Successfully identifying customer touchpoints helps you understand customers’ perceptions of your brand. When you identify these touchpoints, you can see your company through your customers’ eyes and determine what you can do to improve their experience.
Customer touchpoints start when a customer notices your brand and continue when they become interested in your brand, convert, and stay in touch with you so they can make future purchases from you.
A touchpoint is any time a customer has an interaction with your brand, whether either directly or indirectly. Customer touchpoints can come from a variety of sources, such as social media, direct searches, word of mouth, an app, or even visiting your physical store.
Although most brands focus on customer touchpoints before a purchase, customer touchpoints during and after the purchase are also important. Customers’ interactions with your brand at any point shape their perception of your brand, which can either attract or repel them.
So, studying customer touchpoints not only helps you understand how customers interact with your brand but also helps you improve your chances of retaining and converting them.
Customer touchpoints operate on the principle that “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” So. you need to identify and optimize your brand’s customer touchpoints so that customers have a positive impression of your brand.
If your first customer touchpoint isn’t attractive, they are likely to forget your brand quickly. Also, if your customers have a negative experience while interacting with your brand, that will be imprinted on their minds whenever they see your brand.
A positive customer touchpoint isn’t just about the customer who had a disappointing experience with your business. When customers who have had a bad experience with your brand want to describe your company to someone else, that negative experience becomes their point of reference.
So, when your touchpoints aren’t user-centric, you’re not only declining your chances of retaining customers but also decreasing your chances of converting new ones.
Every company’s customer touchpoints are unique. So, you have to determine yours by researching the channels customers use to interact with your brand.
Another important fact to note is that identifying your customer touchpoint isn’t enough, you also need to figure out your customer experience with these touchpoints.
For example, you’ve identified social media ads as a major touchpoint, and while you have a lot of engagement on your social media page, you’ve noticed that none of your customers are coming through this channel.
However, what you didn’t notice is that the website link in your bio is broken, so users can’t visit your website directly from social media, so they leave.
There are several methods you can use for determining customer touchpoints, but the most common is mapping out customers’ journeys. You could do this using simple market research methods like customer experience surveys.
There are three classes of customer touchpoints, before, during, and after purchase.
This is where customers get introduced to your brand for the first time and most of the time you have to be proactive at this stage. Before customers buy from you they have to know you; this stage includes the channels through which customers learn about your brand.
The most common ways for people to discover your business are via social media, search results, customer reviews, personal recommendations, and ads.
Having a social media profile helps you get discovered by customers in a variety of ways. Your content is recommended to people who are likely to engage with your brand on social media platforms.
Customers can also find you on social media by searching for keywords related to your brand or your username. Potential customers can also find you through sponsored posts if they match your target market.
Research the platforms that the majority of your target audience uses and create content that they enjoy to maximize your customer touchpoints and experience on social media.
Once you’ve nailed this, the algorithm will help you do the rest by recommending your brand to more and more people who are similar to the people who engage with your brand.
When a potential customer searches for your brand or a related keyword about the product or service you offer and finds a blog post or your website, that search result is a touchpoint.
Keep in mind that potential customers will only see you in their search results if you employ good SEO practices or invest in SEM. Your blog posts should also be informative and include call-to-actions that direct customers to sign-up.
Optimizing your website to become user-friendly can also improve your customers’ interactions with it. You can conduct a usability survey to learn what your customers find user-friendly.
Ads are one of the simplest and most effective ways to capture the attention of your target audience. Of course, other organic customer acquisition methods will get you in front of your target audience, but not as quickly.
Customer experience is a significant part of ads; the goal of running ads is to pique the interest of your target audience, so ensure that your ad not only informs them about the product but also piques their interest.
For example, when promoting a particular product, the ad should direct your customers to the product itself, not your website.
Personal recommendations and testimonials are the long-term effects of a good customer experience; if they had a positive experience, they are likely to recommend you to their contacts.
