Identify Your Customer Experience Touchpoints
The best starting place to strengthen your customer relationships.
What is a touchpoint in the business world?
It’s just what it sounds like - it is every place or moment where your customer can interact with your product/service/brand.
It is every single interaction.
Every. Single. One.
Touchpoints are often confused with Channels. Your website is a channel; when your customer tries to click-to-call from your website, that is a touchpoint. Think about it in terms of moments and actions. Your signage is a channel, but when someone is driving and looking for your store (and thus the sign), that moment is a touchpoint. It is how you answer your phone. It is your entrance. It is the way the customer is greeted. It is your packaging. It is any collateral.
Every touchpoint, since it is a moment of interaction, should be able to evoke a feeling.
This is another way to think about it. If touchpoints are moments occurring from action, then some sort of feeling will be involved. The feeling may be as simple as a sense of efficiency. Or simple pleasure. Or it may be feeling welcomed or included or safe or inspired.
You can have the best product. The most beautiful hotel in the most gorgeous location, with brilliant employees and fantastic reviews. But, if you do not take the time and energy to identify what your customer is feeling and experiencing before they arrive, once they arrive, and after they check-out, then you are wasting all of that fabulousness (new word - just try it).
Defining and recognizing touchpoints will help guide you in creating better, more branded and more valued customer experiences. But for many businesses, identifying every touchpoint feels overwhelming. Back to the hotel example: from a customer doing research, to your website, to your social media — from booking the room to finding directions to arriving, to valet and the porter — to checking in, going to the room, having a drink, going to the spa . . . . and on and on and on. YIKES!
To avoid the overwhelm, it's often helpful to divide your touchpoints into Pre-Purchase | Purchase | Post-Purchase.
Here’s an example of the Pre- Purchase and Post- when someone is renting a car at the airport.
Note: these are the opportunities that the customer might have, not that they always have. For instance, not every customer will download the app.
Doing this exercise is also a great opportunity to get your different departments involved. The shuttle bus driver hears things that the agent will never know. The website designers need to know the strategies and goals of the marketing department. The people who answer the phones? They can provide perspective that you never considered. Plus, when the team is involved it becomes an interactive training session.
Spending time identifying your touchpoints also helps train your mind to think about your customer's point of view. Soon, this becomes a (valuable) habit.
Making this list of touchpoints does not fix things - it is not a solution for the moments that are not on-brand and that do not create a positive experience. But, doing this is a fantastic start. And simply by creating the list, you will shift your mindset and perspective in a way that will immediately start to make a difference in the way you think about your customers. And in turn, it will change your customers’ relationship with your business and your brand.