Cobrowse Checklist : 22 Questions to Ask Before Selecting Co-Browsing Software

January 13, 2017
12:00 am

Cobrowsing is the perfect way to ensure customers and agents are on the same page. 

With just the click of a button, customer service representatives can view customers' web browsers, and chat with them to deliver real-time and personalized support. What’s great is cobrowsing only allows an agent to see the customers’ current tabs. Any other open browsers or tabs stay out of sight.

If you’re planning to add a cobrowsing tool to your website, (and if you are; great idea!), make sure you browse through this checklist of questions before choosing a cobrowsing solution.

1. Does your cobrowsing support iFrames on a shared screen?

An iFrame, or Inline Frame, is an HTML document rooted inside another HTML document on a website. It’s normally used to render information from another source. Make sure you ask the cobrowsing service provider whether cobrowsing supports iFrames or not. Many companies don’t properly support browser security, and sync only the main window.

2. Can you redact sensitive information on the host’s computer?

For security profile assurance, redaction should be performed on the host’s browser tab, not on a server based somewhere else. Security and privacy features on cobrowse really need to be watertight. Best to clarify such crucial details before investing; especially if your customer’s website contains particularly sensitive information.

3. Do customers have to write executable software to their computers (even temporarily)?

What happens if a customer refuses to run executable software on their computers; will they still be able to share their screen? Will the customer’s antivirus alerts be triggered? Will the customer be prompted to allow the firewall and/or antivirus defense system to be bypassed for the cobrowse solution to function? These types of requests are liable to leave customers feeling uneasy so make sure you know what you are dealing with.

4. Is licensing seat-based or capacity based?

Before selecting a cobrowsing solution, consider the size of your company. This will influence your choice between seat-based licensing or capacity-based licensing. Seat licensing is good for small teams, while capacity licensing provides greater flexibility, with some providers including multi-site deployment.

5. Does cobrowsing require the customer to download anything extra?

“Adding a human touch to your customers’ experience can help you distinguish your brand. Visual engagement tools, such as co-browsing and video chat can help build an emotional bond with customers.” – Venesha Brooks

It’s a good idea to clarify whether either you or the customer need to change security settings or download anything additional to run the cobrowsing tool. Your customers may ask you the same question, so you better be sure you can answer it.

6. Can more than one guest view the host’s session?

In this instance, more is always better. If you can’t figure out a customer query then your colleagues can join the cobrowsing session to assist. It’s a huge advantage having more than one guest view a host’s session. Make sure your cobrowsing tool allows at least 3 to 5 participants into a session.

7. Can the guest take control of the host’s browser tab?

There might be a situation where the customer requests to take control of the host’s browser tab. Not every organization is willing to accept this feature. It completely depends on them. But still ask the service provider whether this feature is available in case it’s needed.

8. Is this cobrowsing a point solution or a multi-faceted collaboration platform?

Enterprises should seek solutions that cater for both asynchronous and synchronous communication. Multi-faceted collaboration platforms provide more features, creating a richer customer experience and maximizing the opportunities for you to help them. 

9.  Do the host and guest ever communicate with each other directly?

“Your ability to communicate is an important tool in the pursuit of your goals, whether it is with your family, your co-workers, or your clients and customers.” – Les Brown

In the original P2P i.e. Peer-to-Peer communications systems, guests and hosts transmitted data directly from one to the other via a server-based traffic controller. This could be useful for one-to-one desktop sharing. The problem is, it creates scale and security issues for enterprise level cobrowsing.

10. Can the host accidentally share other web tabs or even applications?

Maintaining the implied contract of trust initiated by a cobrowsing interaction is important. Make sure the guest viewer can’t see anything that isn’t actively visible to the host. This way the host maintains control over what is seen by the guest viewer.

11. Does any processable information ever leave the host’s computer?

Knowing whether any processable information could leave a host’s computer is crucial for trust. If a customer doubts the process, they will feel understandably insecure. Make sure you are clear on this point, so as to avoid sensitive data being put at risk.

12. Is the hosting shared?

It’s vital for performance, data segregation, and security purposes that enterprises receive dedicated resources and isolated data storage, with the power to control and schedule their upgrade. The risk to companies and customers is real when it comes to data storage. Avoiding its future misuse is paramount.

13. What security measures does the company take with data and privacy?

Your browser windows often contain confidential information. Understanding the company’s privacy policy is therefore very important. Every company should have various safety measures to ensure customers’ sensitive information is adequately protected.

14. Does cobrowsing work on mobile devices and tablets?

[ctt template="1" link="15bQ7" via="yes" ]“Mobile is the perfect example of what is enabling economic growth in the technology sector.” – Max Levchin[/ctt]

Co-browse within Mobile apps

According to a survey conducted by Business Insider, U.S. adults spent 59% of their time on mobile and 41% on desktop, but just 15% of their dollars on mobile and a staggering 85% of their dollars on the desktop. This shows why it is important to keep in mind the balance of both mobile and desktop users in cobrowsing.

Time spent vs dollar spent on retail,by device

15. Who will be cobrowsing with whom?

Sounds simple but you need to fully understand the process. For example, who will take the lead and who will initiate the cobrowsing? It’s particularly important to know who will be controlling the session. Do customers have the right to stop a cobrowsing session right in the middle? Can a customer add his friend’s browser window into the session? These are the types of questions you need to be able to answer.

16. What should agents be able to do on the customer’s screen?

Bear in mind the rights of customers. Every cobrowsing platform is different in terms of functionality. Can the agent close the existing tab and start the new tab? Do they have access to navigation outside of the browser? You need to understand what an agent can access before you get on board with cobrowsing.

17. Should all agents have the same privileges?

This is one of the most common questions asked when it comes to cobrowsing. Do senior customer service representatives and junior customer service representatives have equal access when it comes to cobrowsing? Is any additional privilege to the senior party necessary? Perhaps there is something agents cannot do in cobrowsing, but the manager can? No matter what works best, make sure it is supported.

18. Which browsers are supported for cobrowsing?

Make sure you know which browsers cobrowsing software are compatible with. Your customers won’t all be using the same one so ensure compatibility with a good range, at least the most common high usage browsers, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera etc.

19. How do you deal with HTTP/HTTPS data?

“Look at data and network security as a selling point, not only a cost to the business. It’s an investment in your customers that they will appreciate.” – Tom Vaughan

Instead of HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol), most shopping websites use HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol over Secure Socket Layer). With HTTPS, information sent over the web is encrypted and secured, meaning no third party can read them. HTTPS keeps your information safe from hackers. Some websites don’t use https. You need to know how the cobrowsing deals with them.

20. Does slow internet affect the video quality of cobrowsing?

Be clear on this point. Many cobrowsing users claim slow internet affects the video quality they experience. You should be aware of the minimum required Mbps speed for cobrowsing. There is no sense in using cobrowsing if it results in poor video quality and therefore poor support.

21. Can a user’s passwords or personal details be seen by other users?

What if a customer needs to enter a password while cobrowsing? Will the password will be visible to the agent? If it is, then that might create trouble. Best to know about the possibilities of such scenarios. If that did happen, could the customer trust the cobrowsing platform? Probably not, so make sure the situation is clear to your customers.

22. Can you open multiple sites directly from the dashboard?

With Acquire, yes, you can. Now you can cobrowse any website, for example, All you need to do is copy the website URL and paste it into the dashboard option.

The Last Word:

Once you have all these answers, you are ready to make best use of a cobrowsing tool! Learn about all the great functionality it provides, and use cobrowsing to impress your customers with exceptional customer service.


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