Cobrowsing vs Screen Sharing What's the Difference?

Visual engagement platforms allow multiple people to interact and work through an online process as though they are in the same room.

Using such a platform, agents can share their screen, view a customer’s screen, collaborate with the customer, chat via video or voice, and record all interactions. Customers have the opportunity to first interact with a bot or opt to engage with an agent, and later they can replay recorded videos, allowing them to solve problems on their own.

Cobrowsing and screen sharing can both be a part of a visual engagement platform and often serve as the core for each of the features. While similar in many respects, there are key differences in their functionality, security, and use cases.


What is cobrowsing?

Cobrowsing, or collaborative browsing, is the joint navigation of web browsers, mobile applications, desktops, software, or other screens by two or more people. Cobrowsing allows a group of people to engage in synchronized activities, where one participant’s actions show on the screens of all other participants. This tool allows a representative to provide live, personalized guidance through any number of complex actions.

With the click of a button, agents can view and interact with web pages or applications alongside the customer. Agents can only engage with pages, applications, or devices that have been enabled by the cobrowse and approved by the customer.

When would you use a cobrowsing solution?

Cobrowsing works great in vendor management, customer service, and sales situations.

By navigating any number of online processes together, an agent has the opportunity to highlight relevant information and guide the customer or vendor from start to finish as though he or she was standing over the customer or vendor’s shoulder. With no-downloads necessary for online and mobile applications and top-of-the-line security features, a participant’s screen is easy to share, and there is no reason to be concerned about sensitive information being released or devices being hacked.

Screen Sharing

What is screen sharing?

As its name implies, screen sharing allows agents to view or control a customer or vendor’s screen or show a customer or vendor his or her screen. Unlike cobrowsing, screen sharing does not allow for synchronized activities. An agent is only able to “show” or “view/control” a screen. Although, agents can often toggle between “view” and “show," it does not allow for the opportunity to browse together, showing a client where to click by pointing the agent cursor or highlighting the important information.

When would you use screen sharing?

Screen sharing works well for presenting information in a sales or customer service situation. It is also a good solution when issue resolution requires remote support.

To share an entire screen, the customer will have to download software. However, in a screen sharing session, the agent has the opportunity to engage with the customer on a variety of processes, even those outside of the original shared application.

What is right for your organization?

When determining what will work best for your organization, it is important to first determine your goals for your visual engagement platform. Be sure you understand the why your customers or vendors are connecting with your agents and what they hope to receive from that interaction.

Depending on your situation a cobrowse or screen share solution alone may solve your problems. Or perhaps, you will find that a tool that allows you to seamlessly go from the web page to the desktop to remote control with client approval checkpoints throughout will best serve your needs.

As you determine your organization’s needs, you may even find that the capability to record for compliance and training, replay videos, engage in a voice or video chat, and/or even integrate with bot platforms are also important to solving your customers’ or vendors’ challenges. Visual engagement platforms can help you meet all these use cases

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