Your customer should be at the foundation of every decision. If you don’t know how your customers engage with your brand, you can’t begin to build your customer journey touchpoints. A touchpoint is any moment a customer directly or indirectly comes into contact with your brand. They add up to create the overall customer experience or brand impression.
With 74% of customers likely to buy on experiences alone, this is one of the most effective ways to stand out. However, one or two interactions aren’t enough to make a real impact on the overall experience. In fact, it takes an average of seven interactions with a brand for customers to make a purchase. You need to be strategic with the customer journey touchpoints you curate to create real superfans.
When you take the time to identify and optimize your touchpoints, you build true loyalty. Not only do you have the opportunity to learn from customer feedback, but you also increase your overall business reputation. It’s time to get serious about mapping your touchpoints throughout your sales funnel, making sure each customer feels appreciated and valued.
While there are no limits to the touchpoints you can build for your customers, it’s important to start somewhere. In this guide, we identify eight customer journey touchpoints that are absolutely crucial to creating superfans. If you want to win more customers (and keep them happy long-term), start here.
- What are customer journey touchpoints?
- Why are customer journey touchpoints important?
- How can I identify customer journey touchpoints in my business?
- Important Customer Journey Touchpoints
- Final Thoughts on Customer Journey Touchpoints
What are customer journey touchpoints?
To begin, what are customer journey touchpoints? If you’re new to the world of customer experience, you might not know how to define these elusive interactions. In short, these are specific points of interaction between your brand and customers. They happen throughout different stages of the customer journey, building real relationships.
You can divide customer touchpoints into four main categories:
- Awareness: This is when customers first discover your brand. They might recognize they have a problem, and they’re considering potential solutions (ie. your product/service). Similarly, they might have stumbled into your content online or on social media.
- Evaluation: Next, customers evaluate your brand and competitors. They explore your content in greater detail, and they move closer to making a decision.
- Decision: At this point, customers already have a good understanding of their needs and goals. They’re now ready to make a purchase.
- Post-purchase: Lastly, this is the most important stage yet it’s also the most often ignored. After making a purchase, buyers reflect on their experience—possibly becoming superfans and leading to referrals—or taking no further action.
Customer journey touchpoints are moments or interactions that fit into these stages above. This could be as simple as a social media interaction or email sign-up. It can also be more time-consuming, like asking for feedback or a referral. Each stage serves an important purpose, keeping customers’ needs close to your goals.
Why are customer journey touchpoints important?
With that in mind, why are customer journey touchpoints so important nowadays? It all comes down to the customer experience. If you don’t understand how customers get to know your brand and arrive at making a purchase, you can’t possibly take action to optimize this experience. You don’t want your customers to stumble through the stages from awareness to post-purchase. This should always be intentional.
Rather than rethinking your entire sales process, specific touchpoints let you define each stage of the experience. With 76% of customers expecting companies to understand your needs, this is becoming make-or-break for brands. It doesn’t leave much wiggle room for mistakes in your marketing strategy. This might sound intimidating, but it’s actually an opportunity to strengthen key connections in these ways:
- Retention: First, you not only reach a wider audience, but you also keep the existing customers you have. Just a 5% increase in customer retention has the potential to boost profits by over 25%. Because your customers are happy, they stay loyal.
- Relationships: Second, people support brands they trust. When you tap into customer touchpoints, you cultivate stronger relationships both online and offline. Your users feel engaged in your success.
- Conversion: Finally, When you understand the right touchpoints, you can even boost conversions. For example, 60% of loyal customers talk about their favorite brands to friends and family, leading to greater referral potential.
How can I identify customer journey touchpoints in my business?
Next, how do you identify which customer journey touchpoints are important in your business? This is something that’s far from one-size-fits-all. It depends on your industry’s needs. The best way to begin is to consider your customers’ needs. When do they need assistance? What objections are they trying to overcome throughout the sales journey?
Your customer journey touchpoints aren’t all digital either. Many marketers assume this only relates to their social media, website, and online communications. In reality, it includes things like events, in-person advertisements, and even your storefront or office. Every time a customer interacts with your brand, you can identify a way to improve this experience.
Your customer touchpoints should begin before users even become a customer and continue long after. From there, you can turn your touchpoints into an ongoing journey. Keep in mind that there’s no single journey every customer takes. Each individual interacts with brands in different ways. Having the goals of your audience in mind at each stage makes all the difference.
Important Customer Journey Touchpoints
Are you ready to see your brand as customers do? To get you started, here are eight customer journey touchpoints to consider for your own brand. The clearer these are defined within your strategy, the easier it is to move customers through your purchase process (and beyond)
1. Social media
First, your social media strategy is its own customer journey touchpoint. This is a part of every customer journey stage, and there’s a lot more to it than you might recognize. With over 3.6 billion active social media users across the globe, you can’t slack when it comes to your online presence.
There are a few different touchpoints to consider on social media:
- Profiles: Presenting your brand voice consistently across social media pages sets the right foundation, and it increases brand recognition.
