What is cobrowsing software and how does it work?

What is cobrowsing?

Cobrowsing software allows agents and customers to collaboratively 'browse' a website, web application or mobile app together in real time. Cobrowsing is most commonly used in customer service scenarios, but can also be used by sales teams and other business functions to improve online conversions and experience.

Also known as co-browsing or collaborative browsing, a typical cobrowsing use case is to enable one person (a contact centre agent) to join a user (a website visitor or customer) on an existing website session to see, understand and solve problems. By adding cobrowsing to your company's website, you can assist in a whole new way and provide an exceptional customer experience for your website visitors which won't interfere with their browsing.

How does cobrowsing work?

Cobrowsing is usually used alongside live chat, which allows customer service agent or even entire sales teams to communicate with customers throughout their customer journey. The service agent is sent an accurate visual representation of the customer's view of the website, directly through the web browser. Any changes that occur are updated on both the client and agent views in real time. The agent can assist the customer, by securely co-navigating the website. The agent can also annotate the customer's view of the website, help to fill out forms, and even overlay documents.

How does cobrowsing benefit customers?

Cobrowsing is a great tool for helping customers who are stuck, confused or frustrated with an online process. Having agents be able to remotely help you is great for improving both customer support and customer experience. We can all relate to the frustration of having to try and explain to agents over the phone what we are seeing on a website!

What cobrowsing helps to achieve is a more interactive, virtual 'in-store' experience for the buyer. They are getting the support they need and in turn, this has been shown to improve customer satisfaction, decrease cart abandonment and improve conversion rates.

How does cobrowsing benefit businesses?

It has been proven by independent research bodies that cobrowsing tools can increase order values and reduce call times. Cobrowsing is an intuitive tool for agents to use, as it gives agents a completely accurate render of the customer's website session, so makes resolution times a lot faster. Being able to physically guide customers towards specific pages and products also helps improve average order values and enable upselling opportunities in sales orientated contact centres.

What types of company can benefit most from cobrowsing?

Cobrowsing is mostly used as a customer service tool, but it has great benefits as a sales tool too. It essentially brings a human level of customer assistance to a website process, which can otherwise feel detached and cold.

Cobrowsing is a versatile tool, but the most common use cases are:

Upselling: Being able to annotate the screen, share navigation around the website and send customers to different web pages makes cobrowsing a truly effective sales tool. This is especially useful for include agencies, high end retailers, and online financial services.

Improving online experience: There may be certain areas of your website which can be tricky for some customers to navigate through, for example long and complex forms. Likewise, if you have complex or expensive products on your website, customers may need additional support to help them make the right choices. Cobrowsing can also be used alongside product demos and other customer interaction types to create a truly immersive website experience.

Reducing call times: Companies with high call traffic can use cobrowsing to reduce call times. If customers are getting stuck in web processes, it can directly save the agent's time by allowing them to manually assist the customer. Suitable companies include banks, utility providers, comparison websites.

High touch customer service: While nothing beats face-to-face contact, cobrowsing can reduce the need for travel, by providing VIP customers with a hand-held digital service. This can be helpful for public sector organisations such as local authority, or financial services companies.

Watch the video to discover the 5 Key Benefits of Cobrowsing

Is it secure?

Yes. Talkative's cobrowsing solution does not give the chat agent power over the customer's computer. Agents cannot see the customer's desktop, or other browser tabs. Customers are asked for permission before allowing an agent to cobrowse with them. Sensitive data can be redacted with data masking so that personal or sensitive information does not leave the customer's browser, so agent's cannot see any of this sensitive information.

The customer also does not have to download any files to begin a session and customers can end a cobrowsing session at any time.

Does cobrowsing require plugins or downloads?

Since cobrowsing primarily uses JavaScript, a customer does not have to sign into an application or worry about downloading plugins. Many desktop sharing clients require installations, but cobrowsing can be started without even refreshing the website page. Cobrowsing will work on all modern browsers and devices, including desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

Watch the video for an overview of cobrowsing

How is cobrowsing different to screensharing?

Desktop sharing is where the entire computer is shared, not just the browser tab. Screen sharing involves the agent presenting part of the agent's desktop to the customer. Both desktop sharing and screen sharing may sound similar to cobrowsing. Cobrowsing only shares the customer's view of the website with the agent.

Cobrowsing: Agents can view customer browser tab. Agents cannot see customer desktop or other tabs. Customer cannot see agent screen at all.

Screen Sharing: Agents can display parts of their desktop to the customer. Customer cannot interact with the agent desktop.

Desktop Sharing: Either agent or customer can display their entire desktop to the other party. The other party can interact with the shared desktop.

How can you use cobrowsing?

Cobrowsing can be used in three different ways:

Phone calls: The agent asks the customer to read out a PIN from the website. The agent enters the PIN into the agent console to join the session. This PIN can be hidden behind a button in the company's website by using the cobrowsing API.

Live chat: The agent offers cobrowsing to the customer during a live chat session, who accepts to begin cobrowsing.

Web calling: The agent offers cobrowsing to the customer during a web call, who accepts to begin cobrowsing.

Does cobrowsing integrate with other systems my business already has?

Yes. All aspects of the Talkative solution suite including live chat, web calling, video calling and cobrowse are able to be integrated with your existing contact centre or CRM systems, including Mitel contact center and Salesforce Service Cloud. If you want to learn more about our integrations, take a look at our integration pages and request a demo today!

Want to discover how cobrowsing could enhance your business? Request a demo today!

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