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A customer touchpoint is any interaction a business has with a customer. Touchpoints range from customers seeing advertisements to interactions with your product, service, or employees. By evaluating and optimizing customer touchpoints, businesses can improve their customer experience, reduce churn, and increase profits.

Benefits of Mapping Customer Touchpoints

The ideal for customer touchpoints is minimization: by getting rid of unnecessary customer touchpoints, businesses can better address the most relevant and meaningful touchpoints. Currently, though, the trend is that the number of touchpoints is increasing due to both the volume of business rising and specialization within organizations. Customer experience is still the primary driver of word-of-mouth growth; so, because just a single bad experience can churn a customer, it’s critical for businesses to optimize their touchpoints. Although about half of all churn is unavoidable, reducing controllable churn by just five percent can increase profitability by seventy-five percent. In this way, companies can also increase a customer’s lifetime value by increasing their brand loyalty. Mapping customer touchpoints can also provide applicable insights for everyone within an organization and make them customer-focused employees aimed at increasing customer value. It’s crucial for businesses to note that they are being compared not only to businesses in their industry but businesses across all sectors because of the multiplicity of verticals in which customers participate.

Customizing Touchpoint Maps to the Customer

A fundamental step to mapping customer touchpoints is understanding the customer journey and the customer’s perspective. By learning the goals, needs, barriers, and expectations of customers, this can be accomplished. Many customer touchpoints are beyond the reach of a company, so it’s necessary that they leverage as much information to which they have access. Visualizations clearly and concisely display information, so utilize them when creating touchpoint maps. A great place to start is the touchpoint matrix. This matrix is made by outlining the personal and mass market touchpoints, the campaigns driving them, and the platforms servicing them. Another straightforward map is the layer map; this is made by looking at the touchpoints on a step-by-step basis. This map can help businesses easily see the departments responsible for each touchpoint. There are also data-based maps; these require training in R and other programs, which can provide valuable insight that would be unobtainable with more simplistic methods. On the whole, different maps are going to be better for different groups, and businesses should cater to the needs of specific groups when deciding which touchpoint map to use.

How to Start Mapping Your Customer Touchpoints

The first step to mapping customer touchpoints to do a touchpoint inventory via an internal audit. Then, speak to customers to discover as many touchpoints as possible. It’s key to identify the individuals who are directly responsible for, and the purpose of each touchpoint. If a touchpoint lacks a clear purpose or shares it with another touchpoint, consider combining the two. The list of touchpoints should be openly available within an organization so the individuals responsible for each touchpoint are able to be held accountable. Open interdepartmental communication and the sharing of information will be required. Each touchpoint may have lots of data. Exploratory data analysis should be undertaken to discover the right key performance indicators (KPIs). This process is not a one time undertaking; it must be refined and repeated with the development of new technologies and changes within the business itself. Finally, the touchpoint mapping process should accomplish three goals: it should minimize touchpoints, help personalize the customer experience, and optimize each touchpoint for customer lifetime value.

Want to learn how to use data to create better customer profiles for your customized touchpoint maps? See our post on Creating Data-Driven Customer Profiles.