What Is Multichannel Customer Support And How Should You Offer It?

This article outlines the basics of multichannel customer support and how companies can offer it to customers.

TL: DR

  • Multichannel support is a customer service strategy that allows customers to contact a business through different mediums, including email, live chat, phone, and social media.
  • Multichannel customer support is different from omni-channel support, which provides a seamless experience across multiple channels. Multichannel support still allows customers to contact the company from different mediums, but there is no unified system that tracks customer data across all channels.
  • Multichannel support is beneficial for businesses because it allows businesses to reach customers where they're already hanging out online, and it also provides customers with more options for how they can contact the business.
  • Incorporating multichannel customer support can seem complicated but can be achieved by using tools, such as Dixa, to help manage customer interactions across different channels.

86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience, and that starts with multichannel customer support. Multichannel customer support is the provision of customer service through multiple communication channels. This includes but is not limited to telephone, email, live chat, and social media.

Multichannel support is important for companies because it allows customers to choose the method of communication that works best for them. It also allows companies to reach more customers with their customer service efforts. 

So, how do you offer multichannel customer support? In this article, we'll break down the basics of multichannel support and discuss the best practices for offering it.

What is multichannel support, and what does it look like?

Multichannel support is an important component of excellent customer service because it allows customers to contact the business through various channels. It's a system in which customers are able to get help beyond traditional channels like phone or face-to-face conversations — such as social media messages, live chat, and emails.

With multichannel support, customers have the convenience of selecting which platform is most accessible and comfortable for them in order to obtain assistance with their needs. Many companies have implemented comprehensive multichannel support frameworks, which include not only technical customer service agents that customers can call but also automated emails, live chat feature integration, and even video tutorials. 

For example, VRBO uses a combination of automated emails, live chat, and phone support in order to provide customers with support quickly and conveniently, making it more convenient than ever for customers to book a vacation rental.

Not only does this provide an outstanding experience for customers, but it also streamlines tasks for customer service representatives who can answer multiple queries at the same time instead of one-on-one interactions. Plus, 75% of American consumers say they're more likely to be loyal to brands that understand them on a personal level.

How does multichannel support differ from omni-channel support?

Multichannel support is two or more channels that are independent of each other, while omni-channel support is when all or most channels are interconnected and CX is cohesive.

Companies should consider incorporating omni-channel support when they are dealing with a large number of repeat customers who use multiple channels to connect with the business. Since it provides an immediate resolution to customer issues in a seamless manner, it is more efficient than traditional multichannel support. However, if you're a smaller business that doesn't have a large customer base, then a multichannel approach may be all you need to get started.

As many as 85% of digital consumers start the purchasing workflow on one device and finish it on another, so providing a consistent omni-channel experience is key for businesses. Not only that, but omni-channel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value, which means they are more profitable customers and decrease the amount of churn.

What are the benefits of multichannel support?

Providing multichannel support for customers has become an essential part of running a successful business. 

As 90% of customers expect consistent interactions across channels, this type of support allows customers to remain connected to the company in multiple ways and provides them with different options for reaching out when they have questions or concerns.

Plus, companies that use multichannel marketing experience 3x higher effectiveness rates than those that use non-integrated campaigns, which means customers are more likely to engage with the brand.

By providing multiple channels of communication, companies can give their customers the convenience they're looking for while also allowing them to interact with the business in new ways.

What are the different channels companies should use for multichannel support?

Nowadays, businesses need to offer customers different channels of communication that are accessible and easy to use. Some of the most popular multichannel support platforms include:

Telephone

One of the most tried and tested methods, phone support is ideal for customers who are looking for immediate assistance. Being able to reach a live person quickly is often the preferred option for customers in need as it is the most direct way to reach a company. In fact, 90% of people state that they prefer speaking to a live customer service agent on the phone either traditionally or online with video conferencing and cobrowsing.

Email

Email is a great communication channel for customers who prefer more in-depth and considered responses. It also allows businesses to track customer inquiries and respond efficiently without any lag time. For example, automated emails can be sent to customers after they have submitted a query in order to provide them with quick answers or let them know that their question is being addressed.

Live chat

Live chat enables customers to get responses from a customer service representative in real time. This can be incredibly beneficial as customers are able to ask questions and receive immediate answers, which can help them find what they need faster and make a purchase quickly. But make sure not to automate the process too much, as customers may disappear instead of getting the help they need.

Social networks

So-called "social customer service" has become increasingly popular in recent years, with 80% of customers expecting companies to interact with them on social. This has caused companies to now utilize social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to provide excellent customer service. This type of multichannel support allows businesses to stay connected to their customers in a more informal way and show that they understand their needs through comments, direct messages, and other forms of communication.

Message boards

Message boards are a great way to engage with customers who are already familiar with the company and its products. By providing helpful information on topics related to the company, businesses can make it easier for customers to find answers to their questions and strengthen customer loyalty in the process.

Self-Service knowledge base

Having a self-service knowledge base is a must for any company that wants to provide effective multichannel support. This includes FAQs, instructional videos and tutorials, blog articles, and other helpful materials that customers can access at any time. It also allows companies to reduce their customer service costs as they don't have to be available around the clock to answer customers' queries.

What is the best way to incorporate multichannel support?

Implementing multichannel support can be made much simpler and more efficient when done with the help of dedicated software such as Dixa. Dixa is easy to implement, allowing you to easily turn on or off different channels such as phone, email, and social media. It also helps you keep track of conversations across all channels so that customers can quickly get the answers they need in one place, allowing you to understand your customer's needs better. Plus, with flexible pricing plans that allow you to completely customize the features of your multichannel support setup, it's a great option for any business. 

What's more, they are about to offer a Fullview integration, which will include session replays and cobrowsing, so companies can have even more context into user issues when they write in — no matter the channel. Agents can watch session replays to see bugs and issues in context and then escalate to a cobrowsing call to solve a user's issues quickly and efficiently. 

Clearly, this makes Dixa an ideal solution for managing multichannel support efficiently and effectively with minimal effort.

For example, after the company All Plants started using Dixa, they found that the handling time of customer inquiries was reduced by 2-3 minutes per ticket, while their live chat response time was reduced by 70%, which was better than their industry standard of 20 seconds. With Dixa, businesses can provide their customers with the kind of fast and accurate support they need, no matter which channel they choose.

Wrapping things up

Multichannel support is essential for businesses that want to provide their customers with the best possible experience. By using a combination of email, live chat, social networks, message boards, and self-service knowledge bases, companies can ensure that their customers get the help they need quickly and easily.

However, for the ultimate multichannel support experience, businesses should consider investing in dedicated software such as Dixa. With its help, they can provide their customers with an efficient and streamlined service that is sure to keep them coming back for more.

Author

Shifa Rahaman

Content Marketing Manager

Contributor

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