Omnichannel Customer Experience: The Complete Guide

March 1, 2024 7 min read

Ken McMahon

Ken McMahon


Your customers are making purchases from anywhere. If you can’t follow them across different channels and keep the conversation going from where it left off, they are missing out on a full omnichannel customer experience (CX).

An omnichannel customer experience bridges customer touchpoints across all communication channels for a cohesive feel. Customer touchpoints today extend far beyond traditional channels like phone calls.

As businesses evolve to embrace omnichannel, they should understand and optimize their customer experience strategy accordingly. In this guide, we’ll explore the benefits of omnichannel CX, touch on how to improve yours, and look at successful examples of omnichannel businesses.

Let’s dig in.

What Is Omnichannel Customer Experience?

An omnichannel customer experience is an approach to CX where businesses create seamless customer journeys by integrating communications across all their channels. Unlike traditional approaches that operate in silos, the omnichannel experience ensures that all channels are interconnected and consistent.

Comparing omnichannel vs multichannel call centers side-by-side.

The goal is to provide customers with a consistent experience across multiple touchpoints like online chatbots, mobile apps, text messaging, social media, and more. You can measure customer experience in an omnichannel environment encompassing multiple touchpoints in one centralized dashboard.

In an omnichannel CX strategy, the emphasis is on breaking down barriers between different channels for a consistent customer experience. This allows customers to transition between their chosen channels without losing momentum in their journey. Therefore, your support team doesn’t need to conduct extra behind-the-scenes research to keep up with an inquiry.

For instance, if your customer originally contacts you to ask about pricing via phone call but needs to leave or gets disconnected, they can contact you again via email or chat to resume their support conversation. This creates a cohesive support experience and reduces customer effort, a key customer service metric that affects customer satisfaction.

Omnichannel vs. multichannel CX

The difference between omnichannel and multichannel CX is that omnichannel CX integrates communication seamlessly across channels, both digital and in-person. Multichannel segments channels and the customer information within them. Omnichannel and multichannel contact centers differ in their integration with other organizational teams.

This means that business communication channels in an omnichannel environment offer customers a more continuous and connected user experience. All channels share data access so the customer journey moves forward without retracing any steps.

Multichannel call centers engage with customers across several different channels. Those channels function in isolation and cater to specific aspects of the customer journey, like a chatbot that offers more information when a customer visits a product page.

The challenge with multichannel CX is that it doesn’t ensure consistency across different channels. Customer data gets compartmentalized, and transitioning between channels might not be seamless.

Think of it this way: You engage a lead via email, and they click a link to demo your product. Afterward, they visit your website for details and connect with a chatbot, which passes them to a sales support agent. After completing the purchase, the customer calls technical support for help setting up.

Independently, this multichannel setup offers fragmented, brand-focused communication. But when integrated, these channels become a unified omnichannel environment that centers the customer. Omnichannel helps agents provide more personalized recommendations thanks to data gathered from different interactions.

Omnichannel use cases

Consider these use cases showing seamless experiences as customers move through their omnichannel journeys.

An omnichannel strategy helps customers seamlessly transition from channel to channel without losing the context of their interaction. While some customers will likely stay within one or two channels, omnichannel CX offers a chance to capture additional business from customers who are more on the go.

The call center solution teams love.

Sales and support teams use Nextiva to deliver a better customer experience.

Benefits of Omnichannel Customer Experience

When it comes to customer communication, it’s better to be more connected. An intelligent customer experience with omnichannel puts your customers first and allows them to connect with you however is easiest for them.

The business benefits of an omnichannel customer experience.

Increase customer loyalty

An omnichannel approach can foster stronger connections with your loyal customers. When businesses consistently meet customer service goals and expectations and limit pain points across channels, it builds trust and encourages repeat customer engagements.

Reduce churn by being helpful at the moment of need — from live chat, social media, text messaging, or simply an easily found toll-free phone number. 

