Today, consumers expect businesses to provide a seamless customer journey from the moment they first interact with a brand. In fact, 84% of consumers believe that the experience a company provides is just as important as its offerings.
In other words, it takes more than an excellent product to get prospects to purchase from you. That’s why optimizing your customer touchpoints is more important than ever, ensuring that they pave the way for a frictionless journey for your prospects.
Don’t know where to start? This blog post will go through the following topics:
What are customer touchpoints?
Let’s start with customer touchpoints’ definition. Customer touchpoints are interactions between a business and a customer throughout the customer’s journey. Identifying key customer touchpoints helps companies determine opportunities to improve their customers’ journey.
Touchpoints affect your customers’ experience and their perception of your brand. When you provide a smooth journey from discovering your business until they buy from you and reach out to you after purchase, they’ll remember you as a helpful and reliable company.
Customer touchpoints are usually documented chronologically in a customer journey map. Doing so helps marketing, sales, and customer service teams identify what stops prospects and customers from proceeding with their journey.
Do your ads’ landing pages take too long to load? Are customer service representatives available to chat or talk when customers have post-sales questions? By identifying touchpoints with friction (such as a page load issue or unavailable customer support), businesses can eliminate them or optimize the journey.
Why are customer touchpoints important?
Have you ever canceled your plans to purchase from a business because of a less-than-satisfactory experience? You’re not alone, with 73% of buyers saying customer experience is a critical factor in their purchasing decisions.
Identifying customer touchpoints pushing prospects away from your brand can help you determine which ones to optimize or remove altogether. As a result, you can improve your business’s customer satisfaction. Here are other reasons customer touchpoints are essential:
- Increased customer retention: Satisfied customers will likely purchase from your business again. And we all know that retaining customers is less costly than acquiring new ones.
- Brand loyalty: With happy customers turning to your business every time they need your products or services, you are building a loyal customer base that will refer and promote your company.
- Better post-sales support: An optimized customer journey enables businesses to better address post-sales inquiries and resolve tickets quickly.
15 examples of customer touchpoints
If you’re a business-to-business (B2B) company, your customer touchpoints differ from those of an online retailer. That’s because different businesses have different customer touchpoints.
Read on to learn more about 15 common examples of customer touchpoints, categorized by when they occur in the customer journey—before, during, or after a purchase. They are summarized in the table.
|Before a purchase||During a purchase||After a purchase|
|Social media||Conversation with a sales representative||Thank-you or welcome emails|
|Digital ads||Product brochures||Billing|
|Online content||Product reviews||Feedback surveys|
|Family or friend referral||Website or ecommerce site||Upselling or cross-selling emails|
|Events||Point of sale||Customer support channels|
Customer touchpoints before a purchase
The initial customer touchpoints typically happen before prospects visit your website or store. These touchpoints happen in channels where customers find you, including:
1. Social media
Did you know that social media is a source of product purchase advice for 80% of users? A cost-effective way to reach your audience, social media is a customer touchpoint before, during, and after a purchase, but it is typically a strategy to gain new prospects.
To execute an effective social media strategy, ensure your business is on the platform your customers use most often. Use social media to nurture relationships with your audience and build a community of customers. You can promote your products, services, and special offers.
2. Digital ads
Have you ever noticed the ads on search engine results pages (SERPs)? Or how about the display ads at the top of a webpage?
These are digital ads that serve as initial customer touchpoints. They can attract searchers or site visitors to click on the ad and visit a landing page. If your ad features a special offer, ensure it leads to a landing page with all the details they’d expect from the ad.
3. Online content
This blog post you’re reading is an example of online content, which is any material that your business publishes on your site. Other formats include:
- Case studies
- Short- or long-form videos
Publish helpful content that your customers seek. When done right, online content helps establish a brand’s credibility and build trust among your prospects.
4. Family or friend referral
Ever wonder what customers say when they talk about your brand with their family, friends, or colleagues? When they share a positive experience and refer others to your business, your new prospects are four times more likely to buy. That’s why it makes sense to invest in word-of-mouth marketing, which boosts your business’s trustworthiness.
5. Face-to-face events
Events and pop-up displays are a great way to introduce your business to potential customers who may not have been aware of your brand. Conferences and trade shows related to your industry are excellent places to start.
Customer touchpoints during a purchase
At this stage, you’ve successfully converted a prospect into a customer. Leave a good impression on your customers at these touchpoints so you’ll start a harmonious relationship with them.
6. Conversation with a sales representative
A prospect is convinced to walk into your brick-and-mortar store after an initial online touchpoint, and the first person they meet is your sales representative. When your sales rep provides the same frictionless experience as they had online, your prospect will likely proceed with their purchase.
