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What’s co-browsing? How is it different from screen sharing?

Co-browsing is a rapidly growing new technology being taken up by 1000s of companies precisely because of how it differs from normal screen sharing.

Related: See the Ultimate Guide to Co-browsing Software

Traditional screen sharing

Normal screen sharing is when both the agent and the customer have installed software that allows them to see each other’s full desktop including all applications.

Seeing the full desktop requires downloads.

Co-browsing

Co-browsing is when the agent can instantly see the customer’s browser.

There's none of that downloads nonsense.

Both can scroll and click at the same time as if they're sitting next to each other.

The support agent will typically begin by highlighting (drawing) to guide the user where to click, like a master teacher with a gifted pupil.

If they're struggling, the agent can scroll and click for the user.

The agent can see the customer’s browser and only the tab containing the agents own website, rather than customer’s entire computer.

Why is co-browsing growing and taking over?

Because once upon a time you had to download software to your computer to use it.

Now, most apps are in the cloud and you can access them anywhere with just a username and password.

As apps moved to the cloud, screen sharing changed from download based full desktop screen sharing to no-download, browser only, instant screen sharing.

It's faster, cleaner and more secure.

Example

Imagine if you owned gmail.com and had to provide support to users.

Yep, imagine it.

A gmail user calls you and says “I cannot find where to change my signature”.

  1. In one click, without installs, you open up their screen and highlight the settings tab.
  2. They click settings.
  3. You highlight the signature block.
  4. They click that.
  5. You’re done.
  6. They’re happy.
  7. It took 20 seconds rather than 5 minutes.

At its heart is a simple idea: You should be able to help your own users on your own site when they ask for help without asking them to install more software.

The benefits

From a report published by Aberdeen.

  • Customer-satisfaction ratings of 78% with co-browsing compared to 47% for web self-service
  • 4X more positive customer mentions within social media channels
  • 3% annual revenue gain from upsell/cross-sell and fee-based consultation
  • Reduced error rate on customer transactions and customer inquiries
  • Improved satisfaction through more intuitive customer interactions
  • Reduced online shopping cart abandonment

Start with Upscope co-browsing

Upscope is a co-browsing service used by customer success, support and sales teams which integrates with major live chat tools and phone solutions. Find out more from the home page.

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Read more on 'What is co-browsing' in our ultimate guide.

What’s co-browsing? How is it different from screen sharing?
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