Written by Fernanda Alvarez Piñeiro Reviewed by James Macey Updated on 28 April 2023 On this page The best call centre phone system providers RingCentral Vonage 8x8 GoToConnect What is an IVR phone system? What are the benefits of a call centre phone system? What do call centres need from a phone system? What hardware do I need for a call centre? Verdict How We Test Call Centre Telephone Systems Expand Our site is reader-supported – by clicking our links, we can match you with a potential supplier, and we may earn a small commission for this referral. Our carefully curated research has revealed that RingCentral provides the best IVR call centre phone system. Its agile, customisable features will equip your call centre with the necessary savviness to keep your customers happy and as far away as possible from the scathing frustration that has made traditional call centres infamous.Although we believe that RingCentral is a solid choice, whether it’s the right IVR phone system for your call centre is a completely different question. Read on as we discuss other providers, and explore the best business VoIP providers here. The best call centre IVR phone system providersEven if customers love a brand, a third of them will leave after a single bad experience. In the event of two or more episodes of dissatisfaction, this abandonment rate jumps to 92% of customers. How do you avoid the danger of a customer service catastrophe? By investing in a high quality cloud IVR phone system.After extensive research and analysis, our have researchers rounded up the four best call centre phone systems. These are:RingCentral: the best all-round phone system for call centresVonage: the best phone system for small call centre teams8×8: the best call centre phone system for scalabilityGoToConnect: the best call centre phone system for value for money Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward RingCentral Vonage 8×8 GoToConnect 4.7 4.2 4.7 3.7 Best For All-round system for call centres Best For Small call centre teams Best For Best Overall Best For Value for money Pricing £7.99-24.99 Pricing £9-16.50 Pricing Bespoke Pricing £10-£21 Domestic minutes Not unlimited Domestic minutes Unlimited Domestic minutes Unlimited Domestic minutes Unlimited International minutes Not included International minutes Not included International minutes Unlimited to up to 48 countries International minutes Free international calling to 50+ countries Management Features Customisable call routingCall transcriptsCall monitoring *Call flow designersAnalytics * Management Features AnalyticsCall recording *Call monitoring *Customisable call routing * Management Features Customisable call routingCall flow designerCall monitoring *Call transcripts *Call recording Management Features Customisable call routingCall-flow designerSetting up teamsCall monitoring *Analytics *Call recording * Integrations 96+ CRM integrations *Helpdesk *Web Conferencing *External live chat*Internal live chat *Analytics *Email *Workspace *SSO Integrations CRMHelpdeskWeb conferencing *External live chat *Internal live chatAPIWorkspaceSSO Integrations CRM *Helpdesk *Web Conferencing *External live chat *Internal live chat *API *EmailWorkspaceSSO Integrations CRMHelpdeskWeb ConferencingInternal live chatAPIEmailSSO ** only available at more exclusive subscriptions Save by comparing tailored quotes from leading VoIP providers Do you have a call centre IVR phone system? Yes No Simply answer a few questions - it only takes a minute RingCentralBest all-round system for call centres RingCentral 4.7 £7.99 - £24.99 Get free quotes Read our review Quick overview Trusted by industry giants like Waitrose & Partners, Costa Express, and Mobica, RingCentral has carved itself a reputable spot as a leading IVR phone system provider. With nearly 20 years in the cloud telephone services sector, RingCentral is a robust choice for call centres thanks to its rich menu of management features, integrability, and onboarding support.With personalised, data-backed routing you’ll be able to deepen relationships with your customers. What’s more, with RingCentral’s reports and intuitive dashboards, you’ll gain valuable insights that will guide business-critical decisions. Read more + Read less - Strengths Tightly integrated IVR and automatic call distribution (ACD), allowing you to leverage customer data Offers skills-based routing Rich menu of management features Weaknesses Integrability with most software needs Premium or Ultimate subscriptions Onboarding support only available at Standard subscription and above Pricing See more See less PlanStarting price (per user, per month) Essentials £7.99 Standard £14.99 – £18.99 Premium £19.99 – £23.99 Ultimate £24.99 – £28.99 RingCentral for call centres: the key featuresTraining: call barge, call whisper, call monitoring, and analytics are only available to Premium and Ultimate subscribers. These features offer crucial guidance and data to help train your agents, so it’s worth the investment. Other helpful features like call routing, call transcripts, and setting up teams are available at all subscription levels.Onboarding: only offered starting at the standard subscription.Integrations: at the Premium and Ultimate subscriptions, you can sync your IVR phone system with over 90 CRM platforms, with key Helpdesk