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.
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 html 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 frameworks and problems 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.
Here's our honest take on our own software.
We know who uses Upscope and why they use it.
It's for onboarding and supporting users after they've signed up and the biggest users are account managers, customer success and support teams.
If you're mainly doing sales demos 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 main focus is co-browsing and always has been.
It has grown through integrations with Intercom, LiveChatinc and other live chat providers.
Upscope is co-browsing for companies who spend anywhere between 5 minutes to an hour guiding less technical new users through software after they've signed up.
That's the key point. It's for onboarding new users.
It's not for rapidly taking a peek at a screen or for demoing products to new clients (and I apologise if this is still within some our content elsewhere but you live, learn and change).
Upscope integrates with live chat companies and works with your existing phone system, it does not have its own live chat system (but does have built in calling).
Who is it built for?
Our heaviest users have job titles like 'account manager', 'customer success' and 'support'.
They spend an average of 10 to 15 minutes using Upscope screen sharing session with each user as they educate a customer as much as support them.
The main Upscope users include SaaS, banking and health companies who have teams supporting non-tech customers who struggle with understanding your software.
Upscope's main benefits
Upscope has focused on getting the core co-browsing right for those who need secure co-browsing and already have the live chat side covered.
Integrates with most of the major live chat tools.
The ability to set permissions and administrative options for larger teams.
Upscope has great experience in servicing SaaS, banking and health customers including companies like Square.
What can Upscope improve on?
Upscope is built to be integrated into platforms like Intercom or integrated into industry specific systems via it's API or used on-premise. It was not built as a standalone system.
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 or video calls?
Are we likely to build it any time soon?
Not at present. We believe there's an incredible amount to build just on the core co-browsing experience for our heaviest users. We'll focus on that.
Upscope has a fairly raw functional design and that style has been part of all our products as founders but maybe it's time for a change.
Surfly has a feature that we at Upscope like and that's the ability to cobrowse without needing to install code.
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?
Surfly is an almost intimidatingly good cobrowsing software. (When writing these posts you kind of hope that your own software is better right?)
I think our current core users would pick Upscope over them and for one specific reason.
Our heaviest users are e.g. account managers and post-sign up customer support who deal with new users who just started with the product.
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?
As a competitor to Intercom they naturally don't have an Intercom integration at present and I guess they won't be building integrations for most other live chat sites.
Learn more about how cobrowsing works in our ultimate guide.