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Customer touchpoints refer to every direct or indirect interaction your brand has with consumers. What many businesses overlook is that these interactions begin well before the customer has made it to the checkout, yet they have a direct impact on the overall customer experience. A poor customer experience in any of the customer journey touchpoints can easily create a negative impact on the customer’s mind irrespective of multiple positive experiences faced with the brand at other communication channels.
Customer journey touchpoints are interactions between businesses and customers that occur during the customer's journey, from awareness through evaluation and decision to the post-purchase phase. These moments influence customer experience. By understanding and mapping key touchpoints, you can capitalize on timely opportunities to optimize their customer journey.
Identifying the proper touchpoints for each customer and mapping them to the customer journey is essential for managing customer expectations, removing friction, and enhancing the customer journey. This allows you to present relevant offers, help customers select the best product, and meet their expectations during service interactions.
Once you identify all key touchpoints, it is good to add them to your customer journey map. This will help you visualize what a typical customer's experience is like with a business.
So how do you identify your customer touchpoints? Some of them might be quite obvious. They include sales and service interactions via email and phone, live product training, and sales calls and demos — are all customer touchpoints.
Identifying other touchpoints may require some research or data to discover.
Below is the list of some of the most common touchpoints and ways that can be used in optimizing your customer journey touchpoints based on 4 stages: awareness, decision, post-purchase, and customer service and support.
The awareness stage is the first stage of the purchasing decision when the customers hear about your brand, product, or service for the first time. Below we summarize some of the common ways customers can get an idea about your product and eventually lean towards buying it.
More than 60% of shoppers initiate their shopping journeys online, according to a Google/Ipsos study. Optimizing search and advertisement channels is critical as it can be a significant source of the traffic to your website. Effective targeting and relevant offers can help increase conversions as well. To optimize this channel use industry-specific keywords that your customers are likely to search for, including various ad formats to increase your click-through rate (CTR).
The company’s website is one of the most common customer journey touchpoints. However, according to Episerver’s study, approximately 92% of consumers who visit a retailer’s website for the first time are not ready to purchase. That is why it is crucial to invest in a well-designed website that attracts and engages prospects and customers to stay longer to check out your products and services. A website can be optimized with relevant copy, pleasing design, clear navigation, engaging visual elements, social proof like reviews, star ratings, testimonials, and clear calls to action such as buy now, free trial, contact us, etc.
Digital marketing content refers to any content, aside from advertisement, that you share e online to promote the brand. online to promote its brand. This includes promotional videos, infographics, or engaging blog posts. To optimize this touchpoint, create content that is educational in nature to educate your prospects on topics related to the brand’s products or services. For digital content to be effective It is best to choose relevant topics, apply proper search engine optimization techniques to help the content get discovered, and provide relevant product insights to your audience to increase conversion.
Social media platforms are a great way for a widely share brand’s story while growing its audience and driving customer engagement. More than 37% of social media users are more likely to visit brands’ social media pages and 87% of people say social media helps them decide what to buy. Optimize social media channels by creating interactive, engaging, and educational content, use it for quick responses to posts and direct mentions, and track consumers’ sentiment around your brand.
During this stage, customers are evaluating and deciding on whether to purchase your product or service or not. Optimizing customer journey touchpoints in this stage is focused on helping customers make buying decisions.
Product catalogs are an excellent way to showcase and demonstrate your products and services to your audience. You can optimize this touchpoint by carefully selecting and organizing your products, choosing beautiful images that showcase, and adding a call to action.
Product demonstrations can be an effective way to engage customers and grow sales. Optimize product demonstrations by tailoring your content to your audience, using engaging visuals, showing products from multiple aspects, and answering customer questions.
More than 95% of the shoppers check out product or service reviews on the website, social media, or online forums before making a purchase from a company, making reviews one of the most crucial touchpoints of the customer journey. Reviews have the power in influencing consumer decisions and add social proof and credibility to your brand.
For many direct-to-consumer businesses, eCommerce is the most effective way to acquire customers. Online shopping is the primary way consumers purchase from today’s leading brands. with around 76% of U.S. adults regularly shopping online.
Optimizing your eCommerce platform can help you increase online conversion rates and close more sales with a higher average cart value. To optimize this touchpoint, make sure your checkout process is simple, straightforward, and provides your customers with a seamless experience. Your site must also be optimized for mobile devices, and it should be American Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible.
In the physical store, the point of sale is the last touchpoint your customers will reach during the decision phase. To optimize the point of sale touchpoint make sure your pricing is clear, offer multiple payment options, provide different shipping options and avoid surprising customers with any additional fees and charges they did not expect.
It is important to remember that your customers are continuing their journey with your brand even after the purchase is made. This phase often manifests itself through the following touchpoints:
A simple thank you letter is a powerful, yet often neglected way to build relationships with your customers. To show your customers that you care and to establish long-term relationships, you can follow up with an email, or if possible, a hand-written note to thank your customers for their business.
Billing is a vital step in the customer's journey. Any negative experience during billing can result in customer churn and negative reviews. To optimize this step, make sure that billing information is clear and accurate and resolve any billing issues and mistakes promptly to avoid a negative experience.
If you're a subscription-based product or service, your business growth depends on customers renewing their service This makes it important that you any friction that can hinder the renewal process. It should be effortless for an existing customer to stay a customer.
Yes, you read it right. The way you handle customer cancelation is crucial to your business’s success. Regardless of why customers need to cancel, it is important to make their experience easy: do not force customers to call your team to cancel, do not force them to click an “I’m sure” button dozen times, and do not force them to chase their refund. Do ask them for reasons for cancelation, so you could better understand why they are canceling and improve your product, service, and processes.
Customer feedback surveys are an important part of the customer journey touchpoints. Your brand gets to better understand the customer through their feedback about your products and service and the customer feels heard and valued at the same time. You can optimize your feedback surveys by truly listening to your customer’s feedback and acting on suggestions and areas of improvement.
A brand must focus on the customer loyalty programs as a part of their customer journey touchpoints because customers need to be rewarded which leads to positive word of mouth. As a result, more customers attach to the brand thus increasing sales. Steps in optimizing customer loyalty programs include focusing on premium customers, making customers appreciated, using innovative ideas like offering discounts while signup, etc.
Newsletters are considered one of the most valuable customer journey touchpoints. The purpose of the newsletter is to deliver exciting content and updates regarding your products and services and gives you an opportunity to engage or re-engage customers through interesting, educational content. Few ways of optimizing newsletters include sharing product information, matching customer life cycle, updating customers on your brand’s achievements, and delivering valuable content.
With 99% of consumers checking their email daily and more than 62% of the customers giving preference to email support while communicating with the brand, email is no doubt one of the most crucial customer journey touchpoints for any business. To optimize your email conversions, create email campaigns that are personal, relevant, timely, and engaging. This will help you build a relationship with your audience, which will increase their likelihood of making a purchase.
Live chat offers quick resolution to customer questions and over 30% of the customers expect live chat support on your brand’s website. For customers seeking real-time assistance before, during, and after their purchase, live chat provides fast time to resolution, reduces the bounce rate of the website, and can help increase sales. Optimize the live chat touchpoint by appropriately staffing it, maintaining a short response time, and following up quickly.
Phone calls are another touchpoint that many customers and companies rely on. To optimize voice call support, staff this channel appropriately, especially during peak hours and peak seasons to maintain low wait times, develop scripts, and train the agents on your product or service as well as customer service skills, to ensure quick resolution to customer questions.
Customer self-service is one of the most under-rated yet effective touchpoints. Most people do not want to contact your business to answer common questions or resolve service issues. In fact not providing convenient and easy-to-use self-service on your website can lead to customer frustration and churn. To optimize this touchpoint, create a self-service destination on your website, where customers can easily access their purchases, submit warranties and returns, register product, explore product documentation and knowledgebase and conveniently submit their requests to your customer service team.
Having a thorough knowledge of customer journey touchpoints across all the stages i.e., awareness stage, decision stage, post-purchase stage and customer service and support is crucial in understanding and meeting their expectations. If you deliver a great experience all the way from the start to the end of your customer’s journey, that customer will remember your company positively, will return in the future when they need your product or services again, and will continue to recommend your product to others.
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