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Two facing laptops illustration representing the concept of what is co-browsing.
Customer Experience

Collaboration in Action: Real-Time Co-Browsing to Connect Customers and Agents

Customer struggles on websites cost companies money. When visitors encounter confusing navigation, checkout errors, or complicated transactions, they often abandon online experiences out of frustration. The result is decreased conversion rates plus diminished customer satisfaction and loyalty over time.

Co-browsing directly solves these issues by enabling customer service agents to visually engage with users' browsers in real time. During a live chat session, agents can launch interactive sessions to see precisely what customers are seeing onscreen.

With this live visibility, agents can guide visitors step-by-step through complex website functionality that might otherwise present difficulties. The result is transformed digital experiences where customers feel supported rather than stranded.

What is Co-Browsing?

Co-browsing, also called collaborative browsing, enables a customer service agent to visually engage with customers by seeing their web browser in real-time. Through a live chat platform, agents can launch visual sessions that display the identical browser screen to the user.

This specialized functionality synchronizes browsing so agents can demonstrate navigation, assist form completion, identify issues, and guide purchases on a website. Customers maintain full control over what they choose to share during a co-browsing session. Agents cannot access anything beyond the scope of permission granted which ensures privacy.

Since co-browsing feature works natively through web browsers, it does not require customers to manually install programs or external tools to participate. The sessions launch directly from a live chat dialog instead. This streamlined accessibility for website visitors facilitates collaborative, personalized troubleshooting and site assistance in real-time.

By interacting side-by-side on a browser, agents guide customers through complex site functionality that may otherwise present challenges. This visual support level dramatically improves customer experience and boosts online conversion rates.

How Does Co-Browsing Work?

The technology behind co-browsing leverages web messaging protocols and embedded browser-based software to establish a secure connection between a customer and agent. It enables real-time synchronization of browser screens without needing client downloads.

To initiate a co-browsing session, the customer first grants permission through an option provided in the live chat window. The agent then sends a request to start visualizing mode. Upon acceptance, a secure link is established while maintaining the chat dialog.

Now viewing the identical browser screen, the agent can demonstrate navigation by highlighting elements or using a pointer tool to guide clicks. They may also manipulate form fields to assist data entry. Customers maintain mouse and keyboard control on their end to fill information securely at their own pace.

If any troubleshooting is required, the agent can instantly verify issues on the customer's screen and help diagnose solutions. Whether addressing navigation difficulties, shopping cart problems, or explaining complex functionality, the agent resolves in real-time while visually engaged.

Once the session is complete, the connection closes and browsers return to their original separate state. For security, all actions are tracked and archived in a transcript along with the chat dialog.

This simplified technical flow allows website visitors to tap into specialized visual assistance instantly through their browser.

What is the Difference Between Co-Browsing and Screen Sharing?

It may seem that co-browsing and screen sharing have the same technological capabilities, yet in fact, they do not. Co-browsing differs from screen sharing because with this live chat tool, a customer service representative can take control of the browsing via a visitor’s screen.

A co-browsing live chat session example
Agent starting a co-browsing live chat session.

While screen sharing permits a visitor to have full access to the browser application and additional applications (not solely for use just on the Internet), co-browsing only permits navigating certain web pages and the business website.  

It allows an agent and customer to navigate simultaneously, which indicates both participants have access and can engage at the same time. An example of co-browsing would be an instance where an agent’s mouse can denote to a user where to click on their own computer screen.

Agent navigating on a webpage through co-browsing.
Live chat agent navigating website via co-browsing.

Whereas with screen sharing, only one participant can take control of the screen, and this is displayed in a presentation format.  

The third key difference is while screen sharing normally requires a third-party application installation across all concurrent devices, co-browsing usually requires adding a browser plug-in. In relation to Velaro use case, the plug-in is embedded in the live chat for website, and a visitor simply needs to click to accept an invite to initiate a session.

How Does  Co-browsing Improve the Customer Experience?

Co-browsing provides real-time viewing and insight into what another viewer (customer, employee, or trainee) can see on their screen. Here are reasons why this customer support tool has a long-term impact on the customer experience:

Personalized guidance

Agents can provide tailored support by seeing the exact issues and context a customer is facing on the website in that moment. They can literally guide the visitor to the solution.

Increased understanding

Customers feel more informed and confident about features or transactions on the company's website after an agent has walked them through it visually in real-time. Manipulating a user's page increases comprehension.

Convenience and ease

With access to a user's screen, agents can resolve navigation or technical difficulties quickly - which saves the customer time and hassle. They don't have to struggle on their own.

Real-time troubleshooting

Whether it's checkout errors, shopping cart issues, or site glitches - agents can identify and fix problems immediately during a browsing session. This means less frustration for the user.

Reduced effort

When agents handle website navigation and complex forms on behalf of a customer, it alleviates user effort. Customers aren't left alone figuring things out for themselves.

Journey tracking

With agent browsing access, companies gain invaluable insight into common pain points, issues, or questions that arise as visitors navigate a site. Analytics can then inform site improvements to further boost CX.

