Similar but different: Deconstructing the Omnichannel and Multichannel support

Omnichannel and multichannel may sound similar but they are not to be mistaken as synonymous terms. There are certainly differences between the two, but it isn’t a matter of which is the right or wrong customer engagement strategy to adopt. The way we see it, a multichannel strategy can be enhanced to become an omnichannel strategy. Therefore, regardless of whether your business is multichannel or omnichannel, you’re on the right track.
What exactly does multichannel and omnichannel mean?
Multichannel refers to employing a variety of channels to engage customers while the customer experience on each channel remains distinct.
Omnichannel refers to connecting different channels and unifying conversations for a comprehensive customer experience.
What sets omnichannel and multichannel apart?
The continuity of conversations
Multichannel revolves around providing customers with support from a variety of channels, giving them the freedom to choose the channels that will best suit their needs. However, these channels remain as individual entities and customers will have to start new conversations from scratch each time they switch to a new channel.
Omnichannel goes a step further to integrate not only the channels but also the customer experience into a seamless whole. This means that when customers jump from one platform to another, conversation context can be maintained for seamless interaction.
The customer experiences
With multichannel engagement, each time customers switch platforms, the conversation is disconnected, and they have to repeat their queries all over again. This is because the channels are in a split communications environment. As such, the convenience and efficiency that a multichannel experience brings are limited. After multiple repetitions, unfortunately, the customer experience might become more frustrating than enjoyable.
On the other hand, with omnichannel, customers can expect persistent conversations as though the same agent has been following through with their conversation across the different channels. Omnichannel provides the luxury of options while preserving the convenience and efficiency of a sustained conversation.
Handling of customer queries
In a multichannel environment, when customer support agents pick up a customer’s call or open their message, they do not have contextual information about the customer. As a result, agents will need to spend time to get to know the customer before they can advise them on their queries. In the future when the same customer calls, agents will have no means of establishing a follow up conversation and the cycle repeats again.
On the other hand, omnichannel allows agents to access conversation histories and customer details. This enables them to tackle queries professionally and provide advice that will better cater to the customer’s needs. As conversations add up, agents will have a richer customer context, allowing them to deliver a better experience with each interaction.
Omnichannel also streamlines the customer support process for agents by threading together the different channels into one interface. Customers can switch channels freely, but the agents will stay put on the same platform, saving them the hassle of switching between channels.
Any business can go omnichannel to provide a delightful experience for both agents and customers. Discover how Moobidesk’s omnichannel solution can enrich customer support and strengthen customer engagement. Connect with us today!