Touchpoints are the key to understanding your customer’s journey. They are basically the place where customer interactions occur.
And it takes an average of seven interactions with your brand before a purchase will take place. Based on such interactions, customers often form the first impression of a brand and make an opinion about the product or service.
As a result, knowing your touchpoints and making sure that each of them leads to a good customer experience should always be a top priority for your business.
By identifying and mapping digital customer touchpoints, it’s possible to build brand loyalty and increase customer experience. When you map your customer journey across multiple channels and connect them, it helps you understand customers and their requirements better.
In fact, optimizing the touchpoints can help you win more clients and also boost the word of mouth marketing. That’s why it’s important to first know what a touchpoint is.
What are customer touchpoints?
Customer touchpoints are defined as the point of interaction with the brand across three main phases of the customer lifecycle i.e. awareness, evaluation, and post-purchase. It has a great impact on the way customers perceive your products & services. The touch points include various digital or customer relationship management (CRM) touchpoints.
Identifying your customer journey touch points is the first and foremost step to create a map. It helps businesses to identify the touchpoints in different phases and manage customer expectations accordingly to deliver a great experience.
Why is it important to map your customer marketing touchpoints?
Touchpoint analysis is crucial for every business no matter big or small. Customer touch point management provides a complete vision and a map of their entire journey. Companies that use tools like customer journey maps reduce their cost of service by 15-20%.
Source: Idiro Analytics
Every consumer touch point, be it digital or traditional, has its own importance and the map helps you to evaluate their experience and make improvements at every step.
- Improve customer retention – Having the right knowledge of the consumer touchpoints helps you to provide instant support, which improves their satisfaction. When customers are happy & satisfied the retention rate increases.
- Increase sales conversion – Effective mapping and tapping customer touch points can help customers to make quick purchase decisions as a result of which sales conversion levels up.
- Cultivate brand loyalty – Wisely mapping client touch points can help to make a customer brand loyal. You can build relationships via online and offline platforms like social media, event sponsoring, etc.
How to optimize customer touchpoints?
Each of your touch points will have an effect on the overall customer experience. You thus need to have a clear idea about the touchpoints your potential customers will have before, during, and after purchase. Based on that, you can get a better understanding of the customer journey mapping and then optimize customer touch points.
Here is the list of some ways you can optimize customer experience touch points under 3 main stages..
- Live chat
- Social media
- Online advertisement
- Customer reviews
- Product demos
- Phone calls
- Product catalog
- Retail Store
- Feedback survey
- Customer loyalty programs
Let us discuss the three stages comprising of traditional and digital customer journey touchpoints and also understand how to optimize touch points.
Awareness – Marketing touchpoints
It is the very first stage when and how customers come to know about your brand? It could be through traditional or digital touch points in their journey. Let us discuss some common points of contact that fall under the awareness stage.
A website is the most common touchpoint customers choose to reach out to your business. A well-designed site can make visitors want to stay longer and keep them more invested in what your company has to offer.
The main objective while designing a website is that it should leave a first good impression on your customers. Your website must have the right elements and components as they can grab your customer’s attention in the first go and also help attract them.
How to optimize a website?
- Design – Consider making your site visually appealing to give an overview of your products & services. Focus on hassle-free navigation between the menus. Good website design reduces the bounce rate and increases conversions.
- Clear messaging – You should highlight the core brand message so that your customers immediately understand what services or products your company sells.
- Social proof – Social proof in the form of testimonials, reviews, star ratings, and real-time statistics can be used on different web pages such as homepage, product/service page, contact us, etc. It helps in validating their decision.
- Clear call to action (CTAs) – Consider placing a relevant CTA text. Keep it short and to the point that requires minimum effort to read. For example, Free trial, Buy now or Contact us.
2. Live chat
Live chat has become one of the most important channels to interact with businesses. Customers prefer to live chat over the reactive channels as it provides immediate sales and support assistance.
30% of customers expect live chat on your website. And when you address customer concerns in real time, they are highly satisfied which reduces the bounce rate and increases sales conversions.