integrations like Salesforce and Zendesk, analytics, and other platforms like Slack, WhatsApp, and Facebook. This makes your customer service muscle stronger, and allows you to instantly draw on customer-specific data to provide a frustration-free experience.How does RingCentral compare to other call centre phone system providers?Factoring in price, integrability, features, and customer support, our in-depth research has awarded RingCentral an excellent 4.7-star rating for its value as a system for customer service teams. While it’s worth considering that some of the most valuable features are only available at the more luxurious subscription plans, RingCentral’s skill-based call routing and intuitive dashboards can ensure you make the right matches between your agents and customers, making your customer service provision memorable for all the right reasons.What’s even more impressive is that, compared to competitors like Vonage and 8×8, RingCentral races ahead for customer service features in our research, scoring a 4.8-star rating in this category. So, you can be confident you’ll have a whole dashboard of nifty features to power your call centre. ▶ Read more: The Best Business VoIP Providers in the UK VonageBest for small call centre teams Vonage 4.2 £9 - £16.50 Get free quotes Read our review Quick overview Offering dynamic call routing and post-call analysis, Vonage is known for its innovative adoption of AI in its IVR phone systems. Its provision of tools, metrics, and data gives you a 360-degree view of the interactions between your customers and agents, enabling you to turn insights into actions that heighten your ROI. These features explain why over 700 customer centre customers turn to Vonage internationally.As one of the best small business phone systems, Vonage can become your reliable right hand man as its rich offering of customer support features and low monthly costs embody a recipe for scaling up your operation. Although these come at an additional cost, Vonage also lets you tap into its wide set of ready-made integrations as it’s compatible with systems like Hubspot, Salesforce, Zendesk, Slack, and Office 365. This allows you to unify all your business communications in one spot, giving your agents all the necessary tools to provide the best customer service possible. Read more + Read less - Strengths Customisable dashboards and wallboards give you real-time visibility of KPI progress Displays a local number when reaching out to customers, improving response rate Solid customer support service Weaknesses Security is not as robust compared to other IVR phone systems Most useful features for training and management only available at professional and ultimate subscriptions Pricing See more See less PlanStarting price (per user, per month) Select £9 Professional £12.50 Ultimate £16.50 ▶ Read more: The Best Phone Systems for Small Businesses Vonage for call centres: the key featuresTraining: although analytics and reporting are widely available – which are key to identifying how you can help your call agents improve – call whisper and call barge are only available on the Professional and Ultimate subscriptions.Onboarding: only available at an additional cost.Integrations: although it comes at an additional cost, you can integrate Vonage’s IVR phone system with a wide range of software platforms, including Hubspot, Slack, Office 365, Salesforce, and Zendesk.How does Vonage compare to other call centre phone system providers?Backed by our thorough research, which considered training, onboarding, and the integrability of IVR phone systems for call centres, we gave Vonage a 4.2 star rating. Although you’ll need to make more of an investment to access all the features that make Vonage a top-notch phone system, it’s still cheaper than RingCentral. For that reason, we gave Vonage a 5-star rating for price – the highest pricing score of all the providers on this page! Save by comparing tailored quotes from leading VoIP providers Do you have a call centre IVR phone system? Yes No Simply answer a few questions - it only takes a minute 8×8Best for scalability 8x8 3.9 £10 - £135 Get free quotes Read our review Quick overview Chosen by over 2.5 million users, 8x8 has a proven track record of success – according to Forrester Consulting, clients that opted for 8x8 reported a 158% growth in ROI! Known for its customisable drag-and-drop dashboards and intelligent coaching and collaboration tools, 8x8 offers a wide menu of subscription options that will allow you to gradually – or rapidly – scale up your customer service building blocks.The scalable building blocks that 8x8 offers are robust and diverse. With features like ring groups and call queue offered at almost all subscription levels, your business will be able to deal with large volumes of callers. What’s more, with Web Conferencing and internal live chat integrations of a wide range of platforms including Telegram and Slack, your agents will be able to work remotely, giving you more flexibility and slashing office costs. Read more + Read less - Strengths Boasts some of the most generous customer service in the IVR-verse Unlimited inbound and outbound minutes to 48 countries Offers real-time dashboards and wide range of seamless integrations Weaknesses Niftiest features only available at the most exclusive