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Co-Browsing Gains as a Service Tool

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Current co-browsing can even be set up so that agents can’t see certain fields, such as payment card information, within pages to which they have been given access, Pyke adds.

Forrester’s research found wide consumer expectations for privacy when engaging with companies through co-browsing. “Companies are betting on visual engagement technology because they hope it will create seamless and trusting customer experiences,” the firm notes in its report.

A full 35 percent of respondents to Forrester’s survey indicated that visual engagement tools ideally should allow customers to initiate visual engagement sessions within mobile apps, and 31 said they should allow customers to mask private or personal data, creating a secure experience.

INTEGRATING WITH CRM

Most companies can enable co-browsing for their agents with a few simple lines of JavaScript introduced into their websites through Google Tag Manager, according to Iyer.

She notes that when integrated with CRM systems, co-browsing provides the agent with a more holistic view of the customer journey. The agent receives the full context of prior customer interactions while customers receive a more relevant, guided experience, and recordings and other relevant data points from the co-browsing session can be added back to the customer record in the CRM system once the session concludes.

Ideally, this provides a best-of-both-worlds experience, as agents can leverage co-browsing to support customers while relying on CRM as the single source of truth. Additionally, recordings can also be emailed to customers, thus increasing the chances for customer self-service in future interactions, according to Iyer.

Verint has found that many of its co-browsing clients typically want solutions to be embedded into its Engagement Management CRM product, Pyke says. “This approach makes co-browse effectively a tool that the agent can use to best address the customer’s request.”

Broadly speaking, integration is about capturing and applying contextual information about customers and their journeys, he continues. “This benefits the agent, enabling our solution to give the agent the information and automations to get a better answer to the customer more quickly. And it benefits the customer by providing a most seamless experience end to end.”

Key to the integration is passing metadata on to the agent, Pyke explains, noting that Verint Engagement Management Enterprise can pass and return values using its integration layer. The solution also includes a next-best-action feature that uses contextual information to guide the agent within the co-browsing session.

Context and how and when to present it is a key element in any customer interaction, and co-browsing lets agents see that context in real time, resulting in reduced contact time and improved service overall, experts conclude.

KEYS TO CO-BROWSING SUCCESS

The Forrester report points out that companies can’t expect to reap the full benefits of co-browsing by simply enabling it on their websites. Successful co-browsing requires a lot more.

“Customer service organizations have invested in supporting customers over a broader array of channels. They have embraced AI to make operations more effective and to deliver better experiences. However, they have not focused on the agent experience, which has left customers frustrated,” the s write.

Forrester first recommends always letting customers be in control of the co-browsing experience. This involves mapping customer journeys across touchpoints and channels for common inquiries, pinpointing steps where visual engagement could reduce the friction in the journey, and letting customers decide whether to engage visually once the option is presented.

Next, the firm suggests tracking the success of visual engagement, measuring it in terms of improved customer experiences, increased revenue, decreased incident handle times, and lower issue resolution times.

While co-browsing might offer advantages in terms of customer engagement and sales, it’s important to note that it is resource-intensive. Unlike online chats or text messaging, co-browsing requires one agent to be engaged with only one customer at a time for what could be several minutes.

So Iyer recommends using chatbots to handle customer requests that don’t need to be elevated to the co-browsing level.

Another constraint, according to Iyer, is that not all customer service agents will be adept at co-browsing, which requires more experience with the products or services in question. Agent training before introducing co-browsing, therefore, is a must.

Although co-browsing just recently appeared on the market, experts expect it to become one of the most popular customer service channels in the next few years. The trend is already under way.

In September, for example, Jordan’s Furniture, a furniture retailer with seven stores in New England, selected Vee24 to provide live engagement technologies, including co-browsing, chatbots, live messaging, and video chat.

“Jordan’s Furniture has always focused on providing a best-in-class, in-store experience, and we’re excited to work with Vee24 to wow our customers with excellent online service and sales,” says Joni Petrozelli, Jordan’s Furniture’s director of e-commerce. “The Vee24 platform will allow Jordan’s to lead the furniture industry in providing responsive, multichannel customer service and will bolster our remote shopping experience as customer needs shift in the new economic climate.” 

Phillip Britt is a freelance writer based in the Chicago area. He can be reached at spenterprises@wowway.com.

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