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Every business wants to improve the customer experience (CX). But, unless you consider your buyers at every touchpoint, you may be falling short.

The customer experience is a direct result of several interactions across their journey. Everything counts, from initial contact with your website to the ease of buying a product to how helpful your post-purchase support is.

Here’s how to identify and improve your customer journey touchpoints and create a winning customer experience.

Customer touchpoints are your brand’s points of customer contact from start to finish. For example, customers may find your business:

  • On your website
  • Through search engine queries
  • In an advertisement
  • On social media
  • In your brick-and-mortar store
  • On rating and review sites
  • Through recommendations and word-of-mouth

Identifying your touchpoints is the first step toward creating a customer journey map and ensuring your customers feel satisfied before, during, and after they purchase something from you. And with deep knowledge of your touchpoints, you can make better business decisions for your customers and your customer-facing teams.

Once you identify them, your customer touchpoints will serve as a guide for improving customer satisfaction across your entire customer journey. 

The benefits of knowing your customer touchpoints include:

  • Gain a better understanding of the customer experience: Identifying touchpoints allows businesses to get a comprehensive view of the customer journey.
  • Uncover customer pain points: Recognizing touchpoints helps you pinpoint specific areas where customers may encounter challenges or dissatisfaction.
  • Improve customer interactions: Knowing where customers interact with your brand allows for optimization of those interactions.
  • Drive customer satisfaction and loyalty: A seamless experience across various touchpoints increases customer satisfaction, fostering long-term brand loyalty.
  • Improve churn rates: Recognizing and improving touchpoints can significantly impact customer retention. 
  • Drive continuous improvement: Businesses can stay agile and responsive to evolving customer expectations by regularly monitoring and adapting touchpoints.

Understanding your customer journey touchpoints will help you frame every interaction with your business positively.

Identify your customer touchpoints by listing all the places and times your customers might come into contact with your brand. We’ve compiled a list of customer touchpoints here, which will vary depending on your business.

Before purchaseDuring purchaseAfter purchase
Social mediaStore or officeBilling
Rating 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

Pre-purchase touchpoints are the initial avenues a customer could use to find you. These points of contact happen before a customer visits your business in person or online. 

Here are the most common pre-purchase touchpoints:

You don’t need to be on every social media platform, but make sure you have a profile on channels your customers use. Keep your pages active with content that is interesting and useful. Always respond to customer comments—this engagement is why you are on social media—and start forming relationships with potential customers.

Referral programs offer incentives for both the referrer (an existing customer) and the new customer. This strategy makes both groups happy and increases the potential for future purchases and more referrals.

Ensure that your online advertising links lead to content that’s directly relevant to the ads. If your advertisement features a sale, ensure that the link leads customers to a page that describes or shows the sale items in detail. While you want customers to spend time exploring your website, this is not the time to lead them to a sign-up form or home page. Create a better customer experience with a landing page with relevant content.

Was your customers’ purchase experience everything they needed and expected? The only way to know is to examine your purchase touchpoints, when customers are either getting ready to make a purchase or enmeshed in the process.

At the point of sale (POS), a sales representative or web page should provide all the necessary information—including what needs your product will fulfill. This touchpoint is the final one before a customer completes a purchase.

Is your payment process streamlined and intuitive? Does it feel secure? Does it include all relevant payment information, like whether you accept PayPal? or A great payment experience will leave the customer without any doubts.

Customers sometimes need that little extra push to hit the purchase button. When interacting with sales representatives, can your agents give your customers all the information they need?

Post-purchase touchpoints are any interactions that happen after a customer purchases your product or service. This period extends indefinitely and includes both repeat purchasers and one-time buyers. 

The most common post-purchase touchpoints are:

If a customer encounters a problem, your customer support team is likely the first place they’ll go. A customer support team that effectively remedies issues and rapidly provides guidance can help increase customer satisfaction.

First impressions matter. When your package arrives at your customer’s door, you need to give them an experience that they’ll remember. Creating better packaging or interactive unboxing experiences can help generate free word-of-mouth marketing and satisfy your customers.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a purchase is the finish line. On the contrary, your relationship with a customer has only just begun. Purchase experience feedback is invaluable for getting more information about the customer experience and whether people are enjoying your products.

And if a customer gets in touch with your customer support team about your product, it’s a great idea to use a customer service feedback survey to learn more about that interaction and how you can improve.

What are your customer touchpoints? They’re different for every business, so you’ll have to determine what yours are by analyzing your customer interactions.

Here’s how to identify customer touchpoints and make sure you’re laying the groundwork for the best interactions.

Use your market research to examine the types of consumers who are likely to purchase from you. Decide what initial touchpoints would be appropriate for your customers. 

For example, if your target market is expectant mothers, you might add promo codes and coupons to your social media marketing and discount emails for new customers that center on the new parent experience.

Because there are so many ways for customers to experience your brand, figuring out all your touchpoints may initially seem daunting. 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. Ensure you have a pen and paper handy because you should take notes while in the customer mindset. 

Ask yourself where you go (and how) when you: 

  • Have a problem that needs solving 
  • Discover the product or business that will solve that problem
  • Make your purchase decision
  • Encounter the business after your purchase 

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

What touchpoints are currently in place? Which ones are resonating with customers? If you have an online store and use online advertising, social media, and email marketing, you may find that social media yields the most sales on your website. 

Your internal statistics may guide you to enhancing your social media presence as a touchpoint. Find out where customers prefer to engage with your brand with a content strategy survey.

Customer journey mapping helps you examine the buying process for a particular customer segment purchasing a specific product or service. You can map how a typical customer from the segment identifies a problem, researches an answer, learns about your business, engages with your business, makes a purchase, and finally interacts after the purchase. 

Customer experience maps are useful in discovering why customers aren’t having a great experience. Use them to visualize the customer journey and identify areas that need improvement. 

Use both types of maps to determine touchpoints at each stage of the customer journey and what you can do to ensure a successful experience.

Take the touchpoints you’ve identified on your customer journey map and categorize them as before, during, and after purchase. This strategy will help you identify areas that are working well and need improvement. 

You could also categorize touchpoints as products, interactions, messages (manuals, advertising, etc.), and settings (where you sell products). 

Or you can determine your own categories. Use what makes sense for your specific brand and products to categorize touchpoints.

Your customer touchpoint map is a living document and will need ongoing updates as you introduce new marketing initiatives and purchasing paths. Continue to refine your touchpoints for the best CX.

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

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

The best way to find out how your customers are faring at each touchpoint is to ask them. 

Use surveys to evaluate customer experiences at different touchpoints through their journey. The quantifiable data will provide you with areas you have not yet touched on in your marketing efforts. Some of the smaller touchpoints that you haven’t addressed could become integral in providing superior customer service.

Survey customers from each touchpoint to discover where the customer experience is lacking and where you excel. Identify areas for improvement and take action on them. Ultimately, using customer feedback increases customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty.