Omnichannel Customer Service Benefits & Best Practices

March 20, 2024 10 min read

Alex Doan

Alex Doan


Imagine trying to navigate a busy highway that’s down to one lane during rush hour for no apparent reason. Frustrating, right? That’s what it feels like for customers when they lack options to connect with your business for support.

Support needs to be convenient for customers, who may start their inquiry on social media, continue via email, and finish with a phone call — the context and information should flow seamlessly among touchpoints until they receive a resolution.

A five-lane highway — that’s omnichannel customer service. 

Today’s digital-savvy customers expect this connected, personalized experience, prompting McKinsey researchers to call it “a requirement for [business] survival.” Let’s explore what omnichannel customer service is, learn how it benefits your customers and your business, and review the best practices to implement this strategy.

Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Customer Service

First, let’s clear up a common misconception of multichannel vs. omnichannel contact centers

omnichannel vs multichannel

Multichannel customer service means offering support through multiple channels (phone, email, social media, etc.). However, multichannel support falls short when it comes to cohesion, context, and synchronization. These channels operate independently, like parallel roads that never intersect.

What Is Omnichannel Customer Service?

Omnichannel customer service creates a unified and integrated customer journey, where every interaction, regardless of the chosen device or communication channel, feels like a seamless continuation of the previous one. 

In an omnichannel environment, a support agent can access every in-person and digital interaction customers have with your business. In-store purchases sync with emails, WhatsApp messages, transcripts from prior phone calls, and more. This seamless integration across multiple channels is the cornerstone of omnichannel customer service. 


Seamless experience across multiple channels

Gone are the days of siloed support experiences where phone calls were on one track, emails were on another, and social media interactions felt like shouting into the void. Customers crave cohesive, seamless service that transcends individual channels and caters to their specific journeys.

Omnichannel customer service delivers on your customers’ expectations by unifying multichannel support experiences into a single, interconnected ecosystem.

Customer sentiment survey

Whether your customers reach you by phone at your call center, through email, or via an SMS or social media message, they’ll have a consistent support experience. They can also easily switch between service channels without starting over or losing context. 

Integrated data and context

Omnichannel tools track and connect customer data, giving agents a holistic view of each customer and their history. Having a complete picture of past inquiries and preferences means they can address customers where they are in their journey, avoid making customers repeat information, and fast-track resolutions.

Personalized service

Unified customer history empowers agents to provide personalized and context-aware support. 

With a complete, readily available picture of each customer, they can:

Focus on customer journey

Building stronger, deeper connections with customers starts by understanding the customer journey. Omnichannel helps optimize support experiences at each touchpoint, viewing every interaction as part of the larger journey with your business.


It places the right support channels at the right touchpoints, ensuring customers can reach you where and how they need or prefer for smoother, more satisfying experiences. 

Benefits of Omnichannel for Your Customers

Your customers aren’t a collection of isolated help tickets — they’re your business’s lifeline. An omnichannel strategy empowers you to take better care of them, prove your customer-first commitment, and deliver the service they expect.


Failing to meet customers where it’s most convenient for them will increase churn. 

Give them the flexibility to reach your support team on their preferred channel — whether it’s a quick text message, a detailed email, or an Instagram shoutout — to best suit their needs and situation. Make it easy to find these options, and you’ll start every inquiry on the right foot.


No one likes waiting on hold, getting the call-transfer runaround, or repeating the same information to different agents. 

Omnichannel streamlines all communication to eliminate these dreaded pitfalls of customer support. Since reps have access to all relevant user data, customers get the help they need faster and with less hassle. 

Issues are resolved quickly, accurately, and efficiently, saving customers valuable time and reducing frustration.


Top organizations are ditching generic customer service and investing in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and advanced customer data analytics. Leveraging this tech helps teams better predict, anticipate, and meet consumer needs for personalized experiences.

In an omnichannel ecosystem, agents provide support tailored to each customer. They know everything from their past interactions and purchase history to their goals, interests, and sentiments.

