6 Reasons to Use a Co-browser in SaaS Customer Support

6 Reasons to Use a Co-browser in SaaS Customer Support

Valeriya Yordanova

Aug 29, 2023 • 6 min read

6 Reasons to Use a Co-browser in SaaS Customer Support

“Do you see that green button at the top right of your screen?”, a customer support agent asks with an easily detectable note of desperation in their voice. A confused “No…” echoes from the other side of the line, sending waves of frustration into the ether. This is going to be a long call.

There is a different way to do things in customer support. Visual engagement tools can take the situation to the next level enabling you (or your team) to effortlessly figure out what’s going on at the other end of the screen. Instead of wasting time asking what went wrong, you are now able to dive into helping and guiding customers right away. The tool that facilitates this is called a co-browser, and today we’ll discuss 6 reasons why it’s a must-have for SaaS businesses.

What are the main types of visual engagement tools?

Screen sharing vs Co-browsing

Co-browsing, screen sharing, and remote desktop platforms are the three main visual engagement solutions on the market today. They enable organizations to provide more adequate and timely technical support – and do it without any frustration involved. Although at first glance they might look the same, the underlying technology differs significantly, and the differences in their features and capabilities make them the best choice in different scenarios.

While screen sharing might be perfect for presenting a document and remote desktop or assisting with problems that require access to files outside of the customer’s browser, co-browsing is ideal for immediate in-app support – and is just the thing that pumps up your customer satisfaction scores.

What’s a co-browser?


Collaborative browsing, or co-browsing, allows you to view and interact with your customer’s web browser or mobile app with just a click of a button without the need to download or install any software. Co-browsing literally allows you to be on “the same page” as your customer. You can use co-browsing alongside a phone call, a live chat session, e-mail or a messenger conversation thus providing fast and personal support in real-time across different support channels.

Here are 6 reasons why a co-browser is a better alternative to screen sharing when doing SaaS customer support:

1/ Privacy and security are top of mind

Customers demand fast and personal support – but value highly their privacy and security and expect you to respect it. Even though both screen sharing and co-browser solutions give your team the ability to quickly and effectively communicate with users, they don’t provide the same degree of privacy. Unlike screen sharing, co-browsing gives access only to the web page or mobile app of the customer. The agent cannot access or see anything else outside the application where the co-browser solution is integrated. Desktop, other browser tabs, or any personal documents and files remain out of sight.

2/ Guide customers – or take full control with a click of a button

Watch as we explore SessionStack’s co-browser solution

Just like with remote desktop platforms, co-browsing allows you to view and interact with your customer’s screen in real time. You can guide them through the necessary steps to fix their problem. You can click, scroll, write, or draw on the screen to attract their attention and map the next steps needed.
When necessary, you can also take full control over their screen if the user grants their approval. The difference between screen sharing and co-browsing? There is no friction and no 3-rd party software downloads or installations. Setting up and configuring a screen sharing solution might take a few minutes for a tech-savvy person, but it could turn out to be a tedious process for a non-tech user. In such cases, the ability to instantly share will save time and frustration on both ends, while boosting customer engagement at the same time.

3/ Mask sensitive info

Unlike screen sharing where your agents can view pretty much everything on your customer’s device including viewing sensitive information, with a co-browser you are able to mask (hide) sensitive information to protect the user’s privacy. For example, when a user is about to enter their credit card details, a co-browsing solution will not transmit that information to the agent. Some co-browser tools allow role-based permissions and have incorporated SAML/SSO integrations. Co-browsing is also of great help in organizations that are required to follow certain guidelines and regulations (like HIPAA or PCI).

4/ Collect valuable data

Unfortunately, not all customer requests can be solved during a single interaction. Sometimes what seems to be a simple user issue, turns out to be a product bug. In those cases, the issue is transferred to the tech support team. Now imagine how much time your team could save if they had more than just a ticket with a short explanation and a couple of screenshots (if any).

Some co-browser and screen sharing solutions give you the possibility to record the support session and attach it to the support ticket. However, in addition to the video, a co-browsing session gives you access to everything that happened under the hood of the user’s browser.

Think technical information such as device and account info, bugs, crashes, and network delays — all can be accessible in the user session recording and attached to the support ticket for cross-functional collaboration. No screenshots, no back-and-forth, just a video and a log containing all the data.
This way you can create a collection of data that not only helps your support team to solve user issues quickly but also informs your product and marketing teams to make better business decisions.

5/ Requires no downloads and installations

Unlike most screen sharing solutions, co-browsing allows you to start a live session immediately. All it takes is just a click of a button and voila you can view the customer’s screen and start helping them right away.

Typically a co-browsing solution is directly integrated into your web or mobile app using a small JavaScript snippet. There’s no need to download and install any applications and it doesn’t require any technical know-how from your user (or you, for that matter). With a co-browser, you save users’ time and protect their computers from potential malware problems and threats.

What’s more, you can also integrate it with your customer support platform:

Co-browsing with Intercom Integration
SessionStack’s Intercom integration

6/ No performance impact

As mentioned, screen sharing and remote desktop solutions might require an application to be downloaded. To work, these applications send packets of information from a host computer to a remote computer over the network. Some data arrives as image files (jpg and gif), while others come as pixel changes. In any case, due to the computing required to send only the proper data in order to minimize the amount of bandwidth, the screen updates can utilize a significant portion of your CPU resources.

This slows down the rest of the software running on your user’s screen, including your own product, turning the support process into a tedious experience. Nothing worse than a frozen screen and precious minutes lost trying to reconnect.

With co-browser tools, there’s no performance impact as they are integrated into your product and send only HTML changes which require fewer resources. You actually browse the internet together with your customer, rather than look at an image of a website on someone else’s computer. Good co-browsing solutions are incredibly lightweight. This means zero impact on customer experiences and the look and feel of your product. Your customers won’t even notice it’s running! In addition, co-browsing fits perfectly in your favorite support platform.

Co-browsing by SessionStack
SessionStack’s co-browsing takes 0.07ms when recording a mouse move (which cannot be perceived by a human)

To put it in a nutshell…

When users are interacting with (and paying for) your product on a regular basis, they expect quick, personal, hassle-free, and secure support. One of the best ways to offer this is either through a co-browser platform or a screen sharing platform. Choosing one or the other depends on your business needs – with co-browsing being the superior option when it comes to in-app support for SaaS organizations looking to deliver immediate and secure customer service.

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