Omnichannel Communication: Deliver Excellent Customer Experience in 2022 (Detailed Guide)

Consistent and effortless client communication is essential for successful customer support and experience. And that’s why your business needs an omnichannel communication strategy! 

This strategy allows your buyers to complete the same purchasing actions through multiple integrated contact methods.

For example, with an omnichannel communication approach, your buyers can purchase a product online and return it in-store. Customers expect this convenient and seamless way of staying connected to your brand.

50% of consumers believe they should be able to make an order online and collect in-store. Plus, 35% of buyers want to contact the same customer support rep on any communication channel.

Brands that have optimized their customer support experience through omnichannel communication have pulled outstanding results.

For starters, the purchasing frequency of omnichannel strategies is 250% higher than single communication approaches.

But how do you develop an omnichannel communication strategy? And how is this different from the standard multichannel communication method?

We’ve created this detailed guide to help you build the perfect omnichannel communication strategy to maintain happy customers. Also, have the top 4 omnichannel communication platforms to help you get started!

Ready to leverage the power of omnichannel communication?

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    Best Omnichannel Communication Platforms: Quick Overview

    Here are the four best omnichannel communication platforms in 2022, including the key features, pricing and our P2P rating. Continue reading for a more detailed review.

    Best 4 Omnichannel Communication Platforms

    Key Features

    Pricing

    Our P2P Rating 

    CommBox

    • Automation

    • Reporting data

    • Smart inbox

    • Smart plan is $399 p/m

    • Essential plan is $599 p/m

    • Premium plan is $999 p/m

    5/5

    Freshworks

    • Manage remote teams

    • Automation

    • Appoinment scheduling

    • Free plan available

    • Grow plan is $15

    • Pro plan is $49

    • Enterprise plan is $79

    4/5

    Acquire

    • Live chat

    • Feature customization 

    • Customer conversation tracker

    • Contact for a quote

    4/5

    Sunshine Conversations

    • Reporting data

    • Robust intergrations

    • Employee experience 

    • Contact for a quote

    3.5/5

    What is Omnichannel Communication?

    Omnichannel communication is when businesses allow customers to contact them through various channels. All these channels are unified, making it possible for customers to stay connected to your brand. Rather than restricting how customers can contact you based on what they need, omnichannel communication gives buyers ample access to your business. 

    Let me give you an example of how this may play out:

    1. A Facebook user clicks on one of your posts. This is the first time they know about your brand.
    2. The user arrives on your website, browses your offerings, and decides to ask a question through live chat. 
    3. Now, this lead visits your physical store to see the product they want and what else you may have.
    4. They speak to a shop employee, who then rings up their purchase.
    5. A few weeks later, the same customer has a query about the product they purchased and decides to phone your business.

    Each stage included a different communication channel readily available to your customer. However, in this example, the customer isn’t restricted to only going in-store after purchasing the product in person. They can use any method of communication for support. 

    Source: Servion Global Solutions

    Summary: What is Omnichannel Communication

    Omnichannel communication is a brand-to-customer communication strategy, where businesses allow buyers to contact them through multiple, integrated social channels.

    Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Communication: Key Differences

    Before we explore multichannel vs. omnichannel communication, let me explain the former. 

    Multichannel communication is when customers have multiple channels to communicate with your business. However, these channels aren’t integrated. 

    For instance, a customer who buys your product online can’t exchange it in person or vice versa.  

    Mulitchannel communication vs omnichannel communication
    Source: revechat.com

    Primary Focus

    The primary focus of an omnichannel communication strategy is the customer. Businesses use this strategy to make communication and interaction effortless for their buyers. In essence, these businesses are trying to deliver a seamless customer communication strategy that gives leads and buyers more than enough forms of communication.

    The tactic and focus for multichannel communication are significantly different. Brands using this approach try to maximize their reach and engagement by offering many (but not connected) communication channels. 

