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25
April 2016

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The Customer Journey – Possible Touchpoints Along the Road

The path to creating a fulfilling customer journey is fraught with pitfalls. It used to be that the customer journey included the customer entering your store, shopping, buying a product and leaving. But times are changing and retailers are realizing that in order to fully engage a customer and keep them loyal, as well as turn them into a potential return customer requires full customer satisfaction. This means identifying and addressing any potential touchpoints along the customer journey with care.

What are touchpoints? Touchpoints are any online or real-world interaction that occurs between your brand and the customer. Each of these touchpoints offers precious and critical opportunity for engagement, and can sway a customer’s decision on whether they stay with you, or turn somewhere else for service and satisfaction.

The Need for Identifying Your Touchpoints

Diamond shoppingDiamond shopping is a very emotional time for a customer. And when high emotion meets high price tags, things can often get a bit difficult. Building trust with your customer is imperative, and identifying their potential for dissatisfaction is the key to making them happy. These potential points of dissatisfaction occur any time your brand has an interaction with your customer, be it in your store, on the phone, online, and more.

Knowing what your specific touchpoints are enables you to meet and address potential problems before they exist and head them off. For instance, did you know that 45 percent of your customers will likely use their mobile device while in your store in order to help them with their purchase decision? They may look up store reviews, check out ads or deals that you are currently running, peruse your social media pages, or even send pictures to their friends.

Pinpointing and Addressing Touchpoints

Any potential point of interaction between your brand and a customer is a touchpoint, even if you are unaware of them. Touchpoints occur long before a customer enters your store, and can be things such as a customer finding your business in an online search, seeing an ad in a magazine, reading a rating or review, browsing your website, entering your online or bricks-and-mortar store, checking out your social media pages, calling customer service, receiving delivery of a purchase, making payment, returning an item, procuring sizing services, or opening a thank you for shopping card. A touchpoint can even be taking an after-service satisfaction survey. All these things define your brand to the customer and represent forks in the customer’s journey. Satisfaction ensures they continue on your path, dissatisfaction often means turning to someone else.

Touchpoints

The best way to figure out what a customer touchpoint may be for your business, as well as guarantee you have the optimal touchpoint result is to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Ask yourself what you would do if you wanted to make a purchase. How would you go about it? What may be the steps you would pass through in order to make the final decision? Where would you look for your item? What would you expect to see? What details would you want to know, such as pricing, directions to the physical store, the parking situation, what kind of stock is available?

Understanding your customer and how they interact with your business both directly and indirectly is of the utmost importance when it comes to driving improved value, increasing customer base, ensuring loyalty and longevity of relationship and creating repeat customers.

 

Direct vs. Indirect

Direct touchpoint include those in which you have direct contact with the customer, such as when they walk into your store, call customer service or engage on your social media pages. Indirect includes things such as word of mouth, reading reviews or looking at print ads. To know which is more effective, as well as how customers are responding, it helps to get actual customer feedback. You can accomplish this by asking customers directly, reading reviews or comments that customers have left about you, or even running a survey on your website.

The Bottom Line

Make sure your touchpoints stay customer focused and not company focused. Make the customer’s point of view your point of view in order to ensure full satisfaction. Don’t look at a negative customer experience as a failure. Instead view it as a learning experience, and a path to creating a better and more positive experience, and improving your business.

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