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How to identify your customer touchpoints

Improve customer satisfaction by looking at all your touchpoints

Every business wants to improve customer satisfaction, but unless you have your customer in mind at every touchpoint, there’s a chance you’re dropping the ball.

You might always deliver a great product, on time, with a smile, but a wayward touchpoint like off-target advertising, billing mistakes, or an unwieldy website can scare customers off. Fortunately, most of these touchpoints are within your control. All you have to do is identify them–all of them!–and start getting feedback.

What are customer touchpoints?

Customer touchpoints are your brand’s points of customer contact, from start to finish. For example, customers may find your business online or in an ad, see ratings and reviews, visit your website, shop at your retail store, or contact your customer service. Seems like a long list, but these are just a few of your touchpoints!

So what are touchpoints and how can they help you make better business decisions?

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Touchpoint definition: A touchpoint is any time a potential customer or customer comes in contact with your brand–before, during, or after they purchase something from you.

Identifying your touchpoints is the first step toward creating a customer journey map, and making sure your customers are satisfied every step of the way.

Here’s how to take all of your touchpoints into account so you don’t miss an opportunity to listen to your customers and make improvements that will keep them happy.

Finding your customer touchpoints

Identify your customer touchpoints by making a list of all the places and times your customers might come into contact with your brand. We’ve put together a list of touchpoints here, but it can vary a lot depending on your business.

Before purchaseDuring purchaseAfter purchase
Social mediaStore or officeBilling
Ratings and reviewsWebsiteTransactional emails
TestimonialsCatalogMarketing emails
Word of mouthPromotionsService and support teams
Community involvementStaff or sales teamOnline help center
AdvertisingPhone systemFollow ups
Marketing/PRPoint of saleThank you cards

Remember: This list is a good place to start, but it’s not one-size-fits-all. And each of these touchpoints can have a lot of underlying pieces. For example, “advertising” could include touchpoints across many channels, and a physical store includes touchpoints like signage to help people find the store, the parking lot, and the many different interactions that go on inside the store.

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Worried about missing touchpoints? Put yourself in the customer’s shoes.

Because there are so many ways for customers to experience your brand, figuring out all of your touchpoints may seem daunting at first. But you can make this task more manageable by stepping out of your role–and into the customer’s shoes.

You’re the customer now. Make sure you have a pen and paper handy because you should take notes while you’re in the customer mindset.

Ask yourself the following questions:

Where do you go (and how do you get there) when you:

  • Have a problem that needs to be solved?
  • Discover the product or business that will solve that problem?
  • Make your purchase decision?
  • Encounter the business after the purchase?

When you walk yourself through the customer’s journey step-by-step, all the pieces should become pretty clear.

You could also accomplish this task by asking customers to walk you through their experience with your brand, or putting the questions above into a survey.

How to use your touchpoints map to gather customer feedback

Knowing your touchpoints is only half the battle. To improve customer satisfaction, you need to make sure each touchpoint leads to a good customer experience, and that the journey as a whole delivers on customers’ expectations.

To see what’s working, you can run customer feedback surveys at each major touchpoint or set up customer experience management software. But make sure not to lose sight of the big picture, and always look at your entire customer journey.

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