Customers no longer depend solely on phones for obtaining customer service. Instead, they use a combination of chat, text, phone, email and other channels to communicate with businesses.
The better your business can reach these customers on a range of channels, the better your customer experience will be and the more likely you’ll be able to build a base of loyal, and satisfied, customers.
This has led to the fall of traditional call centers that housed 100s of people who answered phones all day. Instead, call centers have adapted to respond to customer’s needs by implementing multichannel contact centers, where a combination of agents and contact center artificial intelligence (AI) is used to engage customers across a range of channels.
A multichannel contact center is a contact center that can handle inquiries over multiple different communication channels, including voice, text, email, chat, social media and more.
Multichannel Vs. Omnichannel: What’s the difference?
If you have been staying on top of call center trends or researching your options for outsourced customer service, you may have come across the term omnichannel. If so, you may be feeling a bit confused. Are omnichannel and multichannel the same thing?
While they do have some similarities, they are two different concepts.
Multichannel was the predecessor of omnichannel and is still used by many call centers today. Unlike omnichannel call centers, each channel in a multichannel call center is managed in isolation. They operate in silos.
While software can help streamline systems so that agents can respond to customers on various channels in one platform, each channel's data is stored separately. Therefore, information provided by a customer through chat won’t be stored under the same profile that contains information gathered from that same customer over the phone.
For example, a customer reaches out via live chat to file a complaint. Two days later they call to follow up on their complaint. The customer service agent lets them know they do not have access to the original complaint and asks the customer to provide them with the details or reconnect via chat. This would be a multichannel call center because the customer can reach out and interact with agents in different ways, but with no crossover.
The benefits of an omnichannel contact center
With omnichannel, every piece of information provided by a single customer, regardless of which channel they used during each inquiry, is stored in a single database and can be accessed by any agent on any platform. This allows businesses to provide a completely seamless customer experience, across all channels.
Using the above example, the customer would file a complaint via chat. But two days later, when they call in, the agent on the other end of the line would be able to pull up that customer’s file and see the conversation that had taken place previously. This saves time, reduces frustrations and improves the overall customer experience.
At Advantage Communications, we operate omnichannel call centers. That means customers can reach out across multiple channels while also receiving a seamless experience from one interaction to the next. This improves the customer experience, which enhances loyalty, satisfaction, and your bottom line.
Interested in learning more? Get in touch with our team of customer service and customer experience specialists today.