How to optimize live chat?
- Proactive support – With live chat, you can proactively start a conversation, when the customers are stuck on specific pages. It helps them in quick decision-making and reduces the bounce rate.
- Fast response – Live chat can help deliver faster responses to the sales & support queries by using pre-drafted answers and connecting to the right team. It reduces the number of support requests raised by customers.
- Quick follow-up – Live chat can be connected with CRM tools so that the sales team can instantly follow up with prospects and ensure the best live chat customer experience.
- Conversations on pending requests- You can implement chatbots to collect visitor information which can help initiate the conversation with customers based on their previous or pending requests.
- Interactive resolution – Your business can combine live chat with co-browsing and video chat to enable the resolution of the query in an interactive manner.
Chatbots are being deployed by B2B and retail businesses mainly to deliver automated support and sales assistance. AI bots allow businesses to better assist their customer needs along their journey.
With chatbots, customers do not have to wait for human support. They get real time answers to simple queries reported by them. It creates a good impression on customers of your brand being responsive.
How to optimize chatbots?
- Real time assistance – By implementing chatbots, you can provide instant support without making customers wait.
- 24×7 availability – Bots are always active to engage your customers by providing instant answers to common queries when your support team is not available or busy, which improves customer satisfaction.
- Reduce the number of support tickets – When bots are used as the primary contact, the repetitive queries are answered instantly, which reduces the number of support requests made by customers.
- Personify your brand – You can program chatbots with different types of conversational styles to boost customer engagement.
4. Social media
37% of social media users visit a brand’s page or like or follow a brand on social media.
Social media is clearly one of the vital touchpoints for customers to reach out to businesses. For millions, platforms like Facebook, Quora, Linkedin or Twitter have become a preferred medium to find information or solve problems.
Social channels are naturally a great way to grow your audience and reach business goals through ads and active engagement. They also help businesses to connect well with customers, boost awareness about their brand, increase user engagement and boost leads and sales.
How to optimize social media?
- Create interactive content – You first need to understand your audience, their preference, etc to create engaging content that they will like, comment on, and share.
- Social media as a communication channel – Using social channels as a mode of communication helps to track comments, questions, and complaints. By responding promptly to their concerns you can make them feel heard.
- Humanize your brand – Social media is ideally the best platform to humanize the brand with a bit of informality and causal discussion it helps boost the engagement level.
- Encourage engagement – You can encourage your customers to leverage new ways like posting Instagram Stories, host a quick Q&A session via Facebook Live video streaming or create engaging video content for social media to get a better idea of your followers’ preferences.
Events or trade shows have been a popular way to market products & services. Taking part in events is a great way to build brand awareness, demonstrate industry influence, and generate sales.
In fact, 60% of leadership finds events a vast significant marketing channel for achieving business goals.
The impact event marketing has on brands is incredible. People who attend a brand’s event are likely to give more value to that brand and view it more favorably over competitors.
Source: Camino Financial
How to optimize events?
- Target the right audience – Exhibitions as part of events cater to a specific category of products or services. You can draw the attention of the right audience with creative ideas.
- Tailor your content based on segmentation – You can use data from registration or CRM to create a customer profile and then tailor the content to create meaningful engagement with the audience.
- Offer immersive experience – Offer visitors an immersive and personalized experience through events that help maximize your potential to connect with the audience.
- Create 1-to-1 connections – People attend events to network with others and share their interests, so you should use events to facilitate one-to-one connections to ensure a better experience for customers.
6. Online advertisement
Online advertising helps you find the right audience. It targets the ones who are more likely to be interested in what you are selling.
Your business can leverage online advertising tools such as display ads, social media, or video ads to reach the target audience easily and generate leads.
How to optimize online advertisements?
- Understand your target audience – You need to understand the audience based on the geography, demographics and interests as this helps plan your ad campaigns accordingly for better engagement.
- Use a relevant landing page – Make the landing page relevant to the content that relates to the campaign as this will improve the quality score of your ads.