subscriptions Free trial is limited to features offered at Express subscription Unclear if their Customer Success Managers (onboarding support) come at an additional charge Pricing See more See less PlanStarting price (per user, per month) X2 £19 X4 £36 X6 £85 X7 £105 X8 £135 8×8's pricing is now bespoke, the figures above reflect its most recent public pricing. If you want an accurate quote, you'll need to contact 8×8 directly.8×8 for call centres: the key featuresTraining: call monitoring, call recording, call barge, call whisper, and analytics are available, but they’re not offered on the cheaper subscriptions. If you’d like to access call transcripts, these come at an additional cost.Onboarding: provided through 8×8’s Customer Success Managers, although it’s unclear if this comes at an additional cost.Integrations: integrable with CRM, Helpdesk, web conferencing, external and internal live chats, email, and more, starting at the X2 subscription. This makes 8×8 a powerful tool your agents can leverage to personalise customer experience and work quickly by avoiding having to hop back and forth between different communication channelsHow does 8×8 compare to other call centre phone system providers?Awarded a 3.9 star rating by our independent researchers, who’ve put 8×8’s call centre features, pricing, and customer support to the test, we believe it stands out due to its flexibility of choice. Whether your call centre needs a comprehensive, savvy system or you just want the essentials, 8×8 can tick off the boxes on your IVR phone system checklist.Although we’ve given 8×8 a 0-star rating in pricing, placing it far behind Vonage’s 5-star rating in this category, you can consider the extra couple of quids you’re putting down on the table a worthy investment. Nevertheless, we have awarded 8×8 a stellar 5-star rating for its generous customer support, which is only rivalled by RingCentral’s equalising score in the same category. GoToConnectBest for value for money GoToConnect 3.7 £10 - £21 Get free quotes Read our review Quick overview Promising a seamless onboarding process where you can get your IVR cloud system working within a day, GoToConnect is a safe option if you’re looking to get value for your money. Featuring a streamlined admin portal, you can easily configure call flows with a drag-and-drop dial plan editor, and comb through call analytics to identify which team or agent needs improvement. On top of all of this, for just £10 per user, per month, you’ll be able to wield all the inbound communication features you might need as a call centre, including call queue and ring groups – an offer that no other provider offers at a more competitive price point. Read more + Read less - Strengths Onboarding support is available across all subscription models Free international calling to 50+ countries and unlimited domestic inbound and outbound minutes Weaknesses Analytics and workspace integrations unavailable Limited number of compatible platforms for external connections compared to other providers Not the most comprehensive customer support Pricing See more See less PlanStarting price (per user, per month) Basic £10 Standard £21 GoToConnect for call centres: the key featuresTraining: key features like call barge, call whisper, call recording, and analytics are available, but not on the Basic subscription plan, so you’ll need to invest a bit more to train your agents with GoToConnect. Call transcripts aren’t available.Onboarding: available at all subscription levels.Integrations: compatible with CRM, Helpdesk, web conferencing, internal live chat, API, email, and SSO, but the menu of the platforms you can sync GoToConnect with is less generous than other providers, missing Office 365, Hubspot, and Bullhorn.How does GoToConnect compare to other call centre phone system providers?After combing through all the information available on GoToConnect, our researchers have given it a 3.7 star rating. Although its customer support lags a bit behind the support offered by other providers like RingCentral and Vonage, the features you can access for what you pay at each subscription level give you greater value for your money than those systems. What is an IVR phone system?Short for interactive voice response, IVR phone systems gather information from callers by giving them choices in a pre-recorded menu. You’ve probably encountered them when calling a restaurant to make a reservation, or any other sort of customer support that involved calling. Depending on the number you press on the keypad, your call is then routed to the correct agent to help you out with your query. In other words, it’s a way to connect your callers to the agent that will be able to best answer their questions. What are the benefits of a call centre phone system?Keeps your customers happy – When customers give your business a call, they expect their query to be handled quickly and seamlessly. A powerful IVR phone system that can assign the right calls to the right agents will ensure your customers can hang up – rather than slam down – the phone, feeling satisfied with your service.Boosts efficiency – Whether you’re running a small or big business, your call centre is likely to experience a large number of inbound calls. Therefore, streamlining your service is key. IVR systems allow you to track