“It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently.” Warren Buffett.
Customer touchpoints are those points of contact in which business interact with the customer. It includes the moment when you first interact with your customers to build a relationship with existing customers. In a physical retail shop, a witty shop assistant can elevate interest among customers and make them buy their products. So, the assistant knows the right way to approach the customers. In the case of online purchase, the role of engaging assistance is important even more. As we know in case of physical purchase there are visual cues even without the help of the assistant. Instinctively shop assistants can manipulate their customers with their talk. The problem physical retailers face is they cannot track their employee’s brain. E-Commerce has the capacity to capture the data of the devices, what products they like and what they don’t. In a way, it is way better and smart way to trick the customer and impress them. Online e-commerce has a huge advantage. You capture all the data from the user’s device and show them a personalised offer to attract your customer. Physical retailers cannot phone the customers to approach for certain things which in turn an e-commerce centre can avail these facilities to catch the customer’s attention. These days maximum online retailers carry out cross channel marketing and they have their separate website too. Your websites sometimes fail the crucial points to capitalise on customer touchpoints online. Just like each touchpoint has to serve a memorable, sales-enabling experience, each touchpoint requires feedback to your customer management kit. Every encounter you make with your customer shows how good you are as a business-person. Your knowledge about the shoppers helps you to implement the demands of your customer. In the case of physical marketing, the encounter with the shoppers takes place in a different way. Replicating the experience of those physical stores, you can build digital channels to make effective touchpoint ecosystem. In terms of advanced technical support, the customer more or less in control of the way retailers approach them. This is a pivotal reason for the retailers to know the customers and their preferences when you are trying to replicate the in-store offline experience into online. Responsiveness plays a key role here to mend the bridge between bricks and clicks. Your Touchpoint ecosystem should be working for your valued customers. Each touchpoint of each channel must nudge the shoppers to drag them close to conversion.
Your customers understand the value of customer behaviour and experience, and brands that deliver the same successfully creates a loyal customer base on the basis of endorsement and advocacy.
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“Thank your customer for complaining and mean it. Most will never bother to complain. They’ll just walk away”. – Marilyn Suttle (Success Coach)
Online Customer Touch Points
When you are conducting a business online it is easy for you to initiate any contact. A customer touchpoint is a platform where you interact with your customer endorsing your brand and so on. These interactions are very powerful in terms of your business and service, this also impacts on your products as well. This is ground where the public generally forms an opinion about your product, business, and service. This touchpoint plays a great role to reinforce your position in the business world and overall perception. It is highly innovative for excelling at all the myriad throughout the journey. This gives you an excellent opportunity to engage with the customers and use their comments and feedback to shape the journey of your customer service. According to a recent statistic report, conducted by Aspect Software, the businesses adopting omnichannel CX strategies can achieve 91% better retention rates than ever. Before you understand the main customer touchpoints, it is important to consider different stages of the customer journey:
Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, Use of Product Service, and Loyalty.
The first step is awareness, where your targeted customer became aware of your brand through various channels which includes advertising. At this stage, you need to reach to your customer at the right moment and on the right platform. Social media is a suitable medium to serve your purpose. On the stage of consideration, as your customers successfully reached to you, you must meet the demands of your customer. It is very crucial to feature the review from your end because it is difficult to convince a customer to complete a purchase. At this stage, you have to use the brand credibility to convince your customers. When they finally start using your product or have your service, post-purchase communication can pay dividends. You can find a reason to interact with them and inquire the customers whether they are liking your products or not. It also aids the users to solve their problems before they take the initiative to reach you. This is how you build a relationship with your customer. When your customer is satisfied, they spread positive words about your product and service. In order to establish loyalty from your end, you have to keep implementing innovative marketing strategies and address the lingering issue in a positive way. The customer’s journey does not end when they leave the website, very few customers customer attempt a purchase at their first visit. E-Commerce is multi-device, which is trackable from all devices. Social media application makes a multi-device service and therefore as an online retailer you have endless possibilities to reach to your identified users, subscribers and followers. You need to follow certain guidelines to provide this customer touchpoint.
It is easy to navigate the most important customer touchpoints if you have gone through the previous discussion. This enriching information will facilitate you to make the customer experience better at every touchpoint. I have given here a certain idea about some affecting way to maximize your final touchpoints:
- You need to bridge the gap the prospects and the product and services through advertising and marketing. The way of your advertising and marketing policy determines the effect on the targeted audience. You have to choose the right channels to deliver the message to your targeted audience.