Reassurance during key transactions

Agents can provide guidance, answer questions, and ensure successful completion as customers fill in critical forms, make payments, or conduct other high-value transactions through co-browsing. This gives great reassurance and support where it counts most.

How Co-Browsing Strengthens Customer Service

Co-browsing is extremely effective in strengthening customer service for a business. Here is why:

Promote Customer Retention and Loyalty

Co-browsing is an efficient customer support tool for lowering the wait time customers will experience when waiting to have their purchase order or technical issues resolved. Since customers expect their problems to be solved immediately, co-browsing will alleviate by offering real-time assistance.  

People do appreciate interacting with other people in real time, which will benefit a company’s customer loyalty. Customers want to return for fast problem resolution solutions and a short wait time.

Reduce Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate

There are multiple reasons why online shoppers could abandon their carts: from creating an account to make a purchase, to signing up for a newsletter first, feeling insecure about providing credit card information, or dissatisfaction over lack of product inventory.  

When co-browsing is integrated with your company’s eCommerce site, this enhances the customer experience of online shopping and reduced cart abandonment because of real-time, personalized, and foremostly secure support from live chat agents.  

Your company can lower the cart abandonment rate exceptionally by informing and recommending products, guiding customers in the buying journey all the way to the checkout process, increasing your conversion rates. Aim to focus on their current pain points and consumer needs.  

Learn more about increasing conversions and enhancing customer support in eCommerce here.  

Higher Customer Lifetime Value (CTV)

Co-browsing facilitates highly personalized and engaging shopping or support experiences. By collaborating one-on-one with customers during website sessions, agents can nurture positive brand sentiment. They guide each user on an individualized path tailored to their needs.

This level of dedicated engagement has proven to boost share of wallet over time. According to research, a fully engaged customer spends an average of 23% more compared to the average consumer.  

With repeat business and increased order values driven by enduring positive perceptions, customer lifetime value gets a substantial boost. Co-browsing transforms passive website visitors into loyal brand advocates that provide revenue growth overtime.

Enhanced Personalization, Brand Connection

Co-browsing facilitates personalized guidance matching individual needs. Humanizing online experiences nurtures emotional connections and positive brand impressions that echo across customer lifetimes.‍

Secure and Safe

Co-browsing is a safe, secure tool for the user experience. First, the visitor has full control and can grant permission for live chat agents to view their browser screen.  

Second, a live chat for website tool only displays the browser page a visitor is currently seeing. It will not show other applications or the visitor’s computer desktop screen compared to screen sharing.  

Third, this tool is so secure that international banks even use live chat for website for their customer support tasks. You can hide form inputs, like credit card data, personal contact information or sensitive customer data during a session. When a customer types in sensitive information on their screen, this is restricted access on the agent’s side, displaying as blurred out on their screen, further signifying why co-browsing is such a secure customer support tool.

Increase Customer Satisfaction  

Reported by a Forrester’s survey, satisfaction ratings demonstrated that customer support via co-browsing results in 78% higher customer satisfaction. By sharing their browser screen with a live chat agent, the customer can see the agent working through and explaining the technical troubleshooting of the issue they are facing. Customer satisfaction is increased more so than without a company using co-browsing. Customers’ issues are simplified in a session and questions are addressed much quicker when agents initiate a session with live chat.

Tips for Effectively Implementing Co-Browsing

To fully leverage the power of co-browsing for stellar customer experiences, here are best practices companies should follow:

1. Set Clear Guidelines on Initiating Co-Browse Sessions  

Create guidelines for customer service agents on appropriate scenarios to offer a co-browsing session versus other support options. For example, agents could introduce co-browsing when:

  • Walking a customer through a complex feature or transactionon the website
  • Troubleshooting shopping cart or payment issues
  • Assisting with complicated forms or navigation
  • Demonstrating how to use a new product feature

2. Support Agents via Training  

Thoroughly train all front-line staff on proper co-browsing procedures. Include specifics on:

  • Explaining co-browsing clearly to customers
  • Receiving affirmative opt-in consent before each session
  • Announcing actions before manipulating the screen
  • Maintaining visibility permission scope
  • Annotating screens respectfully
  • Ending a session smoothly

Additionally, provide guidelines on when co-browsing may not be beneficial, such as for quick questions or solving account issues. Practice sessions will boost staff skills.

3. Set Up Robust Security and Privacy Safeguards  

Select a co-browsing solution that masks sensitive fields and data as default. Strictly limit permission scope for agents to only view necessary pages. Mask keystrokes as they occur to keep info private. Log all sessions for quality assurance.

With the right policies and training in place, co-browsing can maximize benefits for customers while still prioritizing security. By following these tips, your business can implement co-browsing for top-tier customer engagement.

Transforming Customer Experience with Co-Browsing

Co-browsing is one of the best ways to help customers find a solution to their problems in a fast manner. This visual engagement technology will boost customer satisfaction and customer retention for your business, provide an exceptional, personalized customer experience, simplify the user experience of a company’s website, and boost customer loyalty for your business.

Discover the potential of co-browsing for your live chat. Contact us today and explore this feature's impact on your customer support.

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