The other day I was attending a tradeshow in Ottawa and quickly got into a conversation about customer experience and 2 words came up Omni-channel and Multi-Channel.
Few folks in the conversation were like – huh?
I took a very simple approach to explain the 2 concepts and thought of writing it down…Without the complex definitions let me attempt to demystify these 2 concepts.
One can easily get into the debate of how integrated the channels are but the following is just a starting point for basic understanding…
Multi means many or multiple
Customer experience is different (or not connected) when he/she uses multiple devices or channels. Customers could see different features, functionality when using different channels.
For example, companies have a website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and storefront. They use each of these channels to engage and connect with customers. However, in most cases, the customer still lacks a seamless experience and consistent messaging across each of these channels.
Omni means all or universal
Customer experience is seamless whether he/she uses multiple devices (desktop, laptop, mobile) or channels. All features, functionality are coherently integrated to give the customer a unified experience from any channel or device (desktop, laptop, mobile).
Omni-channel and Multi-channel are two unique strategies that both aim to reach customers by leveraging multiple channels.
Companies should consider making the shift to focus on omni-channel efforts in order to increase customer engagement, retention and in turn, revenue.
I’ll leave you with this to ponder: “All omni-channel experiences will use multiple channels, however not all multi-channel experiences are omni-channel.”