The saying, “First impressions last”, is very true for all businesses. Your first contact with a potential customer strongly impacts their decision to purchase your items or find a different brand to do business with. It is akin to a make or break opportunity.
For startups and mid-sized businesses, it is extremely important to make a good and lasting first impression to entice more people to check out what they can offer. Think of it as a make-or-break deal. Whether you have well-oiled in-house client assistance operations or are reliant on customer support outsourcing services, where a single mistake or negative vibe can turnover what could have been a successful business-to-customer transaction.
The said interaction is more technically known as a ‘Customer Touchpoint’. Read on to find out why knowing what your customer touchpoints are and working on it is an essential ingredient to gaining and retaining more clients.
What Are The Customer Touchpoints?
The simplest way to define customer touchpoints is, it represents any point of interaction or contact with a potential or existing customer. It takes on several different forms, depending on the communication channels that your business uses and the stage at which you are exchanging information with people availing or inquiring about your services.
It is also highly dependent on your marketing strategies. After all, customers can only take notice of your brand from wherever you are visible, whether it be online or not.
Before you can optimize these touchpoints, you need to recognize first which ones you are currently using. When you identify customer touch points, you understand better what works for your end-users and how you can reach out to them more effectively.
How To Identify Customer Touchpoints
Pre-Purchase Or Pre-Subscription To Your Services
Ads Or Promotions
Advertisements and promos, or customer touchpoints in marketing are some of the most typical ways that people learn about the existence of your brand. TV and print ads were highly used in the past. Now, more and more businesses have shifted their attention towards digitally available marketing channels. These digital advertisements are everywhere—from video streaming websites such as YouTube to online banners and pop-up video content on sponsor and partner sites.
People ‘interact’ with your ads in such a way that they get a glimpse of who you are and what it is you have to offer. You can tell that an ad is successful if a business receives several inquiries the moment it is made available for public viewing and scrutiny.
Unlike advertisements, your business website provides target audiences with more time to browse your products and read about your brand. It is extremely important to present your business information as accurately and as candidly as possible.
It is through this type of touchpoint that you get to exude what makes your company unique from competitors selling the same items or services.
Social Media Pages
If a website is designed to establish a professional flair to your brand, social media pages are used to add personality and humanize your business. Often, people find it easier to connect with a business if they know that they are using similar channels they use for leisure or entertainment.
Social media presence significantly piques audience interest and increases your exposure and contact with new buyers and old-time patrons. When people visit your page, you instantly create a connection with them.
A review can either be in the form of word-of-mouth, a blog, a rating, or comments left on your website or social media pages. It may not be as direct as an ad or your website, but it says a lot about your services.
People tend to trust customer reviews more than what business owners claim their products to be.
Post-Purchase Or After-Sales
Email touchpoints take on two different variations: One is purely based on a customer’s purchase or order. For instance, when a buyer confirms their purchase, you may send them an email with complete details of the receipt of the items they bought. You can also send them an email to help track their order or if you are processing returns and updates on their purchase.
Billing statements are more applicable to companies that provide intangible services, such as internet connection, mobile apps, software, or online subscriptions. These services are made available for use on a periodic basis (monthly or annually) and are offered as part of a bundle or package.
The billing statement provides information on how much customers have consumed from your services over a specified time, along with the amount they have to pay in exchange for using your services.
Customer support is a direct after-sales end-user touchpoint. It covers different channels such as calls, email, live chat, and even through responding to comments on your social media posts.
Your representatives or agents who assist customers in their queries put a physical face to your business. They are the ones that people reach out to and interact within case an issue arises while customers are using your product or services. Your customer support or service channels are likewise the go-to touchpoint of people in case they want to learn more or clarify something about what you are offering them.
After an individual decides to use your service or purchase from your online shop, the communication doesn’t usually end there. As the business owner, you want to learn about the buyer’s experience with your products. You want to know whether you met their expectations, or if you somehow lacked or missed the mark on some key areas.
