Multi-channel vs. Omni-channel Communications – Which One to Choose?

omni-channel vs. multi-channel

The rising expectations of customers and technological advancements have changed the way in which interactions take place. Customers today are demanding more convenient, simplified, transparent and personalized communications. Successful organizations have understood the importance of investing in customer experience as it tends to be the crucial driver in delivering great business outcomes. Gradually, organizations have become more customer-centric rather than focusing on product, price, and brand as the differentiator.

To garner great customer experience, it is essential for an organization to be present on all the channels of communication be it social, mobile, text or email. Aligning business goals as per the customer’s need is not the end. To win the race organizations must pay heed to their customer’s journey and keep on adding new innovations to their existing strategy.

Also, delivering a personalized experience in the world of hyper-connected customers has become the key to successful business operations. Organizations are slowly transforming their customer communications into highly personalized and dynamic ones which in turn is fostering superior customer experience. Thus, to keep up with the ever-changing requirements, organizations must quickly roll on towards the right direction.

Previously, customer service consisted of multi-channel mode of communication where customers communicated with companies through different channels that were not integrated among themselves. Thus, it was necessary for businesses to look for a technology that can suffice the rising demands of their customers. The customers today are tech-savvy demanding a greater number of services while expecting a seamless and consistent experience across all touch points or channels. In order to better serve their customers organizations need to make a move from multi-channel to omni-channel.

Unlike the multi-channel communication mode, omni-channel customer engagement model helps in tracking the entire customer journey and thereby, creating a consistent and optimized experience. Customers have the freedom to switch between different channels without any hassles such as loss of information, or the need to repeat existing information.

Though both Multi-channel and Omni-channel communication modes seem similar, their definition and strategies go down to different paths. To have a clear understanding, let us deep dive into their definition and best practices:

Multi-channel Communications: Businesses engaging with customers via multiple channels like social media, web, email, etc., are using multi-channel mode of communication. Companies under this category are majorly focusing on various channels but are not bothered about maintaining consistency at every touch-point. Furthermore, Companies with this approach give more importance to products rather than customers. Optimizing customer experience and creating relevant interactions do not fall under this class.

Omni-channel Communications: Organization using Omni-channel communications are more focused on creating consistency along with relevant interactions. Under this category, organizations use different channels for communication but they are diligent to ensure that the same messaging and context is present at every touch-point. For example – an organization providing customers with the ability to engage via social media, email and mobile would be more focused on ensuring consistency in messaging and design across each touch-point.

The Rise of Omni-channel Communications

Globally enterprises have understood the importance of omni-channel communication, as from a customer’s perspective this approach helps in superseding customer expectations. Initially, brands like Amazon, Flipkart, etc. entered the omni-channel arena by offering differentiated services and truly unified experience for their customers. Later, the entire economy was under the influence of omni-channel experience. This approach has empowered the entire world to act and decide as per their convenience.

Here are few benefits of Omni-channel communication strategy:

On-demand proactive communications– With omni-channel approach dominating the entire economy, the expectation of customers for on-time services have touched sky heights. With consistent experience across channels, customers can research a product or service as per their feasibility. For instance: A customer traveling in a bus requests communication from his insurance provider and selects a few options on the app. After the selection, he somehow drops out due to lack of time. Later during the month sitting back in his office, he again decides to take a look at those insurance communications. He expected that he would have to research again, but to his surprise, he found out that all his previous research were already available even on the website version accessed via desktop. This explains how relaxing life can be in an omni-channel world where customers can access communications anytime, anywhere and on any device.

Customer convenient experience– Communications today is defined by the convenience to seamlessly interact on different touch-points. With more competition in the market, it becomes important for organizations to deliver experiences that create a wow moment. These wow moments will help organizations in overachieving their goals and building customer trusts. Organizations have to realize the importance of seamless experience across channels while keeping in mind the needs of hyper-connected and super-engaged customers.

Data-driven strategy– Organizations can adjust their customer communications by tapping different channels through which their customers interact and thereby collect useful insights. These insights can further be processed and used for creating meaningful outcomes via upselling and cross-selling opportunities. For instance, bill amount and reminders along with the new offerings can be sent via SMS or a notification on the due date itself.

Organizations who have adopted the omni-channel communication mode are already reaping out its benefits and setting high standards of service levels. Moving forward businesses have also started focusing on making these communications more interactive and personalized.

With FCI (customer communication management company), organizations can constantly innovate and deliver omni-channel customer communications that are more personalized and bi-directional. Click here for a quick demo – https://fci-ccm.com/request-a-demo.php

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