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Omnichannel Customer Service vs Multi-Channel Support

The user journey is something one cannot predict. It keeps changing frequently and retailers have to build products, services, and strategize on the lines of their preferences. Providing a seamless experience at every touchpoint is a dream that most companies have in their must-do list. The purchase route is not straightforward and it wiggles across multiple devices and channels – from desktop to smartphone, websites to mobile applications. Marketers are looking for answers regarding multichannel vs. Omnichannel support and services.

Multichannel and omnichannel are the industry jargons used for sales and marketing. Although both involve the use of more than one channel to communicate with customers, there are a lot of differences between them.

Learn the key differences and identify which is the best for your enterprise.

What is Multi-Channel Support?

Multi-channel support is a set up where customer service is available over more than two different channels. Any company that provides multi-channel support operates multiple customer interaction touchpoints for a flawless experience.

This approach would enable businesses to engage with customers via their preferred channel of communication.

What is Omnichannel Customer Service?

In an omnichannel customer service, entire customer data across the channels or touchpoints is stored under single platform with unified dashboard view. This set up makes it easy for the service agents to access the data and metrics quickly and offer services efficiently. They will have the customer queries and interaction data beforehand and customers need not repeat their queries.

Key Differences Between Omnichannel and Multichannel

  • Customer Experience V. Customer Engagement
  • With multi-channel services, focus is more on engaging customers. In omnichannel support, attention is given to offering customer service across the touchpoints.

    The aim of multichannel marketing is to widen the reach and increase brand awareness amongst old and new customers.

    ‍With omnichannel marketing, the goal is to consistently create better customer experience for people who are acquainted with and already engaging with a business.

    For example, with multichannel approach, on social media the intention is to gain followers, comments, likes and shares.

    In omnichannel strategy, the focus is on quality leads. Like when they click on a Facebook ad, they will be landing on the respective product page on your website.

  • Customer Centric V. Channel Centric
  • Multichannel is channel-centric while omnichannel is customer-centric. Here, several channels are used for brand promotions. This gives customers a choice to choose their preferred channel to engage with the brand.

    ‍With customer at the core of the strategy, omnichannel support aims to provide a seamless experience to customers as they move from one channel to another at all touchpoints.

    Take for example, for a retail chain, multichannel approach includes many channels like billboards, television and radio ads, paid channels, cold calling and digital marketing to increase sales and promote the product.

    ‍While, omnichannel would focus on lesser channels and include websites, email and social media marketing and all of these would be organized well for an effortless service to customers.

  • Quality V. Quantity
  • It is known that multichannel involves many channels to reach out to customers. At times, there is not enough link between these channels and if customers have to change from one channel to another, the quality is compromised.

    ‍For instance, when a customer is not able to log into their account, they contact customer services for help. The customer service agent will help with them with the query and no extra details or suggestions are given. If the customer encounters another issue at this point of time, he would have to contact the team again. If they reach out through email this time, the tele-calling and email team are not synced and hence, it takes time to resolve issues.

    ‍In omnichannel approach, customer can choose any channel and at any given point of time and still get seamless service. Point of contact and corresponding contact channels are purposely varied to handle different types of customer queries and offer support accordingly. Like, a simple question can be resolved via a live web chat interaction. If there are issues with modifying a shopping basket then a visual support can be offered through video chat or co-browsing.

    ‍Taking the above example of log in issue, customer need not explain the issue from the beginning if he switches from phone call to email. The Company’s CRM will have all the data about the customer query in system and will help both the agent and customer to resolve the issues quickly and efficiently.

Freshdesk Omnichannel Customer Service

Freshdesk Omnichannel is an incredible solution from Freshworks which provides seamless omnichannel customer service where all customer queries are supported within a single tool. The availability of single dashboard aids the support team with a 360-degree view of customers with clear visibility of every conversation. This helps the service representatives to not skip any information and thereby enhances productivity with the help of guided decisions. With the “Team Huddle” feature, one can easily integrate a lot of customer service tools with Freshdesk.

Bottom Line

The discussion between which is better – omnichannel vs multichannel marketing is a never-ending one. Businesses should offer services wherever their customers are present through preferred channels to stand out in the market. However, it is suggested that you go with a mix of both channels depending on your goals and requirements.

An omnichannel approach is still considered a multichannel approach because it provides customers more than one contact and marketing channel. One thing for sure is that many companies today have shifted to omnichannel solution as it provides an all-rounder fix and offers better customer service.

Embitel is a leading provider of multichannel and seamless omnichannel solutions. As a registered Freshworks partner, we help you in deploying the Freshworks suite of products for your business transformation. Check out our services here


About the Author

Vaibhav is a digital-marketing professional with a deep-rooted interest in everything automotive. Regular collaborations with automotive tech guys keep him apprised of all new trends in the automotive industry. Besides digital marketing, Vaibhav is fond of writing and music.

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