A detailed primer on Cobrowsing (and how to successfully implement it)

Lately, a lot of Financial Institutions in India have been launching Cobrowsing. For instance, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance recently launched Smart Assist - a Cobrowsing solution that helps field Agents sell more effectively. They claim that it is a first-of-its-kind solution in India. Let’s understand what is Cobrowsing and why has Bajaj Life spent a lot of money hiring Ayushmann Khurana to market Smart Assist.

The COVID-19 Chaos

We all know how painful it is to purchase a Financial product online. Some of the most complex products like Life Insurance are mostly bought offline because the online “DIY-journey” is too complex for the customer. Similar is the case with many other products like Loans, Credit Cards, etc. These are mainly purchased from branches or via an agent.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of agent-driven selling could not happen and these companies faced the heat. Therefore, all of them started investing in online journeys so that customers can purchase these products via Website or Mobile App. However, for a large enterprise, this sudden shift from a branch/agent mindset to a Digital mindset is difficult. It takes time to build a Website that really has a smooth journey that converts customers.

So, while most of these companies built online purchase journeys, they didn’t see that high conversion rates. This is a difficult situation because now they can’t sell either via branch/agency or via Digital platforms. So, they all needed a way to grow conversion rates on the Website and acquire more customers digitally.

To solve this problem at the first level, most companies have a call-center team. The job of the call-center team is to watch out for customers who have dropped off from the website, call them on their phone and help them complete the purchase. However, this happens in an extremely ad-hoc manner. Look at the images below where the call center agents are trying to share and collect customer data over WhatsApp.


What’s the big deal about it?

Well, there are a ton of issues. Here are the most critical ones:

  1. Customer data is being shared on the personal mobile number of the agent. This is a huge breach of the privacy of the customer.
  2. Customer data is being transferred over WhatsApp. As per the RBI data localization rule, customer data and PII (Personally Identifiable Information) data should stay within the Indian boundaries. Clearly, sharing data this way is a breach of the data localization norms.
  3. The agent may incorrectly fill in the information while making an entry into the system. It has happened to me several times. The latest one being a Bank where the agent missed out on 1 character when typing my email address due to which I didn’t get my Credit Card statements over email, leading to an interest penalty. Changing the email address was a painful process!

Now, how would an ideal solution look like?

In an ideal solution:

  1. The Agent should catch the customer online via a trigger that indicates that the customer needs assistance. This could be an automated trigger like the customer being stuck for over 5 minutes on the page. Or, this could be a manual trigger where the customer is provided with a help button.
  2. As soon as the trigger is invoked, an Agent should call the customer and understand where the customer is stuck.
  3. The Agent should then help the customer complete the purchase journey on-the-spot.

In point #2, there may be a case that the agents aren’t immediately available to assist the customer. In such situations, an agent can call the customer, ask them to come online on the website again, and resume the purchase journey.

This whole solution requires 2 things:

  1. An efficient communication mechanism for the agent to connect with the customer. The best solution, in this case, is a telephony solution which the company can set up quickly. Exotel is a leading telephony provider which solves exactly this problem.
  2. A mechanism for the agent to quickly understand where the customer is stuck so that they can assist them. This is where Cobrowsing comes into the picture.

Let’s assume that the customer and agent are connected over a call and the customer is online on the website, stuck on the form. Typically, the purchase forms of Insurance, Credit Cards, Loans, etc., are long and complex. They often have more than 2 - 3 pages and a payment gateway. So, how would the agent know where the customer is stuck?

In such a situation, the agent asks for details from the customer as to where they need help. Well, this has many major issues like:

  1. The customer generally doesn’t have a clue where they are stuck. An extra level of information transfer where the customer is explaining to the agent where they are stuck might lead to a loss of information or incorrect information being shared.
  2. This explanation portion unnecessarily frustrates the customer because it takes time for the customer to explain and for the agent to understand. This hampers the customer experience which might lead to the customer dropping off altogether.
  3. If the company makes a change to the purchase journey, agents need to be again trained on the whole process to be able to help the customers on the new journey.

