Inside LiveChat

Transparently Present Documents on Your Webpage To Build Trust

Malgorzata Sikora
4 min read
Apr 1, 2021
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We all use online apps to manage our day-to-day activities. At LiveChat, we’re fully aware of this because we deliver our applications to over 30k customers. We’ve learned our lessons about transparency, and that’s why we’d like to share the dos and don’ts of this journey with you. Keep reading to learn more about documents that build trust with your customers. 

The types of documents and legal content that you share depends on the type of your organization. Most likely, you need to have publicly accessible Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, and Security documents. You probably also have other types of agreements like a Data Processing Agreement (DPA) or Service Level Agreement (SLA) along with a bunch of content that explains how they work. How can you keep all of this on track, understandable, and organized? It’s a challenge, but take a look at our best practices listed below. 

Dos 

1. Clarity over complexity 

Documents can be complex and cover a lot of situations that you operate with, but it doesn’t mean that clarity takes a backseat. Try to think about who the intended reader of your document is. Let’s take the Terms of Service as an example. Start with the definitions section because it’ll make it easier for the reader to understand the context. 

If you associate words with a specific meaning, it always deserves a definition. For example, at LiveChat, we also call an account a licence. License has a lengthy meaning, but we use it in a specific way. That’s why at the beginning of our Terms, you can find its dedicated definition. By doing that, we can be sure that any time we talk about a licence, the reader knows exactly what we mean.

In addition to that, guide the reader on what the document refers to. Even if it’s obvious, add a general statement section that explains which services or product it applies to and to what extent. These two simple elements will help you to clarify complex documents. The reader can also always search for these sections. 

2. Navigation 

Let’s face it, documents are long. Unless you’re a lawyer, you may not enjoy reading them. Because of this, try to keep it coherent when it comes to headings. Remember to name sections in line with its content, and try to avoid talking about the same topic in different parts of the document. Keep all regulations concerning liability in the liability section and talk about intellectual property in its appropriate section. 

3. Give a bit of background 

Having precise documents is one thing, but understanding them is an absolutely new story. As you know, Terms, Privacy, DPA, or any other document have to include legal language that may be difficult to understand for some readers. That’s why we encourage you to give your customers a bit of background. You may want to create additional content that explains how things work. 

Let’s use the example of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It’s huge and very complex. We know that our users struggled to understand some of the elements in it. It was  even more difficult for some users to find direct answers to their questions based on the document that we have online. That’s why we decided to prepare an FAQ for GDPR to help. It explains how we understand and address certain things. It’s also a great help for customer service teams to have a common source of knowledge to share with customers. 

Don’ts 

1. Incoherent documents and practices

The written part is one thing, but remember that your customers or potential clients may reach out to you before reading anything. That’s why it’s so important to share knowledge within the company. Train your employees to ensure that everyone has a common understanding of security standards and safety measures throughout the company.

We can tell you that, from our experience, sharing knowledge about legal aspects and our own documents inside the company has helped us to deliver better customer support even quicker. 

2. Making decisions for your customers 

Right now, awareness of data processing regulations, documents, and Terms of Service has become more and more important. Because of this, your customers will ask questions and want to know how you store their personal data. They may even ask you to erase their data. Addressing all of those topics in a transparent manner is a must. It simply means that you should give some control over the data to your customers. Help them understand the process instead of hiding anything that seems uncomfortable. This approach always pays off and will help you gain your customer’s trust. 

Stay in touch! 

We hope this helps you to improve how you present your documents and inspires you to always put transparency first. If you need inspiration, feel free to visit our legal section to learn more about how we handle our documents.