Boost sales and revenue

We established that better case handling results in higher trust and customer retention, but there’s a bigger plus. Just a 5% boost in retention can send your profits soaring by up to 95%.

A smoother transition between channels means you can capture more sales opportunities. Customers who engage with a brand through multiple channels will likely spend more. An omnichannel strategy maximizes the chances of conversion as you can entice customers across several touchpoints.

Collect valuable insights

Omnichannel integration provides a holistic view of customer interactions. These interactions create a wealth of customer data you can gather, analyze, and use for reporting and forecasting.

A data-driven approach enables a better understanding of customer behavior, preferences, and trends. These can help inform your strategic decision-making to support customer satisfaction.

How to Improve Omnichannel Customer Experience

You may already have an omnichannel strategy or want to know how to set it up successfully. Here’s how to get up and running at full speed.

1. Map the comprehensive customer journey

To map your customer journey, start by documenting every touchpoint your customers have with your business, from initial awareness to post-purchase interactions. Use automations from customer experience technology to collect data on customer interactions, feedback, and preferences to give you behavioral insights at different stages of their journey.

Collaborate with cross-functional teams, including marketing, sales, customer service, and product development, to gather perspectives that help further shape CX. These teams all interpret customer data differently, so diverse expertise is beneficial to comprehensively understand your customer journey map.

2. Use integrated customer data management

By consolidating customer information from different touch points into a centralized system, individual customer journeys become easier for businesses to understand. A unified communications as a service (UCaaS) platform bridges these gaps so agents have the information they need at their fingertips.

UCaaS versus CCaaS. Which one to choose

For instance, when a customer engages with a brand through social media, makes online purchases, and seeks customer support via a mobile app, integrated data management ensures that relevant information is seamlessly shared across these digital channels. This empowers businesses to better personalize offerings and recommendations and enables efficient issue resolution as support teams have access to the customer’s full history and context.

Moreover, integrated customer data management facilitates real-time insights, enabling businesses to respond promptly to customer needs. For example, this might be a customer who receives targeted social media ads after browsing products on a website.

3. Train and empower your agents to collaborate

With training, agents can better understand the entire customer journey, even with touchpoints outside their specific roles. This enables agents in an omnichannel contact center to offer more informed and holistic support, addressing customer inquiries with context about previous interactions in different channels.

Empowering agents to collaborate also fosters connection within your organization, enabling information to flow seamlessly across departments. For instance, a customer service agent who identifies a recurring issue can collaborate with the product development team to address the root cause, preventing future occurrences and improving overall CX.

Omnichannel in Action: Helping Small Businesses Scale

Omnichannel isn’t just for the big dogs. Small business solutions that are effective and affordable help smaller brands compete with larger ones.

Canopy Technology is a financial tech company founded to offer students safe lending experiences. To better serve its busy customers, it needed a contact center solution that could open new communication pathways.

Canopy needed help triaging, documenting, and progressing complex customer cases.

“This tool allows us to create our own outreach and servicing strategies where we can meet our clients in their channel of choice, exactly the aspiration of most legacy loan servicers and banks.”

~ Tom Greco, Head of client success and accounts at Canopy

Omnichannel call center technology helped Canopy expand its customer service capabilities and challenge the CX of much larger financial institutions, all without breaking the bank.

Give Your Customers the Omnichannel Experience They Want

With omnichannel, businesses are better able to manage the customer experience through valuable customer insights. An omnichannel customer experience gives you a unified view of customer interactions so you can deliver more personalized, relevant, and timely experiences.

Adopting an omnichannel approach can easily enhance customer satisfaction, loyalty, and overall engagement while improving your overall customer experience.

The call center solution teams love.

Sales and support teams use Nextiva to deliver a better customer experience.

Ken McMahon


Ken McMahon

Ken McMahon leads Customer Success for Nextiva. His 25 years of experience leading various aspects of the customer experience including professional services, customer success, customer care, national operations, and sales. Before Nextiva, he held senior leadership roles with TPx, Vonage, and CenturyLink. He lives in Phoenix with his wife and two children.

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