Multi-channel tactics are to customer care what green screen terminals are to personal computing. Multi-channel is full of siloed approaches, disparate decisions about what you think the customer may want, and provide very limited options for your customer to move between the channels you think they may want.
For a long time, customer engagement channels - such as voice, ecommerce, mobile and social - have been viewed as separate and distinct customer interactions. However successful customer engagement occurs when these channels are seamlessly blended and put into context. Like today's upgraded mobile smart devices, we can talk, text, email, chat, send pictures, network with friends online, tweet at any moment, become the mayor of the local coffee house or just play, read a book, watch ESPN and relax to our favorite tunes.
The point is, it is the customer's choice, and these channels represent opportunities at specific moments of truth to build loyalty. The key to bridging the gap from multiple individual and distinct channels is shifting from a multi-channel to an omnichannel perspective.
The traditional multi-channel strategy is one of control and offering non-integrated options. The omnichannel perspective is a release of control to the customer, who already has the reins anyway, allowing them to choose their channel of choice. Omnichannel embraces the voice of the customer that says "never, ever, ever do I want to be forced involuntarily from my chosen channel of interaction."
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