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Moving from MultiChannel Chaos, to OmniChannel

James Wilson

Companies that don't develop processes and internal structures for handling their OmniChannel strategy can fall short on serving customers through multiple communication channels. Experts say, businesses are rushing on impulse into a full OmniChannel offering because their customers are rushing there even faster. OmniChannel strategies are considered “less friction” because they enable companies to serve customers wherever they are, whether consumers communicate via a company's website, via email, by text message or social media platform. As the channels of communication increase and as customers move from traditional phone calls, this OmniChannel approach to customer service has often become a matter of company survival.

Companies have gotten aboard “MultiChannel” without really thinking about their next steps or a strategies with the rest of the company. As a result, companies that dive too quickly without examining in-house structure are often doomed to failure. Often, companies that view MultiChannel as a matter of simply having marketing to respond to Facebook and Twitter. Marketing is better at building a brand name and protecting the brand name. But after market removes conversation from public Facebook or public Twitter, the marketing strategy can get lost in a sea of tweets and comments without really addressing customer issues and creating the right customer experience. There are many great social media monitoring tools for marketing, but customer experience needs to remain with customer support. Just like you keep your recording, you keep your email, your keep your chat history, but you need a central place to keep these and also your Social Media interactions or you have chaos.

The two key differences in MultiChannel and OmniChannel is that the MultiChannel has separate silos of information. The CSR should be able to see from a single screen every channel of previous customer communications. OmniChannel should also have A.I. to help automate the additional channels. A Smart IVR will help move the customer to the right place using A.I. And customers expect that they shouldn't have to repeat basic account info, repeat their authentication and order information as they get bounced around between departments.

In a short amount of time, it's become critical to address this problem: of companies siloed channel structure, processes that require double CRM entry, communication gaps between departments and workflows without A.I., Call Center Pros can bring in the tested OmniChannel vendors, make the OmniChannel strategies are solid and connect data between communication points and get the necessary teams involved -- and trained to handle the different channels of information.

Here is a little more to think about: What customer experiences are we trying to create? How real-time does each channel need to be? What is the response expectation time of a tweet versus an email reply? If you don't have a plan, you may be opening yourself up to a huge problem. We all know, problems on the Internet can go viral very quickly.