When it comes to delivering great digital experience, understanding the customer preferences to interact with your brand is highly imperative. Customer touchpoints help to understand how & where your customers would interact and how businesses can leverage the insights to improve brand perception.
Customers are likely to spend 140% more after a positive experience than customers who report negative experiences. In order to deliver great experiences, you need to map your customer journey across multiple channels and connect them to get a unified view of their conversations.
Source: Idiro Analytics
Customer touchpoints mapping can also be a valuable way for businesses to build brand loyalty. In fact, recurring touchpoints can not only result in repeat clients but also in an increase in the word of mouth marketing. Let us start with knowing what is a touchpoint?
What are customer touchpoints?
Customer touchpoints are defined as the point of interaction with the brand across three main phases i.e. awareness, evaluation, and post-purchase. It has a big impact on the way customers perceive your products, services, or solutions. Identifying your customer touchpoints is the first and foremost step to create a customer journey map to ensure that your customers are satisfied at every point of their journey.
Client touchpoints are also defined as the point of contact across the customer journey that includes digital or customer relationship management (CRM) touchpoints. Mapping helps businesses to identify the touchpoints in phases and manage customer expectations accordingly to deliver a great experience.
Why is mapping your customer journey touchpoints important for marketing?
Touchpoint analysis is crucial for every business. Customer touchpoint 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%.
Every consumer touchpoint 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 customer touchpoints help 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 touchpoints can help customers to make quick purchase decisions as a result of which sales conversion levels up.
- Cultivate brand loyalty: Wisely mapping of customer touchpoints 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 identify customer touchpoints: Channels and examples
For building your brand, you need to think from the customer’s perspective. You have to understand and be concerned about them at every step of their journey. To get a better understanding of the customer journey mapping, you need to have a clear idea about the touchpoints your potential customers have before, during, and after purchase.
Here are some ways you can incorporate customer experience touchpoints into your business under 3 main stages.
It is the very first stage when and how customers come to know about your brand? It could be through traditional or digital touchpoints in their journey. Let us discuss some common touchpoints 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. In order to attract customers, your website must have certain elements.
What could be the components that can grab your customer’s attention in the first go?
- 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 actions (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 other channels as it provides immediate sales and support assistance.
When you address customer concerns in real time they are highly satisfied, which reduces the bounce rate and increases sales conversions. Forrester says, “30% of customers expect live chat on your website.”
How does live chat help to map customer journeys and deliver a great experience?
- Increase conversion rate: With live chat, you can proactively start a conversation, when the customers are stuck in specific pages. It helps them in quick decision making and reduces the bounce rate.
- Reduce support issues: Live chat helps to 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.
- Improve customer experience: Instant assistance to the customer service queries increases the satisfaction level and delivers the best live chat customer experience.
- Collect real time feedback: You can also ask your customers to provide feedback at the end of the conversation. A regular process for getting feedback can be a valuable way to use a touchpoint to get your customers’ attention and find out what you can do better.
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 do bots help to engage customers across different customer touchpoints?
- 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.
4. Social media
Sherpa Marketing found that more people follow brands on social media. On Instagram alone, 80% of people follow at least one business. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram present huge opportunities to reach and connect with your target audience.
Nowadays, social media is one of the most important touchpoints for customers to reach out to businesses. Many people turn to Facebook, Quora, Linkedin, or Twitter to solve problems or find information as social media becomes their preferred mode.
Social channels give you an opportunity to grow your audience and reach your objectives through ads on social platforms. They also help businesses to connect well with your customers, increase awareness about your brand, and boost your leads and sales.
What businesses can do to leave a good impression on social customers.
- Have a social media strategy: You can set social media marketing goals that align with your business objectives. For that, you have to know your audience to understand what they want that will help to create content that they will like, comment on, and share.
- Be active across social channels: After you identify the most preferred social channels of your target audience, you need to be prompt in engaging your customers across those channels.
- Use as a social communication channel: Using the 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.
- Encourage engagement: You can encourage your customers to encourage 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.
Regalix State Report, says, “Event marketing is significantly growing in importance, with 92% of marketers investing in event marketing and 84% agreeing events are the most effective way to identify and reach as many prospects in a short amount of time.”
Events or trade shows have been a popular way to market your products & services. Taking part in events is a great way to build brand awareness, demonstrate industry influence, and generate sales.
The impact event marketing has on your brand is incredible. People who attend a brand’s event gave more value to that brand and viewed that brand more favorably over competitor brands.
Source: Camino Financial
Why should events be a vital part of your marketing strategy?
- Creates brand awareness: Events serve as good opportunities for maximizing your potential to connect with your audience. Offer them a more immersive and personalized experience through 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.
- Build strong relationships: Connecting with your customers face-to-face helps in building trust and increase the credibility of your business. Directly interacting with customers helps you to create market traction and enhance your customer base.
6. Online advertisement
More and more customers are increasingly using the internet to seek information about products and their prices before making final decisions. Hence, it is becoming essential for B2B, B2C or eCommerce businesses to also be online.
The Manifest surveyed 500 digital marketers and discovered that not only should businesses be online, but they should also invest in online advertising. Online advertising helps you find the right audience. It targets the ones who are more likely to be interested in what you are selling.
Online advertising tools such as online display ads, social media ads like Facebook and Twitter Ads, video ads make it easier to reach your types of the target audience and further help you in generating leads and making your campaigns more effective.
How social media as a touchpoint helps engage customers for a better experience?
- Engage your customers better: When you understand your target audience and find out what type of products or services they are looking for, you can plan your ad campaigns accordingly and engage them in a better way.
- 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.
- Improve brand recognition: Ads help to generate awareness of your business. You can change people’s attitudes and perceptions of your business and develop a particular market niche or position.
