Building a good customer experience does not happen by accident, it happens by design. You can only start designing your unique customer touchpoints once you have successfully identified these touchpoints. Otherwise you will be throwing money in the water.
What are Customer Journey Touchpoints?
Customer touchpoints are defined as the point of contact across the customer journey. This includes digital, in person touchpoints. Identifying your business and brand’s unique customer journey touchpoints help businesses to break the touchpoints down into phases.
Customer touchpoints are defined as the point of interaction with the brand across three main areas, they are:
Identifying and understanding your customer’s journey is like closing a loop and seeing improvement opportunities for yourself.
Mapping your journey helps in identifying the touchpoints. As well as to design a realistic customer journey. Once you do that, your way to improving things become better and more transparent.
Customer Journey Touchpoints V.S. Customer Mapping
Is a customer journey map and customer experience map the same thing? Yes, customer journey maps and mapping are almost the same.
Except that the journey map focuses on the touchpoints a customer has with your business. It encapsulates both the front-end and back-end dynamics.
While the customer experience maps are focused on the customer’s point of view and how they feel at every interaction.
Why are Customer Journey Touchpoints Crucial?
Customer journey touchpoints are crucial for any business and brand. As they help your business to understand how, when and where your customers interact. These unique customer touchpoints have a major impact on the way customers perceive your brand and business.
It is important to identify touchpoints to deliver the best customer experience. Offering the best customer experiences results in improved loyalty and advocacy of your customers.
According to research…
Customers are more likely to spend 140% more after a positive experience, than those who report negative experiences. To deliver great experiences, you need to map your customer journey across multiple channels. As well as combine them to ensure a fantastic flow of touchpoints.
The first and foremost step to identify your customer touchpoints is to create a customer journey map, which covers the overall customer journey in detail. This will help ensure that your customers are satisfied at every point of their journey with your brand and business.
It’s great if customers know your name and brand, but if they don’t remember what you did for them during these unique touchpoints and how you made them feel, then your business really won’t stand out from the rest!
This feeling that you and your team create, is how you get customers to indulge in their experience with you, your team, and your employees.
Benefits of Customer Journey Touchpoints
Every consumer touchpoint has its own unique role. The map helps you to evaluate their experience and make improvements at each one. In order to insure maximum joy for the customer at each touchpoint, the best way to go about this is by getting your employees to picture themselves in the customer’s shoes. See things from the customer’s perspective. Below are a few benefits of creating and applying impeccable customer touchpoints (experiences).
The benefits when you identify customer journey touchpoints:
- More sales: Effective mapping of customer touchpoints can help customers make quick buying decisions. Increasing sales as a direct result
- Increase customer retention rates: Having the right knowledge of the customer touchpoints help you to provide instant support where needed, which improves their satisfaction. When customers are happy and satisfied, customer retention rates increase
- Promotes brand loyalty: Wisely mapping of customer touchpoints can help to nurture, encourage, and increase your customer’s brand loyalty. You can build relationships via online and offline platforms like social media, specials, etc.
Types of Customer Touchpoints
First and foremost, you need to understand the two broad categories of touchpoints. I have highlighted the basic overview of them.
- Direct Touchpoints – Direct interactions are when a business plays a direct role in creating customer experiences. This could be your website interface, contact center support etc.
- Indirect Touchpoints – Indirect touchpoints are types of interactions whereby a company does not play a direct role in creating user experiences. For example, word-of-mouth marketing, customer reviews etc.
Where Does the Customer Touchpoint Journey Start?
Once you identify your customer’s unique direct and indirect touchpoints, you can now move from the main steps to planning your customer journey map in detail. From your direct and indirect touchpoints, you can then divide them into the major areas.
I have highlighted the main steps below:
- And after purchase
The customer experience touchpoint journey starts right at the beginning for your customer. From the very first touchpoint, right through to purchase and during your after-care service.
As much as we all like to say we aren’t vain. As humans, we all want to feel special. And that is why it is so vital that your customer experience strategy makes your customer feel special. This needs to happen consistently. Right from the moment they enter your place of business, through to the point where they keep coming back.
Sometimes the first touchpoint can even start with the security guard standing outside your shop. Remember, whatever the first touchpoint is, that is their very first experience and impression they receive from your business.
Things can either go horribly wrong from there, or they can skyrocket from good to great!
How to Identify Customer Journey Touchpoints
Here you need to think from the customer’s perspective. You have to understand and be concerned about them every step of their journey.
Put yourself in their shoes. Think about what you would want and how you would like to be treated. And yes, I know everyone is different, which is why proper research and feedback analysis is important.
To get a better understanding of your unique customer journey, you need to have a clear idea about the touchpoints that your customers as well as potential customers will have before, during, and after the purchase.
Below is a general idea of what you can use the help identify and tailor your unique customer touchpoints.
There’s always a starting point when a person gets to know about your brand. Apart from impulsive buyers, most buyers will first identify their need or want for something.
Chances are, they just look it up online, and came across your website. Or they hear about you from a friend or colleague who has had a previous shopping experience with you.
The next step would be to see your social media pages and check for other customer reviews and ratings.
Your website and social media have the potential to either win the customer or never have him come back again. Hence, it’s vital to create a strong and enticing social media presence.
In a nutshell, the following are the possible customer touch points before purchase:
- Item Referrals
Once a customer is satisfied with the reviews/demos you provided, they will come to visit your store. The in-store customer’s experience is clearly very important in making the final purchase decision.
They say, ‘the first impression is the last impression’. The way you present your store, environment, vibes, sales staff and even toilets have an impact on the impression your customers are going to take.
According to a study, 32% of customers never return to businesses that appear dirty.
Online stores are the modern storefronts. It is equally vital to keep your website interface clean, products well-organised and an overall classy look. One that makes a great and convenient browsing experience for the customer.
The virtual live chat option here plays the role of a sales consultant. So make sure to add a bit of personalisation there!
The check-out experience is also very vital to take care of. Most online businesses struggle to know the reason behind customers abandoning their carts and not making the payments. Make your check-out process seamless and fast, so you do not have to worry about stranded or abandoned carts.
Touchpoints In a nutshell
It is important to remember that after your customer has bought from you, that tour customer’s journey through the different touchpoints are not done yet. Customers who have purchased from you, now need to complete the entire journey, before they can be entirely satisfied with your brand and business. And only then will they happily return and recommend your brand and business in their circle. Let’s just do a basic recap of the over all customer touch point journey. Remember the main steps are, before, during and after sales services.
Your customer’s buying decision will be based on the following:
- Sales staff
- After Purchase
The aftersales service will also determine whether or not this customer will become a return customer, telling all their friends and family about your business and brand/
Regular follow-ups, service provision, contact center experiences, all play a role in building customer loyalty.
Businesses who have a fantastic approach to marketing customer touchpoints, are the ones who go the extra mile to satisfy their customers. As they know that little bit extra has so much more of an impact than just the ordinary customer experience and service.
These could be special offerings such as:
- Seasonal greeting emails or texts
- Product recommendation based on previous experiences
- Discount offers in emails
- Referral coupons
The above mentioned are just a few of the ways to win your customers over. Increasing business growth, profit margins and massive success.
Below are a few important after sale/purchase touchpoints:
- Help/contact center
- Follow-up service
- Recommendation emails
- Loyalty program
After identifying your customer’s touchpoints, brainstorm some ideas as to how you can further enhance these touchpoints. In turn making your customers feel special at each one.
The goal should be to create a fantastic customer experience. As well as to reduce customer effort and minimize the time it takes your customer to go from one point of the journey to another.
Thinking outside of the box is the key to your business and brand’s success! Innovation wins every time.