Nextiva call center

Customers feel more valued, seen, heard, and understood when they feel brands care about helping them rather than resolving another ticket. 


Nearly 85% of consumers are frustrated when agents don’t have the right information. In a multichannel system, a customer may make first contact via email and follow up with a call. But, if the second agent has no idea what transpired during the initial inquiry, the customer loses trust in the company’s ability to handle their concerns effectively.

Omnichannel rewrites the script here. It offers a fully transparent ecosystem where customer interactions are recorded and synced across different channels. Agents can track the progress of the resolution from start to finish, boosting customer confidence and trust.

Increased satisfaction

Convenient, efficient, transparent, personalized support helps customers feel understood, appreciated, and cared for. So it’s no wonder McKinsey researchers say the more digital the customer service journey, the higher the customer satisfaction scores:

Screenshot from McKinsey showing traditional vs digital customer service journey

Benefits of Omnichannel Customer Service for Your Business

It’s not just your customers who win with omnichannel. Implementing omnichannel customer service is an investment that positively impacts your business’s bottom line.

Improved customer loyalty

Aberdeen Group research shows that companies adopting an omnichannel strategy achieve a 91% increase in customer retention year over year. Omnichannel helps your customer service team:

Increased sales

Happy customers correlate with higher conversion rates, improved customer lifetime value scores, and more word-of-mouth referrals. According to the latest research:

Greater agent productivity

McKinsey research highlights that organizations with omnichannel customer service strategies reduce call volumes and operating expenses by up to 30%.

When customer service agents have the right tools, unified customer data, and context at their fingertips, they resolve issues more quickly and efficiently, resulting in shorter response times, increased inquiry capacity, and skyrocketing agent productivity.

Plus, empowering support teams with all the intel they need to do their jobs effectively frees them up to resolve complex issues and improves their agent experience scores. 

Improved brand reputation

Over 70% of consumers will tell six or more people about a positive CX, and 60% of consumers have purchased from a brand based on the service they expect to receive, proving the value of a reputation built on stellar customer service experiences. 

Your team can leverage omnichannel customer service to solidify your brand’s reputation, elevate your brand image, boost your NPS, and demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction. 

👉 Check out these actionable strategies to deliver 5-star customer experiences

Data-driven insights

Omnichannel platforms connect the dots between interactions throughout the entire customer lifecycle. These platforms collect and provide valuable data and insights into your customer’s behavior, preferences, and sentiments.

Your business can leverage this intel to:

Best Practices for Adopting Omnichannel Customer Service

Follow these steps to ensure a smooth, successful transition to an omnichannel customer service strategy:

1. Understand your customer journey

Map out the different touchpoints your customers have with your brand, from awareness to purchase to post-sale support

More than half of customers engage with three to five channels. Try to visualize different journeys and anticipate where you can offer support to improve customer experience management

Identify which channels they prefer for different stages of their journey.

Analyze website, email, and mobile app analytics to see which inquiries drive traffic to your specific support channels. For an e-commerce brand, that might look like a self-service FAQ for shipping timeframes, a chatbot to answer sizing questions, etc. 

Analyze current pain points and frustrations in the user experience

Browsing history or shopping carts not syncing between mobile devices? Long call waiting times? Check customer service data and gather feedback via surveys and social media mentions to identify recurring issues and frustrations at each touchpoint.

2. Focus on consistency and context

Ensure clear and consistent brand messaging across all channels

Maintain your brand’s voice, language, tone, emoji usage, and design elements to foster brand recognition and trust across channels. You don’t want your customers to feel like they’re interacting with an outsourced contact center.

Train agents to access and leverage customer history, relevant details, and context across channels

Your agents should know how to access this intel in real time, regardless of the interaction point or channel.

Implement a centralized knowledge base accessible to both agents and customers

Create comprehensive and searchable self-service options — FAQs, tutorials, troubleshooting guides, etc. — for customers. Add workflows for agents to quickly reference during calls to maintain consistent CX.

3. Start small and prioritize 

Begin by offering customer service on two to three major channels based on usage and preference.

