A long-term relationship between businesses and their customers is indicative of trust and value addition that are really hard to come by. This is the moment that engenders customer experience (CX). Intuitively, people understand the worth of a great customer experience, and brands that deliver it are usually successful in creating a loyal customer base on account of advocacy and endorsement.
Today, every marketer is talking about CX and, by all means, wants to measure it to extract better insights regarding consumer behaviours and preferences. Therefore, customer experience is a customer’s end-to-end journey with a brand, which is the cumulative impact of multiple “touchpoints” over time, which result in a real relationship feeling, or the lack of it.
If you are well-poised to position your brand in the market, you might as well begin to be in your customers’ good books. From establishing a healthy interaction to the delivery of great products or services, you have to address every touchpoint in the purchase journey and satisfy your customers.
What Exactly are Touchpoints and How Important are They in Your Brand’s Customer Journey?
To put it simply, customer touchpoints are the places where prospects interact with your brand. These interactions are so powerful that they might alter the way your customers feel about your product, business, or service.
Every touchpoint, therefore, plays a key role in reinforcing your business’s positioning and overall perception. On the contrary, if an important touchpoint is undermined or played down, it can result in a damaged reputation and unfavourable word of mouth. In fact, a very few firms have actually recognized the fact that it’s highly innovative to excel at all the myriad touchpoints throughout the customer journey, only to make the entire experience great.
Recognizing these touchpoints provides you a distinct opportunity to engage with your customers, listen to their concerns, address their pain points, and use their feedback to optimize the customer journey. As a matter of fact, your customers would already be expecting multi-channel improvement from you. Even according to a report by Aspect Software, businesses that adopt omni-channel CX strategies achieve 91% better year-over-year retention rates. Thus knowing your touchpoints is only half the battle through, you need to make sure every touchpoint meets your customers’ expectations and leads to a better customer experience.
Before identifying the main customer touchpoints, it’s important to first consider different stages of customer journey:
As the name implies, your prospects have just become aware of your brand through various channels, including advertising and word-of-mouth. This stage necessitates the first interaction and your goal should be to find out the best way to engage. Awareness stage requires you to reach them at the right moment and on the right platform. Social media can also be an effective tool to make an outreach by locating them.
In this stage, your potential customers realize that they have a need that must be met. The fact is people don’t easily buy anything without consumer input, so it’s very important to prominently feature reviews and testimonials in your outlets or on your website. Additionally, putting your own version of the story on how your brand helped them can give other customers insight into your business and add to your credibility. When they get convinced you can give them the best value for their money, they actively consider whether or not to buy your product or service.
Determining you are the best and making an informed decision, your prospects take a plunge and make the purchase. There are diverse methods of payments today, so it’s better to let them discover which way they prefer so that you can offer a targeted range of useful options.
Use of Product or Service
The customer starts using your product or service, experiences it, and gets retained based on the usage. In this stage, post-purchase communication can pay dividends. You can find ways to interact with them and ask whether they liked the product or not. The person-to-interaction with your customers will give attention to every aspect of their concerns. It also helps your customer representatives make quick decisions and come up with better solutions before customers get frustrated.
The relationship between you and the customer starts to grow. This is where you successfully build loyalty from your customer, whereas the customer spreads positive word-of-mouth about your product or service. You can use advocacy strategies and find proactive ways to seek testimonials. However, just because your customers have migrated through the conversion funnel doesn’t necessarily mean they will stay there. You have keep innovating your marketing strategies and addressing their lingering issues in a positive way.
Maximizing the Final Touchpoints
By going through the above stages of customer journey, it’s easy to identify the most important customer touchpoints. Armed with this information, you can measure results and make improvements in order to facilitate a better customer experience across every touchpoint.
Here is how you can maximize your final touchpoints in your customer journey:
#1 Spruce up Your Advertising and Marketing Efforts
Advertising and marketing are the initial touchpoints that bridge the obvious gap between your products/services and the prospects. The way you advertise and market your brand determines how effectively you reach your target audience. You have to choose the proper channels through which you can deliver the right message. Starting with a killer marketing plan, you have to factor in the product, price, place, and promotional strategies to create a winning impact on your consumers.
The right strategy is to divide your consumers into segments so that you will be better able to meet their needs. After segmentation, targeting is the best way to communicate with the chosen segments. By doing so, you will ensure the best possible customer response. You can use outdoor ads, cut-outs, business directories, newspapers, flyers, business cards, radio, and infomercials. Your brand positioning is the next step in the process where you define an image for your company. For positioning, you have to take your competitors into account. Finally, messaging is an important aspect of your marketing mix. It is what you want to say to influence your potential customers.
#2 Create Interactive Landing Pages
Your business landing page is the crucial touchpoint where your prospects directly connect with you and are just short of getting into the conversion funnel. High converting landing pages successfully convey their unique value proposition, eliminate unwanted distractions, and provide seamless experience. Investing in designing an interactive landing page will help you drive conversions and transactions. Even if you are not a savvy web designer, you can use existing codebase of Node.JS to build your own beautiful landing page. On your business landing page, you have to use statements that can trigger curiosity, activate fear of missing out and a sensation of a near miss.
#3 Give Demonstrations and Free Trials
Giving demos and free trials to your customers go a long way in enhancing your credibility among your prospects. Some people need to know how a product works before they use it, while others want to take a free trial so that all their doubts could be dispelled. For this very reason, demos and free trials are extremely important touchpoints. Demos are useful when your product requires extensive setup to gain value, whereas free trial requires lots of additional learning in order for your prospect to understand the real value it provides.
#4 Create an Easy Checkout Process
Did you know, almost 70% of the customers abandon the shopping cart, right at the checkout phase. If your business mostly runs as an online storefront, you should continually endeavour in your checkout optimization process. Customers expect a fast, simple, and reliable checkout. Don’t force the account creation process on them; all what they need is purchase a product – quickly, easily, and securely. A well-planned checkout touchpoint can encourage the visitors to make plenty of purchases.
#5 Provide Convenient Payment Options
Being rigid on a particular payment option can make you lose out on your customers, and hence, revenue. You should not overlook this touchpoint as such an insistence is equivalent to telling your customers to go elsewhere – particularly when there is so much competition. Generally, shoppers like to feel they are in complete control. Plus, they want payment options so they can determine the type of spending they’re doing. Your business should support various payment gateways for various customers because you never know who is comfortable with which option. Today, there are numerous mobile wallets that millennials like to use – you should also integrate them as well.
#6 Give Exceptional Customer Support
Customer support is one of the key touchpoints that maintains a long lasting relationship with your customers. To understand this, you should put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Exceptional customer service is one of the reasons why customers are patronizing a service, product or a business in general. By delivering great customer support, you are not only keeping your customers satisfied, but you are also going much beyond to retain their loyalty. When every member of your company gets involved in the customer support process in one way or another, your customers will put their unwavering faith in your brand.
When you introduce your brand to your prospects to tell them what it is all about, you do it with different channels, strategies and methods. All these interactions collectively form key touchpoints that make sure your customers are satisfied at every step of the way. If you maximize the efficacy of these touchpoints, you are invariably well on your way to becoming a successful business.