The Customer is growing more important for all sellers in today’s digital selling motion and customer service environment. We’ll share best practices on how to utilize Touchpoint Analysis as a valuable tool to improve the customer experience.
Leaders take the time to look at their own business practices comprehensively through the lens of their customers to understand how they measure up to their customers’ needs and expectations. They continually ask and seek answers to whether each customer interaction lives up to the brand experience that the company is trying to create.
To reinforce these points, let’s start with a recent client situation we had a chance to work with and how Touchpoint Analysis was used to drive greater collaboration across the client’s customer journey.
Case Study: The Challenge: Ineffective Buying Process and Increasing Customer Churn
Situation: Brand resentment, longer lead and sales cycle times, customer churn and diminishing top of funnel development were indicators that the Fintech client was having a challenge with their customer experience. After conducting a workshop and working through a rapid diagnostic, we discovered a key finding:
Finding: At each touchpoint, the interaction had at least an 82% chance of having a positive outcome for the client. However, the average customer satisfaction fell almost 50% over the course of the entire customer journey with our client. Touchpoints weren’t broken – the customer journey as an entire whole was. The explosion of potential customer interaction points—across new channels, devices, applications, and more—makes consistency of service and experience across channels nearly impossible—unless you are managing the journey, and not simply individual touchpoints.
As described above, the customer experience is the extraction of value from what the touch points mean to the customer i.e., some touch points weigh heavier in the experience than others. It is important to take the time to look at your own business practices comprehensively through the lens of your customers. Does each customer interaction live up to the brand experience that your company is trying to create? Are you providing a more consistent and relevant customer experience than your competitors are? Which interactions are the most powerful for creating customer loyalty?
Conducting customer-satisfaction surveys is not enough. To better serve your customer base and more effectively acquire new customers, you need to delve into the details of individual interactions to understand the relationship between each customer touch point and the value it delivers to customers. Value may be built through a series of positive experiences, but it is maintained through consistently meeting the needs and expectations of your customers throughout the customer lifecycle—from pre-purchase consideration to post-purchase evaluation.
How to Conduct a Touchpoint Assessment?
Managing your customer experience is an ongoing and evolutionary process that takes time and cross-functional alignment if it is to deliver meaningful results. As customers’ needs and expectations change over time, the way you know them and meet them must evolve in accordance with those shifts. Although the process is straightforward, executing it well is far more complex. It requires listening to your customers despite receiving feedback that might challenge internal beliefs, and then aligning the organization around changes that will improve the customer experience.
The following outline covers our six-point approach to conducting Touchpoint Analysis.
Note: If you are able to pinpoint the gap in you customer journey touchpoints we recommend a top-down approach. If you have never conducted a touchpoint analysis we recommend a bottom-up approach.
Baseline your approach by reviewing and mapping known customer touchpoints and determine if you have data gaps that need to be addressed
Collect supplemental data through interviews, surveys and systems of record metrics (see an attached list of questions to leverage in your customer interview process – tool attachment)
Identify the interactions that matter most to your buyers and determine what dimensions of those interactions deliver the most value
Prioritize the touches that are most important to your customers. Eliminate or repurpose your underperforming touchpoints
Develop a project plan and determine the quick wins that can assist in creating buy-in across multiple departments
Measure the improvement in customer experience and understand movements in key performance indicators (e.g., lifetime value of the customer, retention rates, customers’ willingness to recommend your brand)
Closing Point: Measure & Control!
The goal of touchpoint analysis is to drive customer value. Some of the key performance indicators to measure improvements in customer experience could be lifetime value of the customer, retention rates, customer referrals. This will help you understand how improving touch points affect loyalty, brand equity, and overall profitability of a customer or specific customer segments. The shifts in some of these metrics might be gradual and therefore, they must be monitored over time.
Get started! Follow the six actions mentioned for how to conduct your Touchpoint Analysis and you will significantly increase the probability that your improvement efforts will drive the expected level of value creation through an improved customer journey.
If you would like to discuss Customer Experience in more detail, please send me a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.