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Understanding customer journey touchpoints

Understanding customer journey touchpoints

Customer journey touchpoints are the various moments at which a customer will directly, or indirectly, come into contact with your brand. These touchpoints make up the customer journey and are key to influencing the customer experience.

They include those aspects of the journey directly influenced by your organisation as well as those influenced or controlled by third parties. This is an important distinction as, while you may not be responsible for a particular part of the journey, it still affects the experience your customer has.

Why is understanding customer touchpoints important?

It’s impossible to improve the customer experience if you don’t know the moments that they go through to make that experience. These moments – the touchpoints in which the customer interacts with the brand – define the experience that customers have.

Multiple touchpoints create a journey. If brands are to successfully influence the customer – to buy, renew or recommend to a family, friend or coworker – then the experience in the moments that matter needs to meet their needs.

By knowing and understanding how customers feel during these touchpoints, brands can focus on improving certain, and often small, aspects of the experience, rather than having to rethink the journey as a whole.

This helps brands to create a tailored approach, instead of having to adopt a one-size-fits-all mindset.

Identifying your customer touchpoints

Before – how did they find out about you? Your customer may find out about you through adverts, billboards, social media, online reviews, or good old-fashioned word of mouth.

During– which channels and what did they do? This is your point of sale (POS). It could be your website, email marketing, branch, store, or delivery. Customers may interact with sales assistants and call centres.

After – what happens after the sale? These include invoicing, queries, returns, product support, product or service lifetime, newsletters, and customer feedback surveys.

Once you understand and map every touchpoint in your customer journey and collect feedback from each, you will be able to spot ‘pain points’ along the way or areas that need improving.

The Customer touchpoints

The typical Customer Journey Touchpoints used in marketing are:

  1. Social Media
  2. Online Advertisement
  3. Digital Marketing Content
  4. Company Events
  5. Peer Referral
  6. Conversations With Company Representatives
  7. Product Catalogs
  8. Ecommerce
  9. Product Reviews
  10. Point of Sale
  11. Thank You Letters
  12. Product Feedback Surveys
  13. Upsell/Cross-Sell Emails
  14. Billing Actions
  15. Subscription Renewals
  16. Customer Support Channels
  17. Customer Success Programs
  18. Customer Onboarding
  19. Customer Loyalty Programs
  20. Self-Service Resources

Turning your touchpoints into a journey

Your customer touchpoints together form a journey. This is the process, or order, in which a customer might directly or indirectly interact with your brand. Customers take multiple different journeys with a brand, influenced in different ways.

After all, this is why integrated marketing campaigns exist, to meet the needs of different target audiences. However, understanding these different journeys is important, to be able to improve the experience of each journey, and of each target audience. You must understand and appreciate ecommerce marketing.

This whole process is called customer journey mapping. It provides an overview of every way in which a customer might interact with your brand. It covers how they:

  • Research the product/service/brand
  • Buy
  • Use the product
  • Seek customer service support
  • Express their displeasure
  • Recommend the product
  • and more

Then, when something isn’t working or could be improved it’s possible to look at the process visually and come up with solutions to make it better for customers.

An action-orientated approach to customer touchpoints

Understanding how your customers interact with your brand throughout the customer journey is vital, but it will only prove effective if you take action on the insights that you uncover. For example, if it becomes clear that the onboarding process is damaging the customer experience, then action needs to be taken to rectify that.

The better the experience in these moments, the more likely you’ll be able to influence the customer to complete your goal – whether that is to buy a product for the first time or recommend it to a friend.

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