Don’t try to conquer every channel at once — you’ll wind up with a lack of focus, slow progress, and enormous expenses. Prioritize channels with the highest engagement and the ones typically used first.

Consider live chat or social media for quick inquiries, email for complex issues, and phone calls or texts for personalized support

Live chat and social media offer real-time interactions for quick questions and troubleshooting. Email allows for detailed communication and file attachments. Calls provide a personalized, human touch that is valuable for upselling and in-depth discussions.

Gradually expand channels based on success and feedback

Focus implementation and resource allocation on channels that demonstrate value early on. Encourage customers to leave feedback about their preferred channels after each interaction. Set up listening tools in your social media management platform to monitor new channels gaining traction. 

4. Explore new technology 

Explore affordable CX platforms for customer service that scale well with your business needs

Prioritize customer service software that integrates with your cloud-based contact center and CRM, uses automation and AI-powered intelligent routing, unifies and integrates customer data, gathers feedback and customer sentiments, offers easy-to-read reporting tools, and monitors for key issues before they escalate. Compare pricing structures and features relevant to your growth goals.

Different types of call routing

Implement an internal communication platform for seamless agent collaboration

Keep all your customer service agents on the same page, even as they work from home. Look for platforms that allow teams to thread customer conversations in a single view, add notes to contact profiles (with auto-transcription or AI-created summaries), and notify agents of important updates. These will enable reps to share intel, pool knowledge, ask questions, improve customer interactions, and support each other.

5. Emphasize employee training

Train agents to use various channels and tools effectively

Your agents are the heart of your customer service efforts. Train them on each new digital channel, tool, and communication strategy involved in your omnichannel approach. Coach them on each channel’s functionalities, best practices, etiquette, and troubleshooting techniques to guarantee they feel comfortable and confident. 

Equip them with cross-channel communication skills

Teach them the nuances of communicating via different channels so they can tailor their approach while maintaining a consistent brand voice. For example, they can use approved emojis via chat and write complete sentences (with spell check!) when responding to emails.

Encourage empathy, active listening, and personalized problem-solving

To leave customers feeling heard and appreciated, agents should build rapport, demonstrate genuine concern, listen quietly and attentively, summarize and repeat customer inquiries, and respond with compassion. When they understand the customer’s needs, they should deploy creative problem-solving skills to identify the root cause of the issue and collaborate with customers to explore various resolutions.


6. Measure and iterate

Track key metrics like customer satisfaction, average resolution time, and individual channel usage

Less than 40% of companies track KPIs related to CX on mobile channels, and only half do so for online interactions. But these provide actionable insights into the effectiveness of your agents and omnichannel strategy.

Analyze feedback from customers and agents to identify areas for improvement

Omnichannel CX is an ongoing journey, not a destination. Customer feedback reveals areas or channels falling short of your goals. Agent feedback highlights challenges they face and areas where additional training, tools, or resources are needed. The best CX software automates feedback collection via surveys, reviews, and ratings to simplify this task. 

Customer feedback

Continually refine your omnichannel strategy based on data, feedback, and evolving customer needs

You may need to add or remove channels, implement new technologies, adjust agent training programs and resource allocation, and optimize workflows to serve your customers better.

So, Is Omnichannel Right for You?

Omnichannel customer support offers numerous benefits for your customers and business, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. The specific channels and features you offer will depend on your unique business and customer base.

Whether you’re a business with high call volume looking to integrate several channels under a single platform or you’re simply striving to elevate your customer service experiences, you can count on Nextiva’s solutions to deliver satisfying journeys for your customers, regardless of the road they choose to travel. 

Surprise and delight customers.

Turn good customer experience into exceptional customer experience with Nextiva.

Alex Doan


Alex Doan

Alex Doan is an experienced senior marketing professional specializing in propelling growth for both B2B and B2C companies. Proficient in streamlining marketing operations for seamless sales transitions, utilizing analytics and consumer insights to achieve measurable outcomes. Committed to enhancing lead and customer experiences through effective journey mapping.

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