Co-browsing: The Best Screen Sharing Technology for the Best CX

Katherine Caporiccio

August 11, 2021


For an increasingly large segment of customers, digital is the ONLY touchpoint they have with your organization. Getting that digital experience wrong means your entire customer experience (CX) is flawed. Just how important is CX? Consider this – CX is expected to become the main brand differentiator, effectively overtaking both pricing and product.

While we know that face-to-face interactions have long been "the gold standard” of CX, in this day and age organizations must be able to offer online service that replicates in-person experiences from the comfort of one’s home. It's estimated that 90% of customer interactions start on a brand’s website, therefore making a customer’s browsing session a pivotal, and impressionable, part of the customer journey.

When those browsing customers are just a click away from a co-browse session, you have the opportunity to leverage screen sharing to enhance and uplift the customer experience from the very start. 

Enter the Power of Visuals

Whether your support agents or sales reps are helping customers through online retail transactions, banking services, completing insurance forms or learning something new, screen sharing helps. In fact, scientific research shows that the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. Think about that – 60,000! Since we are clearly visual by nature, it stands to reason that we should use visual tools to more effectively communicate. 

We’ve all reached out to customer support only to hear that dreaded question: “Can you tell me what you’re seeing on your screen?” You slap your forehead, take a deep breath, and try to find the right words. The next steps are mutually exasperating. The agent asks numerous follow-up questions in attempt to better understand the issue. Plus, they have a different view on their end so they can’t even see what you’re seeing and describing. “What a fun process,” said no one, ever.

Screen sharing enhances the conversation with visuals. But choose the right type (spoiler alert: co-browsing) to deliver the best CX possible.

What is Screen Sharing Software? How is Co-browsing Different? 

Screen sharing is remote view, which allows you to see someone’s entire desktop, but not interact with it. The catch is, nothing is off limits. You can see everything on your customer’s screen, which can pose a liability for a lot of organizations. And yet a lot of organizations still use a collaboration tool like an online meeting app for screen sharing when they in fact likely need a purpose-built co-browsing solution.

Co-browsing is a specific type of screen sharing – it's limited to the browser, and a specific browser tab at that, so the agent doesn’t see anything they shouldn’t. Co-browsing software like Rescue Live Guide also has advanced privacy features such as data masking to ensure your customer's sensitive data remains private.

How screen sharing works with co-browsing: co-browsing allows two users in different locations to access and control the same web page at the same time. Many meeting and videoconference tools enable screen sharing, but not co-browsing.

Why Co-browsing? As Close to In-Person as Possible

Co-browsing is short for collaborative browsing and enables the agent to collaboratively browse the same web page together with the customer to better guide them through any digital experience. Add video and voice capabilities, and it’s as close to face-to-face (F2F) customer experience as you can get. 

Co-browsing helps deliver a fast and frictionless customer experience, with minimal frustration on all sides, and ensures resolutions in real time, the first time. Co-browsing complements your existing phone and chat channels while also elevating your services with a concierge-like, hands-on CX. While many companies are successfully adopting automation to help customers along the customer journey, providing the other side of the CX coin – one-on-one personalized guidance – is a compelling way to differentiate your customer service.

3 Big Advantages of Co-browsing vs Other Solutions

What is the best screen sharing software for your support or sales needs? Many customer facing teams deploy ad hoc approaches like meeting tools to help resolve customer support issues. While these repurposed, “MacGyvered” solutions can sometimes work, they aren’t purpose-built for secure, one-on-one interactions. Adding to that, they often require a download for the customer, which creates friction and can get in the way of actually supporting the customer with the specific issue they need help with. Or, if the collaboration tool happens to be web-based (thus eliminating the customer download), critical features (such as annotation) will likely be absent.

Your support agents and sales reps need and deserve to have a toolbox full of flexible, purpose-built, secure and scalable solutions and shouldn’t have to make the aforementioned trade-offs. Let’s compare co-browsing to other “MacGyvered” screen sharing solutions. Here’s how to leverage a screen sharing application that delivers the 3 key components of a better customer experience: 

1. Simplicity.

Meeting tools and other repurposed solutions aren’t built for co-browsing or remote customer support. Customers will typically need to download the meeting tool and the agent may need to walk them through that, adding an unnecessary layer of complexity, frustration and delay. Then, once downloaded, meeting tools don’t actually enable agents and customers to control the screen at the same time. It’s one or the other.

But people learn by doing. And Rescue Live Guide delivers on this by enabling the customer to “drive” while collaboratively browsing with the agent who is right there and can step in and assist if needed. Gartner calls co-browsing "the bridge to self-service," because when you take the time to show your customer how to use self-service today (versus simply completing a task on their behalf in your back office), your customer will learn (and is more likely) to self-serve in the future.

Rescue Live Guide is a simple-to-use, lightweight, browser-based co-browsing solution that doesn’t require any downloads. An agent and customer can navigate a web page together in real time, each with their own labeled cursor.

 2. Flexibility.

Many chat platforms are loaded with features, and this sometimes includes co-browsing. But this means only agents trained and provisioned for the chat solution can use co-browsing; it can’t be scaled or easily leveraged across the broader organization for other customer-facing groups (such as phone agents).

There’s also the matter of deployment. Code-based software like chat solutions (and most co-browsing tools) can be complicated to deploy and require dedicated web resources. Another sticking point to code-based deployment: you’re limited to co-browsing on your own website only. You simply won’t be able to co-browse on another website and therefore cannot support the entire customer journey (e.g., helping a customer download a bank statement from a third-party bank in order to then help them upload it to their online mortgage application on your website).

As a standalone and channel agnostic co-browsing solution, Live Guide doesn’t depend on a larger platform, so any customer-facing employee can use it on any channel. Deployment is also flexible: unlike other co-browsing solutions, you can quickly deploy without having to add any code to your website. This allows you to get started immediately with zero implementation efforts. And the best part? There’s always the option to add code later on if desired. But by starting with the codeless deployment option, you can get up and running in no time and start reaping the benefits of co-browse today. Plus customers and agents can view any web page together, even third-party websites, giving you the freedom to co-browse wherever the customer journey may take you.

3. Security.

Meeting tools often lack important security features. A lack of data obfuscation puts data privacy and company liability at risk. What’s going to prevent agents from seeing sensitive customer data during a session? Nothing. Since meeting tools are intended for groups, it’s also possible that someone with the meeting link could “bomb” the session when private customer data is on-screen. Moreover, the auditing and reporting in meeting tools typically don’t meet contact center standards, so admins won’t have the visibility they need to improve training, compliance or productivity.

Live Guide, in contrast, includes security features critical to supporting customers in private, one-on-one co-browsing sessions. You can mask private customer data and restrict specific actions agents can take on the customer’s behalf. The tool’s data obfuscation and button blocking features can also be used on any website, not just your own. The customer is also the one to provide the agent with a PIN code and start the session, thus keeping the customer firmly in control. Finally, the auditing and reporting features provide the insights needed to manage your operations and keep teams improving and compliant.

Benefits of Using Co-browsing for Screen Sharing:

  • Makes conversations relevant and effortless
  • Promotes a positive customer experience
  • Builds lifetime customer loyalty
  • Leads to top-line revenue growth

As more customers interact with organizations through digital channels, the primary drivers of satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy will evolve. Competency and transparency are core values that are essential for building trust between customer and a vendor. This can be incorporated into a co-browsing session by letting the customer see the actions an agent is taking and/or teaching the customer how to do it themselves.

See how you can augment any engagement channel with frictionless co-browsing and empower your customer-facing teams to get on the same page (literally) with customers and ultimately deliver a better CX .

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