In marketing, the term “touchpoint” is used to define any interaction a customer has with your business. Some of these touchpoints might be obvious, others less so. It is an important concept to understand because all these touchpoints added together equals the customer experience.
Each touchpoint indicates an interaction with your business or brand. Each of those interactions can leave an impression and translate into sales. Every interaction is a chance to make a lasting impression and convert a prospect into a loyal customer.
Below are six ways a customer might interact with your brand and some simple steps that can be taken to enhance these touchpoints and translate these interactions into dollars spent.
A business’s website is often the first touchpoint a customer has with your brand. All good websites do two things well: be easy to use and allow customers to quickly find what they’re needing.
Today, this means your website must display well and work well on any device — desktop, mobile or tablet. Most customers will leave a website quickly if it doesn’t display or work well on the device they’re using.
Additionally, customers expect the navigation and content on the site to be relevant and intuitive. If they can’t find what they’re looking for within a few seconds (or clicks), the customer will feel frustrated and this touchpoint will leave a bad impression.
2) Social Media
Social media makes it easy for you to connect with your community, tell your stories, provide business updates, promote an offer and provide customer service. How you present yourself on social media is integral to your brand identity.
This is especially true when you’re using social media to provide customer service. Many customers will use social media to complain about a product or service. It’s important to handle these interactions with care and keep in mind that your responses on a post or comment are often visible to everyone. The best advice is to offer an email address or phone number where the conversation can be held directly and offline.
Depending upon your line of business, customers won’t expect you to have a presence on every social media platform. Do some research and figure out where your customers are and create your profile. You should always be monitoring your profile and be ready with a prompt reply when a customer posts or comments.
Are you realizing the full potential of social media marketing? Download our Guide to Social Media eBook to learn how being active on social media makes smart business sense.
3) Over the Phone
Many customers prefer to connect over the phone. They might do so for a variety of reasons:
- To place an order
- Ask for support to resolve a problem
- Respond to an offer
- Request an update on an expected product or service
Phone calls are a great opportunity to directly communicate and interact with your customers. However, they can often be anxiety inducing for both the business and the customer. For businesses, they are a real-time, but limited opportunity to provide great customer service. With limited time to respond to the customer’s message, you’re forced to make a quick judgement and respond immediately. For customers, phone calls can be frustrating due to hold times or inadequate customer service.
Whenever possible, try to have a live person answer your phone quickly and ensure that the staff member has polished customer services skills. When neither of these options are available, try to give the customer an alternative means of contacting you or provide them with a reasonable expectation of when you’ll call them back.
4) Product Packaging
If you sell physical products, product packaging is a great opportunity to convey your brand’s identity and enhance the customer experience in a subtle and unique way. Often overlooked, product packaging should be designed so that it effectively and accurately identifies your business and creates a feeling of excitement or suspense as the customer opens the box. However, your packaging must also be functional and safely transport your product through the mail or delivery system.
Some things to keep in mind when creating product packaging:
- Can the customer quickly identify your brand (logo) when they open the package?
- Is it easy for the customer to find instructions or safety warnings?
- Does it look like someone spent time wrapping/packaging the product?
- Is there a place in the packaging for a brief thank-you note?
Email is a very efficient way for businesses to contact multitudes of customers at once. Emails make it easy to connect with customers, share business updates, promote products or services and advertise sales. However, in today’s world of e-commerce, many customers are bombarded with an over abundance of emails and you need to make sure your emails stand out from the competition.
To ensure that your email stands out in a crowded inbox, focus upon relevancy and show that you can solve a customer’s problem or fulfill their needs/desires. For instance, if you’re a shoe store, a message to customers might use the subject line: Ready for Summer? 20% off all Flip-Flops & Sandals!
Don’t forget, customers like to feel special. Write the email as if you’re sending it just to the person who’s reading it. Speak directly to them.
6) Face to Face
Your sales staff is your bank account.
While personal or face-to-face touchpoints are an obvious part of the customer experience for most businesses, it bears reminding that the way you or your employees interact with customers will undoubtedly impact the customer’s perception of your business and brand.
Staff should be trained to talk with customers by handling each interaction with respect and grace. When difficult situations arise, your staff should know how to deescalate the tension and have the empowerment to provide a resolution.
At the end of the day, customers just want to feel valued and appreciated. A warm smile and a pleasant demeanor will go a long way in putting the customer at ease when they enter your place of business.
To learn how Safeguard can help you improve your customer experience through effective marketing — contact your advisor today.