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The Difference Between Multi-Channel and Omni-Channel Contact and why that matters to your customers

The past few years has seen a seismic shift in the way that organisations deal with their customers. Customer Service has become Customer Experience and done right it can propel businesses ahead of their competition whilst mistakes can be incredibly costly.

As digital natives continue to make up an ever increasing portion of consumers, the way in which consumers want to interact with businesses has changed. Whilst voice may still be king, contact centres are increasing looking to non voice channels such as Webchat, Email and SMS to communicate with their customers, bringing contact centre’s into the age of Multi-Channel and OmniChannel.

What do “Multi Channel” and “Omni-Channel” mean?

A multi channel contact centre is a centre which uses more than one method of contact with their customers, for example voice and email. This gives customers the choice of more than one option to get in touch with a business depending on their needs.

So that must mean that ‘Omni-Channel’ contact centres let customers use EVERY method of contact to speak to them? Not necessarily. The ‘Omni’ in ‘Omni-Channel’ is not referring to all channels being available, just that they are all in one place. An ‘Omni-Channel’ Contact Centre is one which has full visibility of a customer journey regardless which channel was used and allows agents to seamlessly switch between these channels to improve customer experience.

The Benefits of a converged solution

With any relevant information and contact history at their fingertips, an agent is much better equipped to resolve customer issues and find opportunities to upsell than when only viewing a single touchpoint. For example by giving a voice agent access to a customers previous email conversations and history of products viewed on a website they could tailor a pitch for additional services to that particular customer.

True converged Omni-Channel can also help you look after your customers more efficiently, with multi skilled agents able to handle multiple interaction types simultaneously and seamlessly switch between channels to improve customer experience. An agent dealing with an unhappy customer on a web chat would be able to see the full history of interactions and transactions and seamlessly switch to a voice call to personalise the experience. In a study conducted by Epsilon Marketing 80% of consumers indicated they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalised experiences.

Do I need Omni-Channel?

 Whilst Omni-Channel has been one of the biggest buzz words in contact centres for some years now, until recently most contact centres have seen it as a ‘Nice to have’ however as consumers continue to embrace global digital transformation it has quickly shifted into a ‘Must have’ for many businesses.  Consumers live in a time where there has never been more choice, and in a 2017 study American Express found that more than half the people they surveyed had cancelled a planned purchase due to bad customer service.

Conversely to this Zendesk recently published that 30% of consumers now share customer experiences online, with Harvard Business Review also claiming that 23% of customers who had a good experience told 10+ people and many business have now reflected this by building their entire brands around good customer experience.

Get in touch to find out how MaxContact’s true converged OmniChannel Contact Centre Platform could help you create happier customers, increase brand loyalty and increase productivity across all of your customer channels.

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