Because ultimately, it is the sum of all customer interactions with a company over time that creates or destroys its brand equity.
Despite this, quite few companies take the time to look at their own business processes from the customer’s point of view in order to understand how they can meet customers’ needs and expectations.
Read this article to learn about customer touchpoint analysis and how to do it in your business.
Usually, the problem lies in the functional silos that companies have adopted in their structure. Completely contrary to this, however, is the customer view. A customer experiences your company horizontally and across company boundaries and departments.
Organizations tend to address customer interactions in a functional way. As a result, the inability of cross-functional teams to holistically drive change leads to a disastrous experience on the customer side that simply doesn’t add up.
Customer touchpoint analysis uncovers the following:
It provides customer insights as well as opportunities for improvement in meeting customer needs.
Systematically evaluating performance across all customer touchpoints can lead your company to better organizational alignment. Your customers will perceive your brand more distinctively, new customer acquisition, retention of existing customers, and options for up-selling and cross-selling will evolve naturally from the customer side.
The term touchpoint is used to describe any point of direct or indirect interaction between the customer and your company. Customers interact with a brand through many different touchpoints. To begin with, we will take a look at direct interaction, as this can be mapped with an economic cost-benefit ratio.
Every day, on average, a customer is in contact with thousands of marketing messages and advertisements. Many of them are not even recognized as advertising. We consider the content your customers interact with as touch points.
In order to achieve meaningful results, improving the customer experience is a continuous management process that requires both time and commitment across functional silos.
The needs and expectations of your customers change over time. So it stands to reason that the way your company responds to them will also remain flexible.
Managing touchpoints allows you to step more firmly into your customers’ shoes and make big steps in the customer experience with small improvements to the buying process.
This is how your analysis for touchpoint management can look like at a glance. You can find the steps in detail below the graphic:
Customer touchpoint projects should start with an audit of the current customer knowledge and mapping of customer interactions. This way you will understand where a lot of data is available and where it still looks a bit thin.
The crucial point here is not only to capture the relevant information on customer needs and expectations in the individual lifecycle phases during the assessment. Miss on an objective and data-based scale, to what extent each interaction contributes to the brand value of the company or could even have a counterproductive effect.
Typical questions at this stage: Are you delivering a relevant and consistent customer experience? How do your interactions differ from those of your competitors?
In the second step, we analyze which current or potential points of the customer journey are most important for your customers. We are also interested in what dimension can further increase the value of a customer interaction.
The greatest value for customers is represented by the touchpoints that potentially evoke strong emotions. You should give special importance to these points in the overlap with the influence on your brand.
If you know the value drivers, ideally broken down by customer segments, you will be able to approach optimization systematically in the following steps.
Typical questions in this phase: What do my customers value in the experience? Which experiences improve my relationship with my customers? How do these experiences differ by customer segment?
The process of developing and deploying a plan for optimizing the customer experience at touchpoints typically requires cross-functional teams to work together.
Shape all stakeholders, in your organization as well as customers of course, into advocates for action and optimization. How to do this: prioritize the order of optimization measures in an agile way that results in some quick wins at the beginning, i.e. quickly visible successes. This way, customer touchpoint management will not only be a wishful thinking, but will enrich both marketing and your product development.
Typical questions in this phase: What are the needs and wants of our most profitable customer segments? What impact can we achieve in the short term? In the long term? How will we align the organization to improve the customer experience?
The primary goal with touchpoint analysis should be to increase the actual value for the customer. By capturing KPIs such as Customer Lifetime Value, Net Promoter Score (NPS) and others, you and your team can infer a change in the various touchpoints over time related to loyalty, brand value and profitability of specific customer segments.
Variation in these metrics is more likely to occur over the medium to long term. Therefore, by all means, monitor a somewhat longer period of time. What is a longer period? Can you define it or give an example?
Every company, whether it is starting with small steps or radically changing its corporate culture to become more customer-centric, should consider the analysis and management of customer touch points as a tool to increase the value of the company.
Metaphorically speaking, touchpoint analysis is comparable to a company taking an honest and direct look in a mirror. The face you will see there is not always the one you thought your customers would see. This example also shows the greatest potential value that this approach can bring to your company.
As a founder and entrepreneur, I experience every day how important customer centricity is for companies.
Integrate the essential customer perspective into your product genesis and marketing processes. That puts horse powers on the street, until it runs.
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