As apps move to the cloud we don't need download based screen sharing, so that's why online screen sharing aka co-browsing is growing so quickly. What's unusual is that it's being used to deeply impact conversion and retention rather than just give occasional demos or as a last ditch support tool.
Why is online screen sharing known as co-browsing?
Co-browsing is the natural next step in the evolution of screen sharing and is the ability to click once to see your customer’s browser and take control to remotely guide them. Note: Not the whole desktop, just browser.
You see their screen instantly. You highlight where they should click next using a pen tool.
If they're really struggling, you can take control to scroll and click for them.
All this is done without downloads.
It's also pixel perfect because it involves sending over the html code rather than streaming a video.
It's known as 'co-browsing' because you're both browsing the same page together. There are two cursors able to click and scroll at the same time.
See more in the guide to co-browsing .
Traditional screen sharing has its problems
Ask them to download software? Hope it all works? It's unusually stressful because desktop screen sharing has so many potential failure points.
Blurry and laggy screen? We've all sat in on a screen share like that.
Also, I don't really like having someone see my entire desktop. I feel a need to clear it up and edit some important project folder names before we start.
Overall, the time taken to get set up and going can be longer than the screen share time, especially when things go wrong.
What impact does this new online screen sharing have? What does it bring to a business?
Let's say you sell a traffic analytics tool.
A user comes to your site and needs you to explain how to set up segments.
You instantly see the user's browser, you see them moving around on your app and you highlight where to click to set up segments.
You educate them on the app.
Combine this with the rise of live chat systems and VOIP and you now have some very rapid communication and education tools. Everything has got faster.
This is what we've noticed:
- The amount of time spent doing screen shares goes up rapidly.
- Support requests turn into spontaneous walk throughs of the app.
- Companies can offer scheduled one to one 'walk throughs' of the app.
- Users develop muscle memory in using the app and need less help later.
- People you co-browse with are less likely to churn.
- New users you co-browse with are more likely to convert into customers.
- The great side effect is immense UX and product feedback.
- Team members enjoy being teachers of the product.