Today, thanks to digitalization, there are many ways for a customer to make contact with a company, trademark or specific product. Each of these contacts also compels a conscious or unconscious assessment of that experience, which sticks in the consumer‘s mind.
With classical advertising methods, such as TV, radio commercials or online marketing measures - the points of contact between a company and the customer are versatile. In the digital age, even smaller companies have more than a hundred potential touchpoints. These are therefore made up of all the contact points that the customer makes with a brand during their customer journey. Analyzing these touchpoints helps improve the customer experience and makes otherwise costly marketing more effective.
In order to optimize business processes in the best possible way, it is essential to check customer satisfaction by examining individual customer contact points. This is particularly effective with a combination of touchpoint analysis and the so-called Net Promoter Score®.
In marketing, touchpoints indicate points of contact between company and customer. More specifically, it is a interface between:
The contact can be made by suppliers and customers during, before and after the purchase of the product. A distinction is also made between direct and indirect touchpoints in communication. These are, for example:
Of course, contact can also be through quite traditional measures - for example, through customer telephone contact. The points of contact can be found in both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) trade.
Through one or more of the contact points defined above, the company comes into direct contact with the customer. This contact has two levels:
The topic of touchpoints can also be divided into two categories. The first category is touchpoint management. It describes how the possible points of contact between company and the customer run at best without problems and attempts to ensure that customers gain a positive experience. The second category is the touchpoint-customer journey. This point of contact describes the process of a buyer first informing themselves of products/services and thinking about it before finally making their purchase.
In the course of the customer journey, different phases of the purchase process, and thus different touchpoints, can be defined.
Depending on the perspective used when examining a touchpoint, its make up can be broken down even further. For example, there is the brand touchpoint, linked to the brand, or the corporate touchpoint as an interface with the operation. As part of the customer experience, these can be defined as below:
Every customer contact, by any means and of any length, is an important part of a correct analysis. To make an analysis even more accurate, the criteria should be worked out together with the employees of the company. It is also important to pay attention to general guidelines such as "be friendly" and to get a clear sense of what "being friendly" really means. In order to increase customer satisfaction, employees should always adhere to certain standards. Important issues in this context include:
The aim of the various touchpoints within the customer journey is to make customers continually aware of your proposition. The challenge is not to find out what advertising leads to the final purchase, but to ensure that the touchpoints influence the customer in such a way that they buy from your company. Ultimately, each point on the journey helps the item to be sold. This also applies to touchpoint management. The importance of the analysis for marketing and management is reinforced by the data obtained. This provides information about the potential for future marketing efforts and the measures to be used. Marketing and management also gain insights into new opportunities to find the right customer group and, of course, increase customer loyalty.
Touchpoint analysis is vital in order for data and information to be effectively matched in the assessment system. This data can be gathered with a direct customer survey. As a rule, up to three questions have to be asked, which should address the products, the employees and the brand. However, there are many other ways for the customer to come into contact with the company.
Basically, the process of touchpoint analysis begins with the mapping of the customer journey. Companies must first understand how a prospect really becomes a customer. To this end, it is of course important to find out how the customer became aware of the company, products or and services or simply how they found out about them. In addition, entrepreneurs should clarify why a customer buys the product or service repeatedly, for example, and whether or why they give a recommendation. These things are of great importance to understanding the customer journey.
In this context, it may also be interesting to find out which touchpoints make less sense from a customer perspective and which are particularly effective. In this way, companies recognize whether every point of contact is really important in order to positively reach and influence customers.
Another approach is to bundle touchpoints together. This refers to the points of contact at different stages of the decision-making and purchasing process before, during and after purchase. This allows you to refine your analysis. As customers are especially susceptible to the recommendations of others prior to purchase, one particular touchpoint should receive a lot of attention - the touchpoint with third party opinions.
If the obtained data sets are used correctly, there is a possibility that the customer will support the brand or the company by becoming a fan or promoter. Information from the touchpoints and the resulting analysis can now be examined with NPS®. The Net Promoter Score® calculates the difference in the percentage of promoters minus the percentage of detractors (critics). The question that arises is as follows:
"How likely is it that you would recommend our brand, product, or company to an acquaintance, friend, or colleague?"
This result is entered on the layered model of customer loyalty, which is measured from 0 to 10. People who enter the values 0-6 are unhappy customers and are called detractors. The values from 7 to 8 are called passive or indifferent customers. They are satisfied, but not enthusiastic about a company's products and services. This group of customers switches to the competition if they have a better offer. The group that voted 9-10 are the promoters who are most likely to recommend the company. It is recommended to ask a second follow-up question, which determines the reason for the decision. For example, a company can learn which touchpoints should be tweaked to better the customer experience and increase customer loyalty.
Seeing things through the eyes of customers gives your company a big advantage. It makes it much easier to understand individual touchpoints and customer decisions. In order to assess when customers are gathering information about the company, you should know about and recognise the 5 following moments:
Identifying the most important points of contact is crucial for company success. In this way, it is possible to analyze which touchpoints lead to a purchase. During such an analysis, customer satisfaction can be determined in order to highlight particularly positive or negative touchpoints. Data so collected delivers the marketing department and management the advantage of better understanding customer loyalty and opinion. It is no secret that customers do not always react in the way companies would like. Therefore, it is essential to immerse yourself in the emotional world of the potential buyer in order to understand what they want and thus achieve an optimal customer experience. Touchpoints can visualize this, helping promote sales and optimizing customer communication.
Content Marketing Manager