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Talkdesk vs RingCentral: Which one’s best for small businesses?


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10 min read

Updated June 1, 2020

It’s a good time to be in the market for a new customer contact center for your business; never before have there been so many platforms to choose from. But how do you know which one is the best fit for your small business? It takes time to sift through all the information and figure out who’s really doing what the best… and we know this because we’ve done it!

While we’re confident that RingCentral is a powerful, easy-to-use customer engagement solution for just about anyone, we know contact center solutions aren’t one-size-fits-all. That’s why we decided to put one of RingCentral’s competitors, Talkdesk, head to head with our product to see what we could learn and share with you about their similarities and differences.

Our key takeaways from this comparison:
We found that both apps have some great features and share a lot in common. We loved Talkdesk’s contact center certification program for their customers and were impressed by the platform’s international security credentials. But there were some places where this newer platform fell a little short by our estimations.

RingCentral’s customer engagement solution comes standard with features like workforce optimization tools, while Talkdesk only offers these for an additional price, even at their highest tier. Talkdesk also doesn’t have a built-in feature for team collaboration (internal messaging, file sharing, and the like), and they have fewer native functionalities in general. Talkdesk also integrates with far fewer third-party apps than RingCentral at this point in time.

Talkdesk does offer an impressive 100% uptime SLA, but it’s only available to their highest-paying customers. And in the end, RingCentral’s longevity and established presence in both small business and enterprise is a good indication that it’s a more reliable choice when it comes to scalability.
Read on for our blow-by-blow comparison of these two platforms, based on:

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RingCentral vs Talkdesk: Available features

Inbound and outbound call functionality

Both RingCentral’s customer engagement solution and Talkdesk offer advanced inbound call routing via automatic call distributor (ACD), including interactive voice response (IVR), that’s easy to set up without knowing how to code.

RingCentral picks up an edge with its outbound capabilities though. While both platforms offer standard services like predictive dialing and CRM integration, RingCentral also offers advanced features like agent scripting for more effective outbound calls. It should also be mentioned that RingCentral’s outbound dialer is a built-in feature, while Talkdesk uses a third party for this functionality.

Omnichannel customer engagement

Talkdesk and RingCentral contact centers both let you connect with customers beyond the phone via email, text, social media, live chat, and chat bots. That means you can meet your customers on their favorite platforms, all within one convenient app, which can encourage higher engagement and overall customer satisfaction.

Past this similarity, RingCentral is the clear winner in omnichannel customer service. Talkdesk is newer to the omnichannel game, so they’re still growing into this important aspect of today’s customer service. While both platforms offer skills-based routing for phone calls, only RingCentral offers intelligent routing for all communication channels, which can improve your first-contact resolution rate beyond the phone:

Plus, Talkdesk only recently created their own native omnichannel functionality, which has left some customers confused as they straddle the former third-party option and the new built-in version.

Team collaboration

In order to best serve customers, it’s important that teams can communicate and share information easily and efficiently. (“Does the Product team have any details on that upcoming feature? What promotions are we running right now?”) Silos are poison to productivity and a good customer experience, so look for a platform that lets your team collaborate and stay in touch, in order to deliver the best customer service possible.

RingCentral’s customer engagement platform has built-in team messaging, phone, and video, which allows agents to ping each other with questions while helping customers, share files, create group tasks, and pin important conversations for later:
RingCentral’s customer engagement platform has built-in team messaging, phone, and video, which allows agents to ping each other with questions while helping customers, share files, create group tasks, and pin important conversations for later.
As of the writing of this post, Talkdesk doesn’t include their own messaging feature, but they do tout their integrations with collaboration software like Slack and Microsoft Teams. RingCentral also integrates with these platforms, and many others. But more on that later.

Reporting and analytics

Contact center metrics are a critical way to understand how well your support team is meeting your customer’s needs.

Both RingCentral and Talkdesk (rightfully) prioritize analytics, offering easy ways to collect and track different data including pre-built and custom reports, real-time reporting, and call monitoring via speech analytics.

Workforce optimization

Being able to monitor your customer service team within your customer contact platform is a big time-saver. With all of your people and information in the same place, it’s easy to monitor performance, manage team schedules, and reward success all in the same place.

