What are multichannel communications?
Multichannel communications refer to receiving communications via multiple communication platforms. A business offering multichannel communication provides choices for both the business and the end user.
Multichannel communications provide businesses with the tools to reach their end users more easily than ever before. Allowing a user to choose their communication channel lets them choose the channel they favour the most. For some this might be email. For some, an SMS message is the best way to reach them. And for those who still like to receive a letter in the post, then print and mail is the communication channel of choice for them.
Overall, multichannel communications allow businesses to show they are putting their users’ choices first. A choice which will help their user engagement.
Why are multichannel communications important to consider?
Considering multichannel communications means reaching users in the most efficient and effective way. No longer is it enough to reach users by post, phone or even email. Users are increasing their digital use and are spending less time on traditional channels.
The average UK user increased the number of communication channels they used by 5.9¹ during the COVID-19 pandemic. The UK also saw three times² more customers use multiple communication channels to communicate with businesses. The use of phone calls decreased whereas the use of messenger apps, social media, webchat, SMS increased. Such statistics reveal how multichannel communication is the quickest and most efficient way to reach all users.
Multichannel communications also provide the accessible tools to reach all customers. For example, using postal communications for the non-digital users, to providing digital accessible channels to communicate with all diversities and inclusions.
How should businesses use multichannel communications?
A business has the choice to decide their communication channels. This may depend on the business’ favoured channel or the most user-engaged channel.
Regardless of the channel of choice, a business can utilise multiple channels and back-up channels when relevant. For example, a user may choose email as their channel of choice. A business can implement a back-up rule so that the user receives a postal communication if the original email bounces, lands in spam or isn’t read by a defined number of days. The back-up rules provide businesses with a higher probability that their communications have been seen.
But how does it all work?
Multichannel communications may sound complicated compared to how a business currently distributes communications. Creating letters, printing and mailing them may seem simple, but multichannel communication can make the whole process easier and more cost effective.
Once you have a multichannel system set-up, the process is simple:
- Create your communication’s template, just as you would for any letter or user communication. This could be a word document, payslip template or invoice.
- Create your data file with your user’s details. For example, an employee’s contact details, their monthly pay and tax details. Rather than adding this information to each payslip you add the details to one data file.
- Send your data and template via a secure connection to your multichannel communication provider.
- Your provider will audit and validate your data and flag any discrepancies.
- You define your communication channel of choice and any back-up communication rules.
- Your multichannel communication provider applies your data to your communication’s template and distributes your communications for you. This could be by print and post, email, SMS, app or even your own multichannel communication portal.
- You receive an automatic distribution report with details on open rates, read rates and if any back-up communications have been sent.
Sound simple enough?
What are the benefits?
Multichannel communications provide benefits for both your business and your users. From simpler business communication processes, greater communication visibility and an improved customer experience.
The benefits are endless, but we have put together five simple and smart benefits to get you started.