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Multi-Channel vs Cross-Channel

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I was recently asked the difference between multi-channel and cross-channel customer interaction.  Multi-Channel typically means you provide multiple channels for customer interaction (Web, Email, Store front, mobile, SMS, Call Center…) typically in a silo environment, most often because companies keep adding channels to address additive customer interaction needs.  Cross-Channel means each of these channels now cross one another from a user experience and intelligence perspective to create a uniform “Cross Channel” experience, regardless of channel type.

For example, a Cross-Channel strategy should provide customers to get the same experience on my website as they would if they called the call center, and that call center agent would know they were just recently in a store, on my site, sent an email to support last month and what products they have simultaneous to answer.  This allows intelligent routing, premonition treatment and customer intelligence for a great customer experience.

The odds of a poor experience resulting in a Multi-Channel topology are much greater, you usually have multi interrogation, un-uniform frustration and a “left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing” feeling, yuck 🙂

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