Co-Browsing: What's That?

Co-browsing: customer support for your web enabled application

Itís easy to dismiss some technologies as unnecessary, but if you work for an e-commerce company or ASP (application service provider), co-browsing technology is possibly the most important tool you have for assisting your customers during a technical support session.

During my second day at CRM Expo, there was a company nudged into the corner of the hall that should be recognized for some important and useful technology. In a crowded CRM field with many doing (or saying they are doing) co-browsing, there is one company that stands out from the rest, Hipbone, Inc.

The Hipbone technology takes co-browsing beyond merely pushing out a URL to another browser. It advances the technology to include the ability to dynamically experience what is going on with each page being browsed. When a person enters text into a field, the text shows up on the other personís screen across the country when the first person tabs away from that field (completes the entry into the field and moves on). Pull-down menus work the same way, select an option and it appears on the remote screen. Similarly, select a check-box and that box is checked on the remote screen.

If you are supporting an ASP or e-commerce site, a light bulb should have turned on above your head. This allows you to actually navigate and see EVERYTHING that a person is seeing and doing while using your application. And if you need to jump into the page and show a person how to do something, you just do it and it appears on the other personís screen almost instantly.

All of this cool technology does cost a bit of money, but it is surprisingly inexpensive when you consider how much time and effort it will save while improving the productivity of your technical/customer support staff. Also, this is an ASP model so there are no servers and software for your internal staff to deal with, a significant savings right there.

Hipbone Fees:

Annual service subscription: $750/year/agent

One time setup: $5,000 - $10,000 (typically)

Annual Maintenance Fee - 18% or $2500


If you are an ASP or e-commerce site, you need to take a look at this software. There is no doubt in my mind that your customer support staff will thank you.