Below we'll show you 3 of the best co-browsing software solutions in the market and how they're different. We cover Upscope, Surfly and Acquire.
Essential read: Reporting on the ROI of co-browsing? Depends on your CEO
Related: What is cobrowsing?
Why do cobrowsing solutions differ? Aren't they all the same?
Not even close.
Co-browsing is fundamentally different to traditional screen sharing because it involves passing the code rather than streaming a video.
If you're passing code and all the changes to that code, you have to deal with all the different scripts, frameworks and technologies out there.
It takes a long time to get co-browsing to work across these technologies.
The way each company passes code is different.
The way you install co-browsing is different.
The way co-browsing is initiated is also different.
That's why we cover 3 different types of co-browsing solutions below.
What is the best co-browsing solution?
The 3 companies below have all been through the tough phase of getting the technology right.
There are some fundamental differences between them and the right solution depends on the type of customer you service, what sort of integration you need and whether you need live chat and more on top of co-browsing.
If you already have a live chat system you're happy with and just want to add co-browsing then choose Upscope or Surfly. If you need live chat, video chat, bots, co-browsing and more for an all in one solution then try Acquire.
We know who uses Upscope co-browsing and why.
We know who does not need it.
It's for effortless onboarding and support of new and existing users.
The BIGGEST users are support agents, onboarding teams and customer success teams.
If you're a sales manager looking for software to do sales demos with website visitors who are not signed in then Surfly is a better option.
If you don't have a live chat system and are looking for an all-in-one solution then Acquire does that, Upscope does not.
What does it do?
Upscope's core features are:
- Co-browsing and calling for guiding users through your app.
- Screenshots of pages they visited before opening a live chat.
- Secure co-browsing API for integrations.
Co-browsing is for live guidance of the customer but customers will often asks a question on live chat and then return after 15 minutes so you need screenshots of what they did before they asked the question. These often tell you what the problem is without needing to cobrowse. Screenshots are useful for almost every single interaction by giving context on the problem.
Upscope has grown through integrations with Intercom, LiveChatinc and other live chat providers as well as custom integrations via the API.
It works with your existing phone system as well as having in-built browser to browser calls.
Who is it built for?
Upscope's heaviest users have job titles including words like 'support / service', 'account manager' and 'customer success'.
They guide, educate and solve customer problems using Upscope to successfully onboard users, lower churn, cross sell and provide support.
The heaviest Upscope users include SaaS, finance and health companies who have teams supporting often new or less technically gifted customers.
Upscope's main benefits
Upscope spent a full year in beta as a free product. During this time, thousands of early adopters tried it on all sorts of websites.
Much of this time was spent ensuring Upscope reliably worked across all of them.
Upscope has focused on getting the core co-browsing right for those who need secure co-browsing.
Upscope uniquely shows you screenshots of how a user came to a problem. Why is this so useful? often you're out of sync with the user so you can't use co-browsing but you still need to see their screen. Screenshots do this for you and are available via integrations or the API.
Upscope has enterprise features like a role based access control, full audit logs, usage reporting, multi-team options and a full REST API for integrations.
Integrates with most of the major live chat tools like Intercom, LiveChat, Zendesk and more.
Upscope has great experience in servicing SaaS, finance and health customers including companies like Square, DriveCentric, NurseGrid, Applied Data Finance and more.
As a result Upscope is ISO certified, HIPAA compliant and GDPR ready.
What can Upscope improve on?
Upscope has in-browser calling but does not have live chat or video chat.
Would it be nice if Upscope had its own live chat system?
Are we likely to build it any time soon?
We believe there's an incredible amount to build just on the core co-browsing experience. We'll focus on that first.
Surfly has a feature that we at Upscope like and that's the ability to cobrowse without needing to install code to begin using it.
It's a little trickier with apps that require logins but for websites and e-commerce sites, it's a great feature.
What does it do?
Both you and your customer can browse your website without any downloads and also without any installs of code (which is unusual as most co-browsing tools need a one time install).
Surfly does this by providing a link that both user and agent browse on together. They also have an 'install code' option for companies that don't want to go to a third party link.
I think we'd like to add this feature at Upscope just for e-commerce and sales teams in the future.
Surfly's main benefits
You can cobrowse without installs and this makes getting started with Surfly very fast.
Surfly's main focus is co-browsing but they also have chat, video chat and further live chat integrations. Their Intercom integration looks cool. You type ^Surfly to start the screen share and off it goes.
The co-browsing is smoother than both Upscope and Acquire because both the user and the agent go to a surfly.com link and browse together.
What can Surfly improve on?
I think Upscope core users pick Upscope over Surfly because of the differences in the way they work with logged in users.
Upscope's core users are e.g. customer support, account management and anyone who helps users who have alread signed up.
These new users are already logged in when they ask for help and when Surfly starts a screen share, it asks them to login again. That's because they proxy everything and so they don't hold the user session.
There are workarounds but that would require some technical changes by each user's dev team.
Acquire appears to be on a path of challenging companies like Intercom and Drift directly.
Initially their product, under the name Tagove, centered on co-browsing but now they have an entire suite of tools.
They have some heavy hitter clients and maybe their feature set reflects that.
What does it do?
It's an all in one solution.
While Upscope's focus is on post-sign up onboarding, Acquire's features cover several areas including sales, support and marketing.
Like Drift and Intercom, they are investing time into automation via bots and that's something we've seen spread rapidly in just the last 6 months.
Acquires main benefits
They do chat, video chat, bots and co-browsing together and their system works on mobile apps (which I'm assuming means native apps as they have an SDK for it though at time of writing I need to confirm that).
They have a great list of customers like Samsung, Lexus and TATA.
Great design and well documented.
If you're looking for a replacement to Intercom, Drift with co-browsing built in, these are the guys to talk to. They don't have onboarding email sequences yet but they certainly do everything else.
What can be improved?
While Upscope and Surfly primarily focus on getting co-browsing right, Acquire is an all in one solution that is a competitor to companies like Intercom. As a result, they don't have integrations to Intercom and other major live chat providers.
Learn more about how cobrowsing works in our ultimate guide.