The term "touchpoints" became popularised in the marketing industry in the 1990s, referring to the various points of contact that a customer has with a brand.
These touchpoints include interactions potential and active customers have with a company and include advertising, sales, customer service, product usage and complaints handling.
Touchpoints are critical elements of any marketing strategy.
Touchpoints can happen through various channels, such as email, social media, in-store experience, customer service interactions, advertisements, and more. The term "touchpoints" has gained a lot of importance in the age of digital marketing, where customers can interact with brands in many different ways. In today's digital age, marketers must also be aware of the many different channels that customers use to interact with brands including social media, apps, chatbots, and the growing number of emerging digital marketing channels.
Touchpoints are essential because they offer brands an opportunity to make a positive impression on customers. A positive touchpoint can increase the likelihood of a customer making a purchase, returning to the brand for future purchases, and recommending the brand to others.
On the other hand, a negative touchpoint can damage the brand's reputation and result in the loss of a customer. Therefore, marketeers work hard to create a seamless customer experience across all touchpoints, to build trust and loyalty with customers.
Imagine the last time you interacted with a company. How long did you spend on hold? Was 'customer service' an infuriating not so smart chat-bot? Did anyone ever reply to your email? These individual interactions will shape how you view the company as a whole.
Individual touchpoints are important but understanding the End-end customer journey is vital
A touchpoint strategy is the process of creating a positive customer experience at each touchpoint, with the goal of building trust and loyalty. To develop a touchpoint strategy, marketers typically start by mapping the customer journey.
This involves identifying each step a customer takes to become aware of, consider, purchase, and use a product or service.
Customer journey mapping helps marketers identify the touchpoints that are most critical to the customer's decision-making process.
Once marketers have identified the critical touchpoints, they can work to optimise each one to create a seamless customer experience. This might involve improving the clarity of a website, training customer service representatives to handle customer inquiries more effectively, or developing personalised email campaigns that offer customers relevant content based on their specific interests.
Quality not quantity
Simply increasing the number of touchpoints does not translate to a better customer experience. We have all been there- you sign-up to a new on-line service and within an hour you have half a dozen emails welcoming you and trying to up-sell the latest feature set before you've even managed to use the platform or service.
Personalising touchpoints, relevant to where that customer is on their specific journey, is the key to success. The more personalised the touchpoint, the more impact it will have. This is likely to lead to a higher conversion of any call to action.
Consistency is key
In addition to optimising individual touchpoints and the end-end journey experience, marketers must also work to create a consistent brand experience across all touchpoints.
This means ensuring that the brand's messaging, tone, and design are consistent across all channels. For example, a brand that uses a playful and humorous tone in its social media posts should ensure that its email campaigns and website copy reflect the same tone.
Marketers must be prepared to provide a consistent and positive experience across all channels, which can be challenging given the different requirements of each channel. For example, social media channels require a more conversational tone, while email campaigns may require a more structured approach- dependent on the sector.
The concept of touchpoints as points of engagement between a customer and a brand have been popularised by the marketing industry. Touchpoint analysis has become increasingly relevant across all sectors. Understanding and optimising touchpoints and journeys your consumers have with your brand can lead to greater brand satisfaction, higher conversion rates and a greater overall customer experience.
The report from McKinsey: "From touchpoints to journeys: Seeing the world as customers do" is a great overview for those wanting to find out more.