What Is Co Browsing? Definitions, Use Cases And Benefits.

Customers and businesses need better ways of getting on the same page. At Fullview, we spend a lot of our time thinking about that. We also spend a lot of our time frustrated about how far most SaaS companies have to go in order to make that the reality for every support interaction.

Over the last ten months, we’ve worked with hundreds of thought leaders and in-the-trenches agents in CX and customer support. We’ve put every bit of that feedback into creating what we know to be the most comprehensive customer support SaaS out there. 

One of the features in our all-star lineup is co browsing, which we believe is more important than ever before for companies — especially those offering particularly technical solutions – to get right. Customer support tickets that are resolved after lengthy emails, contextless screenshots, frustrated users and overworked support agents are bad business. 

Co browsing can help. 

Why co browsing is essential for any SaaS business

Because the pandemic has had such an impact on how people and businesses operate, customer-facing teams have a harder time than ever before when it comes to creating personalized experiences that really resonate with users. And that’s a problem, because, in customer service, personalization really matters. When you don’t have the benefit of meeting face-to-face, talking customers through your product is no longer as simple as pointing at a screen. 

Or is it? How do you create online experiences that result in real-time context, collaboration and problem-solving? Screenshots are not it. Verbal instruction is not it. Neither are chatbots, long email chains or non-interactive video conferencing. 

But take heart! As it turns out, there’s a way to address all of these issues and create personalized — but truly scalable — customer support calls.

What is co browsing?

Fullview's co browsing UI.

Co browsing (which stands for collaborative browsing) refers to a video conferencing feature that allows you and your user to browse the same screen while on a call together.

It may be right for you If you’re tired of customer support hits such as...

"The button is on the left. No, I said left. Yeah, right there." *awkward laugh*

"You’re on the wrong page, actually. Yeah, you have to go back. Could you please press the back arrow? No, in the app. Now we’re on Google again. You’ll have to navigate to the website once more. Thanks." *awkward throat clearing*

"Do you see that little green icon in the top right of your screen? With your initials on it? You’ll have to click that in order to get to the billing page." awkward silence.

... and would much rather show them yourself. If that is the case, you’ll definitely be happy to learn that indeed, you can.

For those of us used to having complete autonomy over our own computer screens, seeing only one cursor or pointer at a time is the norm. So what does co browsing look like exactly?

Unlike screen sharing, whose only benefit is that you, as the support agent, are seeing exactly what your user is seeing, co browsing allows you to both see and remotely connect to their browser so you can browse together. Think of it less as you being able to control their screen and more like an easier way to show them around their own screen.

Since no one likes verbal instructions and stumbling around an app or website they aren’t yet familiar with, Fullview’s co browsing feature allows you to control an independent pointer so you can point to specific sections, highlight things when you need to, and even draw on a user’s screen (just please, keep it PG).

This way, you can easily solve customer support tickets by seeing what your users are seeing in real-time and collaborating to solve issues — again, in real-time. No frustration or awkwardness. Just efficient, rewarding problem-solving.

What can I do during a co browsing session?

Multi-cursor co browsing for the win!

With Fullview’s co browsing feature, you can:

  • Browse a website or web app together with a user
  • See what your user is seeing in real-time 
  • Use an independent cursor to point at sections 
  • Use a highlighter to highlight important sections when necessary 
  • Draw on a user’s screen 
  • Click buttons on your user’s tab

And all this without leaving your app or asking your user to download additional software thanks to our API integration 🙌

What can’t I do during a co browsing session?

Fullview’s co browsing feature is fully GDPR compliant and ISO 27001 ready, with all data stored in the EU. Things you cannot do during your cobrowse session include:

  • Control every tab or entire systems. You’ll only have access to the tab they have your platform opened on. 

How co browsing works

Most modern co browsing solutions use something known as WebRTC — which stands for Web Real-Time Communication. This browser-based technology was developed to create seamless peer-to-peer communication between two browsers. This allows developers to engineer a co browsing experience that doesn’t require extra steps such as downloads or installations.

