Why your company should offer omnichannel customer service (and NOT just multichannel customer service)
Just as call centers have evolved into contact centers, customer service channels have expanded beyond phone calls. Today’s customers want to be able to interact with companies via a variety of channels -- email, chat, SMS, social media -- and not just by phone. But offering your customers multiple channels for customer service is simply multichannel customer service. It’s not omnichannel customer service.
What is omnichannel customer service?
Omnichannel customer service is more than multichannel customer service. Yes, customers still have multiple choices about how they interact with your company. But omnichannel customer service seamlessly connects the channels so that customers can move effortlessly between channels without missing a beat.
What is an example of omnichannel customer service?
A company that offers multichannel customer service makes it easy for customers to call, email, chat, or text customer support. But a company that offers omnichannel customer support allows its customers to begin their contact via one channel and effortlessly move to another without having to explain their issue to a new customer service agent or confirm their identity a second time.
Let’s say your daughter is headed off to college and you want a quote from your insurance company to add a new car to your policy. You could start the process on your insurance company’s website where an online tool gathers basic information about the new vehicle, like the year, make, model, and primary driver’s name.
Because your daughter will be spending part of the year on campus and part of the year living with you, you’re not sure how to answer a question about the vehicle’s primary location. Because your insurance company offers omnichannel customer service, you begin an online chat and an agent can quickly help you determine that you should enter the ZIP code of her university.
However, before you are able to return to the online tool and complete the final two pages of the insurance company’s online quote, your son reminds you that it’s time to drive him to soccer practice. So you ask the customer service agent assisting you by chat to call your cell phone and complete the quote.
How Would Offering Omnichannel Customer Service Benefit My Organization?
By taking multichannel customer service to the next level with omnichannel customer service, your company can
- Build a competitive advantage
- Create engaged, loyal customers
- Improve business performance