This touchpoint is pretty important because existing customers will describe your brand to potential customers based on their experiences with it.
When customers consider purchasing a product, they have passed through all of the AIDA phases except the action stage. They want to know if they’re making the right choice, so they’ll look at reviews to learn about your existing customers’ experiences with the product.
Most people will not buy your product if the reviews are poor or non-existent. So always be proactive in ensuring that your positive reviews are visible to your customers.
For example, post reviews on your homepage so that customers can be confident that they are purchasing a quality product.
This is the final step before customers buy your product, whether in-store or online. Typically, your sales representative or checkout page provides customers with information about what they are purchasing and confirms their purchase.
Customer touchpoints continue after you’ve successfully converted your customers. These touchpoints exist so that you can develop a relationship with your customers.
It helps you learn about their experiences during their customer journey, and figure out how to improve them.
For example, if a customer buys an item from your brand, you can send them a thank you note a few days later; most customers appreciate this.
The most common customer touchpoints after sales are product feedback surveys, social media posts, and emails.
The best way to find out what your customers think about your product is to ask them. Inquire about their experience with your brand; for example, ask if they had any technical issues or features they would like you to improve.
The goal is to identify and improve customer pain points so that future customers have a better experience with your brand and do not encounter the same issues.
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Here’s a real-life example of how customer touchpoints work:
You own a makeup line and are running a sponsored social media post for a new lip gloss. When someone who fits your customer profile sees the post and opens it, the social media platform redirects them to the lip gloss page.
After being redirected to your page, the customer reads the product description, is impressed with it, and adds it to their wish list.
The customer then does not return to their wish list for three days, so you send them an email reminding them of the items on their wish list.
The customer reads the email and then navigates to your website, where they add the items to their shopping cart. But before making a final decision, the customer decided to read previous buyer lipstick reviews.
However, the customer saw conflicting reviews about the product. So the customer decides to look at the social media comments and posts about the new lip-gloss.
So after extensive research, the customer is convinced that the lip gloss is good. The customer then returns to your website and adds the lip gloss from their wish list to their cart.
The customer then completes the checkout process and receives the order a few days later.
Every interaction your customer has with your brand is a touchpoint, and this customer has had 9 touchpoints.
Of course, there will be more touchpoints after the first purchase to build a loyal customer base. For example, you can send them updates on new product launches, makeup tips, and tutorials.
The most effective way to leverage customer touchpoints is to map them into journeys and optimize these journeys for customer satisfaction and revenue growth.
Every customer touchpoint before the checkout is an opportunity to persuade a customer to proceed with their order. In most cases, customer journeys differ from most people’s, but the process is nearly identical.
Most brands use the AIDA model to identify, map customer journeys, and tailor marketing efforts. Here’s how it works:
Customers meet your brand at this stage, which is usually generated by SEO, social media sponsored posts, personal recommendations, in-app ads, and other means.
Here is where your customers will understand your products. This includes activities like scrolling through your social media, searching for your brands, and more.
This is where your customers see the value in your product and are convinced that it is what they want. This stage entails reading blog posts, checking reviews, and others.
The customer confirms and pays for the order at this point. This stage may take minutes, hours, days, or even weeks after your customers’ initial interaction with your brand.
You can speed up the process by sending reminders to customers who have expressed an interest in a product. For example, you can send abandoned cart emails to encourage customers to recall and complete unfinished orders.
After the action phase, you should maintain a relationship with your existing customers to make them long-term loyal customers.
Getting your customers to become loyal customers is just as tough as converting them. You’d have to keep your customers engaged to retain them, this includes social media content, feedback surveys, and email tips.
Using customer touchpoints allows you to create a working customer journey that enables you to figure out what your customers go through and optimize them for a better customer experience.
In addition to mapping out customer journeys to improve customer satisfaction, you should create more touchpoints to retain existing customers. A good place to start is a product survey, asking your customers what they like about your product and how you can improve it.
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