What Is Omnichannel, Anyway?

Omnichannel is more than a buzzword. It represents a shift in the way we companies engage customers. Learn why more and more brands are adopting it.


Jana Barrett

September 5, 2018

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These days, people engage with brands through a number of different avenues, especially digital channels like social media, emails, and live chat. And in order for brands to grow and build meaningful relationships with their customers in today’s industry, they need to be available on these various channels by adopting an omnichannel approach.

What is the omnichannel approach?

More than just a recent buzzword, omnichannel represents a shift in the way brands engage with their customers. Taken from the Latin prefix omni-, which means all or every kind, the term refers to a company’s ability to maintain a active presence on multiple channels.

However, omnichannel is more than just being available across platforms, which we’ll get into later. It’s also about optimizing the customer experience at every touchpoint.

The philosophy behind it is simple: By creating an all-inclusive approach to customer engagement, brands remove barriers between customers and themselves.

As a result, they’re capable of using different communication mediums to connect with their target audience. This way customers can move their conversations from emails, to social media, live chat, and telephone calls without restarting their customer journeys from scratch.

What does omnichannel really mean?

Successful brands are always looking at creative, new ways to engage with their customers. One of these methods was the multichannel approach, which helped create seamless customer touchpoints that connected with customers on their preferred channel.

The omnichannel philosophy took this approach and improved it by creating a more customer-centric way of communicating. Multichannel focused on creating more platforms for communication, but omnichannel optimized the approach by linking it to customer service.

Here are some important benefits of the omnichannel approach:

  • It enables businesses to engage in real-time conversations across platforms. Multichannel simply allows for open conversations on various channels.

  • It maximizes efficiency. Customers can resume communication at any point without having to repeat important information.

  • Every touchpoint guides the customer forward. Customers can switch from one communication channel to another without restarting the entire conversation. This means that a conversation can begin over email and end with live chat, without having to repeat any previous steps in the customer service process.

The ultimate goal of the omnichannel approach is to optimize customer experience with the brand by making touchpoints run more smoothly and seamlessly.

How omnichannel feedback fuels better customer experience

The key to running a successful company is understanding the needs and expectations of your customers. Omnichannel feedback makes it easier for brands to listen to the voice of the customer by allowing them to give feedback across multiple platforms. As a result, companies can reach more customers and strengthen their following by opening up more channels to communicate with the customer.

A good example is the Starbucks rewards program. Customers can access all their account features through the Starbucks website, mobile app, and in-store. Regardless of the channel, they get the same quality of service and capabilities, and their account updates are reflected everywhere. So as a busy customer walks into a Starbucks location, they can place an order on their phone to skip the line.

Omnichannel feedback also enables communication across platforms. The data brands collect at various touchpoints can help them understand their customers’ unique needs, expectations, and problems.


The omnichannel approach to feedback and customer engagement understands that having one or two avenues of communication isn’t an effective strategy. Today, you need more.

Adopting an omnichannel approach makes it easier for your brand to strengthen its customer experience and drive engagement across your business.

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