What is a Customer Touchpoint and Why Should You Care?

In terms of customer experience (CX), touchpoints are more than just transactional moments. They’re critical interactions within the customer journey that help define key moments in the process which can build or erode customer trust.

Customer touchpoints are often misunderstood for what they really are, or go unappreciated from the customer’s perspective.

Understanding touchpoints through the eyes of your customer is the key to nailing your business’s CX.

Understanding your customers’ current situations, and what drives them toward loyalty or defection, is the first step in delivering a superior customer experience. Understanding the actual touchpoints your customers have with your organization is a basic part of that understanding.

Most organizations, when defining their customer touchpoints, list things like:

  • Billboards
  • Direct Mail
  • Web Sites
  • In-Store Cashiers
  • Welcome Letter/Customer Communications
  • Customer Service Call Center

The challenge with viewing touchpoints this way is this approach often assumes the customer:

  1. Has been in a linear and direct relationship with the organization
  2. Reads and engages with these touchpoints in meaningful ways.

In short, this type of examination into touchpoints is often entirely company-focused and does not gauge how the customer is in direct contact with the organization.

Here are some examples of touch points from your customer’s perspective. Notice how touchpoints become a variety of interactions between you and your customer when it is from their perspective. Your customer is critiquing every touchpoint of your business, from your logo to how a transaction shows up on their bank statement.

  • I have a need, and look up a service online. <- search, site, mobile
  • I select this company. <- Why? A great online demo? Excellent reviews?
  • I use online chat to engage.
  • I start the relationship. <- What does that first charge look like on the credit card bill? Does it make sense to the customer?
  • I have a problem and look for customer service. <- Where? How? Online? Via an 800 number? How am I treated when I call? How many transfers does it take to solve my problem?
  • I want to stop being a customer. <- How do I cancel?

Taking a comprehensive and thorough inventory of your touchpoints can be extremely challenging. It can take months to categorize all the ways customers may interact with you.

If you organize your touchpoints (the customer perspective) against your channel strategy (your company perspective), you can have a clear vision for where your priorities should lie.

Experiences are evolving rapidly today, and it’s easy to be left behind. Understanding your customer touchpoints could help you stay ahead in meaningful ways.

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