Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touchpoints – Jonah Sachs, entrepreneur, designer and author
Customer touchpoints are the points of ‘interaction’ and engagement with a brand, by its existing or potential customers, from start to finish. Brand interactions vary from physical engagement in branches or offices to indirect interaction such as through websites, online platforms, apps, and ATMs. Touchpoints include any interaction that might alter the way a customer feels about a product, brand, business, or service.
Reg Bath Chief Executive Officer: Technology at InsideData Group, says a key starting point for crafting a great customer experience is to understand the typical interactions individuals might have with a brand and where, how and when they may take place. “A company’s success is not defined only by the products and services it offers, but more importantly by the customer journey – the entire brand experience from product exploration, discovery and purchase up to product use, bonding and after-sales service,“ says Bath
Mastering touchpoints can be a key competitive differentiator. It is an important part of a company’s brand positioning strategy that often leads to the development of loyal brand advocates for reasons beyond primary features and attributes that competitors may also offer.
According to a Gartner research study, top marketers need to understand key customer personas, map customer journeys, and design and optimize interactions to deliver innovation when looking to implement effective customer experience management across the enterprise.
Customer experience should be a top marketing investment priority
Unless businesses build an exceptional experience around their brands, they risk losing the loyalty of their customers, which can be translated into measurable loss of commercial value. Various statistics illustrating the link between customer experience and business revenue have been published:
- 50-60% of customers have stopped buying from a company due to a competitor providing a better experience.
- Approximately 80% of customers say that the experience of dealing with a company is as important as its products and services.
- 60-75% of customers are willing to pay more for a great experience.
- According to Gartner, 89% of companies compete on customer experience – customer experience is hard to copy.
The customer journey for businesses such as banks and fintech consists of a broad array of touchpoints across product offerings, services, and enabling technology. Retail banks and fintech need to migrate from a strategy of only sharing customer data to sharing a single source of consistent information across integrated channels. Bath highlights the fact that digitalization and channel integration are part of the Covid-19 pandemic-induced “new normal” in the 2020 way of doing business and organizations need to adapt quickly.
“The pandemic is the catalyst that expedites companies’ digital migration. The question to be asked is whether these organisations are rolling out digitalisation as an end-to-end solution to enhance the customer journey and customer experience, or implemented in silos”, says Bath.
Bath suggests that banks, fintechs and other customer-facing financial organisations catapult their digital transformation by focusing on their core business and partnering with service providers like the InsideData Group, which enables optimisation of their engagement with stakeholders and customers along the customer journey – even if it is fully digital.
“We have developed services and smart solutions to provide customer organisations with streamlined digital services across the whole value chain of customer touchpoints to allow them to focus on their core business. We take data received securely from clients and transform it into valuable direct messaging through a variety of innovative delivery channels to reach those who need to hear or read it,” says Bath.
“Whether it is in hard copy, email, or mobile format, we utilise the most cost-effective and efficient channel for getting the message across and we provide web-based storage for all marketing and communication campaigns. Then, we continuously measure the response rate and analyse every communication to help our clients constantly improve and strengthen customer loyalty and stakeholder response,” he explains.
Touchpoint optimisation contributes to customer retention and attraction, it also holds the key to a maximised bottom line and guarantees a great customer experience.
Businesses need to embrace digital transformation to remain relevant to their customers. The transformation addresses an ever-changing business landscape and should focus on improved business results and continuous improvements, from innovation to automation. Covid-19 is becoming the accelerator for one of the greatest workplace transformations of our lifetime. How we work, exercise, shop, learn, communicate, and of course, where we work, will be changed forever! – Forbes
Reg Bath says digitization on its own will not necessarily improve the customer journey and experience – it may make engagement more convenient and accessible, but unless there is the true transformation the outcome will not be significant. “With the tools available to developers and the pace at which technology is evolving, the ability to make a digitized message ‘exciting’ by combining text with animation, video, and voice is now effectively boundless.”
“Digitalisation will if executed properly, result in the end-user (the customer) wanting to engage with each message, excited for the next engagement as the brand story unfolds from touchpoint to touchpoint. Digital transformation in the customer communication space is not just converting print to electronic, but it is using the customer journeys and experiences across touchpoints – including personalization – as the basis for transformation. Utilizing the opportunity to transform the processes as well as the experience and not just convert. This also implies that there needs to be a good understanding of the customer personas, the touchpoints, and what the customer wants,” says Bath.