With Talkdesk, workforce management tools are an add-on, for an additional cost, and aren’t standard even in the top-tier plan. RingCentral, however, offers Workforce Optimization Pro, a full suite of management tools, as part of the Advanced and Ultimate plan levels. The suite includes whisper coaching (great for training new hires), omnichannel performance analytics, call recording, gamification, and a whole lot more.

Third-party integrations

How well do these two contact centers play with others? Pretty well. Talkdesk touts having the “industry’s deepest Salesforce integration,” as well as syncing with over 50 other popular apps to make your life easier.

RingCentral, on the other hand, integrates with over 180 different third-party apps (including Salesforce) for customer management, AI, productivity, and more.

So… who has the best features?

It’s a close call. But overall, RingCentral has a deeper set of features that come standard in their plans without additional costs.

It’s also worth pointing out that RingCentral owns all its standard features, while Talkdesk sources some of them—for instance, outbound dialing and workforce optimization—from third parties. That means Talkdesk has less control over how these products are tweaked and updated, which could be problematic down the road if you want to request features or updates.

🕹️ Get a hands-on look at how RingCentral works by booking a product tour:

💰 You can also use this calculator to see roughly how much your business could save by using RingCentral to support your team’s communication with each other—and clients.

RingCentral vs Talkdesk: Quality of service

As cloud-based communication services, both RingCentral and Talkdesk offer a level of convenience and flexibility that can’t be beaten by on-site contact center setups. Agents can manage all communication channels from a single app, on any device, which makes teams more accessible even when a traditional phone system might go down, like during a storm or, say, a global pandemic that takes the world by surprise.

RingCentral Pulse™offers 99.99% uptime SLA, along with the ability to configure intelligent bots to monitor what’s most important for your contact center—without the need to build an integration. You’ll receive immediate alerts and notifications on critical metrics so you can take swift action and resolve quality of service issues in real time without having to monitor things constantly.

Talkdesk offers an amazing 100% uptime… but only to customers who pay for the highest-tier plan they offer. RingCentral’s uptime promise is for everyone, at any pay tier.

RingCentral vs Talkdesk: Security

Talkdesk and RingCentral both take security seriously, and each platform holds an impressive list of credentials to show it. They’re both compliant with industry-specific security standards for healthcare (HIPAA) and finance (AICPA SOC 2 and 3), among many other international, cross-industry certifications.

RingCentral offers seven layers of security within their platform, and their global data centers are protected by the most robust electronic prevention systems, on-site engineering specialists, and security guards. Talkdesk also has data centers in different locations across the world and “prioritizes redundancy on every level to eliminate single point of failure” and offers Talkdesk Guardian, a suite of security tools to monitor your contact center at multiple levels.

Both of these platforms also offer convenient monitoring of privacy and security in real time, anytime. When it comes to protecting you and your customers’ information, you’d be in good hands with either RingCentral or Talkdesk.

RingCentral vs Talkdesk: Scalability

As a small business, growth is probably one of your top goals. It’s a good idea to find a contact center that can grow with you, so you’re saved the hassle of having to migrate all of your data into a new system a few years down the line.

Both RingCentral and Talkdesk talk about scalability, but who’s actually doing it better? Our vote is RingCentral. We know what you’re thinking, we might be a little biased, sure. But hear us out. We beat Microsoft Teams as PCMag’s Editor’s Choice for business communications, for starters, which speaks to RingCentral’s ability to compete at the enterprise level. This accolade comes from years of building experience with larger businesses. Talkdesk is a powerful tool for smaller businesses, but they’re still establishing themselves on the enterprise side. That could mean growing pains if it comes time to scale up.

RingCentral vs Talkdesk: Pricing

Since contact centers are complex and vary from business to business, you won’t find the cost for either RingCentral’s customer engagement platform or Talkdesk on their websites. To get the cost for your particular company, you’ll have to request a quote directly from the Pricing pages of their sites.

RingCentral vs Talkdesk: Customer reviews

Okay, that’s enough from us. Let’s hear from the voices that really matter in your decision-making process: small business owners like you.