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 strengthen your brand credibility. They have the power to gain customer trust, and they encourage them to interact with the company.
Positive reviews with good ratings compel potential customers to contact you, as they feel comfortable and confident about the products or services of your business. The more customers you satisfy, leaving good reviews, the more people will be interested in buying your products.
Customer reviews strengthen your brand awareness and boost customer loyalty. Sharing reviews encourages new customers and buyers to develop trust in your business.
Mapping the customer journey to identify the evaluation touchpoints helps you to know when your customers are impressed with your brand and made up their mindset to buy. With that intention, they start evaluating your product or services to make a final purchase.
Let us discuss the identified customer touchpoints that fall under the evaluation phase.
8. Product demos
When do customers use the product demos as a touchpoint?
Usually, when customers are satisfied with your brand and make a mindset to learn more about the specific features they want product demos. They are willing to explore the key features and how they work to know how well it matches their requirements and their intent.
Product demos, an important B2B customer journey touchpoint, helps you get a prospect interested and excited about your solution. It is also an effective way to address the prospect’s specific product related concerns.
How do product demos act as an effective customer touchpoint to deliver a digitalized experience?
- Provides real brand value: Product demonstrations simulate customers’ interest and provides visual support. It gives you an opportunity to showcase your product and provide its real value.
- Starts a conversation: With demos, you get a chance to open up a conversation with customers. They can ask their queries and getting satisfactory solutions makes them trust your brand.
- Customize demos: You can customize the product demonstration for each prospect to ensure clients have an exceptional digital customer experience (CX).
9. Phone calls
Today, when customer expectations are growing day by day, adopting an omnichannel customer service approach is imperative. The phone communication channel is one critical touchpoint that has been always preferred even after the advent of digital customer touchpoints.
B2B or Retail businesses should 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 your customers’ expectations for service.
You can follow some of the excellent phone support etiquette to deliver great service access customer touchpoints:
- Train your support team to leave a good impression on your customers.
- Agents should be courteous to ask customers how they prefer to be addressed and make an effort to pronounce their names correctly.
- Train agents to use their active listening skills and allow 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
An effective product catalog relies on both your business as well as layout and design. When you make your products look attractive, it is easy for the readers to find what they are looking for. Also adding the order information.
Catalogs are an excellent way of showcasing your product & services. It should have the product image with a crisp description, that gives the customer a perfect understanding of your product before making a purchase. You can add CTAs on the page to ease customers to carry out the intended action.
Tips to design your product catalog:
- Know your audience: 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 good quality pictures.
Email support is one of the main channels of customer support for most of the B2B, B2C, or eCommerce companies. 62% of customers say that email support is a preferred way 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.
Key tips for better email interactions:
- Define your style of email support: There are several elements that you should consider to make sure your customer support style and email templates are in harmony, including visuals, voice & tone, language, etc.
- Personalization: Personalizing emails comes down to making your customers feel like they’re doing business with a human, not a company.
- Always thank your customers: Customers provide genuine feedback in terms of opinions and complaints. It is an opportunity for your business. Simply saying “thank you” to a customer can be a powerful way to strengthen your relationship with them.
12. Retail store
The world of the retail sector is changing faster. It has always been one of the important customer touchpoints. How can retailers keep up with what customers want? 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.
What customers expect from a retail or eCommerce store?
- 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 attract customers with loyalty rewards. Look for loyalty rewards programs that allow you to identify shoppers via their smartphones when they are in-store.
Post purchase touchpoints
These are customer journey touchpoints that indicate what happens after the final purchase. It includes key touchpoints like:
No wonders why newsletters are one of the best customer touchpoint examples. They are a great way to keep your customers informed and give them added value in the form of interesting content and valuable tips.
Newsletters are to give customers updates pertaining to your business, products, and services.
How does the newsletter act as the best customer journey touchpoint after purchase from the B2B or B2C companies?
- Drive sales conversions: You can advertise your company’s new products and services in your newsletters, and explain the benefits of each product or service. You can send new product information and triggered-based content to all your customers.
- Reach out to more customers: Return Path study, says “When newsletters deliver great content, they help marketers measurably strengthen subscriber engagement and stay connected to their audiences.” They help you bring more repeat customers and turn prospects into clients.
- Showcase your achievements: You can increase customer engagement by highlighting your awards to your existing customers. It helps you to deliver the best digital service experience.
14. Feedback survey
Do you feel like you know what customers are saying about you? If you are interested to improve customer relations and loyalty. 77% of consumers view brands more favorably if they seek out and apply/ incorporate/ value customer feedback.
Customer satisfaction surveys provide you the feedback you need to keep customers happy and turn them into advocates.
Why is customer feedback survey is essential for B2B, B2C, or eCommerce companies?
- Surveys help you understand your customers’ journey touchpoints, likes, dislikes, and where you need to make improvements.
- It helps you to understand how well your service team is putting effort into understanding the growing needs of your customers and prospects.
- You get to know if you are missing out on the customer experience (CX) that turns off your customers.
15. Customer loyalty programs
Loyalty should not only be appreciated but also rewarded. It is one of the important customer touchpoints 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.
Some ideas that can be used as loyalty programs are: create early access programs for premium customers, invite them to special events to spread positive goodwill, feature them as customers of the week/month or give unadvertised discounts to surprise customers.
How customer loyalty programs improve customer relationships for B2B firms?
- Strengthens customer relationships: Implementing loyalty programs improves the bonding with your customers and turns them into your brand advocates.
- Make them feel appreciated: Personalized programs like rewarding on birthdays can make your customers feel like they have an emotional connection with your brand.
- Attract new customers: You can attract new customers with good reward programs like offering points or discounts for signup. It helps you automatically be able to add new customers to your mailing list simply because customers want to take advantage of discounts.
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.
Identifying 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 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.