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Customer Touch Points Explained: Best Practices

Customer touchpoints are the backbone of a successful customer journey. Learn more about what a customer touchpoint is and set your sales team up for success.

From start to finish, it's a business's responsibility to be there for its customers throughout its entire customer journey.

Whether you're following up with potential customers or finalizing a sale, it's crucial to stay on top of every interaction your customer has with your company. These interactions are otherwise known as customer touchpoints, and they're a pivotal part of optimizing your customer experience.

In order for your business to be successful, you need to understand all your customer touchpoints so that you can ensure your customers are always having a positive experience with your business. When your customers have good interactions with your brand, they're more likely to continue to support your business and recommend your products or services to their friends and family.

Customer loyalty is a crucial aspect of every company, whether you own a small business or a large enterprise. But in order to build a base of loyal customers, you need to be on top of your customer touchpoints and make sure their needs are being met throughout their entire journey with your company.

In this article, we'll be going over customer touchpoints and how they impact the customer journey. We'll also be going over important tips to leverage customer touchpoints so that you can improve the customer experience and ultimately grow your company.

Positive brand experiences can transform your business and help you reach new heights you never thought imaginable, but that starts with understanding customer touchpoints.

A customer touchpoint is any time a consumer interacts with your brand, whether that’s through an employee, a website, an advertisement, or an app.

What are customer touchpoints?

Customer touchpoints refer to every interaction a customer has with your brand throughout the entire customer journey. These touchpoints can include an online advertisement, a visit to your physical store, a conversation with company representatives, or a customer loyalty program.

There are many ways customers interact with businesses, but it's your job to track their interactions so that you can make sure they're always having a positive experience with your brand.

Customer touchpoints can heavily influence brand perception. Every interaction you have with a customer, whether that's online or in person, is an opportunity to optimize your customer experience and build stronger relationships with your audience.

With customer touchpoints, you're putting yourself in your customer's shoes and seeing how they perceive your business so that you can make more informed decisions to improve the customer journey. But in order to do this, you need to create a customer journey map so you can have a better understanding of their wants and needs.

How do customer touchpoints impact the customer journey?

Customer touchpoints impact the customer journey in many ways. They can influence a customer's decision to buy something from your brand, as well as their decision to refer you to people they know.

When your customers have consistently positive experiences with your company, they're going to continue to buy your products and services and recommend you to their friends and family.

For example, you may first reach potential customers through social media marketing. If they have a positive experience with this social media marketing, they're probably going to visit your company's website and browse your products or services.

Then, if they have a good customer experience with your company's website and find it easy to navigate, they may reach out to your sales team to ask a question about the product they're looking at. If they have a good interaction with your sales reps and get all their questions answered, they might just end up purchasing whatever it is that they're looking at.

This entire journey, from the first social media ad they see to the final conversation with the sales rep, are all examples of customer touchpoints. In this case, a potential customer had a positive experience with every interaction, and that eventually led them to make a purchase. This is why it's so important to know your customers' touchpoints so that you can support them throughout the entire customer journey.

Different types of customer touchpoints include: social media, in-person events, public relations, and more.

Understand the different types of customer touchpoints

The customer journey looks different for everyone. Some people get influenced to support a brand through social media, while other people hear through word of mouth.

Customer touchpoints are typically broken up into three different stages: before the purchase, during the purchase, and after the purchase. Each stage is equally as important, but you need to understand the different types of customer touchpoints so that you can make sure your customers have a positive experience throughout every interaction.

Before the purchase decision

Before the purchase refers to all the ways that your customers found out about your brand. This can be through social media posts, online ads, word of mouth, ratings and reviews, and various other marketing efforts. This is one of the most important parts of the customer journey because it can determine whether or not a customer will support your business.

You can target both existing customers, as well as new customers with these tactics. You should strive to create relevant content that is catered to your target customers and pull them in. You should be active on a few social media channels and engage with your customers to keep them interested in your brand. It's also important that your company's website is easily accessible so customers can quickly find the information they're looking for.

Essentially, during this stage, you're trying to pull your customers in with interesting and exciting content so that they'll want to find out more about your business. Whether you do that with organic social media or paid ads, your customers should have a positive experience with your brand right off the bat.

During the purchase decision

Before the purchase decision is when you can really gauge how your customers feel and encourage them to make a purchase. During this stage, you need to make sure that your customers got everything they needed to make a decision. There are a few examples of touchpoints during the purchase decision, such as conversations with your support team, product reviews, and product catalogs.

All of these are equally important touchpoints that can heavily influence a potential customer's purchasing decision. Whether customers are talking to your support team in person or over the phone, it's important that they get all their questions answered in a timely manner. When someone has to wait around, they're likely going to switch to a competitor who has better customer service.

Product reviews are another crucial touchpoint because they give your customer insight into what other people have to say. Very few people are going to purchase something that has zero reviews, so make sure all your products have positive product reviews.

Lastly, product catalogs are another way to encourage potential customers to make a purchase. With a catalog, you can showcase your product and tell your customer everything they need to know. You can do this with a high-quality image of the product and a detailed description.

The final touchpoint in this stage is the point of sale, which is when a sales rep will tell a potential customer why they should purchase your product or service.

The point of sale is one of the most important steps in the customer journey because it's your last opportunity to encourage a customer to make a decision. Your customers need to have a positive experience during the checkout process to ensure they become loyal customers in the future.

