Co-Browsing – The Hidden Gem of Customer Onboarding

Laduram Vishnoi
6 min read
Co-Browsing – The Hidden Gem of Customer Onboarding

The importance of guidance during onboarding is hugely underrated. Globally, SaaS and e-commerce companies struggle with the task of providing seamless customer support and onboarding. Customers may be aware of the basics but require additional information at the time of onboarding. Providing them that information can drastically improve customer experience and conversion rates.

In a world where experience matters most, you can build a powerful brand on the back of excellent customer experience, and to do that you need to understand your customers’ concerns, issues, and desires.

But how can you be presenting real-time to understand and address their concerns? That’s precisely where co-browsing comes in.

What is co-browsing? How does it differ from screen-share?

Co-browsing is the technology through which two people can be on the same web page, literally. Using this technology, sales and support personnel can take a prospect or current customers through complex setup or resolution processes by both viewings and interact with their browser pages.


If you are wondering how co-browsing differs from screenshare, you should know that co-browsing is focused on sharing and co-deliberating on browser screens, while screenshare is primarily for off-browser sharing.

Co-browsing typically requires no software download and installation processes and so can be administered and operated instantly.

It’s also worth noting that the screenshare process poses security risks because the person you share your screen with has access to your offline files and data, while co-browsing is restricted to the browser pages that you authorize.

Benefits & applications of co-browsing

How many frustrating customer support calls have you experienced where you ask the customer if they see the red button and they say, “No!”, and the only thing that you can do is help them find it while repeating the question until both parties lose patience? The answer is probably way too many.

Ironically, you may have also been on the other side of this nightmare where, surprise, surprise, your frustration isn’t any lesser, even though you know the pains of providing customer support.

This is because nobody should be subject to this torture. It’s a dead-end, stalemate (forgive the Chess reference) where neither party can make a move until one of them decides to give up and leaves the conversation dissatisfied.

Co-browsing is an elegant solution to avoid situations like these.

  • Use co-browsing to resolve customer support issues before they escalate (no more struggling to find the red button)
  • Give product demos to prospective customers, partners and investors
  • Use it to run meetings from remote locations and collaborate with remote employees/freelance developers, SEO analysts or content marketers to effectively convey project requirements, update project statuses, test new tools or report bugs.

According to a study conducted by Converco, 58% executives said they didn’t have a customer engagement program in place in 2016. It was also found that companies with formal customer engagement programs across channels retained the most customers (89%).

Onboarding is the first real contact that a customer has with your brand. Co-browsing can help you make that process seamless and enjoyable.

Co-browsing in customer onboarding

If your software is too difficult to learn during onboarding, you stand to lose potential customers. Sometimes, technically superior products lose to weaker counterparts that have better customer support teams. To ensure that you earn the customers that you deserve, put the right onboarding support systems in place, like co-browsing.

Common onboarding issues

Scene 1

You/ your customer support executive: Click on the second button in the menu on the left side of the screen.

Client: Which menu? There are two on the left side.
You/Executive: The one titled “Registration”.

Client: Clicked on it, there’s a new window open. What do I do now?
You/executive: Click on the second button from the top that reads “Add an account”.

Client: I tried that but the account didn’t show up on my dashboard.
You/Executive: You have to complete the settings page first.

Client: Where’s that?

This can go on and on and take you anywhere from minutes to an hour or more. If you are a B2B business, it’s easy to lose your client here if your contact person at that organization is busy and can address you only in 10-minute breaks in between meetings.

Scene 2

Client: Our COO is available for the next 10 minutes and would like to see how your product works.

You/executive: Sure. Can you please load our homepage and login? I’ll explain how it works here and you can navigate through the features that I describe.

Client. I’m not able to log in. The details you have sent me seem to be incorrect.

You/executive: Can you please type in the password and not copy/paste it? Sometimes an extra space is added to the characters you copy/paste.