Right now, the process of using Fullview’s co browsing feature goes something like this:

  • Look up the user you want to contact on the Fullview dashboard.
  • Press ‘Start Call’.
  • The user sees a popup request asking if they want to accept the call. 
  • Start a co browsing session, where the user selects what tabs/windows you can view 
  • Start multi-cursor co browsing with your user. Now you can point to sections, highlight stuff and even draw on their screen.

We’ve got some exciting improvements coming soon, though. We can’t give away too much, but once we’ve implemented these, the experience will look something like this:

  • Look up the user you want to contact on the Fullview dashboard.
  • Press ‘Start Call’.
  • Start a co browsing session
  • Point to sections, highlight stuff and draw on their screen.

Much more streamlined and as close to one click as you can get. You can now enjoy secure, encrypted communication that is as smooth as butter 🧈

Co browsing to increase customer loyalty and ROI

We’ve all had the experience of working in an app and then coming across a bug or a problem we can’t figure out how to solve immediately. If the process of getting help is filled to the brim with friction and pain points, it really sours you on the entire platform, decreases your willingness to try fixing things, and increases the likelihood of frustration and defection. A smooth co browsing experience, where problems are solved collaboratively and in real-time, can go a long way toward ensuring that your users remain happy and loyal.

Increase customer loyalty

Happy customers and loyal customers. Companies have the power to turn their users into brand evangelists. In fact, 89% of customers have switched to doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. Loyal customers are also much more likely to refer your product or service to their network. Companies just have to be willing to offer the best customer service. Having a top-notch co browsing setup is a huge piece of that puzzle and one that Fullview can help you slot into place. 

Decrease customer support costs

Time is money. Right now, we’re willing to bet that a large part of what your support agents spend their time doing is decrypting customer support tickets with no context. With a good co browsing setup, you can reduce customer touchpoints and get to resolution faster.

Improved efficiency

Ping-ponging between customer support, product and development teams severely handicaps your ability to iterate and improve your product. Co browsing sessions help the various arms of your organization get on the same page about the issues that your users face, so they can employ fixes quicker and more efficiently.

Co browsing’s biggest benefits

In our opinion, automated chatbots should NOT be the main way your users experience your product. There’s a lot to be said for cultivating personalized, visual experiences that humanize support interactions, and, consequently, your company.

Some of the main benefits of co browsing, that help you achieve this standard, are:

Personalized support experiences

One-size-fits-all help centers and chatbots are not the answer — especially not on their own. 72% of consumers say that, when contacting customer support, they expect the agent to ‘know who they are, what they have purchased and have insights into their previous engagements'. Co browsing should always be your priority when it comes to solving tickets because each user — and therefore each support ticket — is unique and should be treated as such. 

Faster time to resolution

Because it includes a lot of context and easy ways to collaborate to solve a problem together, co browsing is the fastest and most efficient way to decrease time to resolution and increase productivity.

Real-time collaboration

Fullview’s co browsing feature gives you all the tools you need to effectively collaborate with your users to solve problems. See exactly what your user sees when they are in-app, highlight or point to important sections, and draw or write on your user’s screen to put your heads together and problem solve at lightspeed.

Co browsing to improve key CS metrics

To run a tight ship, it’s important that key customer support metrics are constantly on the up and up. Here are just a few ways that co browsing can help:

First contact resolution

Because co browsing gives you instant context into what exactly your users are experiencing when they are in your app – and, therefore, the issues that crop up along the way – solving customer service tickets at first contact becomes a much more likely prospect. 

Average resolution time

So much of an agent’s time solving a customer support ticket is asking a user exactly what problem they’re facing. Right now, this metric clocks in right around 3 days, which is no good. The reasons? Most support interactions typically devolve into long email chains, tedious back-and-forth exchanges, and many a screenshot and screen recording. All of this continues to increase the average resolution time of each ticket. Co browsing speeds this process up and lowers ART in the process.

Fewer touchpoints

Having to wade through a sea of different points of contact is frustrating for users. Co browsing helps agents get to the root of the issue quicker, so they’re treating the disease and not just a symptom. This also means that a user is less likely to reach out about the same issue more than once.

What sets Fullview’s co browsing feature apart

We've worked with countless thought leaders and agents within the customer support space to hone our co browsing feature and make it the best on the market. Every improvement we make is with the insight our network provides. We take their advice very seriously. Here are just some of what sets up apart.

