Is there an option to use Discourse Chat as a customer service type of chat?

So I need a chat for Discourse where users can send messages to a selected few people, but not each other. Is there a feature like this?

The chat would be open only on certain hours and would let you know how many people there are in line before you in the chat.

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Welcome Juho :tada:

I’d say yes to an extent. However, at the moment only signed up users can use it. So an anonymous user wouldn’t be able to access it for support.

I don’t think that is currently possible with the current settings


chat allowed groups


direct message enabled groups

My solution isn’t the best but I would create a group that can send chats and another that does not have access to chats. This way you can trust members to send chats to certain people only? And if they don’t, add them to the not allowed access group. If anyone has any better ideas I’m all ears :ear:

This is not currently a feature. You’d need some custom plugin.


We have been looking at different ways people would like to use chat, so I’m tagging our PM here @lindsey to take note of your request!


This is already a use case I’m exploring with clients and Discourse Chatbot 🤖 (Now smarter than ChatGPT!*)

The main limitation currently is that your customer needs to have an account already.


Needing an account is not a deal breaker.

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@Juho There are a number of barriers between what chat supports today and the robust system you describe here, as @ondrej points out, but one additional option — we recently introduced the ability for a user to DM a group in chat.

You could create a Discourse group (let’s call it support) and ask users to DM @support when they have a question. That will let the user get in touch with the support team without other users outside that group seeing the message.

Couple notes:

  • This is still only an option for logged-in users
  • This could lead to assignment issues within the support group — the DM will essentially be a group chat with the user plus all members of the support group, so it might be tricky for the support team to understand who’s handling the issue.

I don’t think this is a great workaround, to be clear, but wanted to share that option with you. I’ll also make note of this need in general so we can consider supporting this use case more robustly in the future.

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Might I suggest having that group be allowed to use whispers, and then adding a whisper per-PM for who’s handling it?

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