Take a moment to reflect on the your own best customer experience? Yes. I am asking you to stop for a moment and think about a time that you, as the customer, thoroughly enjoyed your experience. What was it about the experience that was so different? What made you feel so awesome and converted you to become a customer? Really think about it because what you experienced was direct or indirect customer touch point interaction(s). The wooing and pursuing strategies used in that experience are going to be the talking points of this introductory post about understanding customer touch points by bringing theory to practice.
In this post we’ll discuss what is a customer touch point, why customer touch points matter, how to identify customer touch points, and provide you with tips that you can use today.
So what is a customer touch point? McKinsey & Co. defined a customer touch point as an interaction that your customer comes in contact with your firm or brand – this can be before, during, or after purchase. A customer touch point is simply the direct and indirect interactions a firm has with an audience. The audience is the market. The objective is to convert the audience into a customer. The objective of a customer touch point is that the interactions create a positive experience that yields to customer conversion. Customer touch points vary significantly per firm, however, the objective is the same – interactions that lead to action. Action that leads to customers. Customers leads to sales.
Why do customer touch points matter? Understanding the key interactions helps you to chart your own customer journey map. A customer journey map helps you to identify your areas of opportunities for those interactions and to carefully shape those interactions using methods that fit your customers – not you. Yes, if you’re a selfish marketing lover and only focus on what others have to gain from using your services or products, you need to take a deep breathe and recognize, that there are others, there will always be others, and the only way to be competitive is to balance your uniqueness with creating and maintaining a positive customer relationship. Oh, you have a fear of customer commitment? I bet your profits are pretty small too. Insert Humor HERE.
How do I identify customer touch points? Identifying your customer touch points helps you as a marketer or small business owner to customize, engage, energize, establish, and maintain positive experiences from start to finish with customers over the short and long-haul. Tips to identify customer touch points:
- Before: Social Media, Online Reviews, Testimonials, Advertising, Public Relations, and Marketing.
- During: Store, Website, Location, Staff, Catalogue, Promotions, and Point of Sale.
- After: Communication, Marketing, Follow-Ups, Online Resources, Online Reviews, and Social Media.
These are just a few examples of customer touch point opportunities that may already be impacting your firm. Data is only as good as it reviewed, used, and implemented. Get to know you customer touch points by understanding your own customer map. This can help you to see the consumer demographics, psychographics, and help you review strategies that appear more effective. Likewise, it also serves as an opportunity to customize those touch points to strategically fit the dynamics that you’re working toward achieving with the customer. Keep in mind the experience that you want the customer to feel, not how you feel per se. Whether that be a one-time interaction, or lifetime of interactions with the customer. Companies that carefully craft customer touch points that are designed around the customer, have a greater opportunity of acquisition and retention.
How to start your customer touch point journey today? You can start by connecting theory with practice. Practice as it relates to your firm and customers. I would encourage setting aside a 60 minutes to get your creative juices flowing and to connect the dots of your customer touch points. Sit back by yourself or with a team, and discuss your target customers, how they come in contact with your firm, what touch point methods you may already be using, the effectiveness of those current touch points, and whether or not those touch points align with your brand objectives. If you’re truly a beginner and have no touch points, then think about how your customer learns about your firm, product, or service. Identify what methods could bring awareness and at the different stages (before, during, and after purchase). Think about the messages associated within different touch points. Is that message consistent or does it vary? Why? This brief 60 minute session will help you to connect theory with practice and/or prospective practice that fits your firm. Taken that information from the review session session and conducting a GAP analysis on where you are and where you would like to be in terms of customer touch points would be the next suggestion.
Cheers to you for taking on one of the funnest areas within business and making magic for your firm! For more information about establishing customer touch points, feel free to reach out to discussion strategic sessions in which we provide a helping hand with analysis and crafting strategy.
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by Katie Doseck, Ph.D.
Chief Visionary and Strategic Ace Up Your Sleeve | Viral Solutions LLC