October 29, 2018
Marketers often use the term “touch point” when discussing interactions with customers. A customer touch point is defined as any interaction between your brand and a customer. Examples of touch points include website visits, face-to-face interactions, transactions, contact with customer service representatives, and even reading online reviews or ratings of a company.
Every customer touch point is important because each interaction can impact the customer’s opinion of the brand and purchase decision. Because each interaction matters, it’s crucial for brands to determine the effectiveness of their existing customer touch points. Here’s how:
Identify All Touch Points
Before you can begin measuring the effectiveness of each touch point, you must first identify all of the possible customer touch points. Make a list of every possible interaction between your brand and customers–no matter how insignificant it may seem. It helps to think of touch points in terms of these categories:
- Advertising/Attraction: blogs, press releases, social media posts
- Sales: white papers, testimonials, sales presentations
- Customer Service: shipping goods, sending and processing invoices, addressing questions and concerns
- Customer Retention: follow-up marketing strategies, loyalty programs
You should have a long list of possible touch points at the end of this exercise.
Give Each Touch Point An Impact Rating
The next step is assigning an impact rating to each touch point on your list. An impact rating is a measure of the importance of each touch point. For example, let’s say one of the touch points on your list is “sending and processing invoices.” If a customer has a negative experience when trying to pay an invoice, what kind of impact will this have on their relationship with your brand? Will a bad experience at this touch point prevent them from making another purchase? If so, then the impact rating of this touch point is high.
It’s important to put yourself in the customer’s shoes when assigning impact scores. Think about your own positive and negative interactions with brands when determining the impact of each touch point. You should also ask real consumers for their advice when assigning impact ratings. Don’t be afraid to send out surveys or conduct focus groups so you know that you have accurately measured the impact of each touch point.
Measure the Effectiveness
Analyzing the effectiveness of each touch point is not easy. It’s impossible for marketers to measure the effectiveness of each touch point on their own since they are biased. But fortunately, there are several ways to seek outside help with this task.
Marketers should consider using secret shoppers to measure the effectiveness of various customer touch points. A secret shopper is a professional who is trained to act as a customer. The shopper will go through the same process that regular customers follow when doing business with the brand. This can include researching the brand, asking the customer service department questions, making a purchase, paying the bill, and dealing with issues that arise along the way. Throughout the process, the shopper will take detailed notes on their experience. For example, let’s say the shopper found it difficult to get in touch with the customer service department before making a purchase. The shopper could note in their final report that this bad experience was unpleasant enough to cost the brand business. This type of information helps brands measure the effectiveness of each touch point in the sales process.
You can also listen to customers on social media to get specific information about certain touch points in the sales process. However, customers will usually only talk about touch points on social media if they had an unpleasant experience. Because of this, marketers shouldn’t be surprised if they only find negative data when looking on social media.
Focus groups are also helpful when measuring the effectiveness of touch points. But, conducting a focus group is not cheap, so this may be out of your brand’s budget for this specific exercise.
Marketers should also review data that is available to them. For instance, pull up the customer service call center logs to determine the number of complaints and questions that are handled by these representatives. Then, figure out how the majority of conversations end. Are the representatives able to solve the callers’ problems? If not, this is not an effective touch point.
The effectiveness of certain advertisements can be measured using ad tracking tools. For example, if your brand is running pay-per-click ads, use the ad tracking tools to determine what percentage of customers that click through are actually making purchases.
Address Ineffective Touch Points
Now, it’s time to identify the areas that need to be improved upon. Start by looking at the touch points with the highest impact ratings. It’s important to improve these first since they have the most significant impact on the customer’s overall experience.
Assign someone to oversee the process of improving weak touch points. Then, work with this person to develop an action plan. Why is this touch point so ineffective? How can you improve the customer’s experience at this point in the sales process? Making a touch point more effective could involve redesigning the website, offering additional training, or empowering employees to do what it takes to make a customer happy.
It’s best to reassess the effectiveness of these touch points later on to determine if the changes addressed the underlying issues. When it’s time to complete the reassessment, follow the steps in this process once more so you can accurately measure the effectiveness of each touch point.
For more marketing advice and insights, contact the team of professionals at Factory 360. Let our marketing professionals develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that will help your brand connect with your audience, build brand awareness, and of course, generate sales.