Why You Should Care About Customer Journey Touchpoints
Have you ever pressure-purchased a genuinely great product online (hey, those ads can be SUPER convincing) only to watch the rest of your buying experience fall flat?
Same here, friend.
When a current or potential customer has a disappointing experience with a brand, the sour taste it leaves behind can often send them racing toward a competitor instead.
In fact, 81% of US consumers have said they would definitely switch to a competitor after three or fewer poor experiences – major yikes, right?!
To avoid letting the ball drop on a buying experience with your brand, it’s crucial to focus on the individual customer touchpoints that occur at each stage of your customer journey map.
What is a customer touchpoint and why is it essential to a customer journey map?
A customer touchpoint is any time that a customer and your brand interact, such as through marketing campaigns, social media, sales, or customer service.
Think of these touchpoints as the foundation of a “connect-the-dots” style customer journey map, with each serving as an opportunity for the customer to interact with your brand either directly or indirectly and make their way toward the next step that leads them to purchase.
Today, the wide range of digital customer touchpoints acts as somewhat of a double-edged sword for e-commerce brands.
Though the beauty is that there are now an array of digital opportunities for brands and customers to connect before, during, and after a purchase, the vast number of touchpoints out there can make it easy for a brand to forget about one and risk losing out on customers and potential revenue.
Customer touchpoints examples and types
A customer journey typically has four major stages consisting of awareness, consideration, purchase/decision, and retention.
Within these primary stages, your brand will have customer touchpoints at various points that can either help or harm the customer experience and, therefore, affect the probability of a purchase being made.
To give you a better understanding of these touchpoints, we’ve made a brief list of customer touchpoints examples that correspond to each stage in the customer journey.
Awareness Stage Touchpoints
In the awareness stage, your customer is just getting started on their customer journey by learning more about your brand and your products & services.
The most common touchpoints to cover in the awareness stage are:
- Your website
- Social media accounts
- Word-of-mouth referrals
- Paid advertising
Consideration Stage Touchpoints
When your customers are considering a purchase, they’ll be hunting for more information to help them decide whether or not to move forward.
Customer touchpoints in the consideration stage will typically include:
- Product pages
- Reviews, testimonials, and case studies
- Digital marketing content (blogs, guest posts)
- Self-service resources (FAQ pages, chatbots)
Purchase/Decision Stage Touchpoints
Once a customer has decided to purchase from your brand, the customer experience must continue to impress in order to encourage positive reviews and prepare them for the retention stage.
Purchase stage touchpoints often consist of:
- Point of sale system
- Tracking pages or emails
- Customer service
- Physical locations
Retention Stage Touchpoints
The retention stage of a customer journey is crucial, because it’s at this point when a customer is evaluating their experience and deciding whether they’ll become a loyal customer or try out a competitor next time instead.
A few customer touchpoints in the retention stage are:
- Upselling and cross-selling emails
- Targeted ads campaigns
- Product reviews
- Subscription renewals
Best practices for improving customer touchpoints at each stage of the customer journey
To improve your brand’s customer journey map and elevate the overall experience, you must first ensure that your customer touchpoints are organized and optimized to work well on all ends.
1. Identify & document each stage’s customer touchpoints
It’s highly beneficial for each team or department within your brand to have a list that documents all customer touchpoints through the customer journey map. To be truly comprehensive and informative, this list can also include suggestions for customer touchpoints that are not yet being used.
When documenting your customer touchpoints, be sure to include the action, emotions & motivations, and obstacles or pain points associated with each one.
2. Examine the purpose of each customer touchpoint
Once you’ve identified all of the touchpoints throughout your customer journey, the corresponding actions, motivations, and obstacles for each will give you more insight into the purpose of each one.
For example, you may realize during this exercise that your “thank-you” post-purchase email sequence doesn’t include tracking information, which directly conflicts with 90% of customers who want to actively track their orders as they’re being processed.
Without the list of touchpoints and the purpose behind each one, this specific slip-up could continue to fly under the radar and create unnecessary tickets from disappointed customers who want to track their packages.
3. Determine which team owns each touchpoint
When there are too many cooks in the kitchen, something is bound to be forgotten. To avoid neglecting touchpoints that downgrade the quality of the customer experience, be sure that each touchpoint is assigned to the appropriate team or department within your brand.
For social media touchpoints, you may want to create a system that allows both customer service and marketing to be involved. This could allow marketing to oversee your social channels with customer service available to assist with comments, DMs, or other social media inquiries that involve tracking or troubleshooting issues.
4. Measure the success of each touchpoint
To ensure each touchpoint across the customer journey is working as you expect it to, there are a few strategies we recommend.
- Send a few members of your team (or even people outside your organization) through the customer journey map and have them keep track of any issues or difficult spots they run into along the way.
- Use tracking tools or even focus groups that help your team identify the success of paid ads, your website, and other touchpoints.
- Offer surveys after specific customer touchpoints to track important metrics.
- Gather feedback from past customers to get the most direct feedback from your audience.
Elevate your customer journey map with customer touchpoints that enhance the experience
Optimizing your customer journey touchpoints can be a tricky task, but when done correctly with data and troubleshooting strategies, they can have a huge impact on the quality of your customer experience.
After all, customers want and (clears throat) deserve a positive experience with your brand, and identifying any gaps, pain points, or opportunities in your customer journey map will help you put their needs and desires first.
If you’re ready to get started on elevating your customer journey map, TalentPop is here to help you optimize your customer touchpoints to enhance the overall experience with your brand.
Schedule a call with our team today to learn more about how and where we can support your goals and KPIs in 2023.