- To start with your strategy, you need to acquire some killer marketing plan. The right strategy is to divide the customers as per their basic need. After you segment your targeted audience choose the best way to communicate with them. It will aid you to understand customer’s response.
- The following step will be to position your brand. In this process, you can define an image of your company. In this stage, you have to take your competitors into account. Contacting your customers is an important aspect of your marketing. Here is the point to influence your customers.
- A business landing page is a crucial touchpoint to connect with you directly. You need to invest to design an interactive landing page which will give you drive conversions and transactions. Use tricky statements to trigger curiosity.
- Giving demonstration and free trials enhance the way to build credibility. Demos of your products and a free trial of your service can fuel the real interest of your customer.
- If you create an easy checkout process the rate of abandoning the cart may decrease. According to a recent statistic, almost 70 percent of customers empty the shopping cart during checkout. Do not try to complicate the checkout page. Customers only want to have a fast, reliable and simple checkout process. If you make a well-planned checkout touchpoint it can encourage the customers to make numerous purchases.
- Putting a convenient payment option is always beneficial for you. If you offer a hassle-free payment option, your customer tends to get back to you over and over again. You can also integrate mobile wallets to your payment method. Your business should support various gateways as you do not know which option is comfortable for the customers.
- Customer support is one of the fundamentals you need to follow to maintain a lasting relationship. Think about yourself as a customer and decide what facilities you would be demanding from the owner. Delivering best customer support not only enables you to keep your customer satisfied, but you are also going far above to ensure customer loyalty.
In order to initiate customer touchpoint, you need to be able to do all the listed thing in a single device independently:
- Feedback Request.
- Promotional offer or discount.
- Cross-sell, upsell and down-sell.
- Potential customer support.
- Important notifications like cart abandonment reminder, notification of upcoming sales events, etc.
“My advice is to answer every customer, on every channel, every time. This is different from how most business interacts with customers, especially online, which is to answer some complaints, in some channels, some of the time” Jay Baer. (founder of Convince and Convert).
What is the best way to initiate Customer TouchPoint?
You can start with SaaS tools which can provide a solution however this way you cannot provide the whole solution rather the right way to find an ecosystem of tools features which does not result in duplication of features. Marketing automating tools almost manipulate customers to use their service. There are different tools to perform various tasks in this platform, email marketing is one of the widely trusted media to increase customer touchpoint. MailChimp is an efficient tool which can raise the email deliverability rates. SaaS provider support this system to integrate with it. Triggered messages and popups, demographic data can be presented by this integrated system. It can utilize custom field psychographic data. In terms of security of data, while collecting psychographic data, it can also meet all GDPR requirements. It mixes with prime e-commerce platforms which include, BigCommerce, Woo Commerce, Magento, and Shopify. The entire question completely depends on the journey of each customer, where they stand upon. On the other hand, it also depends on the personality of an individual how they want to avail of your services. Therefore, it is similar to a data collection exercise, thus, in order to provide the best service and to increase customer touchpoint, it is important to personalize your journey before your customer has been identified. To initiate this process or to know your customer well you need to keep an eye on specific things like:
- The source of your customer.
- Their Demographic data.
- Gender and location.
- Preferences (from the data of browser history).
- Whether first time visitor?
- Recent choices.
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You can use custom fields in order to form the psychographic data. Another important thing in this field is to do not put too many queries about your customers this way you may lose customers. Ensure anyhow that you have integrated the system with GDPR.
“Don’t waste customers’ time asking them questions unless you are prepared to act on what they say”. Bruce Temkin (co-founder of the Customer Experience Professionals Association).
Analyzing the conversion funnel stage you need to target the visitors or the customer
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Besides the demographic data you have given by Google Analytics, you need to have specific customer information. If you want to reach a considerable point in your customer journey you need to gather extra information as well. You should be utilizing those data to mark and define that particular stage in your customer journey, also enabling and ensuring what should be the next step. Gather as much information as you can to personalize the service or the product you are exclusively offering to satisfy your customer. When you first introduce your brand to public appearance, you need to adopt different methodologies, strategies, and channels so that you can impress your customers in the first attempt. As you know the first appearance matters the most in the case of customer services. These interactions collaboratively form the key of touchpoints and ensure that each customer of your, is satisfied at every step. If you enlarge the efficacy to touchpoints, you will undoubtedly well on your way to rich your business at the apex.
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Barry Davis is a Technology Evangelist who is joined to Webskitters for more than 5 years. A specialist in Website design, development & planning online business strategy. He is passionate about implementing new web technologies that makes websites perform better.