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Multi-channel or Omni-channel Customer Support: What’s the Difference?

Category: Blog

Your customers expect (and deserve) more than just ‘good’ customer service. If you want to keep up with the competition, you need to offer your customers an exceptional experience- and that calls for a fantastic omni-channel strategy.

So, what’s the difference between multi-channel support and omni-channel support, and why’s it so important? Let’s break it down…


What is a support channel?

A communication channel used by a business to interact with the end-users in its care.


What is multi-channel customer support?

A multi-channel customer support strategy ensures that your customers have multiple support channels available to them and their needs (i.e. Social Media, Calls, In-store/In-office, Email, Live Chat etc.)


What is omni-channel customer support?

An omni-channel customer support strategy integrates all of the above support channels for a seamless customer experience. All customer touch-points and channels are working together and in constant communication with one another.


Multi-channel versus omni-channel?

A 2014 study by Aberdeen group found that companies with well-defined omni-channel customer experience management (CEM) strategies achieved a 91% higher year-over-year increase in customer retention rate on average, compared to organisations without. These organisations also averaged a 3.4% increase in customer lifetime value, while those without omni-channel programmes actually saw a decrease in customer lifetime value by 0.7% year-over-year.

Multi-channel is now a necessity, whereas omni-channel is what really sets your brand apart.

In Omni-Channel Retailing, Tommy Walker offers what is easily the most expansive summary:

“Omni-channel as a philosophy is about providing consistent, yet unique and contextual brand experiences across multiple customer-aware touchpoints, including brick and mortar, marketplaces, web, mobile and social.”

“It’s about allowing consumers to purchase wherever they are while communicating in a way that is in tune with why they use a given channel and showing awareness of their individual stage in the customer lifecycle.”


Think you need some help with your omni-channel strategy? Just get in touch to find out how we can help…