Creating a Customer Journey Map Step 3: Your Company's TouchpointsNov 28, 2022
It’s Step 3 and we’re finally getting to the whole mapping thing by beginning to look at the actual touchpoints – AKA, the points on your customer journey map.
Your company’s touchpoints are the specific places your customer goes as they journey from A to Z with you.
There are a few things to note about these points:
- Rarely are touchpoints linear – meaning, your customer often bounces between touchpoints before finally accomplishing the goal you want them to.
- Touchpoints can be made up of a lot of small goals – before your customer gets to the ultimate goal, your touchpoints probably bring her or him to some smaller ones along the way… like following on social media or signing up for an email newsletter.
- Touchpoints vary widely depending on the type of business you run – if you’re in retail, your touchpoints are very different from an ecommerce store.
How to find your company’s touchpoints
There are a couple ways you can go about nailing these down.
If you did the work in the prior step about researching and understanding your customers, you probably already have a very good idea of what those touchpoints are based on what you uncovered.
But, if you’re still needing some ideas, here’s a table you can reference, organized by at which point in the overall journey a customer may come across them:
|Social media||Website visit||Billing system|
|Reviews||Store visit (physical or digital)||Post-purchase emails|
|Testimonials||Promotions or coupons||Order questions|
|Word of mouth / group rec.||FAQ page or portfolio||FAQ page|
|Product pages||Checkout pages||Follow-up emails|
|Email signup form||Automated email campaigns||Invitation to review|
|Advertisements||Mailers (if appropriate)||Thank you card|
|Features||Phone, email or chat reps||Loyalty program|
You can see at a glance that there is a whole host of ways a potential customer can move through their journey with you on their way to becoming an actual customer.
This means that, along the way, there are many opportunities for your business to impress them…but just as many opportunities to disappoint them, too.
Audit your touchpoints
Using the above table as a guide, take some time to create an outline of the touchpoints that apply to your company.
Once you’ve done so, think about what kind of experience your customer has at each one and how that may align with what the customer would expect to happen.
This is where the work in the prior step really comes into play. If you have familiarity with who your customers are as real people, you should also have familiarity with their pain points, emotions, and motivations – these elements inform their expectation of your and your product or service.
If your customer avatar, Jennifer, is a working mom and expects your product to save her time and money this means she wants your website to be simple to navigate and to have all the information she immediately needs to know at a top-level menu (how your product or service works, what it costs, how long it takes to ship, etc). She would expect to see a link to an FAQ page almost immediately upon pulling up your website.
There are a few tools you can use to make this step easier – softwares the enable heatmaps (so you can see where customers are most often clicking), page-exit surveys, surveys on unsubscribe… all of these things can provide further information to help you better improve the experience occurring at each touchpoint. You can also go back to the testimonials, reviews, and email feedback received from your customers to assess the health of each touchpoint.
Create a touchpoint game plan
As you audit your touchpoints, keep these questions top of mind:
- Where are your touchpoints falling short on your avatars’ expectations?
- Where are the touchpoints excelling?
- Are there missing touchpoints? Or too many?
When the audit is complete, you’ll have a clear idea on which touchpoints need work, which maybe need to be eliminated, if any need to be created, and which are doing the exact right thing.
At this point, the game plan is going to need cross-team collaboration to be accomplished. No one single person or department can complete this goal on their own – and they shouldn’t have to, because if you recall… the point of a customer journey map is to ensure everyone, at every level, is on board with what it takes to get a customer from point A to point Z.
This process is going to take time, especially if you have a large business.
Set a goal to have it completed within a timeframe that makes sense for your company (maybe by the next quarter, for example). Break the plan down into sections – you can organize it by where the touchpoint occurs in the journey, or where the touchpoint occurs within your business (technical issues, customer service, etc.).
Whatever you decide… the most important part is to simply make a decision and take action.
If you don’t refine and perfect your touchpoints, the work of mapping the journey will be pointless.
Plus, as you may guessed, the work here in this step is the foundation for your actual visual customer journey map you are creating. The map is comprised of these touchpoints. As you audit them and lay them out, you’ll eventually be pulling them together into the visual map your business needs.
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