While operating your business, you need to interact with customers on several fronts and levels. This interaction shapes your branding, marketing, and sales.
The significance of customer touchpoint in business
A customer touchpoint represents a physical situation where a past customer, current customer, or prospective customer interacts with a company. Customer touchpoints influence a customer’s purchasing decisions and attitudes and are therefore a significant part of a business strategy.
Defining a customer touchpoint
Many steps go into developing a customer touchpoint strategy. The first step is defining what a customer touchpoint is. Each customer interaction is defined as a customer touchpoint. These are all important because each touchpoint creates a “changepoint” in a customer’s experience when they take one step inside a business process. Each changing point will affect the next customer interaction, and the effect of the next interaction can determine how the process is organized, how it progresses, and ultimately, how effective it is.
Serving customers with an actionable event
When defining a customer touchpoint, it is essential to note that the term does not necessarily have to be related to a person. Instead, it can be defined as any actionable event that occurs between the customer and the business where an exchange of value can occur. In this definition, a customer can be defined as any potential customer who enquires about your product or service, requests assistance, or performs some action that allows you to provide a solution for them. The customer touchpoint in this example may be the inquiry itself, or it could be any action that allows you to provide assistance.
Mapping customer journey
Once a customer touchpoint has been defined, the next step is to map it. The mapping process is critical because it gives businesses a roadmap to follow to more effectively map each customer interaction with the business as it takes place. A customer journey map will help businesses build a unified strategy that views all customer interactions as a single flow of data. This means that all customer information can be easily shared and understood so that business owners and managers can take steps to improve the interactions between customers and the company.
The importance of having a customer journey map cannot be understated. Because without a customer journey map, there would be no way for companies to measure the success of their current and future strategies and actions.
Businesses that do not create a customer journey map can easily fall into the trap of “analysis paralysis.” It is the state in which a company becomes so caught up in their analysis that they lose focus on their customers. A business needs to understand its customers to develop an effective strategy, but once that strategy has been clearly defined, it is just a matter of implementing it.
Creating a brand contact point
Another way in which the customer touchpoint can be used effectively is by creating a brand contact point. A brand contact point is an internal location where you can monitor the interactions that take place between your customer service staff and your customers. You can then use this information to create a unified communications strategy, map all interactions and create reports that show how your brand contact point has been affected by each particular interaction. In these reports, you can find gaps in communications, opportunities to improve the interaction between the customer and the business, and potential problems that need to be addressed.
Making communications more efficient
Customer touchpoints are really just a tool for making communications more efficient. By properly mapping your touchpoints, you can remove the barriers that exist between your customers and your business, and you can create a unified communication strategy that takes your customer journey and makes it smooth. With the help of a good customer journey map, you can also make better use of customer service resources such as trained receptionists and sales representatives.
Creating a quality customer experience
A well-designed and implemented customer touchpoint map should provide you with the information you need to create a cost-effective and quality customer experience. Without a good customer journey map, you may be wasting valuable resources and not getting the value you deserve from your customer contact points.
Apart from helping businesses develop an improved business strategy, customer touchpoints help them increase marketing ROI and reinforce a better brand image.
In conclusion, customer touchpoints are really just another tool in the box of communication tools that you have available to you in your business communication toolbox. You need to be careful that you do not abuse them and that you do not misuse the information contained within them. You should be mindful about using them only when you have identified a problem or when you need to measure the effectiveness of your communication with your customers.