When it comes down to CoBrowsing, there are two different main approaches on the market. In this article we'd like to demonstrate the differences, benefits and weaknesses of each approach.
The general goal of CoBrowsing is to make screen sharing (and its related benefits) as easy available as possible, especially for customer support.
Emulated CoBrowsing isn't necessarily embedded to your website. The simple explanation is, that it creates a browser window within your browser (a sub-browser). This sub-browser can be shared through a link with other participants.
- no direct integration to website necessary
- can be used to browse external websites
- CoBrowsing happens in an extra pop-up window redirecting to an external URL.
- User might be doubtful, because of external URL, especially when he has to enter sensitive data.
- User inputs can only be validated after they're transferred to the external server, therefore sensitive customer data reaches external servers. (Data breaches)
- Customer view will be replaced due to pop up, previous user inputs are very likely lost.
- During CoBrowsing session processed user inputs will be lost after closing the collaborative session.
- Easy to handle. The customer can share his screen with an agent in just a click.
- Seamless transition from browsing alone to CoBrowsing. All user inputs are preserved, user and agent can continue exactly where the user had trouble and got stuck.
- Due to the seamless integration into the website, user inputs and potentially sensitive data can be validated on the website, before sending it to Chatvisor servers. This way, potentially sensitive data never reaches Chatvisor.
- The embedded approach makes it difficult to support complex websites including components like 3D configurators or (single) web applications. Competitors even advertise that that's not possible, what's definitely not true - Chatvisor handles all that for most state-of-the-art websites out of the box.
- Can't browse to other websites, works only on exact website where it's implemented.
Evaluation / Comparison
All in all you can say both approaches provide a similar quality of screen sharing. Because you can use the emulated approach without integrating code on website, it is easier implemented - but that comes at the price of customer security. Sensitive data very likely reaches third-party servers. The embedded approach avoids that completely and therefore keeps business as usual.
We see a big difference in user experience using the embedded approach over the emulated. Through the embedded approach the user keeps working right where he left off and doesn't need to switch to another browser window, URL etc.