Customer experience is no longer a ‘nice to have’, but a competitive advantage that brings in customers and increases loyalty. In fact, two-thirds of companies now compete on customer experience, and many customers rate it above product and price.
Each interaction with a brand, whether through an employee, a website, an advertisement, or an app, is an opportunity to woo a potential customer, and a great customer journey results in a longer business relationship, and more revenue. Existing customers are 50% more likely to try a new product of yours as well as spend 31% more than new customers.
But how do brands know if they’re on the right track?
Touchpoint mapping is the process of tracing each interaction between your brand and your customers; taking a walk in your customers’ shoes and questioning whether each transaction looks, feels and sounds the way your brand should, or whether there’s opportunities for improvement.
Of course, every customer journey is different, which means considering different touchpoints based on the individual ways people interact with brands. Only by looking at the customer’s end-to-end experience along the entire purchase journey, including things that happen before, during, and after the experience of a product or service across multiple channels, can we really begin to understand how to meaningfully improve performance.
Start by considering every single touchpoint on your customer’s purchase journey…
Before they even make a purchase, our goal is to familiarise the customer with the brand. This includes making them aware that we exist and increasing brand awareness. At this stage, touchpoints include online and offline advertising, content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), blogging, and word-of-mouth promotion.
Next, customers will actively seek contact details and start inquiring about products. They may review the website, look up reviews and check out competitors.
At the point of purchase, we no longer need to convince the customer that the product is better. Instead, the main goal is to create an experience that convinces them that they will receive, or have already received, premium service and to make the buying experience as quick and as painless as possible. Touch points here include things like checkout pages, point of sale systems, and staff engagement, and speed and ease of use are of the essence.
After a customer makes a purchase, many businesses consider it the end of their relationship. Big mistake. This is the optimum time to turn a one-time customer into a loyal fan and repeat purchaser, who’s likely to bring in new customers. So it’s important to think about loyalty programmes, customer care, product manuals, online community management, follow-up and thank-you emails, and post-purchase surveys. After all, almost 60% of customers are willing to pay more for a brand or provider with a reputation for outstanding customer service.
Then, once every touchpoint has been mapped out, we can start to think about ways to optimise them. It’s key to set priorities around fixing existing issues and redesigning the journey for a better end-to-end experience. Can the wait time be shortened from order to delivery? Could the checkout page be more user-friendly? The experience should be easy and painless at every stage, focussing on the customer’s needs and wants, ensuring these are met.
Use digital to delve deeper into customer engagement
To get the whole picture, brands also need to journey map customer engagement across every single touchpoint. This shows whether the touchpoints really do add up to a positive experience or in fact, drive potential customers away.
One benefit of digital transformation is that brands can collect data that enables them to understand their customers better and predict their tastes and preferences to make meaningful, personalised connections that go beyond simply making recommendations based on previous interactions. Research shows that little over half (54%) of consumers have stopped doing business with a company because it did a poor job of personalising the experience.
Today’s customers crave unique interactions with brands and want to see their needs fulfilled in unanticipated ways. The only way to ensure you are meeting those expectations and retain customer loyalty is to map engagement each and every touchpoint of their journey.
If you need help to map your customer touchpoint journey, spot existing challenges and maximise opportunities, let’s work together. Give us a call on 0161 448 8008.