuilt Talkdesk CXTalent, which is a hiring platform designed to help you find and recruit new CX agents – all of whom will have been verified as having passed Talkdesk’s Academy course.

Learn more

4. HubSpot

Overview: A wide-ranging set of solutions for everything from CRM to marketing, alongside customer service software with unified messaging.

Key features:

  • Secure customer portal
  • Knowledge base tools
  • Shared inbox and omnichannel messaging
  • Customer survey tools
  • ‘Playbook’ feature for building a resource library for agents

Why this is a top contact centre solution:

HubSpot’s Service Hub customer support software offers a shared inbox and unified messaging with an omnichannel approach. There’s reporting, surveys, knowledge base functionality, and customisable workflows that help you design your contact centre processes with ‘if this, then that’ building blocks. It works with HubSpot’s CRM software but also plays nicely with Qualtrics via our dedicated extension.

Learn more

✅ Works with Qualtrics

The Hubspot extension allows you to create and update deals, contacts, tickets, and companies in Hubspot based on collected survey responses.

5. Gladly

Overview: Gladly promotes what it calls the ‘loyalty era’ of customer service by using AI to supplement human agents.

Key features:

  • Single-stream messaging history
  • AI summaries and prompts
  • Tailored, personalised self-service options
  • Automation tools

Why this is a top contact centre solution:

Gladly puts a focus on omnichannel messaging that creates a ‘lifelong’ stream of information and context for each customer that gets in touch – instead of a ticketing system that bounces people around. It uses AI to find the right agent for the right person and provide real-time guidance on calls.

Learn more

6. Genesys

Overview: This cloud call centre software provider offers seamless cross-channel support.

Key features:

  • Inbound and outbound contact facilitation through cloud telephony
  • Artificial intelligence-based bot support
  • Data based insights
  • Workforce management
  • Automatic call distribution (ACD)
  • And more.

Why this is a top contact centre solution:
The intuitive cloud-based phone system created by Genesys offers digital experience management that pivots with your business needs. Rather than being limited by your physical capacity, this cloud-based call centre software enables fluid customer journey orchestration from all touchpoints, handled in one centralised hub.

Learn more

7. Salesforce

Overview: A powerful CRM tool, this cloud-based platform offers the ability to forecast business revenue and track sales leads.


  • Customer data management and contact management
  • Workforce management with workflow options
  • Sales opportunity and pipeline management
  • Contract, quote and order management
  • Interaction tracking, forecasting and pipeline visualisation
  • Customer relationship management
  • And more

Why this is a top contact centre solution:
Used the world over by many businesses, this well-known solution gives your brand a detailed look at customer information and sales management. Integrating this software with a contact centre platform allows brands to efficiently manage their sales streams and devote effort and financial support to where it’s needed.

Learn more

✅ Works with Qualtrics

The Salesforce extension allows for the ability to send transactional surveys from Salesforce, pass information into Qualtrics, and map data back to Salesforce. Additionally, the Salesforce App allows you to send surveys and view dashboards directly in Salesforce.

8. Five9

Overview: A cloud-based solution, Five9 enables not just cloud-based calling, but customer contact via email, chat, SMS, social channels and more.

Key features:

  • Inbound and outbound calls
  • Integration with workforce management tools such as Zendesk, Salesforce and Microsoft Teams
  • Call transcriptions in real-time
  • CRM data access for agents
  • Predictive dialling
  • And more

Why this is a top contact centre solution:
This solution makes having a cloud-based call centre simple and effortless. With sophisticated AI capabilities, many of the background processes that can occupy your team’s time are automated. It’s efficient and streamlined, with helpful prompts for your team to provide a better customer experience across all your communication channels.

Learn more

✅ Works with Qualtrics

Integrating with Five9 enables you to consolidate and analyse all of your contact centre data in one place. You can then analyse your data using any Qualtrics analysis method, including Text iQ in a CX dashboard.

9. ServiceNow

Overview: End siloed processes with ServiceNow. Digitisation and automation are made easy through a sophisticated serverless computing and workflow management system.

Key features:

  • Real-time communication, resource sharing and team collaboration
  • Anomaly detection
  • Predictive modelling
  • Performance forecasting
  • Workflow and workforce management
  • And more

Why this is a top contact centre solution:
Most workflows can be supported by this centre software solution, with the ability to apply a wide range of tools to manage everything from large-scale projects to tweaking minor workflows. With machine learning and artificial intelligence as well as legacy system integration, this contact centre software makes streamlining operations a breeze.

Learn more

✅ Works with Qualtrics

The ServiceNow extension allows you to create and update records in ServiceNow as well as update customer contact information provided by survey responses.

10. Amazon Connect

Overview: An easily scaled cloud-based solution for your contact centre needs, this flexible system enables omnichannel customer service.

Key features:

  • Inbound and outbound calling, as well as omnichannel voice and chat facilitation
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning insights into customer sentiment, as well as caller authentication
  • Unified customer profiling
  • Real-time recommendations and in-depth analytics
  • And more

Why this is a top contact centre solution:
This is no ordinary call centre software. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a well-known cloud-based platform providing brands of all sizes with the cloud contact centres they need to scale at will and at a lower cost. The scale of adoption and breadth of experience AWS has means that this tool is well-honed for any needs.

Learn more

✅ Works with Qualtrics

Integrating with Amazon Connect allows you to bring your customer interaction data from Amazon into Qualtrics. This data can then be used in Qualtrics workflows or analyzed using any Qualtrics analysis method, including Text iQ in a CX dashboard.

Maximize the value of your contact centre with Qualtrics

Ultimately, contact centre software should allow your agents and business as a whole to be more effective, minimising operational costs and driving loyalty through improved customer experiences.

This is why Qualtrics, with a single system of action and integrations with contact centre partners, allows you to put customer experience at the heart of business and meet customer needs through your contact center.

Omnichannel conversation intelligence - with emotion, effort, intensity and sentiment

Qualtrics’ contact center solution is a connected, intelligent system that provides a unified, omnichannel view across all your data. It applies powerful analytics to help you create better customer experiences, surface opportunities and identify issues in real time in order to best serve customers.

How does Qualtrics’ contact center technology differ from other options on the market? Here are a few ways:

  • Natural language Processing (NLP)-powered conversation analytics, empowering agents with insights to provide the best service and drive customer satisfaction
  • Omnichannel listening and analytics on data integrated from more than 35 social and digital channels, allowing you to surface context-driven insights and take meaningful action
  • Rich customer profiles designed to personalize experiences for increased customer satisfaction
  • Holistic overview of agent performance with 100% interaction scoring across multiple languages and channels, providing fairer and more accurate methods of evaluating agents and customer interactions
  • Automated compliance management for easier, more consistent oversight
  • Automatic issue detection and resolution insights for swift management of pain points
  • Optimized chatbot support with CRM insights for personalized customer experiences
  • Customer and process insights with delivery to the right team in real-time for improved customer experience and increased loyalty

We are constantly driving actions across your business for improved operation and offer customer-first solutions that have significant ROI.

Make your contact center your competitive advantage with Qualtrics