Chat Transcripts 101: How to Offer Customers Chat Transcripts

November 21, 2022
copy of chat transcript

Live chat has become a must-have technology for online sales and digital customer service.

In fact, 75% of consumers prefer live chat over any other customer contact channel.

The rising popularity of this channel and the corresponding increase in live chat customer interactions gives rise to an important question:

Should businesses offer chat transcripts to their customers?

In short, the answer to this question is a resounding yes.

In this article, we'll explore why that is. We'll cover:

  • What is a chat transcript?
  • The benefits of providing customers with chat transcripts
  • How to offer customer chat transcripts
Call center agent on laptop

What is a chat transcript?

A chat transcript is an exact copy of a live chat conversation between a customer advisor and a customer. 

It acts as a record of every detail of the exchange, including the text, customer’s details, and even time stamps for each message.  

Most live chat solutions will automatically create chat transcripts for you to store and access. However, not all systems will provide a copy to customers.

Customer and call center agent conversing

Should you offer chat transcripts to your customers? 

The answer is yes - you should always offer customers their chat transcript.

If you're wondering why, take a look at the key benefits of providing customers with chat transcripts below.

1. Reduce repeat requests & increase self-service

The most obvious benefit is that chat transcripts ensure the customer has easy access to the details/instructions provided by the agent in the exchange.

They can then refer back to this information if they have the same problem in the future, reducing the demand on agents. 

For example, imagine a customer is prone to forgetting their password.

The first time this happens, they initiate a live chat session in which an agent gives them step by step instructions on how to reset their password. 

These step by step instructions are sent to the customer in their chat transcript.

This means that the next time they forget their password they can use these instructions again, rather than starting another chat session to ask the same question. 

This reduces the number of repeat chat requests for agents, and allows the customer to quickly fix their own problem.

With self-service becoming increasingly popular amongst customers, this is a win-win for both parties. 

T shirt ecommerce transaction featuring live chat

2. Provide reassurance to customers

Another benefit of a chat transcript is that it acts as proof to customers of the conversation, offering them reassurance.

If a certain delivery date is provided in the conversation, or a specific price/discount on a product, the chat transcript acts as confirmation of this. 

This gives customers a way to hold your company accountable and therefore reassures them that you will stick to your word. 

You want your customers to trust you and providing them with a chat transcript is an easy way to build trust.

Customer and contact agent chatting

3. Gather customer emails

The final big benefit of offering customers their chat transcript is that it’s an easy way to collect a customer’s contact email. 

Most transcripts are sent to a customer’s email account. This means that if a customer wants their chat transcript, they'll need to provide their email address. 

Collecting email addresses in this way is an easy way to build your mailing list for future email marketing campaigns. 

It also means you have more information on a given customer stored in your CRM, which can be useful for analysing customer behaviour and customer identification in the future. 

Happy live chat agent

How to provide customer chat transcripts

There are two main ways you can provide customers with their chat transcript.

The first way is to automatically send them to the customer’s email after a chat session has finished.

While this ensures every customer gets a copy of their chat transcript, there are two drawbacks. 

Firstly, not all customers will want a chat transcript and might get annoyed by receiving one.

This is a minor issue (after all they can just ignore the email), but it’s still important to bear in mind when considering customer satisfaction.

The second and more important drawback is that to automatically send a chat transcript to all customers, you’ll need to ask customers for their email address before they start a chat session. 

This can be done using a pre-chat form. Many companies use pre-chat forms to gather customer data, but they aren’t the right call for every business.

Depending on your target audience and customer base, some customers might be put off from contacting you if they have to fill out a pre-chat form. 

The other way you can provide customers with chat transcripts is to give them the option to request their transcript. 

When a chat has finished, you can display a ‘request chat transcript’ button.

Customers who want their transcript can click the button, provide their email address, and receive their transcript.

Customers who do not want their chat transcript can ignore the button and simply end the chat.

At Talkative, we recommend businesses take this approach to offering chat transcripts.

Giving customers the option to request their chat transcript is the best way to cater to customer preferences and provide the best, individual customer experience

Magnet attracting customer chat interactions

The takeaway

Offering your customers live chat transcripts is a no brainer - it's easy to do and it benefits both you and your customers.

And what's the best way to get the most out of transcripts and all the other benefits live chat has to offer?

Investing in the right chat software.

With Talkative’s innovative live chat solution, you’ll enjoy dynamic canned messages, real-time translation, average wait time displays, customer journey mapping, and more.

As well as live chat, Talkative provides a complete suite of digital engagement channels - including video chatcobrowsingweb callingweb call backssocial media messaging, and an AI-powered chatbot.

And you'll be able to manage every interaction, from every channel, within a single dashboard.

As a result, you and your customer-facing teams will be fully equipped to engage and convert more customers than ever before.

Want to learn more? Book a demo with Talkative and start getting the most out of your live chat solution, today.

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