Multichannel and omnichannel contact centers connect multiple communication tools to ensure a strong and smooth communication for customers. Multichannel contact centers integrate multiple communication methods, such as voice, text, or social media. A multichannel contact center is very similar to call center software, except that it allows your staff to connect with customers in multiple ways. Multichannel contact centers allow you to quickly connect with customers from one software platform, no matter the way they choose to contact you, which will ultimately help improve business efficiency and customer satisfaction.
An omnichannel contact center on the other hand, is a multichannel contact center that allows you to support customers across different channels at the same time. So, if your customer begins a request from an online chat then calls to get an update, agents have access to that same information and can continue the conversation.
Omnichannel can also be deployed as a hosted contact center as it empowers contact center agents to retain customer information between your customers' contact channels. The key is that your customer journey stumbled at the starting block because you assumed your customers would only use one channel at a time.
You can bring happier customers and better customer retention by putting your customer needs at the forefront of your contact center. Examine the channels your customers use and the devices they tried along the way when analyzing the customer experience.
What is the difference between omnichannel and multichannel contact center?
The main difference between multichannel and omnichannel contact centers is that omnichannel introduces automation between channels. This capability makes channel support autonomous and easy for both the customer and your agents.
It's essential to focus on how your customers operate when evaluating omnichannel vs. multichannel. If there are multiple touchpoints in the customer's journey, you should be thinking about omnichannel.
Here is an example. Let's say a new customer called in and asked a series of basic support questions. Rather than fielding a line of questions like an interrogation, agents can go above and beyond. The contact center software indicates that the customer hasn't attended a customer success webinar. The agent noticed the email didn't match the company's name. They updated it and added it to the new customer sequence.
This is an excellent opportunity to point out that customer care can be proactive. People change email addresses and jobs. Consider reaching out via the phone to active customers with non-functional email statuses. Agents likely need to update an email address to keep the customer engaged with the business. Multichannel contact centers strengthen the relationship across contact methods.