Call centers cost money every minute your agents are taking calls—but call center software doesn’t have to cost a thing.
Call centers are sites of opportunity; places where companies can solve customer problems, secure new customers, or close deals. Every second counts in these interactions, so businesses need reliable call center software that can increase efficiency and ease agents’ workload.
Given the stakes of these interactions, many businesses are willing and able to shell out big bucks for the most advanced call center offerings on the market.
But you don’t have to pay top dollar to get a robust call center system. In fact, there are several great call center software options that cost absolutely nothing to use.*
Top 5 free and open source call center software solutions
We’ve analyzed nearly 300 different call center software solutions in Capterra’s directory to come up with our list of the top five free tools. For each of the five solutions below, we’ll share the pros and cons, cost to upgrade, and what type of center the software is best suited for. You can find our full methodology here.
*One big caveat: We’ve done many top free and open source articles at Capterra. Call center software is a little different in that, while the software is free, making calls is not. All of the products below do offer free access, but you’ll still have to pay usage rates. You can see a preview of those usage rates (for U.S.-based calls) in the summary graphic below.
With that, here are our top five free and/or open source call center software solutions (presented in alphabetical order):
1. Bitrix24: For those who want more than a call center
Bitrix24 is an incredibly versatile free tool. In fact, we’ve listed it as a top free tool for everything from human resources to knowledge management, and even homeowner’s associations. At its core, Bitrix24 is made for customer relationship management (CRM), team communication, project management, and—yes—contact centers.
|The breadth of Bitrix24’s offerings make it a great choice for small teams in need of a one-stop shop solution.The free version has a number of robust call center features, such as call routing, transfers, greetings and automatic replies, contact information capture, and 100 call recordings per month.||The free version of Bitrix24 only allows for 12 users and has a one phone number rental limit. Some features—such as an automatic dialer and interactive voice response (IVR)—are only available with paid plans.|
Cost to upgrade: Monthly billing costs $69/month for up to six users, $99/month for 50 users, and $199/month for unlimited users. Bitrix24 offers a 24% discount on those prices if billed annually. Each upgrade level comes with its own set of feature upgrades.
Most suitable for: Businesses looking for a call center management tool and a flexible, wide-ranging CRM and project management solution.
View of a user interface in Bitrix24 (Source)
2. CallHippo: For call center purists
CallHippo is a straightforward contact center solution, making it great for call centers that don’t need or want a lot of unnecessarily functionality. The result is a honed tool with a clean user interface. For centers that already have a CRM, CallHippo is also set up for many popular out-of-the-box integrations.
|The free version offers features including incoming and outgoing SMS messages and a click-to-call Chrome extension. For those new to call center software management, the free version also comes with email and 24/7 chat support so you’re not on your own.||The free version only includes two users and no concurrent calls, so it’s not viable for larger contact center teams with high phone traffic. Some features, such as IVR, are only available on paid plans.|
Cost to upgrade: Upgrades are based on additional features. When billed monthly, the three package upgrades range from $10 to $40 per user, per month. This range drops to $8 to $35 if billed annually.
Most suitable for: Small contact centers that want a simple, straightforward solution.
3. Fenero: For blockchain-powered call center software
Fenero is an interesting, forward-looking call center solution powered by the vendor’s patent-pending blockchain technology. If that doesn’t already help it stand out from the crowd, Fenero also has its own system of cryptocurrency (called Qubicle Tokens) to reward call center agents or customers. Fenero also has built-in CRM and marketing automation tools.
|The free version comes with all available features and unlimited users, making it a robust and scalable free option. And with its own cryptocurrency, Fenero has a built-in system for rewarding customers who participate in surveys or agents who perform well.||Fenero customer support is largely limited to self-service options in the free version. This solution is also not built for any out-of-the-box integrations.|
Cost to upgrade: Because Fenero offers all features and unlimited users in its free version, paid upgrades are based on level of customer support access. Support plans start at $99 per month for email support and $249 per month for chat and phone support.
Most suitable for: Large customer service teams interested in an affordable, reward-based call center solution.
4. Freshcaller: For call centers with an eye toward growth
Freshcaller is a call center solution, and part of the broader Freshworks collection of software offerings. It can also be bundled with the free version of Freshdesk, a help desk software solution that made our list of the top free knowledge management solutions. With unlimited agents for both Freshcaller and Freshdesk, it’s a great solution for those with large or growing contact centers.
|Freshcaller comes with unlimited agents, as well as 24/7 email and 24/5 phone support. It also comes with a number of essential call center features, such as basic call queues and customer greetings.||In terms of features, the free version of Freshcaller is relatively pared down. Several features—such as call recording and IVR—are only available on paid plans.|
Cost to upgrade: Upgrades are based on additional features. When billed monthly, the three package upgrades range from $25 to $75 per agent, per month. This price range drops to $19 to $59 if billed annually.
Most suitable for: Growing contact center teams that want an affordable, straightforward call center and help desk solution.
5. VICIdial: For tech-savvy contact centers
VICIdial is an open source contact center solution, so there are no limits on features or number of agents. It has a full featured predictive dialer and automatic call distribution (ACD) functionality. The major caveat here is that, as an open source solution, this system requires someone with the technical savvy to install and manage things on their own. This isn’t an out-of-the-box tool, but is a very robust solution for those comfortable taking the reins.
|As a full, free, open source solution, VICIdial has no limit on agent count and all features. This includes what are often paid features, such as auto dialing, IVR, and call recording.||With this open source software, users are responsible for troubleshooting any issues that arise. This system requires the technical know-how to install and manage.|
Cost to upgrade: There’s only one version of VICIdial, and that’s this free and open source version. However, the vendor offers VICIhost for those interested in having a hosted service. Upgrading to the hosted version costs $400 per server, per month (after an initial $1,000 server provisioning fee, which covers the first month of hosting, and a $500 provisioning fee for each additional server).
Most suitable for: Contact centers with tech-savvy employees who are comfortable troubleshooting and managing an open source system.
Want even more call center software options?
We updated this article Aug. 29, 2019, with new software options and removed software that no longer meets our market definition, was outdated, or no longer free.
We evaluated the products in Capterra’s call center software directory (as of August 6, 2019) to determine if there is a free version, and if it met our inclusion criteria.
For the purposes of this article, we classified a product as free if:
- It offers a free, stand-alone version of the software.
- It is not intended as a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product version after a limited amount of time.
Once a tool was classified as free, we analyzed that tool according to the following criteria:
- It has at least 9 reviews published on Capterra’s site.
- It meets our call center software definition
Is it call center software?
We evaluated verified free products with at least 9 reviews against our call center software definition:
Call Center software helps organizations manage inbound and outbound communications with customers and prospects across a variety of channels (e.g., voice, live chat, social media). Also commonly referred to as “Contact Center”.
This check verified basic call center capabilities and appropriateness for the category. Products were classified as call center software if they contained all of the following core features:
- Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) – Uses logic to route calls to the most appropriate service agents. Commonly included is skills-based routing, which also takes into consideration agent skill and resource for routing calls to the most appropriate agent.
- Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) – Uses computers for routing, managing, and answering phone calls.
The content in this piece that provides opinions and points of view expressed by users does not represent the views of Capterra.
The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.
Looking for Call Center software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Call Center software solutions.