Making and sustaining a good first impression has always been important when it comes to growing your customer base. However, with adopting new digital channels, such as smart device apps, social media profiles, and chatbots, it might be quite a challenge to pin down how consumers nowadays interact with brands.
The Customer’s Journey Everyone Dreams About
Let's say you’re the owner of a printing company that offers printing and packaging both to other businesses and to individuals. Ideally, your customer’s journey would look like this:
The potential customer, Joe, becomes aware of your services when he sees your ads on Facebook. Later on, he identifies a problem: “Who will print and bind my documents somewhere in the city center for a reasonable price?” Then he starts remembering and researching all the printing places in the city. After visiting your website and watching the promo video that shows how fast your printers are and how everyone gets a discount with their first order, Joe decides to choose you as the solution to his problem and becomes your customer. And because he was so satisfied with your services, he even recommends you to his friends and writes a positive review online.
Pitfalls on the Journey
Nevertheless, most customers’ journeys aren’t as free of obstacles as the one described here. A live chat that never gets a response, a missing web page, or a CTA button leading nowhere might mean losing your potential customer forever. All these “trouble makers” are called digital touchpoints. But when they are working, they can elevate the entire journey.
Firstly, we should clarify what digital touchpoints are: while a touchpoint means any point of interaction with a customer at any stage of the customer’s journey, a digital touchpoint is online interaction across different devices (smart phones, tablets, laptops) and various channels (social media, apps, websites) during which customers engage with a business.
Customers have high expectations at every touchpoint. There are two possible scenarios of what can happen: online interactions either make or break experiences. While B2C companies usually receive approval ratings between 65 and 85 percent, B2B companies get only less than 50 percent. The reason for such low ratings might be the number of people involved in the decision-making process (the more people involved, the higher the chances of dissatisfaction are). This doesn’t sound too good for our B2B and B2C printing company, right?
Walk in Your Customer’s Shoes
In today’s age of technology that creates a proliferation of digital touchpoints, it is important to map your customer’s journey and identify the crucial touchpoints. Try to put yourself into your customer’s shoes: Where will you go when you identify a printing-related problem? How will you discover the printing company that can help you? Which pages are you likely to visit before making the purchase decision? What will you do after the purchase?
Encourage your customers to give you feedback; it will show you how your perceived experience corresponds to your customers’ actual experiences. As Jeff Bezos said, “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.”
So, if you decide to set up a social media account, make sure that you add a new post every now and then and respond to all your customers’ messages. An inactive account will only upset them.
Put Your Touchpoints on the Map
To learn more about how consumers interact with your brand, there are two useful tools, each used in different situations: a customer journey map, which focuses mainly on mapping the touchpoints of a specific customer from the very first exposure to post-sale interactions, and a customer experience map, which helps to uncover the reasons why customers in general don’t have the best experience possible.
Following the creation of the map, Adam Richardson recommends categorizing all digital touchpoints into four categories: products (hardware, software, and services themselves), interactions (in-person, on the phone, or virtual, such as websites and blogs), messages (one-way communication including manuals, advertising, packaging, etc.), and settings (basically any place where the product is seen or used).
Examine each touchpoint and decide if it addresses your customers’ needs. All your touchpoints taken together should communicate the same message effectively and clearly. Are they actually doing that?
There are also moments of truth (MoTs), the most critical points in the journey in which a key event occurs and an opinion is formed (e.g., the customer visits your website for the first time and cannot find what they are looking for or your order form is too complicated). We've mentioned how important getting the customers’ feedback is; make sure you also interview your employees that work on the touchpoints because they can help you pin down any issues or pain points and put them on the map.
Taming Those Digital Touchpoints with DXP
If you’re struggling with managing all your digital touchpoints, schedule our live 1-on-1 demo which will be based specifically on your needs. With the digital experience platform, you can avoid manually updating each social channel with your blog posts and announcements, explore A/B testing that will show you which page variant performs better, or provide a personalized experience tailored to each customer’s unique needs and preferences.
Remember that “the digital touchpoint is everything a digital business can exploit to create a business moment for and together with its customers.” So, make each of your digital touchpoints so powerful that consumers will immediately fall in love with your brand.