For years, marketing professionals have been preaching that customers need AT LEAST 7-8 touchpoints before they know who you are, like you, and trust you enough to purchase from you. Recently, some marketing professionals are claiming that this is actually as high as 22 touchpoints!!
Now, this doesn’t mean that you need 22 DIFFERENT touchpoints, you just need to get in front of your customer 22 times. This means that your 22 touchpoints could simply be just 22 social media posts. In saying this, if you want to increase your potential reach, it’s best to have a mix of different touchpoints. That way you can reach a wider audience by utilising different channels. Because, after all, not everyone is going to be using the same platforms to gather information.
So what does this mean for you? Keep reading below and we’ll walk you through what touchpoints are, how to increase your touchpoints, and why this is super important.
Touchpoints, what’s that?
Touchpoints are the interactions between a business and their customers that may alter the way a customer feels about a brand, product, service, or business. These interactions can be either physical or non-physical and occur during the customer journey.
Some of these touchpoints may be out of your direct control, BUT you can still have some influence on these interactions. For example, reviews are out of your direct control but the way that you handle them speaks volumes. If you handle a bad review in a positive, and productive way, you are creating a more positive touchpoint for your audience that is viewing this review. Usually, when you improve the touchpoints you can control, it will typically improve the ones you can’t too!
Here is a list of some common customer touchpoints:
- Organic Google
- Google Ads
- Paid Social Ads
- Physical Store
- Organic Social media
- Email Campaigns
- TV Ads/Radio Ads
- And many more!
Now that I know what they are, how do I increase them?
If you want to increase your number of touchpoints, you need to gain an understanding of how your customers interact with your business. This is where Touchpoint Mapping comes in! Touchpoint Mapping involves outlining each interaction a customer might have with your brand. The process follows looking at each step of the buyer’s journey and identifying the places that your customers come in contact with your brand. This allows you to improve the experiences that a customer has with your business. Through touchpoint mapping, you may find touchpoints that your business has with your customers that you weren’t even aware of!
How to start touchpoint mapping
There are four simple steps to touchpoint mapping.
Step 1: Identify each customer touchpoint
The very first step to touchpoint mapping is identifying the interactions that your customers have with your business. It helps to look at the experiences in these three categories: before purchase, during purchase, and post-purchase. Some of these may overlap.
Step 2: Map the Touchpoints
Now that you have identified the places where your customers interact with your business, you need to place these in chronological order. When doing this, consider the steps in the customer purchasing process and use these to guide your outline. The steps in the purchasing process are:
- Awareness – this is when your customers are becoming familiar with your brand and products.
- Consideration – this is when customers conduct research and compare features and the price of products.
- Acquisition – customers make a purchase.
- Loyalty – customers come back to make another purchase with your brand.
- Advocacy – customers recommend your product or service to friends and family.
Step 3: Improve Customer Touchpoints
Time to make improvements! Now that you have identified the touchpoints, you need to look into how you can provide the best possible experience for your customers at each interaction. The key focus for this should be to make your brand experiences simple, appropriate, relevant, meaningful, appealing, and personal.
- Simple – the experience should be easy for the customer to understand.
- Appropriate – the experience should fit the context of its channel and the interests of your target market.
- Relevant – the experience should match customer expectations and include what they need for each stage of the customer journey.
- Meaningful – the experience should provide value to the customer that is significant and useful.
- Appealing – the experience should give customers the things that they want.
- Personal – the experience should be able to be customised for each customer’s specific needs.
Recent studies have shown that 75% of customers expect companies to provide a consistent experience across multiple touchpoints. Therefore, it is important that you integrate the above criteria into your touchpoints in order to improve your customer’s journey.
Step 4: Set a Schedule for Review
Things don’t stop after creating and implementing your new strategy! Your marketing channels and operational processes will continue to evolve. Therefore, your customer mapping must do the same.
Why is this important?
So why do you need 22 touchpoints? In the current market, customers are dealing with information overload. This means that it takes A LOT for a message to get through to your customers. This is where touchpoints come in. By getting in front of your audience as often as possible, you are increasing the chance that your audience will really hear and understand your messaging, and turn into a conversion.
Ideally, these touchpoints will become ‘trustpoints’ with your target market. Creating positive experiences for your customers will help to foster closer relationships and increase customer retention rate. The more impressed your customers are with your brand, the more likely they are to come back.
Feeling a bit confused still? Give us a call! We’d be happy to walk you through what touchpoints are and how you can improve your customer touchpoints.