- A clear call-to-action (CTA) – Having a clear call to action means your ads offer the right visual guides to customers and solve their problems, which can reduce bounce rate and increase conversion.
- Educate your customers – Ads are the best way to tell customers about changes to your service, new product launches, and improvements. You can inform about special offers or a benefit of your product.
7. Customer reviews
Spiegel Research Centre says, “95% of shoppers read customer reviews before making a purchase.”
Reviews not only have the power to influence consumer decisions but can also strengthen your brand credibility. They can help gain trust by encouraging customers to interact with the company.
How to optimize customer reviews?
- Boost customer confidence – Customers not only find reviews helpful but also feel comfortable and confident about the products or services of your business.
- Improved customer service – Your business can analyze the reviews and understand the level of customer satisfaction, which can help improve customer service.
- Feedback mechanism – Customer reviews serve as a great feedback tool to understand the needs and pain points, resolve the issues and deliver a better experience.
Evaluation – Customer experience touch points
Mapping of the evaluation stage refers to when customers are impressed with your brand and have made up their minds to buy. With that intention, they start evaluating your product or services to make a final purchase.
Let us discuss how to identify and optimize customer touch points that fall under the evaluation phase.
8. Product demos
Customers generally use the product demos as a touch point when they are satisfied with your brand and want to learn more about the specific features.
Product demos are an important B2B customer journey touchpoint to get a prospect interested and excited about your solution. They can also prove an effective way to address the prospect’s specific product-related concerns.
How to optimize product demos?
- Customize demos – You need to customize the product demonstration for each prospect and change the data and content to ensure an exceptional digital customer experience (CX).
- Provide visual support – Product demonstrations should provide the right kind of visual support, showcase real value, and convey the customer’s story rather than focusing only on the features.
- Show product from multiple angles – Customers always prefer video for product demos as this can help them see products from different angles and then make an informed decision.
9. Phone calls
The phone communication channel is one critical touch point that customers prefer a lot even after the advent of other digital channels.
B2B or retail businesses need to optimize their phone support quality in order to increase customer satisfaction. They should include phone support training in their customer service etiquette to meet and exceed customers’ expectations for service.
How to optimize phone calls?
- Train your support team to leave a good impression on your customers and deliver great service access via this popular client touchpoint.
- Agents should be courteous to ask customers how they prefer to be addressed and make an effort to pronounce their names correctly.
- Using active listening skills is key with a focus on allowing the customer to finish speaking before responding.
- Interacting with the customer with confidence is critical for ensuring that the conversation is both productive and effective.
- Agents must demonstrate a certain level of competence in order to adequately address the customer’s needs.
10. Product catalog
Catalogs are an excellent way of showcasing your product & services to generate favorable responses from customers.
With an effective product catalog that has the right balance of layout and design, you can easily make your products look attractive and also make it easy for readers to find what they are looking for.
Customers use catalogs to get a perfect understanding of the product before making a purchase. That’s why make sure yours has the right kind of information and images to drive customer action.
How to optimize the product catalog?
- Know your audience – By knowing who your specific audience is, you’ll be better able to adjust the style of the catalog: its language, layout type, and location of items on the page.
- Organize your products – Set your products into groups and decide where to put each group in the publication.
- Choose images – A well-written copy is of no value if the images are of bad quality. Select images that are of good quality or hire a professional to click top-quality pictures.
- Add CTAs on the page – A good catalog should have the product image with a crisp description, together with CTAs on the page to ease customers in carrying out the intended action.
Email is one of the main channels of customer support for most B2B, B2C, or eCommerce companies. 62% of customers say they prefer email support to communicate with brands.
Email as a customer touchpoint affects everything from repeat purchase rates to lifetime value to how someone talks about your brand privately and publicly. You can leverage the power and reach of email to drive engagement and deliver a better customer experience.
How to optimize email touch point?
- Personalization – Personalizing emails based on the buyer’s journey, a past purchase, demographics, company size, etc. can help make customers feel like they’re doing business with a human, not a company.
