What are touchpoints and how can you use them to your advantage? In this day and age there are so many ways consumers can interact with your business or organisation and each one can be known as a touchpoint. For example, you have a new product launching and have put out a paid ad, a potential customer clicks and this takes them to the landing page on your website where they sign-up for pre-release information – this process involves three touchpoints. In this example, the first touchpoint was your potential customer seeing the pre-paid ad, however, what if they had already heard of your brand through a friend? It’s important to know what your customers first touchpoint is so you can understand them and their requirements better.
A customer touchpoint can be defined as anytime, point or stage where a potential, current or existing customer interacts with your brand. This can happen before, during or after a purchase has been made. We’re now going to have a look at those three different stages and the touchpoints involved:
Before sale: Awareness and Consideration
When a customer is aware of your brand it means that a purchase / identity can be created for it. Awareness can be through traditional or digital touchpoints such as…
This is a great way to spread awareness and it’s probably the most common touchpoint customers will use to find out more about you / make a purchase. Having a well-designed and well-optimised website can increase dwell time as well as spend. However, most of the online browsing process happens subconsciously and even if we interview people straight after their experience, it will only reveal a fraction of what happened. Carrying out market research will help you avoid big mistakes.
To get the most out of your website you should consider:
- Use consumer language – this makes it easier for your consumers to relate.
- Repeat a message you want people to see more than once – up to 50% of people may not see the content on the page so don’t be afraid to repeat it
- Put the most frequently asked questions at the top of the FAQ’s page – this will avoid people getting annoyed and abandoning their mission
As you probably know, Social Media is a huge part of a lot of people’s lives and according to Smart Insights, “59% of the world’s population uses social media. The average daily usage is 2 hours and 29 minutes (July 2022).”
Social media platforms are a great way to grow your audience by jumping on new trends or setting them, measuring engagement and also boosting sales. Optimise your social media by:
- Create exciting content – having interactive content is key to have people pay attention to your brand. However, you first have to understand what type of content your consumers want / will share.
- Communicate with your consumers – having regular conversations and replying promptly to your audience will build a solid relationship where they feel listened to.
- People like people – whilst using illustrations can make your brand seem more modern, quirky and interesting it can also reduce your scores for customer service and friendliness.
Advertising online can be done through paid and organic post on search engines such as Google or Bing – or on another company webpage. These adverts help to make others feel more connected and get to see what you’re offering, especially if its relevant to what they’re already searching for. To optimise your online advertising, you can:
- Know your audience – to be able to target an ad, you must understand their profile. This will increase engagement and click-through rate.
- Attention – people will only read the average advert for 1.5-2 seconds. It’s important to make sure the ad is optimised effectively (call-to-action etc)
SEO is slowly becoming more important in all things digital, having high rankings on search engines is important for trust and reliability. If your customer doesn’t see you within the top 3 links, its likely they won’t purchase from you.
Live chat’s / Chat bots
Automated services are becoming so popular, and if you are going to use them its important it’s done properly. You will hear horror stories that people have boy-cotted brands because of the poor information they have received from a chat bot or sheer frustration from not having a direct response – if you are certain your live chat is going to work, it can provide an exceptional experience for your customers.
Fun fact: the marketing rule of 7 still applies
This means that on average it takes seven interactions with your brand before a purchase will take place. Therefore, it’s essential your touchpoints are working and are leading to a good customer experience – especially online. When consumers are shopping online there is so much distraction and its less likely that a spontaneous purchase will be made (in comparison to a pack of chewies or a chocolate bar at a checkout desk). By identifying and optimising your touchpoints, it can help you win more customers and connect with them on a deeper level which will increase sales and brand loyalty. This should always be a top priority for your business.
During sale: Decision and Action
During the decision and action phase consumers are weighing up their options and are really considering making the purchase.
Researching and reviews
It is important during this stage that you are completely truthful and open with your customers – they would rather see honest reviews than reviews that have filtered out the negative. According to Podium 93% of users have made buying decisions based on online reviews they have read, and most won’t engage with a business or product that has less than a 3.3-star rating.
How to optimise reviews?
- Act on the feedback – if there is something that is constantly popping up, try and resolve the issue and deliver a better experience to the customer. This shows you’re willing.