No downloads

With Fullview, you have the ability to initiate a call and co browsing session with any user at the click of a button – all without leaving you or them having to leave your app. You don’t need to send them Zoom meeting links or ask them to download dedicated co browsing programs.

Easy to use

Our API integration makes co browsing incredibly easy to use and as close to one click as possible. All you need to do is look up a user on your dashboard and click ‘Connect’ to get started instantly.

Multiplayer screen control

Fullview’s co browsing is a multiplayer screen control solution, which means that both you and your user can independently click on buttons, highlight important sections and draw on the screen.

Privacy-first

Fullview’s co browsing solution is built with data privacy front of mind. You can only co browsing with your user within your app – you do not have the ability to cobrowse other tabs or windows.

Data masking

Apart from the privacy features mentioned above, you can also choose which information you’d like to blur out during co browsing calls.

Data security

Fullview is GDPR-compliant and ISO 27001 ready. All data is stored in the EU and fully encrypted.

Co browsing and common use cases

While co browsing is applicable in a number of different situations, we find that, for SaaS companies, it is most relevant in the following ways:

Customer service

Diagnose issues faster, see exactly what your users are seeing and offer personalized customer support — all without leaving your app. Fullview’s co browsing feature allows you to meet your users exactly where they rather, as opposed to meandering through endless emails, chats and zoom calls with them.

Sales and lead generation

Good deals are DOA without great demos. With co browsing, you can get potential clients on a call and show them around your app without any friction. Sales reps can demonstrate features, highlight USPs and close deals faster. Co browsing shortens the sales cycle by cutting to the chase and showing clients exactly what they’re signing up for and why.

Co browsing for onboarding

Right now, onboarding is very much a self-service kind of deal. If that’s done wrong, it can really turn potential converts off and negatively affect your adoption rates. Co browsing can step in when necessary to bridge this gap and make the onboarding experience smoother for users who need a helping hand.

Co browsing and different verticals

There are a number of verticals across which co browsing is a key part of any good CX strategy.

SaaS

Customer retention is key in SaaS. It is both cheaper and more effective overall to retain customers by keeping them happy, than court new customers through expensive marketing campaigns. In fact, acquiring a new customer can be as much as five times more expensive than retaining an existing one. A good onboarding, CX and customer support strategy is key when it comes to retaining existing users, and co browsing can help you perfect that by offering customized support that is instant, personable and scalable.

Banking and Financial Services

Banking is complex, and, in the grand scheme of things, online banking is still a relatively new way to engage in it. In fact, recent surveys suggest that only around 65% of US adults use online banking services. That number is large, but there's still room to grow. Co browsing can help by lessening some of the friction inherent in the setup phase. It can also be an invaluable tool for financial advisors to use when giving presentations to clients and advising them on different financial services and products.

Hospitality and travel

Helping customers through the process of choosing the right travel packages, booking airplane tickets and making hotel reservations would be a lot simpler if you could just point and click. With co browsing, you can do just that.

Insurance

Insurance is tricky and, in most situations, there are a plethora of plans to choose from. With co browsing, insurance agents have the tools to demonstrate each one, as well as guide users through the difficult business of signing up for them. It can also help ease friction during the claims process.

Cobrowse your way to success

For all the reasons we've already laid out above — and many more besides, according to HubSpot — it's clear as day that customer support experiences are key to growing a successful and sustainable business. For reasons ranging from the cost of acquisition versus retention, to the importance of customer loyalty, to increased ROI and decreased support costs, co browsing needs to be viewed as an integral part of any CX strategy.

Fullview's co browsing feature has been developed in connection with hundreds of leading names in the CX field to give every company the best chance of taking their customer support interactions to the next level. Not only is it incredibly easy to use — requiring just two steps from customer lookup to multi-cursor co browsing — it also comes packed with features and is fully GPDR compliant.

If you're on your way to supercharging your customer support team, you'd do well to sign up for Fullview. You can also book a demo before committing if you'd like — we're more than happy to show you around.

You can bet your bottom dollar that co browsing will be a BIG part of the demo.

Author

Shifa Rahaman

Content Marketing Manager

Contributor