Back to Blog

Cut through the noise of session recording and session replay options

There are nuances to keep in mind when considering recordings of customer sessions. What is recorded and how quickly a recording can be accessed are important factors. Another important factor is if you will have access to view the video of the session replay or merely a textual translation of the recording.

If your favorite sports team was playing, would you prefer to wait and watch an incomplete recording after it is all over, with only a few minutes recorded here and there? Or would you prefer to see it in real-time and experience the most exciting passes, blocks, intercepts, and goals as they happen with the ability to rewatch your favorite plays as many times as you want?

In other words, do you want to see entire digital customer journeys and have access to them in real-time with the option to watch a session replay or would you rather extrapolate from limited data received after your customer has already walked away? Let’s explore a few examples.

Is it truly real-time?

Delays – What happens when “real time” isn’t actually in real time? Some providers consider delays of up to 40 minutes as “real-time” and recordings may only be available after a customer’s session has been completed. This means customer service representatives are not able to have the data and recordings handy when speaking with a customer to solve real-time issues, which in turn stymies timely resolution and decreases customer satisfaction.

Truly real-time data – Glassbox records sessions as they are happening and delivers them with a 2-second or less delay! Not only is that less of a delay than many big data providers, it is even less of a delay than “live” television (which has a delay of 3 seconds or more). You can see a customer’s journey quicker than you can see your favorite team score a goal!

And because the data is sent right away, website chat support can catch an issue mid-session and determine which actions lead to the problem. If the customer is logged in, support can search for the user’s name and find their session. If the customer is not logged in, support can have the customer perform a unique action to distinguish their session from other sessions (such as typing specific words in the “contact us” form). With nearly instantaneous access to session data with customer journey analytics software, customer issues can be resolved more quickly and revenue loss can be prevented.

Does your session replay provide a complete play-by-play of the customer journey?

Incomplete information – Some providers of digital customer mapping tools and session recordings provide limited information. They may only provide the customer journey if it happens via web browser but not if it happens in a mobile app. Others may only provide one tab of the journey, which means you can miss out on part or even most of the customer journey if they open a new tab to look at another page on your website.

Imagine a sports game where there is only one camera view and it misses the most pivotal moment of the game. That’s what it is like when your session recording only captures activities in one tab or only in the browser. Customers switch between tabs, move from mobile app to browser and vice versa. To capture the entire digital customer journey, session recordings need to catch all the paths a customer takes. If you want to see an accurate portrayal of your customer experience performance, your session recordings need to be more like a sports game with many camera angles all spliced together to provide a complete picture.

Transcript – Now imagine you can only access a transcript of the play-by-play for the exciting sporting event in question. This is what happens when session recordings are translated into textual information instead of provided as a video that can be replayed. You may have the bulk of the information, but you do not have the ability to see the journey through your website or mobile app. What information are you losing by only receiving a transcript?

Do you want a delayed transcript of only part of your customer’s journey or do you want the full play-by-play in real time? Keep these factors in mind when selecting a digital customer journey mapping tool. To make an informed decision, make sure you know what you are getting in terms of “real time” access to session recordings, what those recordings are able to capture, and what format you will receive them in.

Boost your organization’s customer IQ

See why digital leaders use Glassbox to analyze over 1 trillion web and mobile sessions each year—and translate deep insights into enhanced digital experiences.