10 best open source live chat solutions to engage your customers

Sara Ana Cemazar
September 7, 2023
min read

Yes, you know all about live chat and its advantages. But what makes open source live chat so different and how can it help you serve your customers better?

Today, live chat has become a staple in customer service. Customers can send their inquiries via a simple chat widget on a website and can get a swift response from the team. 

However, as every business is unique, it may require a custom live chat for their needs. Getting live chat personalized to suit individual business requirements is not always feasible. As a result, open source live chat has emerged as a solution for organizations that want to extensively customize their live chat.

With such chat tools, companies are able to customize workflows and organize and automate a large number of incoming requests with ticketing systems with live chat, among other things.

At present, there are numerous options in the market. In this article, we explore the best open source live chat solutions with special reference to their most prominent features. Keep reading to find out why you should consider an open source version of a live chat service, and who are your potential vendors.

Why should you choose open source live chat?

According to research, live chat increases customer retention rates by 5% and increases profits by 25%-95%. It's clear why businesses use live chat. But why do they opt for open source versions of live chat software?

Here are a couple of reasons:

1. Customization and flexibility

Open source live chat solutions offer you unmatched flexibility to tweak and modify it according to specific requirements of the industry and meet necessary regulatory standards. Many providers let you white-label the chat widget and build a strong brand.

If you don’t have a team of developers that can intervene in the code and adjust different features, you can opt for simple solutions that allow you to customize the live chat platform without getting into the technicalities.

2. Cost-effective

Open source live chat solutions are often self-hosted, and they can help you save capital; this is because these solutions are priced lower than SaaS solutions that offer little to no freedom.

3. Secure and transparent in data processing

Data processing in open source live chat solutions is transparent as you can "see behind the engine" and find out how the data is being processed. There is a reduced risk of security breaches such as data theft and secret data collection.

➡️ Learn more about the biggest advantages of open source software.

10 best open source live chat solutions

Choosing the right live chat solution for your business is crucial as it can have a significant impact on its growth and success. Listed below are the top 10 open source live chats for you to choose from:

1. Rocket.Chat

open source live chat

Rocket.Chat is a versatile open source messaging platform that is also used as a ticketing system.

Due to Rocket.Chat's omnichannel capabilities, live chat agents can easily manage conversations on multiple platforms within a single inbox.

You can also introduce a chatbot to your live chat to decrease the waiting time and improve customer satisfaction.

Key features of Rocket.Chat include:

  • Highly customizable and scalable chat interface
  • Can be deployed as in-app chat or live chat
  • Omnichannel capabilities
  • More than 150 integrations on the marketplace
  • Superb security features

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2. Papercups

Papercups enables you to engage your customers with interactive messaging features, including emojis. You can easily manage conversations through the platform by closing, asking, and prioritizing conversations to provide swift responses to customers.

Coordinating and responding to support tickets is quite convenient with this open source live chat app, as you can reply to messages over chat, email, SMS, and Slack.

Here are some of the key features of Papercups:

  • Feature-rich dashboard with details about the customer
  • Customizable chat widget
  • Supports HTML
  • Integrations with different tools and apps, such as Slack and Mattermost

3. tiledesk

open source live chat

An excellent open source live chat, tiledesk can be used for a variety of operations, from lead-generation to post-sales service. It can be used to reach customers browsing your website or connect with them through WhatsApp.

By combining the utility of chatbots without eliminating the human touch, tiledesk can positively impact your bottom line and help build a loyal customer base. It is a no-code platform that capitalizes on conversational apps to improve customer service.

Key features of tiledesk are listed below:

  • Omni-channel live chat
  • Chatbots
  • File sharing
  • Chat archives
  • Delivery receipts

4. FreeScout

One of the few open source live chat built with PHP technology, FreeScout can be easily embedded into your website with relative ease. Your customer support agents can easily respond to messages written by visitors on your website through the helpdesk, as it is a part of the free FreeScout helpdesk.

The customizable chat operating hours feature provides valuable information about the availability of a support agent to your customers, and they are presented with a contact form to capture details.

The following are FreeScout’s key features:

  • Highly customizable
  • Message sorting
  • Contact form
  • Customizable chat operating hours

5. Live helper chat

open source live chat

A powerful and easy-to-set-up live chat with numerous features, Live helper chat covers the basics (and more) of your customer support requirements. It also supports RTL languages. You can further enhance Live helper chat’s capabilities by syncing it with AI software such as DeepPavlov.

Listed below are Live helper chat’s key features:

  • Voice and video calls
  • Screenshare
  • REST API integrations
  • AI chatbots
  • Quick bug fixes
  • Bootstrap 4 CSS frameworks

6. Tinode

Using web socket communication technology, Tinode has become a reliable tool that can help improve your customer service. The features of this open source live chat are designed to optimize one-on-one communication.

Key features of Tinode are listed below:

  • Scalable
  • Automated bots and plugins
  • Self-hosting

7. Rasa

open source live chat

One of the most well-known open source live chat tools, Rasa enables you to build chat- and voice-based AI assistants. Rasa can positively impact your business’s bottom line with the help of its simple yet profound features, like connecting to third-party applications or tools through a set of APIs or embedding a JavaScript widget into any website.

Your team of developers can extend the current features of Rasa with the chat APIs or add more features according to your business’s unique needs.

Mentioned below are some of the key features of Rasa:

  • Third-party integrations
  • Chatbots
  • Highly customizable
  • Additional features can be added

8. Chaskiq

A versatile open source live chat tool, Chaskiq enables you to provide customer support through web chat, video calls, and one-off messages. Since it is encrypted through JWE, you can only receive data from trusted sources, which adds to the security aspect of live chat apps.

Here are some of the main features of Chaskiq:

  • Chatbots to automate repetitive tasks
  • Filters for messages and customers
  • Conversation insights
  • Numerous plugins
  • Video calls
  • Payment flows
  • Scheduled meetings
  • Social media channel integration

9. Chatwoot

open source live chat

Chatwoot supports numerous languages, allows attachments, includes emojis to make chat interactive, and provides typing indicators, all of which make this open source live chat extremely user-friendly. This makes Chatwoot a convenient option for NGO portals, community websites, gaming websites, and all types of companies despite lacking chatbots.

Key features of Chatwoot are listed below:

  • Highly customizable
  • Small pop-out chat window
  • Multiple inboxes
  • Different access levels for different support agents

10. Helpy

This open source live chat allows you to collect important customer data if no support agent is available at the moment so that you don’t miss out on potential customers. Helpy also enables you to respond to customers through emails as well if you are not available on the chat.

Listed below are Helpy’s key features:

  • Chat sorting on the basis of the support agents
  • Email alerts for new customer messages
  • Optional customer data collection before the new chat begins

How to choose the best open source live chat?

44% of online consumers believe that live chat is an important website feature. If your business needs a highly customizable live chat, an open source live chat is a good way to go.

When choosing the best tool for your business, you'll need to consider various aspects of the software, depending on your specific needs. If you're handling a large number of requests, it's good to implement a solution that includes chatbots, as they help businesses save on customer service costs by answering up to 80% of routine questions.

Moreover, if you operate in a highly-regulated industry, you'll want a chat that can be modified to comply with regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, FINRA, and others.

Get in touch with Rocket.Chat team and see how our versatile open source chat can help you serve your customers better.

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Sara is an SEO Strategist at Rocket.Chat. She is passionate about topics around digital transformation, workplace experience, open source, and data privacy and security.
Sara Ana Cemazar
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