all call activity in a single place, making it simple to understand where you’re faltering in customer service. Did you know that IVR phone systems can help reduce telephony-related costs by 30%?Scale up your business – The perfect fertiliser for growing your business is slashing costs and planting an infrastructure that’ll make your agents as productive as they can be. Call centre phone systems can do just that. They can also help you collect data to understand how your product is performing, and where it needs improvement. In fact, call centre phone systems can reduce your IT costs by up to 14%. What do call centres need from a phone system?Compared to other areas of your business, your call centre has a specific and unique set of needs. With so many features and systems available, you may be overwhelmed with what exactly you need to choose the right system.We've done the research for you and noted the key features phone systems for call centres should have:Call routing – this will help callers be put through quickly and efficiently to the right person. There's nothing worse than being put on hold for a long period of time or being bounced around to different departments before you eventually find the right person. Efficient call routing will reduce this from happening.Call recording – an important features as it helps to protect both your business and the caller if a dispute is raised. Call recording is legal in the UK in this scenario as it is done to ensure a business is complying with regulatory procedures.Integrated CRM – an integrated CRM system will help keep all of your calls and records unified. It makes it easier for your employees to access necessary information quickly, providing callers with a more efficient experience and ensuring less mistakes are made. If you already have a CRM system then look for a phone system that integrates easily.Training mode – this will ensure your agents avoid mistakes that could lead to bigger issues and provide agents with more confidence when dealing with real calls. What hardware do I need for a call centre?To provide a high-quality customer experience, each of your agents will require hardware equipment, including a computer, headset, and high-speed internet connection. As for the software tools, you will need a call centre phone system, a customer relationship management (CRM) system, and workforce management tools.Here is why you need them:Hardware equipment (£900+ per workstation)Computer – to access your call centre software and other tools.Headset (headphones and microphone set) – having a comfortable and reliable headset with a noise-cancelling feature will facilitate clear communication between your agent and the customer.Internet connection – you’ll need strong bandwidth to ensure smooth communication, high-quality calls, and uninterruptible service.Software tools (£3,000+ per year)Call centre phone system – whether cloud-based or on-premise, a call centre software is your agents' main tool to manage all your customers interaction.Customer relationship management (CRM) system – a database typically integrated to your call centre phone system, which stores important customer information, such as client demographics, call logs, and purchase history.Workforce management tools – a software that helps you manage your workforce to make sure you have enough call centre agents to handle high call volumes, such as customisable SLAs and call monitoring. Verdict We recommend RingCentral as the best all-round IVR phone system for call centres. Why? We think its rich set of customisable features that help train your agents to first-class level, its integrability with a wide set of softwares, and its ability to deal with a large number of calls makes it a great option for call centres.However, we know that RingCentral might not fit the needs and priorities of all call centres. If you’re looking for more flexibility and planning to scale up your operation, 8×8 can be a sound alternative. With a menu of six subscription models, you can adapt this IVR solution to cover all the specific needs of your call centre.Whether you’re feeling ready to make a choice or you’d still like to ask more questions to suppliers, you can fill in our quick and free comparison tool to fast-forward you into adopting your new call centre phone system. Simply answer a few questions about your customer service team’s needs, and we’ll match you up with the IVR phone system providers you should know about. They’ll be in touch with free, tailored, no-obligation quotes and answers to your questions. Save by comparing tailored quotes from leading VoIP providers Do you have a call centre IVR phone system? Yes No Simply answer a few questions - it only takes a minute How We Test VoIP Phone Systems and Services for BusinessesWe tested 10 market-leading VoIP products and services to evaluate them in terms of functionality, usability, cost, security options, and more so we can make the most useful recommendations to UK businesses.Our rigorous testing process means these products have been scored and rated in seven main categories of investigation and 16 subcategories – in fact, we covered 78 areas of investigation in total. We then gave each category score a ‘relevance weighting' to ensure the product's final score perfectly reflects the needs and