What are touchpoints?
Touchpoints are the points of contact between provider and customer. At each touchpoint, the customer collects impressions, makes use of experience or has user experiences that condense into an overall picture: This provider is the right one for me in the long run - or not.
The customer's opinion is always subjective, often generalizing, sometimes unfair, maybe even wrong - but it is his opinion that he asks and asks without being asked. Mainly such reports of experience then influence the purchase decisions of third parties.
In addition, the customer considers one Company always as a unit. Departmental responsibilities do not interest him. From each in the performance chain he expects a perfect job, and each Detail counts. That's why you need synchronized processes that work like clockwork. Customer journeys point the way. They are developed from the customer's point of view - because that alone counts.
Knowledge about customer journeys is very important
Originally, the term Customer-Journey comes from e-commerce. It describes the user's way of surfing the web via Views and Clicks until the purchase. What is often forgotten in this view is that a potential customer not only jumps around the web, but rather confers virtual and real touchpoints.
Long before he made a direct contact with the provider, he read reviews and compared prices. After all, customers who are willing to buy first prefer to access the mostly web-based third-party sound bites. Depending on the industry, well over 50 percent of all purchase pre-decisions fall in this way. And that means: you have to develop your customers to the recommender.
In addition, the customer clicks on various devices in the online world. It seldom follows the channels that the provider intended to use, which act uncoordinatedly. No, he goes his own way. The customer-specific "offline online mobile customer journey" must therefore be the linchpin of all company activities.
How to visualize a customer journey
According to customer logic, each customer relationship comes from a temporal sequence of interactions that moves from one point in the past into a common future. Therefore, for me, a horizontal representation is the means of choice. Like a journey, it documents the course of a customer journey with all its phases and stops.
Here, the method of "Touchpoint Journey Mapping" has proven to be particularly helpful. For this purpose, a typical customer journey is drawn in the form of a map. The path to the individual touchpoints appears like a continuous line from left to right, with some customers also going back and forth or looping around.
A typical customer travel can consist, for example, of the following stations: Onlinerecherche - preselection - contact - consultation - contract conclusion - receipt of invoice - payment - receipt of the goods - use of the goods - (reclamation) - (resale) - (recommandation) - (take-off). How this can look like? Ask times search engines, there are lots of different graphics to this.
There is not just one way to the goal
Each customer trip can consist of approximately the same main stations, but in detail, the path from the prospective customer to the potential brand ambassador is different for each customer. And, of course, the same customer goes different ways depending on the mood.
In addition, individual over-the-counterpoints, such as a consultation call, can be split into subpoints. Or one represents the different travel eras of different personas. Personas are prototypical customer representatives, which we look more closely in the following article.
You can also split the Touchpoint journey into three major stages: 1. before, 2. while and 3. after a transaction. Or you divide the customer relationship into the sections come - stay - go. At Fressnapf, a provider for the needs of animal housemates, even a puppy-Journey was developed.
Customer journeys also help save costs
When visualizing a customer journey, it quickly becomes clear which touchpoints are missing from the customer's point of view, which are very relevant and which are completely irrelevant. Unnecessary Touchpoints can be excluded, ignored or deactivated - and in this way you can also save a lot of costs.
In an insurance company, for example, 120's existing brochures were only used in the day-to-day work of brokers, according to a study by Eschbrand Consultants.
My tip: Create a separate list for the screened touchpoints and check from time to time whether your decision to ignore them is still correct. The behavior of the customer changes quickly.
How to improve the travel quality on an ongoing basis
Supposedly small touchpoints can be great painpoints from the customer's point of view. These must therefore be found and eradicated as soon as possible. Lovepoints, on the other hand, must be reinforced and tamped. To the heights and depths of a customer experience, you should consult the customers.
The supertouch points, which pay particular attention to reputation, customer loyalty and referral, can now be determined. Finally, possible interactions between the individual touchpoints can be identified and synergy or cannibalization effects can be uncovered.
If the interaction possibilities have been brought into a customer-logical sequence, their interaction can be optimized and made more customer-friendly. Every touchpoint is examined to see whether what happens there is disappointing, okay or inspiring from the customer's point of view. How to do this in my new book Touch.Point.Sieg.
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