Screen sharing in customer support: uses, benefits, and drawbacks

Screen sharing in customer support: uses, benefits, and drawbacks


  • Screen sharing or remote desktop sharing allows two or more people access to view the same computer screen remotely.
  • It is used widely in remote customer support to help users troubleshoot and resolve issues.
  • The uses and benefits of screen sharing in customer support are that it allows problems to be solved in real time, improves customer engagement, and saves time and support costs.
  • The disadvantages are that it lacks multi-cursor screen control, and it can be problematic from a GDPR and compliance standpoint because sensitive information cannot be blurred during screen sharing.
  • Unlike screen sharing, cobrowsing has none of those drawbacks: it allows agents to control a user's screen and solve issues faster, you can blur out PII and other sensitive information, and cobrowsing vendors like Fullview store all user data in the EU, making their cobrowsing solutions 100% GDPR compliant.

Screen sharing in customer support

Collaboration is crucial if you want to create great customer support experiences. And with the pandemic and the march of technology moving more and more customer support online, figuring out the most optimal ways of collaborating online is more important than ever. 

But what is the best way to understand and solve a customer’s issues if they’re not in the same room as you? 

While simple support tickets can be resolved after a few screenshots and a couple of messages back and forth, the story is different — and the process more frustrating — for complicated technical support tickets. 

That’s where a technology like screen sharing can make a huge difference. 

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what screen sharing is, how it’s used in customer support, and its benefits and drawbacks. 

We’ll also explore cobrowsing, which you can think of as a more advanced version of screen sharing. 

What is screen sharing? 

Screen sharing or remote desktop sharing allows two or more people access to view the same computer screen remotely. Think of it like watching a live video of someone’s screen while they use their computer. 

If you’ve ever attended a conference call, online meeting, or remote presentation, chances are you’ve already experienced or used this technology yourself. 

There are various different technologies that allow this to happen, but at its core, screen sharing involves streaming pixels over an internet connection so other people can see what you’re doing on the screen. 

However, only one person is controlling the screen — the others can only watch while that person navigates, types, submits forms, etc. 

Screen sharing vs cobrowsing 

Though often used interchangeably because more than one person can view the same desktop or computer screen during both screen sharing and cobrowsing, they share a few key differences: 

  • Cobrowsing is a more advanced form of screen sharing
  • In cobrowsing, two or more people can not only view the same computer screen but can also control it. This means that they can all type, navigate, submit forms, etc. 
  • Because more than one person can control a screen during cobrowsing, it is a much better way to collaborate and work on projects together. Instead of having to verbally instruct someone on what to do, you can remotely control their screen and do it for them. This naturally has a lot of uses in customer support, where much of ticket resolution involves giving users instructions on how to solve a problem or complete a process. 
  • Another difference lies in the technological processes underlying both cobrowsing and screen sharing: while screen sharing involves streaming pixels, cobrowsing involves streaming code, which makes it more lightweight and less data intensive. 

We’ve gone into quite a bit of detail about these differences before, so make sure to check out our cobrowsing vs screen sharing article for more information. 

Uses and benefits of screen sharing in customer support

As we touched upon in the introduction, since so much customer support happens online, it’s quite natural that screen sharing forms an essential part of many customer support teams’ toolkits. 

Here are some of the ways in which it is used.

Real-time problem solving

Some support tickets — the simpler ones — are easy enough to understand, explain and solve over chat and email, so at the most, a user would have to send a screenshot to illustrate a problem. 

However, for more complex support requests, it’s not easy for a user to explain what is going on or for an agent to explain how to troubleshoot it over text. In these cases, screen sharing can be a really valuable tool for a support agent to see exactly what a user is experiencing in their app. They can then verbally instruct the customer about steps they can take to fix the problem.

Improved customer engagement

The average ticket abandonment rate — which is when a user opens a ticket by contacting your support team but then ghosts the agent, so to speak, even before the ticket has been resolved — is about 5% for calls and 8% for live chats. While some of that can be attributed to the user figuring out how to fix the problem on their own, some simply lose interest for a number of reasons and churn altogether. 

Screen sharing can help increase customer engagement because it is a more collaborative and visual way to problem solve. In addition to that, it often makes the process of getting an issue resolved much less frustrating for the customer — they can just show you what’s wrong, rather than having to try and explain it.  This can lead to better customer engagement, higher CSAT scores, fewer tickets abandoned, and less churn. 

Saves time and money

Screen sharing makes it easier for support agents to understand customer issues because they don’t have to depend on users to explain them — they can just ask to see for themselves. It also helps customer support agents explain to users exactly how they can solve a problem. 

Due to these reasons, using screen sharing can help support teams cut down on the time spent on each ticket. That also means that agents can solve more tickets on average, which saves support costs. 

Drawbacks of screen sharing in customer support

While there are a number of advantages to using screen sharing for customer support, there are also some disadvantages to consider. 

The good news is that cobrowsing solves them, but we’ll get more into that later. 

No screen control

Because screen sharing does not give the agent remote control over a user’s screen, it is only marginally more collaborative than resolving tickets over email or chat. 

GDPR compliance

If your support team assists European users or those based in California, it is important to make sure that you’re complying with the applicable laws and regulations around GDPR and similar local regulations. 

However, depending on the software you use for screen sharing, it can be difficult to ensure that all data is being processed correctly and according to those laws. Make sure whatever software you choose clearly lays out its GDPR and compliance policies. 

Privacy issues

When a user screen shares while on a call on platforms like Zoom or Google Meet, there is no option to censor any sensitive information. This can be another aspect that can be problematic in the context of GDPR and similar laws, which have very strict requirements about the processing, storage, and handling of PII (personally identifiable information). 

Cobrowsing: A better screen share alternative

As we teased in the section above, cobrowsing can be a much better alternative to screen sharing in customer support for the following reasons: 

More collaborative

Since two or more people can control the same computer screen or browser window during cobrowsing, it is a much more collaborative and dynamic way to problem-solve together. 

Faster ticket resolutions

Though screen sharing makes it easier for the agent to see what is going on on the user’s side because they still have to verbally explain how to troubleshoot or solve the problem, it can still be tedious and time-consuming. With cobrowsing, the agent can just take control of the user’s screen and solve the problem themselves, without having to get into long-drawn-out explanations about what to do. 

GDPR-compliant and secure

A lot of cobrowsing tools on the market — like Fullview! — automatically blur out GDPR-sensitive information and give you granular control over what other data you want to blur out during cobrowsing calls. 

No link sharing

Cobrowsing can also increase customer engagement and response rates 2x because users do not have to leave your app during a cobrowsing call if you use a solution like Fullview. When an agent initiates a cobrowsing call with a user who is online, they will receive a pop-up to accept the call straight in your app. 

Wrapping things up

Screen sharing is a huge improvement compared to solving tickets over email and chat because it is a more visual and collaborative way to offer and receive customer support. However, with technology like cobrowsing taking things to the next level, there’s no longer any reason to settle for screen sharing.


Shifa Rahaman

Content Marketing Manager


Try cobrowsing for better support

  • Increase CSAT
  • Decrease time-to-resolution
  • 100% compliant & secure

Try cobrowsing for better support

  • Increase CSAT
  • Decrease time-to-resolution
  • 100% compliant & secure
Learn more
Learn more