requirements of Expert Market readers – and that's our product testing algorithm in a nutshell!Our main testing categories for VoIP products and services are:Customer Score: external customer opinion; the feedback and ratings given by customers who have used a particular VoIP product – the market position and reputation a VoIP software holds.Cost: the pricing structure associated with the VoIP service, such as monthly subscription fees, call rates, setup fees, hardware costs, and any additional charges for add-on features or services.Features: the functionalities and capabilities offered by the VoIP service, including basic features such as call forwarding and voicemail, as well as advanced features like auto-attendant and conference calling.External Connections: the VoIP service's ability to connect and integrate with external systems or devices, such as compatibility with existing phone systems or integration with mobile devices.Customer Support: the assistance and resources provided by the VoIP service provider to customers including technical support, online resources, and access to customer support representatives.Security Options: the measures and features implemented by the VoIP service to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and protection of voice communications and data.Scalability: the ability of the VoIP service to accommodate the growth and changing needs of an organization, e.g. capacity to handle a growing number of users or support multiple locations. FAQs What are the features of a virtual call centre? The features you can access depend on your provider and your subscription plan, but you can generally expect to see the following features:Interactive Voice Response (IVR) – allows you to set up menus to direct calls to specific agents or departmentsVirtual queuing – gives callers the option to leave their number and receive a call backCRM integration – easily connect your call software with your CRM system to automatically gather data from every callManagement tools – supervisors have a clear view of agent activity, making it easy to manage remote workersCall recording – you can record calls for training and monitoring purposesHistorical reporting – collect call data that will improve your future processes What are the benefits of a virtual call centre? Compared to the traditional PBX system – the one where you need landlines for everything – virtual call centres have a number of nifty benefits:Lower initial cost – all your agents can work remotely, meaning you don’t have to worry about paying expensive rent for a place to house your call centre.More flexible – setting up your virtual call centre is quick and easy, meaning you can seamlessly adapt to spikes in call volumes.Remote access – you can spread your network of agents far wider, and catch the best talent as all workers can work remotely.Reduced operating cost – ongoing costs are also far cheaper. Virtual call centre solutions usually charge a monthly per-user fee that’s significantly cheaper than traditional per-line charges. Do call centres use VoIP? Increasingly, yes! As the cost of landlines continues to prove too hefty compared to cloud-based systems, more businesses continue to hop on the VoIP bandwagon due to all the benefits it offers to call centres. What is the most popular call centre software? Our researchers analysed aggregated customer scores from across popular user review sites to find out how well-liked these different call centre providers are. Of these four, GoToConnect proves the most popular, with an average customer score of 4.4/5. What kind of software integrations should I look out for in a call centre phone system? These software integrations give you more platforms to communicate with clients and operate efficiently:Customer relationship management (CRM) – syncs the data from your sales team with the data from your call centre for better lead and customer trackingHelpdesk – helps you respond to your leads' and clients' support requests through various channelsExternal live chat apps – lets you easily communicate with people outside your organisation through external chat appsInternal live chat apps – helps you easily coordinate with your teammates via instant messagingAnalytics – helps you understand the workflow and performance of your teamEmail Integration – to correspond with email inquiries from clients and suppliersWorkspace Integrations – to nurture collaboration and efficiency by sharing tasks, files, and calendars Written by: Fernanda Alvarez Piñeiro Fernanda is a Mexican-born Expert Market writer, specialising in providing in-depth insights about business software to help businesses of all shapes and sizes thrive. From VoIP systems to project management software, she’s passionate about helping businesses find the tools and methods that will help give them an edge over their competitors. Fernanda has ample journalistic experience, having written for a multitude of online magazines about topics ranging from Latin American politics to cryptocurrency. Reviewed by: James Macey Senior Business Software Researcher James thinks all businesses can improve if they use the right technology. At Expert Market, he utilises his 4+ years experience as a researcher to offer specialised advice on a wide range of categories from CRM to Fleet Management.