    An omnichannel strategy is channel-centric, meaning brands optimize each channel for engagement. But not experience. Whereas omnichannel marketing focuses on customer experience. 

    Customer Experience

    Because an omnichannel communication strategy focuses more on providing customers with integrated communication channels, customers have a more consistent experience. 

    Omnichannel strategies also tend to offer faster buying decision-making. And this is because if your buyers have questions or concerns, they can use various channels and receive consistent support.

    When customers interact with an omnichannel communication strategy, they experience better response times too. As your business can offer the same optimization for all communication channels, it’s easier for customers to contact you.

    customer experience stats
    Source: revechat.com

    Multichannel communication strategies often have slow response rates. These delayed responses are because there may be some unoptimized channels. Also, the channels aren’t integrated. So when customers switch communication methods, they have to start from scratch. In turn, you need more tactics for building customer relationships and giving consumers buying confidence across various, separate channels.

    As your customers lack consistent communication, brands don’t have the opportunity to persuade them as they would through omnichannel communication. And how customers experience communicating with your brand is solely based on which communication channel they interacted with you. 

    Reporting and Analytics

    From what we’ve seen so far, there are many perks to omnichannel communication. However, for reporting data and analytics, you may think twice. Because all communication channels are integrated for omnichannel strategies, so are customer data and analytics. 

    In other words, all data and analytics for customer touchpoints are unified in omnichannel communication strategies. So, it’s much more challenging to determine how well a single channel contributes to your integrated network. In a multichannel communication system, data and analytics remain separate for each channel, which makes it a lot easier to monitor and evaluate channel performance separately. 

    Fortunately, omnichannel communication platforms make evaluating data and analytics simpler. Businesses can check attribution, and each communication channel’s performance based on separate analytics. Separate analytical reporting makes refining customer touchpoints easier. 

    Popularity and Statistics 

    Omnichannel communication is popular amongst digital marketers and businesses because:

    • Customer retention rates for omnichannel vs. single communication strategies are 90% higher. Omnisend
    • 61% of customers don’t find it easy to switch between communication channels when speaking to customer support. Alvaria
    • Omnichannel communication strategies generate 80% of in-store customer visits. 16Best.net
    • 90% of customers expect consistent communication in different communication channels when interacting with a business. Business Wire
    Omnichannel communication stats
    Source: dynamicyield.com

    Now, let’s look at what marketers say about using a multichannel communication approach:

    • 11% of marketers confirm that running a multichannel strategy is daunting. Invesp
    • 45% of customers in a multichannel marketing environment report that businesses fail to provide fast responses. Realwire
    • 30% of marketers are confident in running a multichannel communication strategy.
    • Invesp
    • 50% of marketers using a multichannel strategy achieved their financial goals. Ecommerce Germany
    Mutichannel marketing stats
    Source: tradegecko.com

    Summary: Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Communication: Key Differences

    • The primary focus
    • The customer experience
    • Reporting and analytics
    • Popularity and statistics

    The Importance of Omnichannel Communication

    Improved Customer Satisfaction

    Customers in an omnichannel communication network will have consistent communication from your brand. These customers know what they can expect, and you can ensure every communication channel is efficient and effective.

    As a result, omnichannel communication strategies achieve high customer satisfaction. Your buyers won’t have to get frustrated by switching communication platforms and have the flexibility of various solutions. 

    Customer satisfication for omnichannel engagement
    Source: digitalhumans.com

    When customers interact with businesses, they want the quickest and best solution. Consumers despise working with brands that move them across communication channels, forcing them to start from square one.

    You can avoid this through omnichannel communication and provide the brand experience and customer satisfaction your buyers want. 

    Increased Retention Rates

    With consistent and available communication channels, you can retain more customers. Think about this practically:

    You sign up with WiFi network A and need help installing your WiFi. After trying their Whatsapp chat and not getting a response, you try calling them. 

