New technologies are taking the world of banking and finance by storm. The use of co-browsing software is spreading quickly in the industry; here’s why.
As new applications and software developments keep gaining momentum and reshaping the ways companies in financial services operate, co-browsing is one of the latest technologies that is making an impact and getting noticed.
Agents in banks, insurance and lending firms, loan brokers and firms operating in the wider finances market as well as other industries, are increasingly adopting co-browsing as a means of building engagement and improving the overall customer experience.
What is co-browsing?
Co-browsing is short for collaborative browsing and, as its name suggests, it’s a technology brought to life by SaaS companies to allow representatives to navigate on a webpage at the same time as a visitor or customer online, to assist in different processes and in different stages of the customer journey.
By browsing together, a customer representative can show individuals around a page, and use extra features that usually come with co-browsing, such as dual-cursor and annotations, to make handy notes on the screen and interact with the user on the other side. This provides an online resource for assisting users more proactively, and can therefore be very effective for various procedures.
The functionality can be used alongside other channels to complement communication, such as video call, live chat, messenger, or even a traditional phone call. This way, co-browsing provides an extra layer in customer contact that adds a personal touch and creates a space for building loyalty and engagement.
Why is co-browsing relevant for the financial services market?
Many firms in banking and finances, including businesses in insurance and lending, still operate with lengthy and complicated processes. Even though digitisation has progressively taken businesses to move the process to the online space, the result is often a website that is not optimised for providing the best user experience. Customers applying for loans, credit cards or navigating through bank accounts can find websites to be tedious, and application forms to be confusing or very time-consuming.
Digital banking has innovated significantly especially in the last few years, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement. It’s not uncommon for consumers to get stuck in the middle of an application process online, to get confused about what to enter in a specific field, or to give up along the process because it’s all taking too much of their time.
Sometimes, all that users need is a simple conversation with an agent, and a question to be answered instantly. In this case, a live chat or instant messaging platform can be just what a business needs to qualify and convert the lead. The problem is that the challenge can be much greater when it comes to complicated websites and forms. Customers may not know how to word their doubts, and agents can struggle to provide an answer that makes sense on the screen. How to tell a customer “click on this button” when there’s 20 other buttons on the page? This is when co-browsing software can be tremendously handy.
Co-browsing is a tool that can help to fill this gap in the online journey. With a simple click, a representative can request the online user to grant access to browse together, and without any need for downloads or installation – the co-browsing session begins. The ‘show and tell’ form of interaction that is enabled through co-browsing creates an ideal flow for users needing assistance online.
Helping potential customers with co-browsing has proven to be more engaging and personalised; it helps businesses to convert leads quicker while contributing to customer success.
What about screen-sharing?
Screen-sharing is an older technology, which understandably gets often confused with co-browsing.
Both tools provide visual forms of engagement to assist in sales and support scenarios. They are also similar in the fact that demonstrations or sessions happen online and in real-time, making them effective resources to solve problems quicker. There are, however, some key differences between the two solutions. The advantages that each technology represents can make one or the other more appropriate depending on your business’ objectives and needs.
Co-browsing vs Screen-share: The differences
- With Co-browsing, sales or support representatives can interact with the browsers to provide live assistance in an online session, but this is limited to a specific webpage. In Screen-sharing, the agent can access and control the whole screen of the user.
- Co-browsing can be enabled on specific pages online, which means once this is done, each session doesn’t require further downloads or installation from either party – all that is required is permission from the visitor or customer. Screen-sharing typically does require both the agent and the online user to install the application that enables the session. In this sense, co-browsing helps to save time and minimise malware threats.
- In terms of security and protection of the end user, co-browsing is a much safer tool to use. The latest co-browsing software tools include features to protect and mask sensitive information on the screen, such as confidential data or credit card numbers, so that users aren’t at risk of giving away this information. Also, as mentioned before, co-browsing sessions are limited to a single webpage; access to other tabs or pages on the browser are restricted, further protecting consumers’ personal data.
- In screen share, the agent has full control and can take over to solve a problem, with little or no interaction from the end user. Co-browsing, on the other hand, is more designed for demonstration purposes, which means the agent doesn’t require the same level of control over the user’s interface. With features like notes on the screen and dual-cursor, they can simply show the user what to do, pinpoint elements or highlight sections on the screen, in order to get the end user to complete a task.
Where to go from here
For businesses, and especially those operating in the financial services space, visual engagement tools can be highly effective for both sales and support objectives. It can also make a huge difference in enhanced customer experience, helping you to stand out from the competition.
Co-browsing presents a safer alternative to screen-sharing, that can be used for guiding customers along the online journey, to engage with them from the moment contact is made and to prevent drop-off points on their business site – aiding in conversion, quicker sales, and customer success rates.