  • RingCentral has over 160,000 customer reviews across 19 different sites, with an average rating of 4.8 of 5. Here’s what some customers had to say about the customer engagement solutions:
    “We’re going to be running [two] companies using the same team and the same resources. A lot of what’s making this possible is that we now have the communication and automation tools to increase our capacity without needing a lot of additional staff. We couldn’t do a lot of what we’re doing without tech automation like RingCentral.”
    Chais Meyer, co-owner of 24 Hour Tees. Learn more about how 24 Hour Tees is using RingCentral to scale up while keeping customer service personal:

    “We are partnered with thousands of wholesale customers around the country. With RingCentral, contact center agents can more easily and cost-effectively stay engaged with these partners to capture reorders and drive revenue growth. For example, RingCentral will automatically queue up outbound calls to different wholesalers when their stocks likely need replenishing, reminding them to top up their orders. Since replacing our on-premises PBX with RingCentral, we haven’t looked back. It was the right move for our growing business.”
    Travis Luckey, Director of Technology, Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Read more about how Stumptown streamlined communication with RingCentral Contact Center.
  • On their website, Talkdesk highlights their nearly 700 reviews on Trustpilot, where they have an average rating of 4.7 out of 5. Here’s what their customers are saying:
    Talkdesk is an excellent platform on which to connect with customers across a variety of communication methods such as phone, chat and email. It provides well developed tools to monitor performance and deep integration across the various apps. The cloud based approach allows colleagues to work remotely and connect across all of our sites easily and has helped during the current COVID-19 pandemic.” 
    PJ Rea, Talkdesk customer
    “Implementing Talkdesk into our customer service channels has proved to be a huge win for our company. We’re able to stay connected with those who matter most without fail—for the most part. Sometimes I am not able to pull up past conversations, but aside from that, Talkdesk continues to provide us with improvements to aid us in better communication with our customers.” 
    Kai C., Talkdesk customer

RingCentral vs Talkdesk: final thoughts

After this comprehensive comparison, we can say that both RingCentral and Talkdesk offer well-equipped contact centers for small businesses. In the end, though, we think RingCentral takes the cake, thanks to:

  • More built-in features, like team collaboration and messaging
  • Workforce optimization as a standard feature, not an add-on expense
  • More integration possibilities with third-party apps
  • 99.99% uptime SLA, for customers of all tiers (without paying extra)
  • Proven scalability across small business and enterprise

Want more information before you decide? Both RingCentral and Talkdesk offer free demos of their contact center platforms. Check out a product tour of RingCentral Contact Center, or visit Talkdesk’s website to get a walkthrough of their product.
ROI calculator

Frequently asked questions

Do either Talkdesk or RingCentral require any kind of special hardware? 
Nope! Both products are cloud-based and can connect to your existing mobile devices for both incoming and outbound phone calls.

Do these platforms offer training to new customers? 
Yes. Both RingCentral and Talkdesk have their own training portals: RC University and Talkdesk Academy, where you can learn more about implementing the products. RC University offers a certification program for contact center admins, while Talkdesk has four levels of certification: Agent, Supervisor, Admin, and Advanced Admin.

Is there an app my team has to download to use either contact center? 
Both of these programs are fully accessible via Web browser on any device, from anywhere in the world. Talkdesk does have a mobile app that was just launched in late 2019, so the jury’s still out on its overall effectiveness. At this time, RingCentral doesn’t offer an app for its customer engagement solutions, but you can check out the easy-to-use RingCentral App for message, video, and phone.

I want to provide international numbers for my customers in other countries… can I do that with RingCentral and Talkdesk? 
Yes! With RingCentral’s contact center, you’ll get local, toll-free dial-in numbers for over 40 countries at no extra cost. Numbers for additional territories can also be purchased (over 100 countries!). With Talkdesk, you have to purchase international numbers, but it’s still possible.

How many languages are these platforms available in? 
RingCentral’s contact center offers speech recognition in 72 languages. As of the writing of this post, Talkdesk offers speech recognition in 14 languages.

Originally published Jun 01, 2020, updated Jun 20, 2024


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