Consider this: how does someone get from knowing nothing about your brand to eventually purchasing from you? They embark on a journey that begins with a problem or opportunity and concludes with your answer.
Customer touch points like a “choose your own adventure” tale can affect the result. These critical moments ultimately determine whether a customer purchases from you or a rival.
Establishing Customer Touchpoints
Consumer contact points include a customer’s online and offline encounters with a brand along the customer journey. These may include digital and conventional marketing, in-person meetings with sales representatives or support teams, phone talks with sales or support teams, third-party evaluations, and so on.
They begin with touchpoints relevant to your brand’s initial awareness.
As a result, there are touch points in both the decision and retention stages.
Touchpoints heavily influence customers’ opinions of the brand and their interactions with it. Consider each point of contact as a chance to improve the customer journey.
Why are Customer Touchpoints Important?
Customers, in the end, do not think about touch points. They believe in terms of events and the sensations they elicit.
Every touch point affects how your target audience thinks and feels about your brand, positive or negative. And the totality of brand encounters can lead to a single transaction or a lifetime customer.
Customer journey mapping assists you in identifying any customer encounters that cause friction so that you can build a better experience.
Examples of Customer Touchpoints
Now, consider some instances of client touch points at various stages of the customer lifecycle.
During the Awareness Stage
A prospect initially understands they have a problem or an opportunity at the awareness stage. However, they may need to fully comprehend the situation and be unable to identify or define it.
People frequently turn to Google when they know about a new problem or opportunity. Prospects typically conduct broad, general searches at this time to better grasp their condition. People seek several answers in a variety of ways. Whenever they search for and locate your content on Google, it’s a touch point.
Referrals are powerful and frequently play a vital role in the customer journey’s pre-purchase awareness stage. Word-of-Mouth (WOM) accounts for around $6 trillion in annual worldwide consumption.
Consider a chat between two close friends concerning student debt refinancing. If one of your friends has a positive experience with your brand across several touchpoints, they will likely suggest it to you.
The potential customer may investigate your firm, comparing interest rates and reviews before purchasing from you.
Social Networking Sites
Social media may be used at any point of the funnel, but it is especially beneficial during the customer acquisition stage. It enables you to reach a large proportion of your target audience while lowering acquisition costs compared to paid channels. Furthermore, it allows for genuine contact with prospects, which fosters trust.
YouTube is the world’s largest vertical search engine and is frequently one of the customers’ first contact points. Even if a user doesn’t search for something on YouTube, Google typically offers videos straight in the search results.
You can optimize videos to target your prospects if you know their desires and keywords. Because it elicits increased involvement from the audience, video is essential for the awareness stage of the customer journey. Furthermore, visual information is more straightforward for many people to remember.
Trade exhibitions and conferences are excellent ways to meet your target audience face-to-face. Whether you host, sponsor, or speak, you raise brand recognition and set the stage for future collaborations.
Print advertisements, while less effective than they were during the Mad Men period of advertising, continue to build brand awareness. Their most appealing feature is the low cost of brand exposure compared to other marketing methods.
Your website is the most significant touch point in the client journey’s awareness stage. It should serve as the focal point of your marketing activities. Your website should persuade prospects to interact with your brand, consume your content, and buy from you.
You’ll make an excellent first impression if your site is easy to use, has appealing messaging, and has relevant material that answers your customers’ pain points.
During the Decision Stage
Prospects enter the decision stage when they comprehend their problem and look for solutions. They delve further into your brand and compare you to competitors in pricing, reviews, and ROI. This phase encompasses every touch point from the beginning of their investigation till they make a purchase.
This phase is crucial for identifying client touch points because they occur near the bottom of the funnel.
Contacting Company Reps
Prospects may contact a sales representative to learn more about your product or service. This is your chance to leave a lasting impression on the candidate. So resist the impulse to deliver canned responses.
Instead, take the time to listen to and interact with them. Put yourself in your consumers’ shoes and create a link between their problems or requirements and your solutions. More importantly, I request that your sales team forward any feedback they get.
If you are an online seller, your eCommerce site is an essential point of contact for potential clients. Make it simple for prospects to identify what they’re looking for and compare multiple options. They are more inclined to buy from you if your website provides an intuitive, enjoyable digital customer experience.
Customer experience, on the other hand, extends beyond UX. It is also essential to ensure transactional security and secure storage of critical consumer data. To avoid the danger of data leaks and theft, eCommerce businesses must manage sensitive data on a secure platform.
It’s a good idea to have a due diligence data room to store client data and vital internal business information if you want to conduct all that and manage important transactions securely. Fewer data leaks and increased data security will result in business continuity and increased customer trust, which is essential for eCommerce success.
Brochures can be used to provide prospects with more detailed information about your products or services. Creating informative information like this might assist people in making sound judgments.