7. Product brochures
Brochures are helpful tools for customers to learn more about a business’s product line. They usually contain images and product descriptions. They come in digital formats or hard copies.
Ensure this customer touchpoint assists your prospects during their purchase by providing helpful information. If it’s an online brochure, add a call-to-action that lets site visitors add the product to their cart.
8. Product reviews
Consumers used to do their research about business and product reviews well in advance of a purchase. Today, though, consumers can pull up their phones to do that research in the span of five minutes while they’re shopping in-store. Ecommerce sites now feature product listings with ratings and reviews.
9. Ecommerce site or website
Another customer touchpoint during a purchase, ecommerce sites and websites let brands reach customers from anywhere in the world. Make sure your pages provide the information that your audience needs. Provide product descriptions, images, and videos to enhance the customer experience while they’re on your website.
Mind your site’s page load speed so your prospects don’t bounce off your site.
10. Point of sale
At this touchpoint, your sales representative is at the final stage of convincing your prospect that your product or service is what they need. Make this interaction count by providing the necessary information that your customer needs.
If the point of sale happens online, ensure the page provides easy-to-digest information for your customers.
Customer touchpoints after a purchase
You’ve closed a deal with a customer. Congratulations! The touchpoints don’t end there, though. Make sure customer touchpoints after purchase are still as pleasant as before they were paying customers.
11. Thank-you or welcome emails or notes
Build rapport with your customers—old and new—by providing a thank-you or welcome email. Show your customers that you care about them and appreciate their trust. You can even leave your customer support contact details in the note so they know how to reach you when they stumble into any questions or problems.
While billing may not directly influence your customer’s purchase decision, it is still a vital touchpoint in the customer journey. A negative experience during billing, especially for B2B businesses, may result in your customers leaving.
13. Feedback surveys
Do you want to know what customers think about your product or service? Feedback surveys are customer touchpoints that let you discover whether your business helped them address their pain points.
When a customer leaves a negative review, reach out to learn more about their issue. This can help you improve your product and your sales process.
Did they have trouble using your product? Consider adding another touchpoint of onboarding or tutorial to address this issue.
14. Upselling or cross-selling emails
When customers buy a product from you, they may find that they need other tools to help them get the most from their purchase. Use this opportunity to upsell or cross-sell other helpful products to your customer.
15. Customer support channels
Let your customers contact you when they need your help through chat, email, phone, or social media.
Want to take it a step further? Omnichannel support enables you to provide a seamless experience at this customer touchpoint. If they initially called your customer hotline, but your support team needs screenshots, they can jump into a chat or email without starting with a new service ticket.
How to identify your customer touchpoints
Now that you know the different examples of customer touchpoints, it’s time to identify yours.
1. Know your customers and their needs
Identify the different types of customers you have by collating information from your market research and customer surveys. Create buyer personas from them, and identify their various needs.
Based on your different buyer personas, what are the best initial touchpoints for them? For example, let’s say you provide interior design services, and most of your customers have found you via search.
Your initial customer touchpoints are search ads and online content. Optimizing these touchpoints is a good idea to make a good impression on your prospects.
2. Review how customers interact with your business
If you already have customer touchpoints in place, identify the ones your customers use regularly. Do they interact with your business more through social media or your website? You can also ask your customers where they prefer to engage with your brand through surveys.
3. Map out your customer journey and customer experience
Now that you’ve identified your existing customer touchpoints, map out your customer journey.
How does a buyer persona identify their problem, research a solution, and find your business? Map out how they first interact with your business, purchase from you, and engage with you afterwards.
Customer experience matters at every touchpoint. That’s why it’s crucial to map out the customer experience to find their pain points throughout their journey.
4. Get feedback from your customers through surveys
Are your customers satisfied enough with your product and service that they’ll recommend your business to their family and friends? You can find out by running a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey.
An NPS survey examines your customer’s satisfaction and asks them if they’re likely to recommend your business. If they’re not satisfied at any point during their engagement with your company, address the friction.
You can also run other surveys throughout your customer’s journey to determine which touchpoints need to be optimized.
5. Regularly review your customer touchpoints and customer journey map
Optimizing your customer touchpoints isn’t a one-and-done activity. Review them regularly and update your customer touchpoints file whenever you have new marketing campaigns or customer paths.
Identify and optimize your customer touchpoints with Nutshell
Optimizing your customer touchpoints is an essential activity if you want to increase customer satisfaction and retention. A customer relationship management (CRM) tool like Nutshell can help you identify which interactions lead your prospects to purchase.
Our CRM comes equipped with a variety of features for optimizing customer touchpoints. You can categorize customer data and even generate in-depth reports on it to find out how you can better optimize your sales pipeline.
Want to try out Nutshell for yourself? Just check out our 14-day free trial!
BACK TO TOP
Leave a Comment