There are a great many steps in each customer’s journey, from the decision to buy a certain product or service, right through to delivery and after-sale support. Each step in this journey is an important component in overall customer satisfaction, and it’s therefore imperative to ensure that you monitor the whole process.
The better your methodology to trace steps – also called touchpoints – the better your chances to identify your company’s various weaknesses, and strengths. A touchpoint map – which is in essence a detailed outline defining your customer touchpoints – in one of the most valuable tools to boost your business, as it not only brings your customers’ journeys to life, but it also informs some heavyweight business objectives. For example, it’s bound to increase your customers’ satisfaction, reduce returns and complaints, increase revenue and do wonders for your overall brand value.
Practically, the steps involved in establishing a sound touchpoint map involve identifying your company’s unique touchpoints – as well as the customer segments or types applicable to each. The next step is to marry the touchpoints with tangible values, before thoroughly evaluating positive and negative elements. Highlighting areas where improvement is needed comes next, before setting out an in-depth plan to turn those areas into positive customer experiences.
By clearly assessing how your company delivers each step of the way – from sales to delivery, and from installation to accounting – means you can have a hands-on approach in streamlining your offering. Apart from investing the time and energy to set up a workable and efficient touchpoint map, the biggest challenge is to be brutally honest about the shortcomings of your business – so it makes good sense to rope in your employees and get their input too. After all, they’re the ones dealing with customers – and even more importantly, the frustrations of customers.
Remember that a touchpoint map is not supposed to be a negative, critical experience, but rather a positive bird’s eye view of your company, and an excellent window of opportunity. And often, a hotspot on the map is merely a reflection of changing customer needs and behaviours – especially when it concerns new technology.