Pros and Cons of Multi-Channel and Omni-Channel Customer Service

Modern customers expect consistent customer experience across various channels. They can start writing on Twitter and then switch to live chat or phone support depending on their needs. At the same time, if you do not offer this type of flexibility, some of them will feel disappointed and frustrated. On the other hand, if you exactly know the amount of requests coming from various channels, have an ability to track and share communication history, you can assign your staff to handle customer service requests without the necessity for your employees to switch from one channel to another. 

So, what is the real difference between multi-channel and omni-channel customer service? Which of these methods delivers higher customer satisfaction? In this blog post you will find answers to these questions and will get valuable recommendations for your customer service workflow.

Pros and Cons of Multi-Channel Customer Service

The main aim of multi-channel customer service is to provide customers options of how they would like to communicate with brands. At the same time it is also about providing seamless experience to customers no matter what kind of channel they decide to use. In fact, 57% of online consumers would abandon their online purchase if they could not find a quick answer to their questions. And on the other hand, 44% felt that having their questions answered by a live person while they were in the process of online shopping was one of the most important features of a website. Taking into account these statistics you should consider the best strategy to develop for your brand. Here are pros and cons of multi-channel customer service:

Pros:

  1. Brands provide service to individuals more efficiently.
  2. Ability to provide quick and professional assistance through customer’s channel-of-choice.
  3. Efficient pro-active support that helps to increase customer engagement and reduce page and online service abandons.

Cons:

  1. Inability to handle customer service requests efficiently if customer service agents have no access to customer interactions history.
  2. Slow cross-channel response time if customer support channels are not integrated properly into company’s workforce management algorithms.
  3. Inability to switch between channels easily.
  4. Customers being forced to repeat themselves.

Pros and Cons of Omni-Channel Customer Service

Modern customers expect seamless customer service experience throughout their journey. They can start conversation through one channel and switch to another one whenever they find it necessary. According to Aberdeen Group, companies that provide a consistent service quality across multiple channels retain 89% of their customers, whereas companies that do not provide a consistent quality are only able to retain 33%. Check these pros and cons of omni-channel customer service:

Pros:

  1. Omni-channel experiences provide a seamless customer journey.
  2. Ability to reach your customers wherever they want and wherever they are active.
  3. Customer effort is greatly reduced.
  4. Ability to offer personalized experience through access to the communication history of all customer support channels.
  5. You actually connect with your customers and win their trust and loyalty.

Cons:

  1. Omni-channel service implies multitasking and this in turn can make negative impact on customer service quality.
  2. If there is lack of integration, this may lead to disjointed communication and ultimately, frustrated customers and employees.

Both multi-channel and omni-channel customer service models are not perfect and should be integrated into your business depending on your customers’ requests types and their communication needs. However, well-trained staff that can address customer concerns and deliver a positive image of your brand is the key ingredient to providing top-notch customer service. Just remember this while choosing your customer service strategy.

You are welcome to share stories about your company’s customer service in the comments to this blog post.

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