3 minutes have passed. The COO is waiting impatiently.

Client: I just logged in. What now?
You/Executive: On the left is the main menu. You can choose from a list of actions here. Click on “Add project” to create one, and then assign team members to it. You should have added team members to the platform before doing this.

Client: Where can I do that?

6 minutes have passed. The COO hasn’t seen your best features yet - how the progress of projects are tracked, how employees are held accountable and kept motivated to complete tasks, etc. He/she decides to use the time to finish a pending call and you lose your opportunity to pitch your product.

Scene 3:

Customer: I’m unable to make payments. The “Pay Now” button isn’t working. I click on it and nothing happens.

You/Executive: You first need to create an account with us and fill in a few details before you can pay for a subscription.

Customer: I have created an account, but it’s not letting me login.

You/executive: Check your email for an account verification link. Once you have clicked on it, go back to the website and make the payment.

Customer: Still isn’t letting me pay. It keeps returning to the homepage where I’m not logged in.

You/executive: We have registered a complaint and we’ll revert shortly.

Some issues don’t need to be registered as complaints and can be resolved with co-browsing. By having customers share their browsers with you; you can operate their accounts for them, avoid miscommunication and handle small hiccups without hassles.

Benefits of introducing acquire co-browsing in the onboarding process

You can:

  • Respond to issues instantly, so your customers don’t have to wait and get frustrated.
  • Save a lot of time that is usually eaten up by miscommunication.
  • Run impressive, smooth product demos and help clients get setup.
  • Complete the setup process if your clients are putting it off or unable to manage it.
  • Resolve client queries and doubts instantly before/during onboarding.
  • Keep them close and keep tabs on the issues they are facing until the first renewal process.

Each of these is customers onboarding pain-points, and as you can see, they can effectively be resolved using co-browsing. Essentially co-browsing behaves as a low-risk, a high-impact tool to increase conversions, grow revenue and reduce operational costs.

There are three major conveniences that acquire can offer you.

  • Complete view of yours and your customer’s screen: Using acquire’s co-browsing platform, your customer support executive can view your customer’s screen as they can yours.
  • Parallel live chat for easy communication: Both parties can live chat while viewing the screen and operate it.
  • Multi-device support for flexible issue resolution: Since the platform is supported on multiple devices, like iPhone, Android, iPad, laptop, PC or Mac, it allows you the flexibility to resolve issues at your desk or on the go.

Challenges & concerns with co-browsing & how they can be addressed

The only real issues with co-browsing are the following:

  • It requires uninterrupted internet access on both your side and the customer’s because it depends on live streaming.
  • You need to explain the effectiveness and safety of the process to customers. This is easy once you show customers that co-browsing only allows access to authorized web pages.


Historical evolution of onboarding support solutions & today’s video/chat based systems

Historically, companies have used FAQ, supporting documents, SlideShares and blog posts to guide people through the onboarding process.

The issue with these methods is obvious; it’s impossible to consider all scenarios when creating these documents and they are especially ineffective when there’s a bug that’s interrupting your customer’s onboarding process.

Of late, companies have begun to forgo text-heavy onboarding guides for video and visual based guides. Adding visuals makes the process clearer, but it still leaves room for inconceivable issues which you won’t be present to solve. Your customers will have to email their issues to you and wait for you to respond - a slow, inefficient process that can cost you relationships.

The safest way to resolve onboarding issues would be by being present with your customer. But since that’s impossible and not scalable, it makes sense to work with the second best thing - live chat support and co-browsing.

These systems allow you to be present, live, without having to leave your desk.

You can use live chat for issues that can be addressed verbally and rely on co-browsing for longer, setup based issues.


Co-browsing can change your onboarding conversion numbers. Imagine the world where customer support is pleasant and leaves both parties satisfied. That’s the kind of experience you can create with the right live assistance solution, and this can have a huge impact on how customers see your brand as a whole.

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