How to Use Touchpoint Mapping to Improve Customer Experience
Ensuring customers have a positive experience at every stage of the customer journey is vital for building a business. Each touchpoint is an opportunity to impress potential customers. The better the impression you leave, the more likely you are to generate sales.
A good customer experience results in more than just sales though, it helps form long-lasting relationships with customers and increases referral opportunities. So, what’s the solution to improving your customer experience? Touchpoint mapping.
Why do I need to do touchpoint mapping?
Touchpoint mapping helps you identify when leads engage with your company and what channels they utilize. The touchpoint can occur before, during, or after the purchase. The engagement can be generated by the company contacting the person or vice versa.
Touchpoint mapping allows you to track how people engage with you across the customer journey, which channels they use, and what content they engage with. Analyzing the customer journey through touchpoint mapping can help you identify and improve how you engage with leads and customers.
Determining the various customer touchpoints
The best way to determine customer touchpoints is by identifying how customers interact with your brand. To do this efficiently, divide these customer experiences into three phases:
Let’s look at each of these phases quickly in turn.
In this phase, explore how customers research your product. Do they just look up the product on your website? Or do they research your competitor’s products as well? Alongside these touchpoints, your promotional tools like marketing and search engine optimization are the other touchpoints in the pre-purchase phase.
The purchase phase involves touchpoints like:
- Point of sales systems
- Product pages
- Checkout pages
- Sales rep interaction
- Showrooms and product demos
The purchase stage aims to create a seamless purchase experience for the customer. You need to convince the customer they are receiving premium service. If any of these touchpoints are letting you down, it’s important to resolve this issue, or you’ll lose sales.
You may think the sale of the product is the end of the customer experience, but think again! Contact with customers after the purchase is a vital step in the customer journey. It helps create a long-term relationship with your customer, which leads to future sales and combats buyer’s remorse.
The best way to establish a post-purchase relationship with a customer is by contacting them three to five days after the purchase. You can send them product promotions, invite them to your loyalty program, or send links to your education center.
The type of contact depends upon your business, but the contact is the important bit. Just remember not to spam and use the contact to add value to the customer experience. A good understanding of your customer persona and an analysis of customer touchpoints will help you define what type of content to share.
Although some of these touchpoints overlap, dividing them into categories helps you visualize your touchpoints. It will help you identify connections to improve your touchpoint mapping strategy.
Mapping the touchpoints
Now you’ve determined your touchpoints. It’s time to map them. To do this, imagine yourself as a customer. What are the stages from finding the product to the purchase? Well, the first stage is brand awareness.
Increase Brand Awareness
At this stage, you need to familiarize the customer with your brand. To sell your product, your customers need to know you exist. The touchpoints that apply here are advertising campaigns, content marketing, search engine optimization, blogging, and other promotional channels.
Get the Customer to Think About Your Brand
With effective brand awareness, getting the customer to think about your brand shouldn’t be too difficult. So, once your brand is promoted, you need to funnel the customer to your website or physical location. You want them to consider your products over your competitors’ products.
The touchpoints related to this stage include reviews, your website, email marketing, and product demos. Anything that showcases your products is applicable here.
Ensure Completed Purchase
Now the customer is on your website or at your physical location. You need to complete the purchase. Getting the customer to complete the purchase involves touchpoints like your e-commerce checkout page’s speed and payment options. You must get this stage right, or your customer may abandon the cart, no matter how promoted the product.
Acquire Repeat Customers
Once the sale is complete, start thinking ahead. You need to convince the customer to purchase again in the future. The idea is to turn a one-off customer into a loyal patron of your brand.
You can acquire repeat customers by offering loyalty programs, hosting online communities, giving live chat customer care, and sending thank you emails. If used correctly, these touchpoints will have you turning one-off-customers into superfans in no time!
Form a Touchpoint Map
You’ve now mapped the touchpoints into the four stages and can form them into a touchpoint map. But remember, you may need different touchpoint maps for your e-commerce and physical store.
Optimizing and updating your touchpoint map
With your touchpoint map complete, it’s time to optimize and update your touchpoint map. One small mistake can ruin the customer experience, so doing this thoroughly is important. You don’t want to miss out on a sale or a repeat customer.
To optimize your touchpoint map, analyze each stage and look for weaknesses. For example, is your checkout time too slow? A good method is asking yourself these questions:
- Is the touchpoint appropriate for the customer? Does it align with customer interests and make sense in context?
- Is the touchpoint relevant, and does it meet the customer’s expectations?
- Is the touchpoint easy to use?
- Does the touchpoint appeal to the customer?
Any touchpoints that don’t meet the criteria should be optimized to improve the customer experience. If copy-related touchpoints are causing issues, you might want to consult a writing guide to improve your writing.
It’s also important to remember that the customer journey is constantly changing. So you need to update the touchpoint map periodically. Continually learn from your customer feedback and account for new markets to keep your maps updated. You also need to remove parts that are no longer applicable; use the questions laid out above for this.
Your customer journey is very important, but it can be complex. So, you need to map out the journey in an effective way using touchpoint mapping. Each touchpoint is an opportunity to improve the customer experience and improve your brand’s performance.
How do you use touchpoint mapping to improve the customer experience? Well, you start by determining the various customer touch points. Once you’ve determined the touchpoints, you can map them under four categories: brand awareness, customer recognition, product purchase, and acquiring repeat customers. You can then form the map and optimize and update it as appropriate.
With a touchpoint map, you can easily make improvements that let you down and provide a seamless customer experience. Don’t let a small part of the customer experience spoil your hard work! Updating your touchpoint maps also helps you stay ahead of trends like the shift toward e-commerce, keeping you ahead of the competition.