Forget Meaningless Interactions. Try Touchpoints Instead.
As a CS Professional, I know how hard it is to make every touchpoint matter, so I always give companies a second chance after a meaningless interaction. But this time, I just couldn't.
The Interaction wasn't only meaningless - it was terrible.
Three Hours for ONE Product?!
Last week, I decided to get a product that will help me manage my social media accounts. After 30 minutes of research, I found a company whose product was described as easy to configure with great results. "Great!" I thought to myself as I signed up.
Once my account was set up, I proceeded to the configuration process - I mean, they did say it was easy and I already checked one thing off my "To Do" list.
However, the process was not easy. In fact, it was really complicated and I didn't know where to start.
I went into my email, hoping to see a "Welcome" email with instructions, but in vain. After two hours of searching for guides, I gave up. I simply could not afford to spend more time on this product.
Two days later, that "Welcome" email arrived in my inbox. Needless to say, it was too late - I had already found a different product.
What are Customer Touchpoints?
From the moment customers learn about your product through a social media ad or a Google search, they interact with your company.
These interactions are defined as touchpoints.
Each touchpoint is an experience in the Customer Journey that creates a connection and leads to the overall customer experience and satisfaction (Aichner & Gruber, 2017):
Visiting your company's website or Help Center,
Receiving marketing emails,
Reaching out to the Support or Sales teams, and even
Reading a review online.
Going back to my story, here are the touchpoints I had with the company:
I read a review about their product, that made me -
Visit their website and read testimonials.
I created an account.
Not knowing where to start, I went to their Help Center.
Two days later, I received a "Welcome" email.
Up to touchpoint #3, I had a great experience - I was happy and relieved to know that I found a product that will make my life better (and easier).
The problem started with touchpoint #4 and got worse with touchpoint #5.
Not only was I not able to find the instructions for the next steps, but I also had to wait for two days (!) to receive them. With such a poor experience, I decided to delete my account.
Can You Really Say No to Mapping Out the Touchpoints?
Here is an objection I often hear from companies when I bring up the importance of customer touchpoints:
I agree - mapping out the touchpoints does require a LOT of time and effort. I mean, you need to go through every single stage (and step) in the Customer Journey and identify the touchpoints.
But losing customers because of meaningless touchpoints and frustration WILL cost you more.
The BEST Way to Map Out the Customer Touchpoints.
Take the Customer Journey and walk in your customer's shoes. Then, write down every email, ad, and step as a touchpoint under the relevant stage.
You can even take screenshots of the touchpoints so you know where to start.
Assess Your Touchpoints with These Questions.
How many touchpoints does each stage have? Can the customer handle all of these touchpoints?
Is the information provided at each touchpoint helpful? Is it moving the customer forward in their journey?
Is the timing of the touchpoint correct? Does it occur at the right time and via the right platform?
Does the touchpoint meet the customer's expectations?
Does the customer know what are the next steps at each stage? a. If not, do they know who to reach out to for assistance?
Aichner, T. & Gruber, B. (2017). Managing customer touchpoints and customer satisfaction in b2b mass customization: A case study. International Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, Vol. 8(3), pp. 131.