SHARE THE ARTICLE ON
Customer touchpoints are a key factor of every organization or brand , that allows it to interact with customers , solve problems , present value offerings and gather feedback . It is a well known fact that brands do not exist in isolation and constantly need to keep interacting with their surroundings in order to thrive . Customers value these interactions as part of a relationship building activity that allows brands to foster common interests by keeping customer satisfaction as a priority . It is this perceived customer value that makes brands interested in improving the communication process at all the identified touchpoints .
Ensuring an excellent customer experience can be tricky but an effective guide can help.
Customer touchpoints are a medium through which brands and customers interact with each other . There is a wide array of touchpoints , identified and unidentified , that comprise pre-purchase , during purchase and post-purchase communication. At each of these stages , the type and medium of communication varies . Variation is also noticed in the nature of interaction. For example :
Pre-purchase interaction by a prospective customer may be regarding a particular product’s availability , pricing , delivery and payment options etc and may be posted on the FAQ’s section of a Online shopping website such as Amazon , Flipkart etc .
On the other hand , these pre-purchase inquires may translate into a particular brand’s product comparisons on moving to the stage of interactions during purchase . This is usually done when the prospective customer has surfed through various brands and customer review websites , and have made up their mind about buying the product from a particular brand . They may be confused between two models of the same product offered by the brand which may vary on aspects such useful life , Guarantee and warranty, packaging etc . They may ask for further assistance from brand salespersons to make the best possible decision.
Lastly , the post -purchase interactions usually comprise of feedbacks and after- sales services . This may include an installation procedure to be carried out or a manufacturing defect in the product that needs to be fixed by the company within the warranty period .
Identifying customer touchpoints requires the brand to think from the customer’s perspective . Analysing points which will allow the customer to reach out to the brand and find what they are looking for , is the key to understanding customer perspective . This can be done effectively by asking your self questions such as
What is purpose for reaching out to the brand ?
This could be as simple as getting to know what the brand offers or getting a problem solved . People use different channels of communication based on the type of reason that they have for getting in touch with the brand and where will it be addressed in a quick and effective manner .
Where and how did you discover the brand and it’s offerings?
People get to know about the brand from billboards , social media , advertising , word of mouth , websites among other channels . The medium that markets a brand and makes people aware about it , also prescribes ways to get in touch with the brand to know more about it . These marketing channels usually act as a guide for prospective customer’s journey from becoming aware of the brand’s presence to buying products or rendering services from them .
Which touchpoint encouraged a prospective customer to engage in purchasing from the brand and where did the purchase take place ?
Customers tend to pay more importance to certain mediums such as customer reviews , one on one interaction , email promotions etc , as a reliable source of gathering information before trusting and purchasing from a brand . Identifying these key touchpoints and working on improving them can greatly enhance the reach of brands and encourage increased buying . It is also important to know where did the customer purchase from , to decide if customers prefer online or offline buying , automated or interactive purchases and company website or an online shopping platform .
Where do you go when you want to interact with the brand post purchase ?
Post- purchase , customers get in touch with brand to avail after sales services or get their grievances redressed . Most people look for active interactions via phone calls as they get to talk to a brand representative and get on the spot solutions as against automated interactions through emails or websites where the redressal procedure might take up some time .
Brands should track engagement activities on all these platforms and work on constantly improving communication quality in order to enhance customer satisfaction. Customer should be kept in the loop about new brand endeavours through generation of visually appealing content such as videos and blogs . This creates a feeling of belongingness and keeps the customers on the lookout for new brand sponsored content . Increasing engagement is a matter of ensuring good customer experience on all the customer touchpoint . Prompt responses , quick and effective solutions to customer problems , constant sharing , maximum transparency are respectful approach are pillars of good customer interactions . As famous author Kevin Stirtz puts it :
“Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they’ll come back”
Brands should look at touchpoints as areas influencer customer approach towards the brand . For each customer , these points are a representation of what the brand stands for and how it treats it’s customers . To make sure that each customer steps away from these touchpoints with the right impression , brands must actively monitor and update its communication channels.
It is essential for every brand to understand how their customers feel about their interaction with the brands on various touchpoints . Brands should survey panels of customers from each of it’s touchpoints to get to know where they lack and fill up the gaps. For example : A customer who registered a complaint regarding a product that they purchased from the brand website , can be asked how they feel about the telephonic conversation that they had with the brand representative , was there anything disturbing about the tone or manner of speaking of the customer rep , did they find the solution to their complaint or was there any delay . Such questions convey the areas where the brand needs improvement . Such a feedback can be carried out online , through one on one interview , over the telephone or through focus groups . Data collected through such feedback studies can be used to increase customer retention , increase customer loyalty and result in enhanced customer experiences .