The best Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) makes it simple and easy to set up a cloud-based contact center.
As with other Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) (opens in new tab) platforms, this has revolutionized business telecoms because services and features previously only available to big enterprises are now accessible to small businesses.
Many of the current wave of CCaaS providers offer hosted or native-built services in the cloud, allowing the providers to maintain and develop the software as a service. Not only does this mean lower overall costs, but also a lower bar for entry to the point where even the smallest business can now use a contact center to service their clients and customers.
While there remain some big name brands in contact center services, we’re going to focus on featuring only those that specialize in providing CCaaS built natively in the cloud. This means the services have strong uptime records, quicker deployment cycles, and are easier to integrate with third-party software that hybrid legacy systems.
While a contact center will necessarily aim to at least provide a platform for Customer Relations Management (CRM) (opens in new tab), it will also commonly offer a unified communications solution (opens in new tab) for staff as well. Also note there is also the related Contact Center as a Platform (opens in new tab) as an alternative service.
We'll therefore list the best CCaaS solutions currently available.
The RingCentral Contact Center is a more recent product from the company, but it’s been written specifically to cope with the complexities of the modern business, and offers a solid all-round CCaaS solution.
It includes all the main features you’d expect, from call handling to omnichannel routing, CRM integrations, to analytics for agent performance management.
One area where RingCentral stands out, though, is a collaborative approach that runs through the service, and intends to not only allow agents to have quick access to the information they need, but that this can also be updated on the fly according to changing conditions.
The result is that not only can agents meet customers using their preferred communications channel, they can also ensure that information provided is the most up to date, which can be especially important during everything from promotions to PR.
Another strong point is the wide range of integrations RingCentral is able to handle, such as from SalesForce, Zendesk, Oracle, ServiceNow, and Microsoft Dynamics, so that communications can better work with sales, CRM, and other essential backend software.
All in all RingCentral’s CCaaS adds to an already impressive range of service offerings from the company.
Read our full RingCentral Contact Center review.
The Talkdesk Contact Center offers a complete CCaaS solution coded specifically to run in the cloud, allowing it to provide both a comprehensive features and third-party integrations, in order to deliver an accessible enterprise experience.
As would be expected, the service fully caters for all forms of voice calls, with a full suite of call handling features and click-to-call functionality from both desktop and mobile apps.
There’s also a multi-level interactive voice response (IVR) (opens in new tab) option for routing calls to the correct agents. A visual editor allows for workflows to be customized and edited without the need for code. Detailed analytics are available for improving efficiency and providing insights.
There are also a wide range of integrations available, such as SalesForce, Zendesk, Slack, Freshdesk, Google, Shopify, and Zoho.
Where Talkdesk really stands out is in the call quality, with high clarity and minimal latency, which also comes with a 100% uptime guarantee. It’s also fully secure and compliant with HIPAA and GDPR standards.
GoTo, formerly branded as Jive, offers another leading CCaaS product that provides some nice additional features not advertised by other vendors.
GoTo Contact Center provides a standard range of voice handling features, such as call queues and call recording, as well as interactive voice response (IVR) and automatic call distribution (ACD) with the option to weight and prioritize inbound calls.
Additional features include historical call, contact, and agent reports, that along with agent summary reports can help make it easier to gain performance insights from analytics.
Another feature of note is the ability to display live status wallboards, so that everyone in the team can see information on what’s happening in real-time.
GoTo Contact Center actually offers two contact center levels, with the Pro version also adding in features such as an omnichannel interface, automatic call back, as well as automated speech recognition (opens in new tab) (ASR), text-to-speech (TTS), along with speech analytics.
Five9 is another Gartner-leading CCaaS provider, offering an intelligent enterprise-grade cloud contact center that aims to also be simple and easy to use.
The contact center offers a full range of voice handling services as well as covering omnichannel communications.
There are options for routing, self-service, and analytics for workforce performance management, with security and compliance is also provided as standard.
There are different interfaces provided for agents, supervisors, and administrators, but it’s also a fully customizable platform, with various open platform APIs available as well as CRM and unified communications integration with existing packages you may be using.
As with most other CCaaS providers, there is no flat-rate pricing information provided, so you will need to contact Five9 for a quote.
Aircall is another specialist cloud contact center provider, and the platform offers the full range of voice features that you’d expect from a developed CCaaS solution, such as call handling, IVR, through to call conferencing and the ability to blacklist spam telephone numbers.
There are also collaborative features included, with options for shared inboxes, tagging, comments, and follow ups to specific team members.
There are customizations available so you can build your own IVR menus and smart routing rules, and analytics allows you to measure workflows for KPIs across your teams..
There are also a very wide range of integration options available, such as with SalesForce, Zendesk, Hubspot, Freshdesk, Magento, Microsoft Teams, Pipedrive, Slack, and Zoho.
All in all, Aircall aims to provide a very efficient CCaaS platform so you can maximize the customer experience and eliminate missed or dropped calls from your business.
Read our full Aircall review.
Avaya is one of the heavyweights of telecommunications, providing multi-cloud communications and collaboration applications for businesses and contact centers with flexible pricing for large and small organizations.
Avaya OneCloud CCaaS provides customer and workforce engagement solutions to connect and orchestrate all the touchpoints across the customer journey - including voice, video, chat, messaging, and social - while leveraging AI, insights, knowledge and resources from across the organization. This enables users to deliver not only the right customer experience but also the right employee experience for those supporting the customer journeys.
Avaya’s focus is to offer a range of operational, consumption and commercial models that can be deployed in the cloud - including subscription and managed services, as well as private and public cloud offers.
Read our full Avaya Onecloud review.
Genesys Cloud is another cloud-based contact center solution which includes an IVR system, among a number of other features. The interface is easy to use and supports omnichannel communications through calls, video, email, and chat. There are a number of CRM integrations available, not least Salesforce, Zendesk, Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft Dynamics.
Genesys also promote a blended AI approach to allow automation of common and repetitive tasks, in order to free up human user agents for when they are most needed. Various management and project options allow you to streamline services and workflows, in order to create a more efficient experience, while supporting the customer journey.
The IVR feature is simple to set up with a range of deployment and management options that can be altered on the fly to accommodate rapid changes. When live assistance is required, customer information can be collected and forwarded to the right agent to best address their query. In the event that no agent is immediately available, then a callback option can be provided so that your customers are never need to be left waiting on hold.
As a cloud-based deployment, the Genesys Cloud contact center comes with a range of analytics and reporting options so that efficiency and productivity can be monitored and managed, with changes made where required to improve them.
There are various Cloud plans available, with increasing price corresponding to increased feature availability. IVR comes with each plan.
Read our full Genesys Cloud review.
How we tested the best CCaaS
To test for the best CCaaS we searched for a range of popular options as well as took recommendations from people we know who run and use their own CCaaS. We then tried each platform to see how user-friendly each was, as well as determine what range of tools and advanced options were available. Pricing also came into account when determining our best list.
Which CCaaS is best for you?
When deciding which CCaaS to use, first consider what actual needs you have. For example, someone simply wanting to talk to a handful of people on a casual basis may find a simpler VoIP option is the most cost-effective while providing all of the necessary tools that would be required. However, if you're planning to use your business telecoms for professional or business purposes, especially with a large number of customers and staff, then you will probably want to look to the higher-end CCaaS options for the more advanced tools that are included.