    When an agent answers, you explain why you need assistance. But the agent gives you an email address for the appropriate department. Because there are so many different and separate communication channels these agents maintain, you only get a response in a few days. 

    And once you get an email response, you have to explain the issue from the start.

    If you force this frustration and impatience on your customers, you’ll lose them. But if you work with an omnichannel communication strategy, the buyer would have already been assisted when they reached out via WhatsApp chat, because all communication channels are integrated and unified. 

    Higher Customer Lifetime Value

    Because businesses can deliver a consistent and reliable customer communication strategy with omnichannel marketing, they can develop stronger buyer relationships. Buyers want to deal with brands they can trust, and omnichannel communication secures this.

    Consequently, building strong customer relationships motivates buyers to spend more money. Statistics prove omnichannel customers have 30% more lifetime value than any other communication strategy.

    And, of course, higher customer lifetime values mean more dollars in your pocket!

    Merging Digital and Offline Experiences

    Customers enjoy the convenience of online shopping. Yet, many customers still enjoy browsing products in-store after viewing them online. 

    With omnichannel communication, you can accommodate customers whether they want to buy in-person, online, or a hybrid of both.

    A detailed report by Shopify highlights how beneficial it is for brands to use omnichannel communication and combine digital and in-person shopping. 

    55% of consumers want to search for products online and purchase them in-store, while 53% are likely to see products in-store and buy them online.

    Summary: The Importance of Omnichannel Communication

    • Improved customer satisfaction
    • Reduced retention rates
    • Higher customer lifetime value
    • Merging digital and offline experiences

    Developing Omnichannel Communication Strategy in 5 Steps

    Step 1: Choose the Platforms for Your Omnichannel Strategy

    To start your omnichannel marketing strategy, pick the best platform for your business. Your omnichannel communication platform will act as one source integrating all the communication channels customers can use to contact you. 

    Consider your current communication channels, like email, live chat, WhatsApp, or Facebook, to ensure you opt for a platform that can support these channels. The more robust your omnichannel platform is, the better. Because when you scale your business, you won’t have to stress about switching omnichannel platforms. 

    Remember, this one platform houses all your customer communication efforts, so switching it isn’t ideal. To pick the best omnichannel communication platform for your brand, consider factors like:

    1. Security: There’ll be a lot of sensitive customer data your omnichannel communication platform will store, so it needs airtight security. Data breaches happen too often, and you don’t want to find yourself in that uncomfortable position. Ensure the platform you opt for encrypts and secures data, so only applicable employees can access specific data. 
    2. Scalability: As I mentioned above, avoid changing omnichannel platforms often. To combat this, choose a platform offering enough features, integrations, and functions for business flexibility and scalability. If you employ more workers or expand your customer base, your omnichannel software must have what you need to support this. 
    3. Reporting Analytics: Data and analytics from omnichannel strategies are essential as it directly reveals customer experience. Consider platforms offering intuitive reporting dashboards, weekly reports, real-time data, and in-depth analytics on customer behavior. 
    4. Ease of Use: You don’t want your omnichannel platform to have too much of a learning curve for your employees. So, use a trial or demo of the platform you’re considering and evaluate how easy it is to use. 

    Step 2: Develop and Use Consistent Branding Across All Channels

    When consumers see any of your communication channels, they need to associate them with your business. You can stay consistent in your branding and visuals to accomplish this. Ensure that:

    • All your logos on social channels are the same.
    • The logos and visuals on physical marketing material like pamphlets or loyalty cards match that of your social profiles.
    • You follow the same color palette and fonts for all social channels and physical marketing material.

    But doing this doesn’t only let customers know who your business is. It makes buyers feel comfortable. If your branding and style differ between social channels and mareketing materials, buyers won’t know you’re the same business. This confusion prevents consumers from feeling familiar with your brand. 