Enter Cobrowsing

Using Cobrowsing, the agent, in real-time, can see the customer journey - where exactly is the customer stuck, what fields have the customer filled, what fields have the customer not filled where they need assistance - all without the customer saying a single word! Using Cobrowsing, the right information is conveyed to the agent in one shot so that agent can help the customer in a precise manner and in a short span of time.

In very simple terms - Cobrowsing replicates the customer browser page onto the agent side. Refer to the image below to get an idea.

A few things to note:

  1. The Agent will not be able to edit the form. They can only view the customer-side page and can’t make any changes or click any buttons. This ensures that the Cobrowsing happens extremely securely.
  2. The sensitive information that the customer might be filling, would be masked on the agent side. For instance, the date of birth would look like XX/XX/XXXX instead of say 12/10/1993. This way, the agent knows that the customer has filled the date of birth, but they won’t get to know the exact date of birth of the customer. The exact date of birth will automatically get fed into the system without the agent getting to know it.
  3. The agent can also chat with the customer using a real-time integrated chat widget.
  4. The agent can highlight certain fields using their mouse pointer - “Ma’am, please fill your Aadhaar Number here”.
  5. Cobrowsing will automatically pause when the customer reaches the payment gateway page or any other page as required.

How can Cobrowsing be triggered?

So let’s assume that the customer and agent are connected over a call. Now, triggering Cobrowsing is simple:

  1. The Agent can log in to the Cogno Cobrowse console.
  2. They can enter the customer’s mobile number on the search panel and click on search.
  3. They then have to click the “Request for Cobrowsing” button.

The customer will receive a Cobrowsing request at their end which will be a simple “Allow or Deny” dialog box. As soon as the customer clicks on “Allow”, the agent would be able to see the customer form in real-time.

The agent is now connected over a customer call, and can also see the customer form. So, for the agent, it is as good as sitting in person with the customer. They can guide the customer easily and ensure that the customer is filling in all the required information in a correct manner. The agent can ensure that the product that the customer wanted, is seamlessly purchased.

There are a ton of benefits of Cobrowsing:

  1. For the customer, they get the best purchase or support experience. It saves them time and hassle.
  2. For the agent, their productivity goes up, and so, they can sell more.
  3. For the business, their conversions and revenue go up, leading to better business outcomes.

It is a win-win-win for all!

At Cogno, we have an efficient Cobrowsing product being used by some of the leading Financial Institutions like Kotak Mahindra Bank, HDFC Mutual Fund, ICICI Securities, IDFC FIRST Bank, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, and many others. These companies have implemented Cobrowsing on multiple journeys related to the purchase of products like Credit Card, Personal loans, Demat Account, Insurance policies, etc. All of them have got a significant increase in the conversion rates on their website.

Here is what Mr. Suresh Sankar, CTO of Kotak General Insurance, has to say about Cogno Cobrowse:

Features of Cogno Cobrowse

Here are some of the interesting features of Cogno Cobrowse:

  1. ZERO downloads required on the customer side - Cogno Cobrowse seamlessly integrates with your website.
  2. Masking for sensitive information (PAN, mobile number, etc.).
  3. Easy Integration in Web/Android App.
  4. Video recording for KYC.
  5. Integrated live chat.
  6. Capture Snapshot.
  7. Integrated VOIP/Voice Calling.
  8. Document/Brochure Sharing.
  9. Geotagging.
  10. Reporting and Analytics.
  11. API integration with backend systems.

Use Cases of Cobrowsing

Remote Web Sales through Outbound Call Center (Website Cobrowsing):

  • Call Center Agents can use Web-to-Web Cobrowsing.
  • Onboard leads through Website.
  • Customers will fill the form, Agents can see the form and assist.

Remote Agent/Distributor/IFA Sales (In-App Cobrowsing)

  • Agents/Distributors can use App-to-Web Cobrowsing.
  • Onboard customers through Agent App.
  • Agents can start a journey on the customer’s behalf, customers can see the form.

Here are some of the demo videos to help you understand Cogno Cobrowse better:

Do you also want to grow conversions on your website? Sign up below or send us an email on hello@getcogno.ai today!