As such, you send them a feedback form, or ask them to send a rating of your service or product based on their first-hand experience.
How To Optimize Customer Touchpoints
There is always the option of enhancing your existing contact points, and ignoring its effect on your success is greatly frowned upon by industry experts. Imagine having the opportunity to discover the public’s opinion about your brand, yet choosing not to act on it with the mindset that it is alright to remain stagnant despite changing demands and expectations from your target market.
In contrast, exerting effort and commitment to customize and boost your channels for interacting with your customers grants you a string of insight on what makes your business unique and what you can work on to gain more positive feedback.
That said, here are some of the best ways you can optimize your client touchpoints:
Business And Page Layout
Prioritize user-friendly navigation on all of your site’s pages. Go for a website layout that is optimized for both mobile and desktop interfaces. Align the theme and colors of your website with that of your logo’s. Simple and chic designs are also more appealing because it is free from excessive elements that could distract those who visit your site.
The chances are, if it takes several clicks or scrolls before a site visitor can locate your products, then you’ve already lost a potential customer. People like convenience, whether it’s in how they acquire details about items they are interested in, figure out how to reach out to a business, or send their reviews.
The same idea applies to your social media pages. Take the time to work on the ‘About’ tab of your business page. Add all your contact information and include a complete address and a snippet of your location on Google Map. Setup your business hours too, so that visitors will know when is the best time to contact you.
Add actual or authentic images of your products, and update your website or page with blogs or relevant content.
Train Customer Support And Customer Service Agents
Customer service touchpoints are no longer limited to voice communication alone. Adopting a multichannel contact point for customers to reach your brand and speak to your representatives is cost-efficient. By doing so, you entertain as many inquiries without worrying about users being put on hold or taking too long to respond to each interested buyer or existing client.
Combining calls with live chat allows you to segregate more complex concerns from queries that only take a few seconds or minutes to answer. FAQs are more appropriately redirected to your instant messaging support team because people get the answers they need immediately and in real-time.
Adding email support allows you to expand your assistance when it comes to isolated end-user issues. Not everyone has access to or feels comfortable talking through the phone. Enabling email as an alternative for them to speak to your customer service staff gives them more privacy and freedom to express themselves.
Discounts And Vouchers
Exclusive vouchers and discount offers are more applicable once a purchase or two has been completed. It’s a great way to keep customers enticed and delighted to keep supporting your business.
Be on the lookout for upcoming holidays so that you can prepare limited edition promotions for your loyal patrons. Program your email marketing schemes so that recipients regularly receive updates on your products. Set a time for putting some products on sale. Who knows? You might just attract new clients to check out your products if they see that you offer it at more affordable prices.
Discounts are also excellent ways of showing gratitude to end-users for choosing your brand over your competitors. Pro-tip: Offer a discount in exchange for purchasing a specific amount of items or reaching a certain amount in your shopper’s cart. It will help make their purchase more worth it.
Consistent & Genuine Presence
Talk to your followers and clients. Respond to their comments, acknowledge their feedback, and respect their opinions. Keep everything professional, but don’t forget to let your unique branding shine. Encourage them to share their experience with your services and allow your pages and website to be a space where people sharing the same interests in your business meet, discuss, and collaborate.
Client experience is not just about purchasing something from a business. It is also defined by the kind of relationships built between brands and the audience that their promos and services are aimed at.
Be present, be reachable, and more importantly, be true to your purpose.
The value of your customer touchpoints is indispensable. It is your reference for checking how well your business is faring. Moreover, it reflects the solidity of your connection with your new and existing clients.
Thinking of expanding the scope of your efforts for client interaction? Try New Media Services’ lineup of innovative customer support solutions. Take your pick from email, call, or live chat-powered customer helpdesk features. Are you servicing a global market? NMS offers multilingual assistance, thereby allowing you to address a broader group of buyers all over the world. Inquire now for more clarifications.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.