Unified, Multichannel & Omnichannel Messaging: Messaging Jargons Simplified

multichannel messaging

Messaging isn’t about you. It’s about your buyers.

It’s a new way of communicating with consumers because it’s focused on the way buyers want to do business and not your company’s goals.

In an increasingly digital and mobile-first world, businesses are having to compete to keep consumers engaged with their brand. 

And adopting messaging is the fastest way to turn buyers into loyal customers of your business.

But as you embark on the journey of going all-in with messaging and making your business conversational the differing terminology you come across can leave you thinking it’s more complicated than it really is. 

Once you cut through the jargon it’s easy to see that messaging defined simply is just communicating with buyers on the channels they use on a daily basis. 

Straightforward right?

So what do terms like Unified messaging and omnichannel vs multichannel messaging really mean? 

Unified messaging

Unified messaging (also referred to as unified messaging systems by technology providers) refers to the handling of all your customer communications, across the different channels you offer (such as email, WhatsApp, Live Chat and SMS) in a single inbox.

So whether a customer messages you via WhatsApp or drops you an email your team can see and respond from one system provided you’re using a unified messaging platform.

Gone are the days of having to log into different tools for different channels.

Multichannel messaging 

Today’s consumers are not only spoilt for choice when it comes to business to buy from but also when it comes to messaging channels. 

A quick look at the app store on your mobile device can give you a snapshot of the vast messaging channels that people have at their disposal. 

From WhatsApp to Facebook, Messenger, Google Business Messages and Apple Business Chat, consumers today are having conversations across a wide range of apps and not being accessible on those apps can damage a business’ market share.

Multichannel messaging in layman’s terms refers to extending your businesses reach across different communication channels and devices and in turn providing customers with the ability to engage with your business over the medium of their choice. (Phone, SMS, Email, Live Chat, WhatsApp, etc). 


Omnichannel messaging

We as people are not single-channel users. Just think of the last conversation you had with a friend or relative. We might start off by talking to them via WhatsApp during the day and then pick up the phone to continue that conversation later in the evening. 

We didn’t have to restate everything we mentioned in the WhatsApp conversation and we certainly didn’t have to reintroduce ourselves. Today’s customers expect the same experience when communicating with brands.

Omnichannel messaging refers to just that. 

Combining the accessibility of multiple channels with the uniformity of conversations to deliver 2-way contextual conversations that are no different to the way we’d speak to our loved ones. 


Why having only one messaging channel won’t cut it anymore

More touchpoints = more revenue opportunities. 

As commerce becomes more conversational, delivering more conversational experiences with buyers in ways that suit them give your business more opportunities to sell, cross-sell and upsell while delivering a buying experience more in line with what consumers expect.


Going omnichannel with an open messaging platform

So now that we’ve got our heads around the messaging jargon flown around the web you’re probably wondering “what’s next? And how do I get started?”

Well the first point of action will be finding the right messaging platform to execute on delivering the conversational experience your consumers want. 

A platform that allows you to be everywhere your customers from one single dashboard.

A platform that allows you to let customers message you on WhatsApp and SMS as well as the traditional channels of Phone and Email. 

All without losing context from previous conversations. 

A platform like ChatShipper 😉

Give it a try today without any costs or commitment and see how going all-in with messaging can delight your customers. 


MEC Index: Our metric for measuring messaging success in today’s consumer world

Over the years, the way customers want to communicate with business has changed. Customers are ditching phone and email to contact your brand via social, WhatsApp and messaging apps.

And don’t just take our words for it.

A recent survey of consumers found that over 78% preferred messaging businesses they buy from over contacting them via phone or email.

Messaging is more efficient than phone calls

Messaging as a channel is more time-efficient (for both you and the customer) and therefore cheaper than phone and email.

In other words, the more messaging the better (excuse the bias 😅).

While teams have used typical metrics like marketing-qualified leads (MQLs), customer satisfaction rating (CSAT) and Net Promoter Score (NPS) for years, no metric accurately measured how businesses are engaging with customers.

And that’s why we created the Messaging Engaged Contacts index (MECs), a new perspective on customer communication & experience.

It’s how we categories customers that get this kind of experience →

In a nutshell, MECs are people that have had meaningful conversations with your business, either with a human or chatbot, via a real-time, one-to-one messaging channel.

Why should you care about MECs?

Conversations are the most powerful tool your business has.

In a world where buyers expect to be able to connect with businesses instantly, webforms, phone lines with painfully long IVRs and email addresses with 24 hour response times won’t cut it anymore.

With MECs, put conversations back at the heart of your business.

And instead of forcing customers down channels they don’t want to use, you can engage your customers on the platforms they use in their everyday lives and deliver exceptional experiences.

7 out of 10 customers would rather chat with your business on WhatsApp (or any messaging app) than make a voice call.

How to measure and grow MECs with ChatShipper

Start off by working out the total number of people your business interactions with in a given month.

How do you calculate this?

Well that’s going to be different for every business of course.

If you’re a healthcare provider then it’d be the number of patients treated in a given time frame.

For car dealerships it’d be the total number of service appointments + the total number of sales leads

For an e-commerce store it’d be the total number of purchases.

And so on. You get the picture.

The number you arrive at is your MEC potential.

Compare that with the number of people you currently engage via your messaging channels and you can quickly see how your current customer communication experience stacks up against what customers actually want.

Customer experience is the new battleground in your industry

Customers now have more information and choice than ever before.