Omnichannel and Multichannel Support: What’s the Difference?

Is your business team multichannel, team omnichannel, or team undecided? You might not be sure what these terms mean but hear us when we tell you that they’re critical to your brand outreach – and your overall customer experience. Here’s the difference between multichannel and omnichannel customer experience solutions and what to consider when choosing one over the other for your organization.

Multichannel: Like Spokes on a Wheel

When we talk about “channels”, we talk about all the different ways that your customers can engage with your brand. This might mean via different social media platforms, in-store or through your web front, or through clickable ads. As the name suggests, a multichannel strategy involves more than one of these “channels.” Multichannel empowers consumers by allowing them to engage with a brand via their preferred channel – and is great for getting the word out about who you are and what you do.

However, in this approach, “multiple” also means “separate.” If someone sends a support email to your website, the person handling your Facebook page won’t know about it. All support stays within that one specific channel.

Multichannel has many advantages over old-school single-channel approaches, including:

  • Improved brand visibility and reach
  • Ability to segment and target customers
  • Different engagement touchpoints

But in today’s connected world, it’s not always enough. Multichannel limitations include:

  • Lack of 360-degree insights
  • Inability of channels to talk to each other
  • Inconsistent customer experience.

Omnichannel: Like a Communication Web

In contrast, omnichannel is multi-channel but supercharged. It takes all of the “spokes” of multi-channel marketing and integrates them into a single web of communication. The multi-channel experience becomes holistic and integrated across the sales funnel – from brand awareness all the way through to post-purchase. Omnichannel is a unifying approach that brings all of your brand outreach together and is great for finessing the customer experience for brands who already have a strong base of paying customers.

Taking a multichannel approach to customer service has plenty of benefits, including:

  • Cross-organizational analytics and metrics
  • A considered, consistent customer experience
  • Removal of silos across an organization

However, for omnichannel to work, it has to be truly integrated across an organization. Whether this is doable for your organization depends on your business model, resources, and goals. For example, a small physical boutique probably needs an omnichannel solution less than a huge e-commerce brand does.

Another thing to consider is brand maturity. If your brand is newer and is seeking to drive reach and awareness, then a multichannel approach can be most effective. In contrast, if your brand is mature, with a loyal fanbase already engaged with your business, then an omnichannel approach to improve the overall customer experience can deliver maximum ROI.

Talk to ACD for all your Multichannel and Omnichannel Needs.

ACD specializes in one-stop customer experience solutions for brands and non-profits of all sizes. Whether you’re looking to build brand awareness or deliver a seamless customer experience that fosters brand loyalty, we can help. Our custom solutions can help you meet your customers where they are, launch powerful fundraising campaigns, and handle customer questions and support requests. – we can even provide the personnel you need to ensure a seamless experience! For insight into whether multichannel or omnichannel solutions are right for you and to see the ACD difference in action, get in touch today!

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