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Woot Journals: 2020 - The year in review

A blog about the progress we made in 2020.

2020 was an overwhelming year for everyone globally due to a global pandemic, concerns over political unrest and racial injustice, climate change etc. Amidst all that, we have seen many heroic responses that gave us hope and helped us think positively.

At Chatwoot, we have seen a surge in interest in the usage from developers and a wide variety of companies. Let us take a look back at what have done so far and what we think about the future of Chatwoot.

The project

Our Github repository has seen tremendous growth in 2020.

  • Stars went from ~2k to ~6.7k.
  • The number of contributors has grown from ~30 in Jan to 100+ in December.
  • Our application supports more than 25 different regional languages.
  • We had more than 600 commits in the project last year.
  • We released our mobile application on iOS and Android. Thanks to Muhsin, who took the complete ownership of the app and showed an extraordinary work.

The product

At the beginning of the year, we were supporting only two customer conversation channels. Now we support seven different customer conversation channels including Website Live Chat, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, SMS, Email and an API channel allowing developers to build custom workflows on top of Chatwoot. We now have a mini CRM which will enable you to see the profile of the people you are talking to and delight them with contextual support.

We had releases every month. Here is a small recap on what we have released so far.

This is how the design of widget evolved over time.

chatwoot_widget_design

The team & remote work

Many countries were under complete lockdown for months, and it was necessary to figure out an alternate path for business continuance. Remote work became a necessity rather than a nice to have. We saw large companies announcing fully remote work, accelerators running cohorts remotely, newsroom running from their news reader's house providing flexibility and freedom to the people.

It was a glad thing that our team embraced the concept of working remotely even before pandemic hit us. Our team has been working with various industry leaders remotely for more than three years. Moving on to completely remote work was not a new thing for us. Our team has not met in the last seven months due to travel restrictions in place. Still, we were able to get good progress in the product and the community.

The future

With previous experience in the customer experience industry, our team has been talking to many people to understand what Chatwoot can do better to make their life easier. Here are a couple of observations we had:

  • Privacy Concerns: With the introduction of data privacy regulations like GDPR & CCPA, the companies are concerned about sharing their customer data with third-party solutions. The need for self-hosted tools is on the rise.
  • Multiple tools, fragmented data: A surprising aspect we found during our interviews about the tools companies is that they all use more than one tool to interact with their customers. Most companies have a live chat tool, an email campaign tool, a social media tool etc. The customer data is fragmented.
  • Unexpected price hikes: There is no control over the companies' pricing of third-party tools. If it is related to their customer data, it is tough for them to migrate to other software.

With Chatwoot, we can solve this problem by placing ourselves as a self-hosted customer data hub allowing companies to hang out without their customers from one place. We have a long way to go. With the team working full time on Chatwoot and the features planned for the next releases, the future of Chatwoot looks bright and exciting. We have a couple more exciting news to share with you. We will do that in the next couple of posts. Stay tuned!

Pranav Raj S
Pranav Raj S
Published on December 30, 2020