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

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…