Brochures are an excellent tool for taking complex or diverse information and simplifying it for the consumer. They distill everything down to the essentials. Brochures can be distributed via your website, at tradeshows and conferences, or directly to prospects.
Similar to brochures, data sheets are shorter, more focused on a particular product or service, and more thorough. They may contain specifications or other information that is more technical than that provided in a brochure. Compared to the level at which we aspire.
Before purchasing a product, around 89% of shoppers read reviews. Furthermore, 93% of shoppers say online reviews influenced their purchasing decisions. Again, consider that product pages with reviews convert at up to 3.5X higher rates than those without reviews.
Customer reviews are a practical touch point since they provide an unedited image of your organization from genuine customers. A brand with many favorable product reviews is far more likely to be trusted than one with few or negative evaluations.
Encourage your current customers to leave reviews on appropriate sites (Yelp, Angi, Google, Trustpilot, and so on) and respond to both positive and bad reviews. This demonstrates that you genuinely care about providing excellent service to your customers.
Whether physical or digital, the point of sale significantly impacts whether a buyer becomes a repeat customer. A customer may check out your online store or make a purchase once. However, consumers must have a great experience throughout the checkout process to make a second purchase. The process needs to be smooth with low friction.
Furthermore, enhancing the checkout process with some delight will likely raise the odds of a repeat buyer. As a result, your customer’s lifetime value will rise. Furthermore, if you can cross-sell well at the time of sale, you will enhance your average order value. You must, however, make clients feel as if they received fantastic value or a superior experience.
Few things irritate customers more than billing troubles. Billing issues leave a bad taste in people’s mouths, whether it’s being charged for something they didn’t buy, having problems with upgrading or downgrading, not being able to get into or receive something they paid for, or even not getting answers to their billing inquiries. When consumers anticipate problems directly harming their wallets, they will be exceedingly unwilling to give money to a brand.
Billing is an opportunity to provide a great experience. It is still valuable even if buyers only notice it on a subliminal level. When invoicing is transparent, faults are quickly remedied, and you go above and beyond to please your clients, you are far more likely to gain a loyal fan.
During the Retention Stage
It is significantly more expensive to recruit new consumers than to keep existing ones, so retention stage touch points are vital. If you have issues with these touchpoints, your churn rate will rise, and your marketing ROI will decrease. You’ll be running in circles.
Feedback from Customers
A Voice of the Customer feedback survey after (or following) a customer’s first experience with your product or service allows you to gauge their opinion, which may then be utilized to improve the experience for future purchases.
Surveys help rate your products, services, and purchasing experience. A survey gives you unique insight if your customer has a problem with your product, service, or brand. Was it a one-time occurrence? Or do you have systemic difficulties brewing beneath the surface that could do significant damage in the future?
Most importantly, surveys provide you with the opportunity to address the issue. If your consumers encounter problems, proactively identifying them allows you to handle them head-on.
Furthermore, feedback surveys demonstrate to clients that you genuinely care about their experience.
Email allows you to communicate with and follow up with your customers immediately. You can use it after a customer’s first experience with your brand to solicit feedback or perform surveys.
And a lot of it. Email advertising can also help to build stronger ties.
Use email to entice high-value consumers with special offers or incentives or to reconnect with customers who last bought from you a while ago.
Create online communities like Facebook groups, Slack channels, and brand-hosted channels. These hubs serve as a post-purchase meeting spot for current consumers, potential customers, and brand champions to discuss your brand.
They can offer customer service, answer questions, advertise new products or services, and give advice. Furthermore, community members can serve as unofficial brand ambassadors, a low-cost strategy to engage your target demographic.
Vital customer care is a crucial differentiator for brands. It is also one of the most cost-effective techniques to increase recurring consumers and income.
It’s not the world’s end if a customer has an issue with your products or services. In reality, many customers are willing to overlook faults if they have a fantastic customer service experience. And it is sometimes that special event that lingers with them.
A loyalty program encourages customers to return and make repeat purchases. The customer loyalty program’s purpose is to reward your most important and loyal customers. It can also help to make your firm more valuable to your customers than any other option. The more value you provide through your program, the more likely clients will continue with your business.
Improve Your Customer's Journey
Create a better customer experience if you want to build a powerful brand that exceeds customer expectations. How? Ensuring that the customer touch points along the journey contribute to the establishment of a positive customer relationship. Monitoring and then optimizing each touch point will assist you in generating more leads, income, and repeat business.
Quantitative data, like a landing page’s opt-in rate, can give you a clear, measurable picture of how individual touchpoints function.
Qualitative data, such as customer surveys, support logs, empathy maps, and site visit recordings, can assist you in identifying trends. You can then take corrective action if necessary.
Create a seamless, pleasurable customer journey from beginning to end, and see your business’s performance improve and compound over time.