Your call center is a place where agents solve customer problems, secure new customers, and close deals. Call centers cost money every second your agents take calls, so you need call center software that increases efficiency while streamlining your agents’ workload.
Though some businesses are willing or able to shell out big bucks for the most advanced call center tools, you don’t always have to pay top dollar to get a robust call center system. There are even several call center software options that cost nothing to use.
Below, you’ll find the five best free and open source call center software options. We’ll explain each product and its cost to upgrade. Each of these tools (arranged alphabetically) has a minimum user rating of 4 (out of 5) and at least 10 user reviews on Capterra (see full selection methodology here).
- Free plan: Includes data storage limit of 5GB and basic live chat support.
- Paid plans: Upgrade plans start at $24 per month for two users, 10GB data storage, and Pro live chat support.
Call center software Bitrix24 offers modules for collaboration, task management, and communication. The tool offers a unified platform to manage your messages, files, projects, tasks, and contacts. It helps organize and track interactions with your potential or existing clients and partners. Users can also log and manage client interactions, generate sales reports, and capture and store lead data.
The tool offers mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, and round-the-clock customer support via live chat.
Video chat in Bitrix24 (Source)
- Free plan: Available for two users; includes email and 24/7 chat support.
- Paid plans: Upgrade plans start at $14 per user, per month.
CallHippo is a call center solution that facilitates workflow automation and virtual telephony. The tool lets you analyze call recordings so you can learn more about your customers and offer an enhanced customer experience. Its activity feed lets you access caller names, call status, call duration, and more.
CallHippo’s features include a productivity tracker, call recording, and call analysis. Users can filter call logs using criteria such as call type, time range, and incoming/outgoing.
The tool offers mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, and customer support via email and phone.
In-built dialer in CallHippo (Source)
- Free plan: Includes inbound caller ID, desktop notifications, call notes, custom greetings, and call metrics.
- Paid plans: Upgrade plans start at $15 per user, per month and include additional features such as number porting, basic call queues, wait-queues, voicemail, warm transfer, call recording, and pre-built reports.
Freshcaller supports global calls and contextual conversations. It also provides real-time call center insights. The tool’s key features include multilevel IVR (interactive voice response), auto-receptionist tools, call monitoring and blocking, and customer interaction histories.
The tool offers mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, and support via phone, email, and live chat.
Call flows in Freshcaller (Source)
- Free plan: Includes all available features and unlimited users.
- Paid plans: Upgrade pricing starts at $0.02, and is 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.
Qubicles is cloud-based blockchain-powered call center software for sales and customer service teams, covering phone, email, and live chat. Its key features include inbound and outbound campaigns, call routing, IVR, drag-and-drop scripting, call recording, inbound-email routing, and open APIs.
The tool offers mobile apps for iOS devices and online customer support.
Main dashboard of Qubicles (Source)
- Free plan: The free version of VICIdial is its open source version; it has no limit on agent count and includes all features.
- Paid plans: The vendor offers a hosted service called VICIhost. Upgrading to the hosted version costs $400 per server, per month (after an initial $1,000 server provisioning fee to cover the first month of hosting, and a $500 provisioning fee for each additional server).
Open source call center software VICIdial offers inbound and outbound calls, call routing, email integration, online chat, and call recording. Its extra features include outbound predictive dialing, skills-based agent routing, private branch exchange (PBX), and inbound email handling.
With this open source software offering, you are responsible for troubleshooting any issues that arise. The tool requires the technical know-how to install and manage.
Active chat in VICIdial (Source)
Read our call center software buyers guide to understand the benefits and common features of these tools.
How to choose the right free or open source call center tool for your business
These considerations can make your call center software decision a little easier:
- Consider the size and growth of your business. Call center tools that offer basic features are best for small businesses with a lower call volume.
- Consider your employee knowledge base. A simple call center tool with fewer features may be easier to learn when training beginner users, while a more sophisticated tool would be appropriate for employees who are well-versed in your chosen software.
- Check the cost to upgrade. It’s important to understand the paid pricing models of each call center tool you consider, as well as any upfront costs. Some vendors may offer flexible subscription-based pricing (monthly or annual billing), while others require annual one-time licenses based on number of users.
- Ask about integration options. One key benefit of a call center tool is its ability to gather customer data from multiple sources, such as your existing CRM system. Be sure to ask the software provider whether or not their tool integrates with your existing tools before purchasing.
Common questions to ask while selecting a free or open source call center tool
You’ll probably have many questions when selecting free or open source call center software, and it’s important to get answers from software providers and/or their sales representatives. Here are a few key questions to consider asking:
- Does the software upgrade cost include phone-based tech support? This will help you get clarity on the type of premium support you’ll receive when you start paying for the software.
- What percentage of your customers are currently paying for an annual support contract? This will give you a fair idea of customer satisfaction. If the vendor doesn’t provide this information, it could be a warning sign of poor customer satisfaction/service.
- Can I easily create customized reports? You should always be able to get to your own data. If you’ll need a programmer to build new reports, that will hamper your ROI.
- Can I speak to a customer who has deployed your tool in the past six months? If the vendor avoids answering or is uncomfortable with you speaking to a recent customer, they could be concerned you’ll uncover some product or service cons.
How we rate
This article was updated on Feb. 1, 2021. Products considered for this article had to:
- Offer a free, stand-alone version of the software (not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product after a limited amount of time).
- Meet our call center market 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”.
Software that met the market definition also needed a minimum of 10 user-submitted reviews published between Jan. 1, 2020 – Jan. 25, 2021, and have an above-average overall user rating compared to other products in the category.
- “Top” free and open source tools had a minimum overall rating of 4/5 stars from reviewers on Capterra at the time of publication.
Note: The content in this piece that provides opinions and points of view expressed by users does not represent the views of Capterra.
Looking for Call Center software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Call Center software solutions.