- Motivate buying behaviour – consumers are 50% more likely to be motivated by an online review rather than a discount code, according to Bizrate Insight.
- Boost confidence – reviews help a customer make a decision, reading other people’s experiences helps them to feel comfortable as well as confident about the products or services on offer.
Since covid the majority of the world adjusted to online purchasing; whether it be for food, clothes or furniture. Customers had the option to make price-comparisons and the only thing making them purchase with you, is your brand connection. And if this isn’t good enough, you will start to see a lot of abandoned shopping carts. Optimising your online store can get shoppers to buy and users to stay.
Sending or receiving emails is one of the main methods of communication for the majority of businesses – with 62% of customers saying they prefer to be contacted by email out of all other channels (phone or text).
Sending email campaigns to customers who have signed up but not yet made a purchase can be very helpful – it’s a direct trigger that can affect lifetime purchases, customer support and even purchases. You can optimise emails by:
- Being personal – if you use your customers name, DOB, buyer journey to communicate with them you will make them feel as though they are communicating with a human, not just a brand.
- A/B testing – remember, images that feature people / faces gain more attention.
This is the last touchpoint your customer will reach before they make a purchase.
After sale: Brand loyalty and Referral
This phase of the journey is all about getting people to make repeat purchases and for them to pass the message on through word-of-mouth marketing. It’s important that contact is kept and it can be done by:
Digital receipts: With the world going paperless, having digital receipts is a fantastic thing to offer to your customers. Although it can be an annoying process, having a simple and effective process in place is key. For example, having an iPad / tablet at the checkout for people to enter their own details and as soon as it’s submitted it goes into their inbox.
Online invoices: Whilst nobody really likes paying bills, its important again that this process is as straightforward as possible. This can be done by offering several different payment types, giving plenty of notice as well as it being laid out in an easy format.
This is probably one of the best customer touchpoints you can have post-purchase – it gives your customers’ information and engages them through either interesting content, discounts or new products / services. It’s a constant update without a great deal of work involved. You can optimise your newsletters by:
- Advertising your product – sharing information and the benefits your product / service can offer customers. From delivering good content it can increase engagement and gain more repeat purchasing.
- Recommendations – based on their previous customer shopper habits.
- Promote your business – advertise your company’s achievements to increase engagement. This works especially well for building up brand relationships and trust.
Customer support / feedback
If someone has made a purchase online, it’s more likely that they’re going to return it – this is because your customer hasn’t had a chance to see or feel the product in real life. Having an easy post-sale enquiry, complaint or returns process will be very valuable as it can determine whether customers return or move onto a competitor.
Rewarding customers for their loyalty
Having a loyalty programme is another touchpoint for your customers – which happens over a long-period of time. If you have good brand loyalty, you’re really winning, it’s something that should definitely be rewarded. It’s also an incentive for repeat purchasing…
- Appreciation – customers who feel appreciated feel more inclined to make a repeat purchase. Sending personalised discounts and rewarding on (company) anniversaries or birthdays can make your customers feel as though they have a deep connection with your brand. It stands out and makes them feel like you really do know them.
- Special offers – attracting customers with special offers or sign-up discounts is a great way to trigger impulse purchasing.
- Make it easy – a lot of brands have loyalty schemes in their own apps. It makes it easy and convenient to find the reward you’re looking for; the only issue is having people download it. P.S. using an incentive or special offer could help…
In a lot of companies, if you have a good relationship with your customers, repeat purchasing will happen and it will limit their urge to go elsewhere.
How we can help
As you’ve probably discovered by now, understanding your customer touchpoints is pretty essential in your business. At least if you’re looking to succeed. By understanding your customers’ touchpoints you’re able to generate more sales through nurturing and guiding your customers towards making a purchase, creating loyal customers through great experiences and making the journey pleasant as well as getting key insights from your campaign analytics.
Having a detailed touchpoint analysis across all journey stages is crucial to understand their needs and wants. Here at Emotional Logic, we can help you at any stage of your journey, our Communication Optimiser is used for digital user experience (UX) research as well as for testing press, TV, radio and outdoor advertising. It has been designed to pinpoint specific words, sounds and visuals that trigger buying behaviour – measuring your consumers conscious and subconscious reactions. Our research helps clients get 25% increase in average order value and 200% increase in time spent on site.