    Step 3: Create a Brand Voice Guide for Your Employees

    As your branding needs to be consistent in all your omnichannel communication channels, so does your brand voice. Now, this is where you’ll rely more on your employees to execute. But rather than leaving them to figure it out, brainstorm what you want your brand voice to be and create guides for your employees to understand and use this.

    However, your employees aren’t robots. You can’t expect them to use a copy and paste approach for every interaction. Determine your ideal traits for your brand voice and share this with your employees.

    Do you want your employees to sound formal, quirky, or inspiring? You can pick more than one trait if that works for you. It’s best to nail down these traits first, explain them through employee guides, and then create more employee resources to guide how they deliver your brand voice. 

    For example, you may create brand voice guides for your employees on how to:

    • Welcome/greet customers
    • Offer solutions to defuse angry customers 
    • Offer additional advice to provide more value
    • Mention sales, discounts, loyalty programs, etc. 

    Here’s a brand voice chart to put on the right track:

    Brand voice for omnichannel communication
    Source: nstpr.com

    Step 4: Build Strong Communication Lines Between Departments

    A successful omnichannel communication strategy greatly relies on effective employee communication. Without this, your omnichannel strategy will be a complete bust!

    Ensure employees in all departments know which customer queries are related to which teams and how they convey these questions. For example, a customer calls in to inquire about your loyalty program. But they reach the sales team, will they know how to resolve this query? 

    Besides building strong communication lines between departments, communicate with all your departments well. When updates or changes in procedures and processes occur, notify all your departments to ensure everyone’s on the same page.

    Step 5: Leverage Technology 

    Omnichannel communication strategies are powered by integration, making it pivotal for businesses to take advantage of as much robust technology as possible. Don’t shy away from using software that provides additional bells and whistles. Customer communication impacts how buyers interpret your brand, so deliver your best.

    If you notice gaps in your omnichannel communication platform, this is also an excellent time to integrate other technology solutions. Technology allows brands to house ample communication channels under one roof, so don’t overlook this. 

    Summary: Developing Omnichannel Communication Strategy in 5 Steps

    1. Choose an Omnichannel platform
    2. Develop and use consistent branding
    3. Create a brand voice for employees
    4. Build strong communication between departments
    5. Leverage technology

    4 Best Omnichannel Communication Platforms

    1.CommBox

    CommBox has been a specialized omnichannel communication platform for over a decade. Now, this software provides powerful omnichannel solutions for just about every social channel. You can house all communications for your sales and marketing teams using CommBox, and this platform also supports business automation. Plus, with AI and machine learning, CommBox delivers robust data and analytics for thousands of companies while optimizing your customer communication efforts.

    Commbox_omnichannel communication platform
    Source: commbox.io

    Pricing:

    • Smart plan is $399 p/m
    • Essential plan is $599 p/m
    • Premium plan is $999 p/m

    Pros:

    • It’s easy to use yet robust.
    • You can use automation for all solutions.
    • The support team is fast and responsive.

    Cons:

    • It lacks robust historical data capabilities.
    • You can’t see what automation affected client conversations.
    • Users report many technical bugs.

    Website: commbox.io

    2.Freshworks

    Freshworks is a well-known omnichannel communication platform because of its valuable features. This platform is best for businesses looking for a superb omnichannel communication platform focusing on customer service. For excellent customer service, businesses can automate customer service processes, provide support agents with a 360-degree view of customer queries and manage remote teams. You can also leverage real-time updates and appointment scheduling. 

    Freshworks
    Source: freshdesk.com

    Pricing:

    • Free plan is available
    • Growth plan is $15 p/m
    • Pro plan is $49 p/m
    • Enterprise plan is $79 p/m

    Pros:

    • An in-depth chatbot journey feature is available to track chatbot touchpoints.
    • Easy-to-implement automation is available.
    • There’s outstanding and in-depth reporting and analytics. 

    Cons:

    • It’s difficult to learn.
    • The pricing can be a bit expensive for some businesses. 
    • There are many restrictions on mobile customer communication.

