How to Understand the Touchpoints of Customer Journey

Customer Journey Mapping. Image credit: UX Indonesia via Unsplash
Customer Journey Mapping. Image credit: UX Indonesia via Unsplash

As and when improving sales is imperative and crucial to put a brand on a firm footing, it’s essential to be in customers’ shoes, so to speak, to be mindful and understand their requirements from the get-go and throughout the journey. The description of a customer’s journey entails all customer journey touchpoints of a potential customer’s end-to-end purchase experience. The know-how of what are touchpoints in customer journey mapping are mentioned here.

Included in the customer touchpoints are certain facets that an organization, and third parties, control or influence directly. The distinction is vital as, although there isn’t any direct involvement in a certain aspect of the customer journey and touchpoints, it nonetheless affects or creates an impact on the overall experience.

What are Customer Touchpoints

Before looking into touchpoints in customer journey mapping, it is imperative to consider the eligibility criteria for a customer journey touchpoint1 . A customer journey and touchpoint is interaction amongst customers and businesses while both parties are engaged in purchasing and selling products or services.

Customer journey touchpoints occur through marketing networks and one-on-one interactions. A direct interaction entails sending a message related to marketing where the sender or the customer is in control or an advert campaign run by the seller. Alternatively, it might be indirect. In that case, the seller may not have any control whatsoever regarding a buyer’s experience expressed via a business review by word-of-mouth.

Although a seller may not control every customer journey touchpoint, every seller intends to be an influencer when it comes to getting buyers to make the purchase ultimately. An effective strategy for managing customer interactions is mapping the customer journey and touchpoints.

 

 

How to identify Customer Touchpoints?

  • Before Purchase – The question is, how did a buyer find a seller? A customer may know about a seller owing to traditional word of mouth, online reviews, social media, billboards, or adverts.
  • During Purchase – Here again, what are the networks, and how were they instrumental as a point of sale touchpoint. Even point of delivery, in-store, branch, website, and so on are all touchpoints. Customer interactions with call centre agents and sales assistants are touchpoints as well.
  • After Purchase – Yet another question is what occurs once the sale is executed? The answer is activities inclusive of customer feedback surveys, newsletters, service or product lifetime, product support, returns, queries, and invoicing are all after purchase or sales activities.

A customer ought to have a clear understanding of touchpoints as every touchpoint requires mapping the customer experience and gathering feedback from all customers. The areas of improvement can be identified.

Importance of Customer Touchpoints

Businesses need to clearly understand the touchpoints that are worth investing money and time in. Therefore a business needs to get feedback from buyers through reviews and surveys. Being consistently creative with the convenience of customers in mind across touchpoints is crucial in terms of the relevance and perception of a brand from a customer’s perspective. As the touchpoints are identified and improved upon, obtaining feedback will significantly help improve the customer experience.  

How Customer Touchpoints work through Customer Touchpoints Examples

Among the customer touchpoint examples, one would be a mortgage application. The customer journey and touchpoints are exemplified below.

A particular customer has viewed an ad regarding a comparatively higher interest rate, and a certain mortgage was referred. Hypothetically, calculating mortgages online results in affordable repayments followed by a branch meeting. Upon leaving the branch, the customer goes home and fills out the application form online. Once the online application form is duly filled up and submitted, the customer receives an instant email intimating or informing the customer that the preliminary online application form is accepted and requesting the customer to finish the application.

Within a couple of days, the customer completes the application process and sends a receipt acknowledgement message back to the bank. Due to some missing information, an agent of a call centre calls the customer to elucidate the missing data that the customer needs to furnish. Eventually, both the bank and the customer agree on the mortgage, and the bank sends, and the client gets an offer letter of a binding mortgage.

As soon as the customer gets involved in the process of home buying, got their surveys done and a confirmation on the exchange date is sent by one party and received by another, the customer receives ultimate mortgage confirmation inclusive of necessary details on direct debit, conditions and terms, and so on thus completing the process. Upon completion, formalities may be yet to be completed, including monthly or annual statements or customer interactions regarding possible revision of monthly payments. Therefore, there are eleven customer touchpoints in total, and for most new home purchasers there may be more touchpoints until final purchase.

Final Thoughts

As they say, feeling the pulse of the customer is essential in identifying and understanding the mood and behaviour of the customer at any given time. Therefore, customer journey touchpoints or simply customer touchpoints play a crucial role in knowing the interactions between a buyer and a seller. 

These interactions occur in varied forms before, during, and after purchasing. Based on the quality of the exchanges, it can be ascertained whether or not a customer would be a returning customer or a one-time customer. Accordingly, the bottom line of a business would be affected. 

The crux of the matter is that the onus is on the seller to engage with the customer as often as possible through varied forms of touchpoints and ensure that the customer ultimately ends up purchasing a product or service. A seller has to constantly be in touch with the buyer hence the terminology touchpoint, to address possible issues of the buyer and provide solutions so that the buyer is motivated to buy.