Co-browsing vs. Screen Sharing: what’s the difference?

By Javier Puga, VP Marketing at unblu

Co-browsing is the technology that enables a customer service agent to interact with customers by using their web browser to share web pages, documents or mobile apps….and browse simultaneously.

Banks can use co-browsing alongside a phone call, a chat session, or a messenger conversation and ultimately create a more personalised experience for their customers. This engaged, personal approach leads to more online conversions, improved customer support, and ultimately greater customer success.

Customers tell us that with all the convenience of digital banking, something is still missing.  Most of the time, it’s simply the need to speak with someone to verify information, ask a question or get help.  We’ve seen time and time again that when this missing link between the online and offline experience is filled with human interaction, there is a direct effect on customer satisfaction, sales conversion, and customer loyalty. 

Using co-browsing, a customer service agent can:

  • Join the customer in their browsing session in real-time
  • Securely share and view documents together
  • Guide  customers through transactions when they need help
  • View contextual  information to drive a more efficient interaction, by upgrading  a phone or chat interaction

Co-browsing is different from a screen sharing application in that it doesn’t involve viewing or controlling a presenter's screen that has open web browser tabs or applications. Unlike screen-sharing, co-browsing only shares your web browser or mobile application, not your complete desktop. Ideally, a  co-browsing solution should be 100% browser-based, without any download component for the customer. This makes the contextual interaction more secure and quicker for both you and your customers.

In terms of technical implementation, unblu’s co-browsing solution relies on DOM (Document Object Model) for capturing and recreating the visitor browser for the agent. ‘DOM capturing’ runs in the visitor browser, and transfers a “clone” of the visual state of the browser to the agent, without any installation required for the visitor. Find out more about how our patents have lead the way forward for secure, convenient customer-agent interactions:

Screen-sharing solutions typically require an application to be downloaded. These applications take screenshots that are then sent over the network to other participants — usually frame by frame and taking large amounts of bandwidth.  The downside of this approach is that screen updates are slow and low quality. But co-browsing actually enables you to browse the internet together, rather than look at an image of a website on someone else’s computer. 

Co-browsing and Screen Sharing side by side 

 unblu Co-BrowsingScreen Sharing
Nothing to download or install yes  no
Can be integrated in existing app yes  no
Highlight the user's screen yes yes
Securely limited to the browser yes  no
See the entire screen  no yes
Doesn't slow down bandwidth yes  no
High Quality yes yes
Works with iFrames yes  no
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