Probably the most truthful adage today is that just about anything is only a few clicks away. A new pair of Air Maxes? Click. Feeling like Thai food tonight? Click. That customer support agent wasn’t helpful? Click and unsubscribe. After all, why should they stay loyal to a business when there are tons of others that can provide them with the products and experiences they seek?
Today’s society has evolved into a digitally omnipresent system, with tons of information and options available at our fingertips. Convenience and instant gratification have become the cornerstones of customer expectations.
No matter whether your business is looking for a purchase, sign-up, or booking, 80% of customers say the experience a company provides is just as necessary as its products or services (source). In order to improve user experience and foster long-term relationships, understanding customer communication touchpoints is crucial.
What is a Multichannel Interaction?
Multichannel interaction means customers interact with a business through multiple direct and indirect communication channels – websites, applications, email, social media, etc., as opposed to a single channel interaction.
Why should you adopt (at least) a Multichannel Approach?
As today’s customers spend more time on product/service research and have more options to choose from, they have much more control over the buying process than marketers do. Thanks to the rapid increase of available channels, customers are now everywhere. And so are your competitors. If that is not a good enough reason, consider this: customers who use multiple channels spend three to four times more than single-channel customers.
As discussed in the Next-Generation CX & Omnichannel Support blog post, the omnichannel approach, just like its multichannel counterpart, involves a variety of channels. The key difference between the two is the focal point of the marketing strategy. Omnichannel revolves around the customer and their experience, while multichannel is centered around placing the product or service in front of as many customers as possible. With a multichannel approach, although the customer interacts with a brand on several channels, those interactions are siloed – every channel operates independently, without interconnectivity or data sharing with others.
With the omnichannel experience, the interactions from various channels are integrated into a single experience – so when your customer abandons a cart on a shopping platform, they see an ad for that item on social media. And they can seamlessly continue the conversation with customer support from an app to email, from chat to phone call, without having to explain their issue from the start.
With an omnichannel approach, the customer is truly king. Putting them in the driver’s seat can serve as a brand differentiator, resulting in increased customer trust and better user experience. The advantages of centralized data, cohesive brand strategy, improved inventory turnover, and increased agent productivity lead to increased revenue.
To stay on top, your business should be everywhere your customers are. And since customer experience is extremely valuable to any business or organization, it should always be a priority. With this in mind, an omnichannel approach consistently outperforms a simple multichannel approach, giving customers more autonomy and making your operations more efficient and informed.