- Posts: Similarly, posts help you cultivate a brand voice online. You can share your own content, industry content, and user-generated posts.
- Responses: On social media, you never want to post-and-ghost. You should have a strategy for responding and engaging with other users.
- Chatbots: Recently, chatbots have automated responses on social media to help users get basic help.
You should use the right digital touchpoints under your own social media umbrella. When your customers interact with your brand on social media, you strengthen relationships.
2. Website homepage
Another brand touchpoint that’s easy to overlook is your website homepage. A great way to think about your homepage is as a first impression. It’s the first time many people encounter your brand, so you need to make sure it’s easy to use and enticing.
Your homepage should be designed for all devices, actionable, and created with users in mind. You only have a few seconds to make a strong impression. It’s easy to click away from a page if it’s not engaging, so you can’t risk overlooking this touchpoint. Your homepage alone should be enough to engage customers along the sales journey through text, visuals, and content.
3. Educational content
Next, educational content also brings consumers into your brand. No matter your type of product or service, odds are you can benefit from some kind of educational content. This includes blog posts, video walkthroughs, and help guides to onboard your customers.
Not only does educational content help you showcase your competitive advantage, but it also empowers customers to hit the ground running. With 67% of consumers preferring self-service over talking to a representative, this is no longer an afterthought when it comes to customer service. You can create blog posts, reviews, competitor analysis guides, tutorials, and other decision-making content to encourage evaluation.
Of course, it should come as no surprise that email is one of the most essential customer journey touchpoints. The majority of consumers today actually prefer email support with brands over other mediums. Whether you’re creating email newsletters, product launch notices, or sales funnels, here’s how to make sure your emails stand out:
- Personalized: The best emails are personalized. This means considering your email demographics, past interactions, and interests through segmenting.
- Testing: Always A/B test emails for things like layout, colors, fonts, subject, and more to keep your emails performing their best.
- Opt-ins: Every form of content is a new opportunity to opt-in engaged users.
- Value: Finally, each email is a chance to share more value with your audience. Don’t send an email for the sake of it. Instead, make sure it’s meaningful and serves your customers’ goals.
5. Live chat
More and more companies are offering live chat as a customer support option. This is also a way to improve the overall customer experience through positive interactions. When you solve customer concerns in real-time, you boost conversions and demonstrate a commitment to customer service.
How do you make the most of live chat on your website or social media? First, optimize your response time. Nobody wants to wait for a solution that works for them. Along those lines, prioritize quick follow-ups to make sure the experience was handled correctly. It’s all about being proactive about the customer experience (not reactive).
6. Customer reviews
Next, do you know how important customer reviews are in today’s world? With a reported 95% of customers reading reviews before making a purchase, there is serious power in customer reviews. Not only is this an opportunity for brands to learn from customers, but they can also spread advocacy in the form of social proof.
As a brand, you shouldn’t expect customers to take your word for it. Reviews can strengthen your brand’s credibility because they feature the real, trustworthy voices of actual users. They make future customers confident in their purchase, and they’re also one of the best feedback mechanisms. Sharing reviews and inviting more reviews is a no-brainer when it comes to customer touchpoints.
7. Retail store or office
Does your brand have a physical storefront or office space? If so, this is another opportunity to deliver a positive experience in the form of a touchpoint. With more companies focusing on omnichannel experiences, customers should have a consistent experience both online and in-person. Your physical store or office allows opportunities for personalization, reward programs, and special offers.
Though we live in the digital age, people still enjoy shopping in person. With 73% of customers using multiple channels to shop, the buyer’s journey is clearly more complicated than ever before. Retail is not dying, and your in-person interactions are another way to embrace consumer trends.
8. Feedback surveys
Last but not least, don’t underestimate the power of feedback surveys. If you only focus on one customer touchpoint from the list, it should be this one. If you want to create loyal superfans, you need to keep your customers happy. It’s easy to assume you know how your customers feel, but do you really? The short answer is no. You can’t possibly know what your customers are really thinking unless you ask them.
Better yet, your customers want to share their opinion. When an experience goes well, 85% of customers want to give their feedback. Similarly, 81% will give feedback even when the experience went bad. However, the biggest mistake brands make is only sending one feedback survey (if at all). If you wait until after the sale to send a survey, it’s already too late.
Instead, you need to include feedback surveys throughout the customer journey. These don’t have to be complicated. Follow these simple tips:
- Open-ended: If possible, only ask a few open-ended questions.
- Quick: Your survey should be quick and easy to take.
- Mobile-friendly: Most people are interacting with brands on digital devices, so they should be mobile-friendly.
- Goals: Understand your key metrics in advance to see if you’ve hit your goals.
Final Thoughts on Customer Journey Touchpoints
Ultimately, your role as a brand in this day and age is to create a consistent, high-quality customer experience. If you don’t map your customer journey, you can’t expect to deliver a memorable experience. From digital touchpoints to in-person interactions, every little bit matters.
If your goal is to win more superfans, now is the time to take action. Your touchpoints can’t be an afterthought. They should be at the center of every decision, helping you cultivate an experience built on action.