How to Nail Multi-Channel Customer Support

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Your customers need help in different ways. Here’s how to give it to them.

My brother and I agree on most things, but one that we just never do is customer service. For me, picking up the phone and talking to a person is the easiest way to get something done. It’s fast (once they pick up) and you can usually take care of something in one go. He, on the other hand, hates talking on the phone and will always choose to send an email or live chat instead. If they only list a phone number; well he often goes looking elsewhere. He thinks it’s easier and faster, while to me it usually seems to be drawn out and more of a hassle.

Everyone has personal preferences when it comes to customer service, and being prepared for that is what makes you stand out as a good company. Multi-channel customer support means offering ways to reach you quickly in whatever medium your customer prefers to use. You can use a few different services with your Shopify account to become reachable in multiple ways - including email, live chat, phone, and social platforms. Using a platform that lets you do it all in one go makes your business more efficient and improves your overall customer service. You can find out more about providing good customer service here.

What kind of “multi” are we talking about?

The first thing to ask is what channels you can offer -- email, live chat, phone, social media etc. Although the first instinct may be to just use every channel available, think about what your customers are actually using.

Email is still one of the most effective business communication platforms. Make sure you’re reachable by email at a company-branded address.

Phone is still very common and lets your customers (who prefer to call, like me) talk with a real person who can quickly understand the issue and respond.

Live Chat is not just for people still stuck on MSN Messenger. Putting live chat capabilities on your website can be a great way to boost sales and solve common customer issues quickly. Find out more about using live chat with Shopify here.

Social media is now a really important way of reaching you - and customers definitely notice if you don’t respond to their complaints on social media. It’s quite common practice for unhappy customers to use Facebook or Twitter to publicly voice their complaints, which puts extra pressure on you as a business to deal with them effectively and quickly. 88% of social media users in one report said that they don’t buy from companies that have unanswered complaints on their social media pages. By offering the ability to chat with your customer service team straight through Facebook or Twitter, you can avoid naming-and-shaming to an extent.

Self-service portals are those “what can we help you with” pages that let customers look for frequently asked questions and find answers that you’ve already written. It’s usually a good starting place for customers, and if they really don’t find an answer, then they’ll call or write in.

Streamline your services

If you have all of your customer service issues coming in from every which way, keeping track of customer issues can be messy. Any service you use to offer multi-channel support should make it really easy for you to see who’s voicing an issue and anything they’ve done before. If you use a CRM like salesforce, you should be able to integrate it completely, so you can see more about who is using your services and has an issue.

Most people with an issue will try one way to reach you and then another later on - are you able to keep track of all of the ways your customers are dealing with your company? One of the easiest ways to annoy customers is to make them explain their issue again and again to multiple people. Before paying for any multi-channel support services, make sure it’s easy for you to use and work with, focusing on getting the customer’s inquiry clearly the whole way through. One important piece of this is ensuring everyone across your staff can use it in the same way, helping you offer more consistent service.

4 multi-channel support services worth checking out


Freshdesk is a platform that is one of the most “multi” you can get -- it does everything from live chat to phone, email, portals, Facebook, and Twitter. It also lets you put in a feedback widget, so you can grab some good responses or helpful feedback without needing to go through a whole big thing. It also puts everything in one portal for you, using a ticketing system that keeps the conversation on track.

Get it here.


Tidio is a super popular one, and offers Facebook Messenger, email and live chat. One of the cool things about them is that they let you set up lots of automations, meaning you can chat with people based on the actions they take on your website. They also let you be proactive, and show you where starting a new live chat might make the most impact for your shoppers.

Get it here.


Zendesk is one of the Customer Support Moguls of the industry. It has powerful tools and a desktop that’s really easy to use. Offer phone, email, live chat, a self-service portal, and proactive messaging. They’re also really big on analytics, and the data you get from Zendesk with Shopify can help you make smarter decisions about your customers. You can read more about using Zendesk here.

Get it here.


This one is probably the most integrated, and connects not only with your Shopify and Facebook accounts, but with all of your accounting, loyalty rewards, salesforce, Slack, Gmail, analytics and other apps you use (well, 20 of them). It’s a bit pricier, but all those integrations help give you better data on your customers and lets you be proactive with automations.

Get it here.

Ready to get started?

Elkfox can help you turn around your customer service. Get in touch with us if you want to know more about using Shopify to offer multi-channel support.