    Website: freshdesk.com

    3.Acquire

    Acquire provides all the essential solutions to develop a successful omnichannel communication strategy. Businesses can create rules for their internal teams to deliver a consistent customer experience. You can use customizable live chat features too. Acquire has powerful automation features, making it possible to send queries to the right teams and flag, track and resolve conversations. With Acquire, you can communicate with customers through live chat, video chat, phone calls, and emails. 

    Acquire _omnichannel communication strategy
    Source: acquire.io

    Pricing:

    • Contact Acquire for a custom quote.

    Pros:

    • There are ample personalization possibilities. 
    • You can easily import graphics and images.
    • The support team is quick and helpful. 

    Cons:

    • The prices are expensive.
    • It’s difficult to integrate third-party apps and APIs.
    • There are some technical bugs. 

    Website: acquire.io

    4.Sunshine Conversations

    Sunshine Conversations, formerly Smooch, is a product of Zendesk’s CRM platform. This software provides specialized solutions for efficient and effective client communications. You can integrate this platform into your current business software and add custom APIs, sales bots, and similar apps. And because Sunshine Conversations is a product of Zendesk, businesses can rely on in-depth and accurate tracking alongside results-driven solutions. 

    Sunshine Conversation
    Source: zendesk.com

    Pricing:

    • Contact Sunshine Conversations for a custom quote.

    Pros:

    • It’s easy to integrate third-party software.
    • There are many customization capabilities.
    • The analytics and reporting data are accurate and intuitive. 

    Cons:

    • Some businesses may feel it lacks sufficient features.
    • Many businesses pay for features they don’t find handy. 

    Website: zendesk.com/platform/conversations/

    Conclusion

    Omnichannel communication is the best customer communication approach for consistent customer experience. This communication strategy makes it convenient and effortless for buyers to stay connected with your brand. Because businesses make themselves so available, they experience lower retention rates and higher customer lifetime values with omnichannel communication marketing.

    The best way to build an omnichannel communication strategy is to find the best platform for your business, use consistent branding for all social channels and create a brand voice guide for employees. You should also develop strong communication lines between your employees and your business, and embrace top-tier technology to enhance your strategy.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is omnichannel communication?

    Omnichannel communication is an customer communication approach brands use, allowing customers to interact with them through multiple integrated channels. This communication strategy makes contacting businesses, resolving queries and gaining buyer confidence easier for consumers. Read this full article for more on how omnichannel communication works and how it can benefit your brand.

    What is the difference between multichannel vs. omnichannel communication?

    The difference between omnichannel and mutlichannel communication strategies is that omnichannel communication focuses on optimizing customer experience while a mutlichannel approach is about optimizing each communication channel's reach. Read this article for more differences on omnichannel vs. multichannel communication.

    What are the best omnichannel platforms to use in 2022?

    The top omnichannel platforms in 2022 include Freshdesk, Sunshine Conversations, Acquire and CommBox. Read this full article to find out the pros, cons and pricing of these omnichannel communication platforms, and why you should use omnichannel communication for your business.

    References

     

    16Best.net: 25+ Omnichannel Statistics In 2022

    Businesswire: Ninety Percent of Holiday Shoppers Expect Consistent Brand Experiences Across Channels and Devices According to SDL Survey

    Ecommerce Germany: 29 Multichannel Marketing Statistics To Know in 2020

    Invesp: The Importance of Multichannel Marketing – Statistics and Trends [Infographic]

    Omnisend: What we can learn from omnichannel statistics for 2022

    RealWire: Periscope™ Research Shows Retailers Know They Are Not Delivering Omnichannel Experiences Fast Enough

    Shopify: 53 Data-Backed Retail Statistics Shaping Retail in 2022 and Beyond

    Wigzo: Top 4 Actionable Omnichannel Statistics For 2021 You Should Care For!