When formulating a customer experience strategy, it is important to consider your business’ touchpoints. The way you serve and interact with customers influences their perception of your brand, ultimately boosting or burdening your sales process. Did you know just one negative brand experience can turn your customers to opposition brands – and their friends too? Yikes! Ensure your retail store keeps ahead of the competition by meeting (and exceeding) customer expectations at all points of contact. Discover SaluteCX customer experience solutions.
The role of touchpoints in your customer experience strategy
So, what exactly are touchpoints in a customer experience strategy? Simply put, these are any means of contact a person has with your brand. This contact can take place anywhere in any form – in-store, online, via email, over the phone, through a street pole ad – you name it. Basically, if your customer is aware of and experiencing your brand in some way, the point of interaction becomes the touchpoint. And depending on where they are in their purchasing decision, this will fall within one of three categories: pre-purchase, during purchase or post purchase.
Pre-purchase touchpoints are usually the customer’s first contact with a brand, taking place through social media posts, word of mouth marketing, advertising, and general marketing initiatives. Post-purchase touchpoints are the customer’s point of contact with the brand after making a purchase, typically involving support and follow-ups. At SaluteCX, we are involved in quantifying all impacts of these three purchasing phases . (Click here to learn about our Customer Perception Path Tracking initiative.) Let’s take a look at the during-process touchpoints in more detail.
During-purchase touchpoints: The in-store experience
When a customer visits your store, they come into contact with your brand in numerous ways, absorbing any and all ‘brand’ information around them. They see your brand, smell it, feel it, and talk to it. They are able to interact with it directly and form a relationship with it. It is therefore important to reach your customer in a consistent way across all in-store outlets to ensure they develop a good impression of your company – one that is truly representative of your brand’s values. When attempting to brand your customer’s in-store experience, we recommend assessing the following key touchpoints:
The entrance of your store is often the initial touchpoint a customer comes into contact with, forming their first impression of your brand. Your signage and entrance display table are undoubtedly important in this regard. But equally so is the store rep who meets and greets customers at the door. This individual gives your brand a human element – a face and a personality that smiles and makes the customer feel welcome. A simple ‘thank you so much for shopping with us’ as a customer leaves the store premises can leave a lasting impact that makes them want to come back again.
2. Store layout
Your floor plan is a touchpoint that should speed up sales, not slow them down. Ensuring your products are visible, accessible, and displayed in an inviting way will attract customers and get your brand in their good books. Remember that in the customer’s eyes, a helpful brand that looks out for their needs is a valuable one.
3. Company representatives
Every person who works in your store is representing your brand. It’s important that all floor workers, sales reps, cashiers, and managers deliver consistent communication so as to send a clear, unified brand message. For example, if providing personalised services is a core company value, every worker needs to treat the customer as an individual and assist them on their unique shopping journey. No cookie-cutter solutions!
4. Point of sale systems
Queue-up point. Check-out process. Loyalty programmes. Rewards. All of these elements are crucial to the point of sale experience, and generally, go one of two ways – structured and seamless or sloppy and slow. To encourage repeat customer visits, make sure your brand’s point of sale experience falls within the former.
Need a hand assessing your touchpoints?
We can evaluate your in-store touchpoints for you using our Video Mystery Shopping initiative, which will also assist us in creating a bespoke Customer Perception Path for your brand. With this service, our trained team of mystery shoppers enter your store premises and record the experience from your customer’s point of view. This gives us useful insight into your customer touchpoints, helping us determine what is working and what needs improvement. Request a quote.
Contact SaluteCX for customer experience strategy solutions
Providing a satisfactory in-store experience is an important part of your customer experience strategy. By identifying your touchpoints and unifying the communication across them, you can reach your customers in a consistent and reliable way, and in time, achieve brand loyalty. Get in touch with SaluteCX for data-driven customer experience solutions.