Is the Future of Customer Service Omnichannel or Multichannel?

Using various channels for customer care increases the reach of the provider and using just one increases the standard ,both have their own positives
Is the Future of Customer Service Omnichannel or Multichannel?
Image credit: graphicstock

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
Head of Marketing, Acquire
3 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Have you ever considered the future of customer service? Technological advancements and changes in customer service perception will result in a paradigm shift in the way customers interact with companies. Historically, there have been conversations around single and multichannel customer service, i.e. Omnichannel and Multichannel customer service. But what exactly are omnichannel and multichannel customer service? What will be the future of customer service? Let’s dig a little deeper to find out!

What is the future of customer experience? Will it be omnichannel or multichannel support? A few deciding factors include:

1.Suitable Technology Availability

A lot of companies offer solutions for retailers seeking an omnichannel approach, but only a few technological solutions are available. An omnichannel business must be technologically capable of providing an end-to-end seamless experience. Technological advancements, like co-browsing and live chatbot integration, help businesses move towards an omnichannel approach; yet technological hindrances, cost considerations and a lack of motivation make the transition difficult to integrate into existing processes.  

Alternatively, a multichannel platform does not require the same technological superiority, making. multichannel technology better choice in terms of ease. Multichannel solutions run parallel and do not require streamlined integration. They serve businesses independently through existing channels without relying on a technological backend.

2. Cost vs. RoI

There is always a cost when dealing with a business environment. If the Return on the Investment made (RoI) is at least on par or more with incurred costs, then the business initiative is successful.

When differentiating between future omnichannel and multichannel customer experiences, the omnichannel costs are more than the multichannel costs. Is the ROI worth it? We don’t know because few companies today are willing to pay to provide that kind of an experience. But again, multichannel is less costly to omnichannel; though omnichannel is more efficient. Analyzing cost versus ROI is essential when debating two approaches. Naturally, businesses tend to invest in higher return initiatives; however, if an omnichannel approach is more affordable than a multichannel one, then the future will include an omnichannel solution.

3. Culture & Consistency

When discussing current business culture, few companies are trying to adopt an omnichannel commerce and experience for their end users. To be successful, businesses need to be driven from the board downwards. It requires almost every member of staff to embrace it and to adapt in their role.

Today’s business culture doesn’t include many leaders going the extra mile, but the future holds a big positive, with talk about how today’s customer experience defines a company’s future performance.

With respect to consistency, however, the clear winner is the omnichannel experience. The single, seamless experience is unfathomable and would dominate the market for years until an even bigger and more disruptive experience erupted. There is clearly a winning streak in how technology is becoming more accessible, cheaper and easily connecting with businesses for better-integrated experiences. Such change is being driven digitally, so providers of traditional in-store solutions have the most catching up to do.

Adopting an omnichannel approach endows businesses with multiple benefits while aligning their operations with changing customer preferences. Modern day customers look forward to brand and businesses interaction anytime and anywhere using any platform of their preference. Also, consumers expect businesses to offer seamless experiences and listen to their demands as shared through multiple mediums. Here, an omnichannel approach is appropriate as businesses see long-term growth. To conclude, the clear winner is the smart business that migrates toward better user experiences for the customer, migrating towards omnichannel experiences.

Latest on Entrepreneur