Understanding customer touchpoints has become increasingly important in recent years.
Today's consumer uses an average of seven digital touchpoints to complete a single purchase, compared to an average of two touchpoints 15 years ago.
Other research suggests that more complex sales can involve up to 500 touchpoints.
With more and more of the consumer journey taking place online, it's become crucial for brands to pay extra attention to their digital touchpoints and ensure that each one leads to an exceptional customer experience.
Achieving this requires a process of identifying, mapping, and optimizing digital touchpoints throughout the customer journey.
If this seems like a daunting task, never fear - this article is the ideal place to start. We'll cover:
- What are digital touchpoints?
- Why are digital touchpoints important?
- The fundamental digital touchpoints & how to optimize them
What are digital customer touchpoints?
Put simply, a touchpoint is every interaction a consumer has with your brand throughout their customer journey - from the moment they first discover your business up until they make a purchase, and beyond.
Digital touchpoints are specifically those that occur online and through digital communication channels.
For example, imagine an individual is scrolling through their Instagram feed and they see a post about one of your products for the first time - that would be their first digital touchpoint with your business.
Other examples of digital touchpoints include:
- Online advertisements
- Online reviews
- Customer feedback surveys
- Customer engagement channels (e.g. live chat, video chat, social media messaging)
Once you identify your digital touchpoints, you can map them out and discover how customers typically experience your brand.
This will enable you to spot possible painpoints in the customer journey and any elements of your digital customer service that require improvement.
Gathering customer feedback is also an important part of this process.
You can use this information to map back to specific touchpoints which will help you understand the key moments that influence customer sentiment and behavior.
Knowing your digital touchpoints is the key to optimizing the customer journey and discovering how consumers typically experience your brand.
Why are digital customer touchpoints important?
We live in a digital era where consumers automatically turn to the internet in order to research and connect with businesses.
Consequently, it's more important than ever before that your digital touchpoints are optimized to ensure each one leads to a seamless customer experience.
The individual digital touchpoints that consumers encounter all contribute to their overall experience with your brand.
And as 89% of businesses compete primarily on the basis of customer experience, you must ensure that every touchpoint brings value and sparks customer delight.
Remember, touchpoints are critical steps to securing conversions.
One weak link in the chain of touchpoints can mean the difference between a successful sale and a lost opportunity.
That's why it's imperative that you identify and optimize every step in the customer journey to ensure that potential customers aren't slipping away unnecessarily.
Simple errors like a broken website page or a live chat message that never gets a reply can result in you losing multiple customers forever.
The fundamental digital touchpoints (and how to optimize them)
The main challenge when it comes to optimizing your digital touchpoints is knowing where to begin.
Every brand has its own range of touchpoints and each customer's experience and journey with them will be unique.
That's why we've covered the five fundamental digital touchpoints to help you get started.
Google is a powerful search engine that can help you reach a vast range of consumers.
It's the most visited website worldwide and currently dominates 91.9% of the search engine market.
Think about it - what's the first thing you do when you're trying to find a solution to a problem? You google it.
Because of this, Google is often the first digital touchpoint for many customer journeys.
In fact, 46% of all product searches begin on Google and the number of online searches for local businesses has increased by over 250% since 2017.
There are a few things you can do to optimize Google as a digital touchpoint:
- Paid Google advertising - This is a fast and efficient way to get your business noticed on Google and boost traffic. However, it can be costly and you may find yourself paying for low-quality clicks that don't lead to an increase in conversions.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) - This involves filling your website with high-quality, optimized content so that you rank highly on search engine result pages. This approach can be time-consuming and the results are not instant, but you'll be more likely to attract genuine opportunities. Content is king in marketing so it's well worth dedicating time and resources to producing optimized content.
- Google Business Messages - This feature allows potential customers to directly contact your brand via your Google Business Profile. It's free, easy to set up, and makes Google an incredibly convenient touchpoint for customers as they can reach out to you without even visiting your website. And with Talkative, you can effortlessly integrate Google Business Messages with all your other customer contact channels.
However you choose to optimize this digital touchpoint, doing so will ensure that you're getting the most out of Google's immense scope of reach.
Your website is one of the most significant digital touchpoints.
It tells people what your business has to offer and often gives customers the first impression of your brand.
Therefore, you should dedicate a considerable amount of time and effort to ensure that your website makes a lasting and positive impact on potential customers.
To achieve this, consider the following elements:
- Design - It's absolutely essential that your website is well-designed and user-friendly. Your site design needs to be consistently on-brand, easy to navigate, and visually engaging.
- Content - As we mentioned in the previous section, quality content is vital for SEO purposes and for attracting traffic that has the potential to become real opportunities. You need to ensure that your website content provides all the information about your business, product, and services that your customers might need. You should also produce content like blog posts and updates about your brand/product, as these are great ways to regularly produce optimized content and increase site visibility.
