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What’s the difference between multi-channel, cross-channel and omni-channel communications?
A lot, according to guest speaker Matt Swain, Senior Director of Customer Communications Advisory Services at Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends, at our recent webinar, “What’s Next in Customer Communications?”
Multi-channel communications are when companies use multiple channels (e.g. print, web, email, social) to engage customers – but these channels aren’t necessarily delivering a seamless experience and consistent message as they are often not integrated on the same platform. Plus, the channels may not be based on what customers prefer but on what the channels the company has chosen to communicate with its customers.
Companies who are delivering omni-channel communications use multiple channels simultaneously to engage their customers, and they leverage data and a single customer view to ensure customers receive the same experience and message across different channels and devices by using an integrated platform. Companies delivering an omni-channel experience can pick up where they left off with the customer – regardless of what channels the customer was using.
Data is what drives – or inhibits – the experience. “Within your organization, you might have different lines of business that operate on separate platforms,” shared Matt. “In fact, our data shows that only about 37% of businesses have achieved a single view of customer. If you think about what that implies, it means that you can see every aspect of your relationship with each customer and how you’ve reached out to them, using a single, common platform.”
It’s a lot easier to talk about omni-channel than it is to execute it, especially for large organizations that have multiple lines of business, locations, customer sets, etc. “When companies talk about that shift to omni-channel, that’s the nirvana,” concluded Matt.
There our solutions that are helping companies take incremental steps toward an omni-channel reality, which ultimately leads to increased customer engagement and loyalty.