Omnichannel refers to a cross-channel business model that companies employ to increase customer experience and improve the quality of customer service. This approach has verticals in healthcare, government, financial services, retail and telecommunications industries, including channels such as physical locations, FAQ webpages, social media, live web chats, mobile applications and telephone communication. Companies that utilize omnichannel contend that a customer values the ability to be in constant contact with a company through multiple avenues at the same time.
Previously customers expected to receive service from an organization on the channel of their choice. Thus companies employed multi-channel customer service technique which made use of voice, email, SMS/text, web, mobile or social media. Omnichannel customer service takes the multi-channel customer service to the next level as with an omnichannel solution that integrates channels to provide a consistent customer experience.
As far as the customers are concerned, channel is the least important matter of concern for them. What’s important for them is finding an answer to their question or a solution to their problem. For this purpose they may reach out via voice, mobile website or over a social media channel like Twitter. In today’s era, as more consumers adopt mobile devices, the lines between channels tend to blur. As a result, customer expectations for the convenience of starting a conversation in one channel and then continuing in another, become even higher.
Omnichannel self-service is a solution to such high end expectations of the customers. It empowers the customer to initiate an activity in one channel, and seamlessly transition to another such that a conversation that begins on Twitter can be continued via text message or phone call with all of the relevant context preserved across channels. Omni-channel solutions don’t require implementing every possible channel and it also ensures the service level, responsiveness, and quality of service received on individual channels and across channels would be exceptionally high.