Omnichannel communication is the future of customer service. In the past, businesses used various channels to reach their customers, but they didn’t always work together. This lead to inconsistencies and a lack of cohesion in the customer experience.

Omnichannel communication seeks to fix this problem by integrating all channels and touchpoints into one cohesive whole. Google reports omnichannel buyers to have a 30% higher lifetime value than single-channel shoppers. This merely indicates that omnichannel customers can be more valuable to a company in the long run.

By understanding and implementing omnichannel communication strategies, businesses can improve customer engagement, loyalty and increase sales.

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at omnichannel communication and why it matters for businesses today.

What is Omnichannel Communication?

omnichannel explanation using icons

According to CXToday, 90% of consumers expect an omnichannel experience with flawless customer relations across all communication channels. The reason isn’t far-fetched. The customer journey has changed dramatically in recent years, and customers now expect companies to meet them where they are.

In a nutshell, Communications that are ”omnichannel” bring together all the various ways customers can interact with a business, including web, mobile, social media, and telephone. It can be regarded as a distinct system used to optimize engagements holistically, independent of the channel they are being sent over.

Try to think of it this way; omnichannel is to communication what multichannel is to marketing. For example, a business that uses multiple channels for marketing its product but only has a single point of contact for customer service is not using an omnichannel communications strategy.

Omnichannel communication uses various channels to create one consistent brand voice and message.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how omnichannel works:

  • The customer initiates contact on one channel
  • The company engages with the customer on that same channel
  • The company uses data from the initial engagement to proactively reach out to the customer on other channels or engage with the customer on the media of their choice until the interaction is complete.
  • The company uses data from the engagement to improve the customer experience and inform future interactions.

If done correctly, this process makes it simple for customers to switch from one channel to another without interrupting their experience.

Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Communication: Differences in Approaches to Communication

Multichannel vs. Omnichannel

From a superficial point of view, both omnichannel and multichannel communication might have much in common. However, there are some critical differences between the two approaches:

Customer Experience

Omnichannel communication enables a customer to start a conversation on one channel (e.g., live chat) and continue it on another medium (e.g., phone) without having to repeat themselves or start from scratch.

Omnichannel communication is often the gold standard in customer service, providing an uninterrupted, personalized customer experience.

Multichannel communication, on the other hand, is defined as a customer service strategy that uses multiple channels to reach customers but without the goal of providing a seamless experience across all channels.

Each channel is treated as a separate entity, and customers can’t transfer conversations between channels. Multichannel communication can still provide an excellent customer experience but is not as personalized or uninterrupted as omnichannel communication.

Data and Insights

Most notably, omnichannel communication relies on a single database of customer data. This allows businesses to get a complete picture of each customer and their interactions with the company.

In contrast, multichannel communication relies on multiple databases, each with its own data set. As a result, businesses using this approach may have difficulty getting a complete view of their customers.

Google reports omnichannel buyers to have a 30% higher lifetime value than single-channel shoppers.

Another key difference is how these two approaches handle insights and analytics. Omnichannel communication takes a holistic view of customer data, making it possible to identify patterns and trends across all channels.

On the other hand, Multichannel communication focuses on analyzing each channel separately. This can make it challenging to spot broader trends or understand how different channels perform relative to one another.

 Though both omnichannel and multichannel communication has their advantages, businesses must carefully consider which approach is right for them. Those who want a complete view of their customers and interactions will likely benefit from omnichannel communication.

Meanwhile, businesses that prioritize customer experience above all else may want to consider using both approaches in tandem. Companies can provide the best of both worlds by using multichannel communication to reach customers across multiple channels and omnichannel communication to provide a seamless experience.

Decision Making

Omnichannel decision-making starts with understanding the customer journey. What channels do they use? When do they use them? And most importantly, why? Once you understand the customer journey, you can start to map out which interactions should happen on which channels.

This helps to ensure that every touchpoint is optimized for the channel it’s on and that customers have a consistent experience regardless of which channel they’re using. Additionally, because omnichannel looks at all media, it’s easier to spot gaps and opportunities companies might miss with a multichannel approach.

Finally, omnichannel is much more responsive to customer needs than multichannel. Because it considers all communication channels, it’s easier to see when customers are struggling and what they need in real-time.

