Touching Up Your Customer Touchpoints

customer touchpoints

I recently had the honour and opportunity to talk to several small business owners about their Customer Journey’s as part of the BIPC Reset. Restart programme – here’s some information to follow up and summarise the session.

Here’s a fascinating fact…..when Apple became frustrated that some of its’ retail partners were not doing a good enough job creating the ‘Mac Experience’ for Apple PC customers, they decided to open up their own stores and take control of what they wanted their customers to see/hear/feel……which was considered at the time to be a terrible move – a Tech Company moving into Retail – CRAZY!

However, Apple are now considered to be a retail Customer Experience benchmark for others to live up to, and major reason why Apple has enjoyed growth and incredible loyalty for their brand – they took control of their most important Customer Touchpoint….

So, should every business invest in their key Customer Touchpoints in such grandiose fashion?

Of course, not - however it’s definitely time for us all to completely understand our own Customer Touchpoints and make informed decisions about how we want to appear to our customers – especially now.

The Covid pandemic has altered the way we’re all working, and has also affected customer behaviour and expectations - and that will last long into the future and maybe forever. During this period, some companies have been overwhelmed with business increases we could never have imagined, while some have experienced near shut-down – and it’s true to say that whichever side of the fence your business falls, its likely you’ve had to change (or pivot!) – and fast – but have you noticed that the way your customers interact with your Brand or Service has changed too?

So, what is a Customer Touchpoint and what should I do about them?

A Customer Touchpoint is generally considered to be any interaction point between your customer and your brand/service.

When you consider your Customer Touchpoints, you should usually think about them as divided into three main areas:

  • Awareness (or Discovery)

  • Evaluation (Researching & Making the Purchase)

  • Post Purchase (After the sales, enquiries, and ongoing communication

It’s important you can identify the many and varied ways your customers come in to contact with your business, products or services so you can ensure they are as you want or need them to be. After all, if you’re a retailer you wouldn’t forget to check your store window – so make sure all your touchpoints have the same impact – otherwise you risk ‘customer leak’.

Your touchpoints could be a combination of:

  • Website - look, feel and ease of use

  • Calls into your business – answer phone messages, speed of response, call handler approach

  • Incoming emails – automated responses, follow up, consistency of responder, non-templated responses

  • Customer Review sites – e.g., Trustpilot, Trip Advisor

  • 3rd parties that stock your products – retailers, other websites

  • Virtual sellers – Amazon, eBay

  • Personal recommendation – what are your existing customers saying about you?

  • Expos and Printed Collateral – Leaflets, Stands, Promotional sites

  • Social Media – who checks, who posts, who responds, how consistent is it?

So – it’s not just when you speak to a customer right?

When you really understand the reach of your touchpoints, it’s about finding out if each of these are presenting your business, products, or services in the way you want them to.

When you can clearly see where all your customer touchpoints are – and you’re able to look at them through your CLIENT/CUSTOMER lens and not yours, you can begin to identify which are strengths for your business, and whic