- Call to Action (CTA) - Any business website worth its salt has to include clear CTAs. These are signposts that tell potential customers what to do next. Without them, a site visitor won't know the next steps to take in order to make a purchase or an inquiry and are likely to leave the site without taking the next step of their buying journey.
Ultimately, a website that is optimized and well-crafted will generate leads, drive conversions, and get consumers invested in what you have to offer.
A poorly constructed website will achieve nothing but a high bounce rate - regardless of how much traffic you obtain.
3. Live chat
Live chat has become a must-have digital touchpoint for businesses across all industries.
In fact, 75% of consumers prefer live chat over any other support channel.
By offering live chat as a touchpoint on your website, you can connect with customers and answer their queries instantly, via real-time interactions.
You can also increase conversions and capture more leads - case in point, 79% of businesses report that implementing live chat has had a positive impact on sales, leads and revenue.
You can get the most out of live chat as a digital touchpoint with the following practices:
- Respond fast - A fast average response time is critical for ensuring a positive customer experience with this touchpoint. You can improve live chat response time by providing customer support teams with better training and making use of time-saving features such as canned responses.
- Be proactive - Proactive customer service is the practice of seeking to resolve customer issues before they even occur. You can achieve this with live chat by initiating customer conversations rather than waiting for them to message you first. With Talkative's live chat, you can also implement chat nudges that appear as friendly pop-ups to proactively offer assistance to site visitors.
- Deploy a chatbot - Chatbots are AI-powered virtual assistants that can provide immediate support and resolve basic customer queries. They're available 24 hours a day so that your customers always have access to support, even outside of your operating hours.
- Utilize customer journey mapping - Customer journey mapping provides you with an overview of the customer's website session, allowing you to see which site pages they've visited and how long they've spent on them. This contextualization of the customer journey empowers your customer advisors to provide advice that's tailored to the individual and get the most out of every chat interaction.
- Escalate to other channels - Sometimes, a customer needs support beyond live chat. That's why the Talkative platform allows you to easily escalate any chat conversation to a cobrowsing session, web call, or even a video chat.
By offering live chat as a touchpoint on your website, you can meet customers where they are.
It gives you the opportunity to elevate the digital customer experience and can mean the difference between a successful conversion and an abandoned one.
4. Social media
With 80% of consumers using social media to connect with brands, these platforms are a vital digital touchpoint with a wealth of opportunities.
You can leverage the power of social media to connect with customers on a personal level.
This touchpoint can be utilized to create a digital community, improve your public image, and foster brand loyalty.
To take your social media touchpoint potential to the next level, you should aim to:
- Establish a presence across multiple platforms (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) to ensure you reach as many consumers as possible.
- Actively engage with your customers by replying/reacting to their comments/posts about your business.
- Regularly post interactive, creative, and shareable content that humanizes your brand.
- Make use of social media customer support tools, like social media live chat, so that customers can easily reach out to your brand via their favorite social channels.
- Entice customers with competitions, giveaways, and/or exclusive discounts that are only available through your social media brand community.
By taking advantage of these strategies, you can ensure that your social media touchpoints are working hard for you and helping you reach your business goals.
5. Online reviews
Online reviews are an important digital touchpoint because they have a huge impact on customer decisions.
Positive reviews build trust in your brand and encourage potential customers to use your services.
Negative reviews create a poor public image and can cause consumers to avoid your brand - the stakes are high with this particular touchpoint.
In addition to influencing the decisions of potential customers, online reviews can also be a valuable source of feedback for your business.
You can reap the rewards of this resource by:
- Actively encouraging all customers to leave reviews and provide feedback after a purchase.
- Making sure to regularly check and respond to reviews so that customers can see you're receptive to feedback and value their experiences.
- Using negative reviews to identify and fix customer painpoints.
By paying attention to online reviews and using them to make business decisions, you can ensure that your business is always providing the best possible experience for its customers.
The process of understanding and optimizing digital touchpoints is an essential undertaking for any business.
It has a direct impact on the customer experience and the chance of a successful conversion.
However, it's imperative that you don't hyper-focus on individual touchpoints and forget to consider how they work together.
Remember that the consumer journey is not just the sum of its touchpoints - it's about how these touchpoints combine to create an overall brand experience.
Beyond optimizing specific digital touchpoints, the next step is ensuring that they all contribute to a smooth customer journey and an exceptional experience.
A key step to achieving this is investing in the right platform for your digital channels.
All of these channels are significant touchpoints that shape the entire digital journey - so it's vital that you have the best technology to power and manage them.
And that's where Talkative comes in.
Our Consultative Service Platform was specifically designed to power better experiences by connecting you with the right customers, via the right channel, at the right time.
We provide a complete suite of engagement channels that'll enable your customer advisors to connect instantly, and effortlessly, with your customers at every digital touchpoint.
As a result, you'll be empowered to engage and convert more customers than ever before.
Want to see for yourself? Book a demo with Talkative and take the next step to digital touchpoint success today.