What are Omnichannel Capabilities?

Omnichannel Capabilities are the tools and processes that allow businesses to provide a consistent, cohesive customer experience across all channels.

Nearly 75% of consumers claim to compare prices, look for deals, and communicate with their preferred businesses via various platforms.

Some of the most common omnichannel capabilities include:

  • A single customer view: This is the ability to see all customer data in one place, regardless of which channel they’re interacting with. Pipedrive does this best as it gives businesses complete visibility into every customer interaction, making it easy to spot patterns and trends.
  • Seamless transitions: This is the ability to move customers seamlessly from one channel to another without starting over or repeating themselves.
  • Cross-channel tracking: This is the ability to track customer interactions across all channels and use that data to create a more personalized experience. Zoho CRM automatically tracks all customer interactions and uses that data to provide relevant recommendations.
  • Real-time adjustments: This is the ability to make changes in real-time based on customer interactions, ensuring that every touchpoint is relevant and engaging.

Omnichannel capabilities are essential for businesses that want a consistent, cohesive customer experience. By investing in these capabilities, companies can ensure that their customers have a positive experience regardless of their channel.

Why Omnichannel Communication Matters to Your Business

The present-day customer is dispersed over more channels than ever. Therefore, you must journey to where your clients are, one of the most fundamental business principles. You’ll lose out on opportunities if you don’t.

Nearly 75% of consumers claim to compare prices, look for deals, and communicate with their preferred businesses via various platforms.

On the one hand, they seek an encounter that complements the channels they frequently watch. On the other hand, people anticipate that across all of them, your brand will speak and seem the same.

This necessitates flexibility on your part as a company. You must be able to quickly flip between several channels and swiftly adjust to new ones. Below are ways in which omnichannel marketing can help your business.

1. Provide a Uniform Customer experience

In today’s competitive market, providing a consistent customer experience is essential for businesses looking to remain relevant and attract new customers. Fortunately, omnichannel provides a solution that helps companies offer an invariable experience across all channels.

By integrating data from various channels and touchpoints, businesses can get a 360-degree view of the customer and provide a homogenous experience that meets their needs.

2. Boost Agent Productivity Indicators

For context, in a traditional call center, agents must juggle multiple tasks simultaneously. They have to keep track of different customers on different channels, which can be time-consuming and confusing.

With omnichannel, businesses can increase their First Call Resolution (FCR), Cost Per Call (CPC), Average Speed of Answer (ASA), Customer Effort Score (CES), and Average Handle Time (AHT).

Omnichannel provides agents with the tools and information to resolve customer issues quickly and efficiently.

Some of the ways that businesses can boost their APIs using omnichannel include:

  • Automating repetitive tasks: By automating repetitive tasks, businesses can free up agents’ time so they can focus on more critical tasks.
  • Enabling self-service: By enabling self-service, businesses can reduce the need for agents to resolve simple issues, allowing them to focus on more complex issues.

3. Centralized Data Access

One of the most significant advantages of omnichannel is that it provides businesses with centralized data access. This means companies can view all customer interactions in one place, making resolving issues easier and providing a better customer experience.

Some of the ways that businesses can use centralized data access to their advantage include:

  • Tracking customer interactions: By tracking customer interactions, businesses can identify trends and make necessary changes to improve the customer experience.
  • Analyzing customer behavior: By analyzing customer behavior, businesses can better understand their needs and wants and make necessary changes to improve the customer experience.

4. Increased Customer Satisfaction and Retention

Omnichannel communication has been shown to increase customer satisfaction and retention. In fact, a study in 2021 used SPSS AMOS 25 and PROCESS Macros to evaluate data obtained from an online questionnaire survey.  The study found a significant positive relationship between omnichannel communication and customer satisfaction.

This isn’t out of the realm of possibility as Omnichannel helps businesses build relationships with their customers. Companies can build trust and loyalty by providing a personalized experience and interacting with customers regularly.

Final Thoughts

In an increasingly competitive marketplace, the ability to provide a superior customer experience can be the difference between success and failure. As such, businesses that fail to leverage the power of Omnichannel marketing do so at their peril.

However, businesses that adopt an omnichannel approach will be well-positioned to succeed. With the right strategy in place, companies can use omnichannel to their advantage and gain an edge over their competitors.