Chat Transcripts 101: How to Offer Customers Chat Transcripts

Nicole Davies
July 19, 2021
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Live Chat and Chatbots
Nicole Davies

What is a chat transcript?

A chat transcript is an exact copy of a live chat conversation between a customer service agent 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 sent by the customer and agent.  

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

Should you offer chat transcripts to your customers? 

Yes, you should offer customers their chat transcript. There are many benefits to offering customers a copy of their live chat transcript. Below we have listed the main three benefits. 

  1. Reduce repeat requests and increase customer self-service

The most obvious benefit is that chat transcripts ensure the customer has easy access to the details provided by the agent in the exchange. They can then refer to these details/instructions if they have the same problem or question 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 refer to these instructions 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. 

  1. 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.

  1. 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 email address. 

Most transcripts are sent to a customer’s email account. This means that if a customer wants their chat transcript, they will 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. 

How can customers get 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 companies take this approach to 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

Test the benefits of chat transcripts for yourself with access to all Talkative’s live chat features in our 14-day free trial.

Download the ‘Inner Circle Guide to Video & Next-Generation Customer Contact’

Discover use cases, implementation tips, and ROI for video chat as a contact channel

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