The Future of Co-browsing Technology: 5 Trends to Watch
Co-browsing technology is becoming ever-popular as a customer service support tool. Why is co-browsing for customer support gaining traction so fast and what are the trends you should look out for over the next few years?
The Necessity of Co-browsing Tools
George is eagerly looking forward to setting up his new smart home. He unboxed and installed all his newly-purchased connected devices and downloaded the software successfully. Now all that’s left is to configure it all via the website. But… it’s not working.
He can‘t find the menu he needs and the icons are simply not where they are meant to be. A frustrated George dreads calling Customer Service. How much time will he waste trying to describe his browser screen to the agent? There must be an easier way.
Enter the convenience of co-browsing technology.
What is Co-browsing?
Co-browsing allows agents to see and interact with a customer’s browser in real time, visually guiding them through online processes, webforms, transactions or demos. Customer privacy is assured as the agent is restricted from accessing other tabs or sensitive areas of a browser screen, such as fields containing payment details.
Co-browsing tools enable agents to avoid the tedious back-and-forth questions that are required when the agent is trying to figure out what the customer is actually looking at, for instance:
- Is it the wrong link?
- Is it the wrong tab?
- Are they on the wrong website altogether?
Why is Co-browsing for Customer Support so Popular?
Instead of spending valuable time “telling” customers how to solve their web-related issues, co-browsing technology allows the agent to navigate the website together with the customer. Agents can move their mouse around the customer’s browser, highlight relevant information and annotate to make tricky processes even clearer. And, the clearer the problem, the faster the resolution, with Knowmax reporting that co-browsing tools directly reduce AHT.
The Latest in The World of Co-browsing Technology
With co-browsing technology gaining popularity in customer service organizations, here are the 5 hottest trends and practical co-browsing examples.
1. Co-browsing Solutions for Mobile Apps
Co-browsing for customer support has traditionally been used through customer’s desktop browsers. However, today’s co-browsing technology is being adopted by new markets where mobile apps are most dominant. And those markets are certainly growing. Worldwide, over 55% of total web traffic originates from a mobile device. Additionally, the total weekly global app usage reached over 65 billion in 2020 — a year-over-year app engagement increase of over 40 percent.
How to Implement Co-browsing to Boost App Adoption
One particular co-browsing example looks at CSPs who are eager to increase the usage of their self service apps. However, adoption has been relatively low (estimated as below 30%). A co-browsing solution would enable their frontline agents to access the app via the customer’s screen, and educate the customer in how to use it. This would effectively facilitate adoption while providing a positive CX.
2. Co-browsing and Visual Assistance
While co-browsing alone is effective in several use cases, there is a much broader spectrum of use cases that benefit from a combination of co-browsing technology and visual assistance. When a customer needs assistance, co-browsing allows the agent to see what is visible within the customer’s browser. However, the best co-browsing solutions go a step further by incorporating visual guidance tools. This allows the agent to see the customer’s physical environment via their smartphone.
Co-browsing + Visual Assistance = Successful Issue Resolution
Consider the following co-browsing example. A customer calls to complain about his internet speed. The agent sends a link that opens the customer’s smartphone camera, enabling the agent to see the router with his own eyes. He can thereby guide the customer to the resolution.
Once the issue is resolved, the agent offers the customer an opportunity to upgrade his broadband package, and then utilizes co-browsing technology to walk the customer through the self-upgrade process on the provider’s website.
The combination of visual guidance and co-browsing for live support enables holistic visual assistance, especially when technology can facilitate a seamless transfer between the two.
3. Co-browsing and AI
Using artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance interactions with customers is becoming increasingly sought-after. According to a 2018 survey, 15% of Americans say they have used a chatbot to interact with a company in the prior 12 months. Furthermore, Gartner had projected that more than 85% of all customer interactions would be managed without a human by 2020. This reliance on AI can be enhanced with co-browsing technology.
Co-browsing Example: The Role of the Chatbot
For example, a customer chats in with a question regarding her recent bill. The chatbot gathers basic data about the customer and her needs, and then refers the customer to a live agent. The agent seamlessly picks up the chat and uses co-browsing to view the customer’s bill within her browser. No additional questions are necessary. The agent quickly guides her to the billing breakdown page of the website, and helps her modify her subscription.
4. Co-browsing in Field Services
While co-browsing traditionally targets consumer use cases, it is becoming more common within enterprises. Co-browsing technology has also been found to be particularly useful in the field services industry. After all, the industry relies heavily on human labor – a workforce that is aging quickly and is especially difficult to replace, train or scale upon demand. The ability to utilize co-browsing tools mitigates the training gaps of novice technicians, allowing remote experts to walk them through complex repairs.
How a Technician Used Co-browsing for Live Support
In this co-browsing example, a newly-hired technician is dispatched to a work site to take measurements and survey the property. With co-browsing, his supervisor can access the company’s web-based field services workflow management application. Together, they can view the actions required to determine the problem and find the resolution.
5. Co-browsing Between Customers
Customer-driven community forums and message boards have been around for a long time. They are virtual communities where users can go to post about topics of interest, often to support one another. In a recent survey, as many as 56% of customer community users stated that having a self-serve support arm to rely on, is an important contributing factor when choosing a company’s products and services.
Community forums have proven especially useful for CSP subscribers who need help with equipment or who are experiencing technical issues. Adding co-browsing technology to these forums would boost engagement and provide a higher level of assistance to customers.
Activating SIM Card SOS
For example, a customer may post a question about activating his SIM card via the website or about an error message he sees on his web-based app. With co-browsing, a forum member can easily view the customer’s browser or web app, and guide him through the resolution process.
Is Co-Browsing Technology the Solution to Better CX?
Co-browsing technology is evolving, as more forward-thinking enterprise leaders are adopting newer technologies. It has the potential to bridge the gap between human and AI-driven customer service. Co-browsing solutions benefit customers who are confused about an online process. It also helps those who are frustrated by having to verbally describe to agents over the phone what they are seeing within their browsers.
The convenience of co-browsing for customer support is well-documented; with most self-service interactions occurring in a web browser or mobile app, customers are just a click away from a co-browsing session.
When used in conjunction with the 5 hottest trends – app sharing, visual support, AI, field services and communities – co-browsing technology effectively removes any barriers to a great customer experience.