- Create more opt-in chances – You can create more opt-in chances on the site, such as a blog newsletter sign-up form to improve the click-through rate of the campaign.
- Send a re-engagement email – By sending a re-engagement mail, you can take a targeted attempt at stirring the interest of potential leads that may have gone cold.
- A/B test – Perform AB checks on different fonts, colors, CTAs, etc. to meet the audience’s preferences and gain key insights for future campaigns.
12. Retail store
Buyers will interact with retailers across multiple touchpoints, so delivering a consistent experience is always the key to success at the store. Plus, customers want in-person service, which is crucial to differentiate your store from the online store experience.
80% of customers say they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences.
How to optimize retail stores?
- All the touch points of the store need to be consistent so that they can help in building credible brand impressions
- Customers want personalized service from a sales associate and they are ready to share their personal details if it helps you provide a better experience.
- Many customers look for offers and coupons on their phones. They are more likely to shop at a store that has a mobile point of sale.
- You can give customers loyalty rewards and programs that allow them to identify shoppers via their smartphones when they are in-store.
Post-purchase – Customer service touchpoints
These are customer journey touchpoints that indicate what happens after the final purchase. It includes key point of contacts like:
Newsletters are one of the best customer touchpoint examples for the value they deliver to customers. They are a great way to keep your customers informed and engaged through interesting content and valuable tips. Newsletters are to give customers updates pertaining to your business, products, and services.
How to optimize newsletters?
- Share product information – You can advertise your company’s new products and services in your newsletters, and explain the benefits of each product or service.
- Match customer lifecycle – New product information and triggered-based content can be sent to all your customers based on their journey.
- Showcase your achievements – Your business can increase customer engagement by highlighting your awards to your existing customers. It helps you to deliver the best digital service experience.
- Deliver great content – You can measurably strengthen subscriber engagement and even gain more repeat customers by delivering great content on a regular basis.
14. Feedback survey
Customer satisfaction surveys provide you the feedback you need to keep customers happy and turn them into advocates.
77% of consumers view those brands more favorably that seek out and apply/ incorporate/ value customer feedback.
How to optimize feedback surveys?
- Understand your customers – Surveys are best fitted to understanding your customers’ journey touchpoints, likes, dislikes, and where you need to make improvements.
- Decide the area of improvement – The real value of surveys is only realized when the company has the goals in mind and is really concerned about improving customer experience.
- Make your survey mobile-friendly – It’s important to have surveys that are easy to access and simple to navigate using multiple mobile devices as this will help them reach to more customers and bring their opinion about your business.
- Ask just a few open-ended questions – keeping the survey short and asking just a few open-ended questions is the key to getting more customers interested in sharing details and insight for your business.
15. Customer loyalty programs
Loyalty should not only be appreciated but also rewarded. It is one of the important client touch points that you should be aware of.
So, rewarding loyal customers should be a core part of your customer loyalty programs. If your customer buys from you frequently or generates new customers for your business, they should definitely get something for it.
How to optimize customer loyalty programs?
- Focus on premium customers – Create early access programs for premium customers and invite them to special events to spread positive goodwill. You can feature them as customers of the week/month or give unadvertised discounts to surprise customers.
- Make customers feel appreciated – Personalized programs like rewarding on birthdays can make your customers feel like they have an emotional connection with your brand.
- Use innovative ideas – You can attract new customers with good reward programs like offering points or discounts for signup, or try something innovative like Sephora.
Sephora’s Beauty Insider rewards program boasts more than 17 million loyal members. The members make up as much as 80% of Sephora’s annual sales. Customers earn rewards for each purchase based on a traditional point system.
Hitting the right customer touchpoints is vital for a great experience
Having a thorough touchpoint analysis across all three stages; before, during, and after purchase is vital to understand their preferences and expectations. It helps you in mapping customer journeys and leverages them in the right way in order to deliver a consistent support experience.
Mapping customer journeys across digital touchpoints is an important part as customers nowadays are using more digital channels. Hence, businesses need to focus more on the digital point of contact to deliver a great service experience.