During the point of sale, your customers should be confident that they are making the right decision by purchasing from your company.

After purchase decision

Reaching your customers and encouraging them to make a purchase is only half the battle. Even if you successfully make a sale, you then need to follow up with your customers. This will happen after the purchase, and it's crucial for customers to have a good experience during this stage so that they become repeat customers.

The customer lifecycle doesn't end when a purchase is made, and it's your responsibility as a business owner to make sure they continue to have good interactions with your brand.

There are a few ways you can do this. You can send out product feedback surveys, which are surveys that are sent out after purchase to evaluate a customer's experience. Product feedback surveys are a great way to gain insight into your customer satisfaction levels and gauge if people are happy with your products.

Of course, it's a goal to only get positive feedback, but that's not always attainable. But if you do receive a negative review, make sure you reach out to the customer to learn more.

Another way to keep in touch with customers after they make a purchase is to add them to an email list. Cross-selling emails are a great way to sell additional products to your customers and keep them updated on new products.

Sending thank you letters is another example of an important touchpoint because it conveys your gratitude for your customers. You can do this through email or even a handwritten note.

The average consumer journey now involves 20-500+ touchpoints.

Why are customer touchpoints important to businesses?

Customer touchpoints are important to businesses for various reasons. Customer touchpoints can impact whether someone makes a one-time purchase or becomes a lifelong customer.

If your target audience continuously has positive encounters with your business, they're more likely to become repeat customers. And the more loyal customers you have, the more business you're going to have.

Touchpoints give you a comprehensive understanding of the customer journey so you can optimize the customer experience. When you can identify customer touchpoints, you'll have less stress for your customer service teams because they'll gain more insight into your customer's experience. Touchpoints can also help to build brand loyalty.

Customer satisfaction is a goal for every business because it means your customers are happy with what you're giving them.

Identify your customer touchpoints

There are a few ways that business owners can identify their touchpoints. First things first: You need to put yourself in your customer's shoes. You need to get inside your customer's heads to fully understand their experiences with your business.

This will help you be able to identify their wants and needs so that you can better support them throughout the customer journey.

Another way you can identify customer touchpoints is with touchpoint mapping. By creating a customer journey map, you can identify all the ways a customer interacts with your brand, from visiting your website to contacting customer service.

Customer journey maps are a very helpful tool because they can help you outline all the touch points a customer goes through, from their very first interaction to after the sale.

Tips to help you leverage customer touchpoints

So now that you know some examples of consumer touchpoints and why they are so important for businesses, let's go over some tips to help you leverage customer touchpoints.

Determine your budget

Before you can use consumer touchpoints to improve your business, you first need to determine your budget. For example, not all businesses have the budget to implement an entire service desk, but that doesn't mean you're not still capable of excellent customer service.

You can provide great customer service in much more affordable ways, such as with a free chat box on your company's website that your customers can easily access if they have any questions. You don't have to break the bank to achieve customer satisfaction, you can work within your means and still get great results.

Think like the customer

When thinking about customer touchpoints, you want to put yourself in your customers' shoes and think like they would. Think about all the steps that they might make before making a purchase.

Then, think about how you can change your sales strategy to better meet those steps. You'll want to ask yourself various questions, like "What problem do I have that needs to be solved?" and "What will influence my purchase decision?".

By answering these questions, you can gain more insight into what a customer’s thought process may be when they’re shopping. In order to make decisions that benefit your customer, you need to think like they would.

Use software tools for automation

There are some touchpoints that can easily be automated with software tools. By automating these tasks, you can spend more time on more important touchpoints, like the point of sale. There are a lot of software tools out there that you can use to automate various tasks, like sending out automated emails or following up on leads. These software tools will help to streamline your customer interactions and improve efficiency across all your departments.

Determine the intended customer journey

Another way you can leverage your customer touchpoints is by determining your intended customer journey. All businesses have different goals when it comes to their customers, so you need to figure out what your business's specific goals are. Maybe you want to increase sales or maybe you want to boost customer retention.

Determine what your customer journey looks like so that you can map out the specific customer touchpoints you need to focus on to achieve that.

Listen to customer feedback

Customer feedback is one of the most important touch points you'll deal with throughout the customer journey. In order for you to know that your customers are happy with your company, you need to get their feedback. There are a few ways you can do this, like with customer feedback surveys. Customer feedback surveys are a great way to gain insight into what your customers like and don't like about your business so that you can make improvements in the future to better meet their needs.

Always strive to improve your customer experience

At the end of the day, it's every business's goal to improve your customer experience and be there for them every step of the way.

When your customers have positive interactions with your brand, they're more likely to purchase your products and services and recommend you to their friends and family. But in order to optimize the customer experience and ensure customer satisfaction, you need to understand customer touchpoints.

Identifying customer touchpoints are crucial for any business. From the very first ad your customers see to the second they click that checkout button, you need to stay on top of every step in the customer journey. Understanding customer touchpoints can be tough, but using a service like Mailchimp can help out.

Mailchimp is a marketing automation platform and email marketing service that offers various tools that can help you optimize your customer experience. We have everything from a customer journey builder to a marketing CRM that you can use to better understand your customers and improve your customer's journey with your business.

With Mailchimp, you can access tools to help with omnichannel marketing, audience segmentation, email marketing, and more so that you can identify your customer touchpoints and create a customer journey that helps you reach your business goals.

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