Five CX Touchpoints You May Be Overlooking
It is critical to catalog and analyze your Customer Experience (CX) touchpoints and dedicate time to improving them, regardless of the size of your company. Customer expectations change rapidly, and once you fall far behind the leading edge, the challenge of consistently delivering a robust customer experience becomes even more daunting.
Survey Monkey defines a touchpoint as “any time a potential customer or customer comes in contact with your brand–before, during, or after they purchase something from you.” Even the best CX-aware companies can overlook crucial points of interaction. We wanted to highlight five CX touchpoints and corresponding improvements that may not be on your radar, but that will have a measurable impact on your business.
Customer Experience is typically divided into five primary categories: Marketing, Customer Service, Corporate Communications, Products and Services, and Sales. With some quick fixes in each category, you can enhance your CX, improve customer loyalty, and exceed customer expectations.
CX Category: Marketing
CX Touchpoint: Email
Email is such an everyday workhorse that refreshing your email tactics is easy to overlook or dismiss as a low priority. It’s essential to have a consistent set of unique templates that are visually on-brand but specific to each potential marketing message (i.e. new product announcement, price drop, service augmentation, etc.) so that recipients subconsciously understand the email’s intent at first glance.
One common mistake is overloading each email with too much content. People tend to skim emails, searching for headlines and images that quickly convey information. Keep your content to one main piece and one secondary piece at most, and you’re much more likely to engage the recipient and entice them to take action. It’s better to send another email the following week with fresh, concise content than it is to overload one email.
CX Category: Customer Service
CX Touchpoint: Surveys
The ultimate overlooked touchpoint! Surveys are one of the best ways to demonstrate that you care about customer feedback and show that you’re always working on fine-tuning your products and services. Many companies make the mistake of sending surveys to their entire customer list at random times throughout the year.
A more effective strategy involves investing in a system that can automatically send surveys after a sensible post-triggering-event interval has passed (i.e. post-purchase or post-service). This survey provides a steady stream of valuable feedback (versus an overwhelming tranche of replies arriving all at once). It builds enduring customer rapport by demonstrating that you’re interested to hear how your customer’s experience has been.
One more survey tip: nobody likes long surveys, so keep yours under ten questions to ensure a high completion rate.
CX Category: Corporate Communications
CX Touchpoint: Executive Speeches
Yes, executive speeches are a CX touchpoint and an important one at that. How many times have you endured a dry or meandering speech from someone standing in front of a giant screen displaying their company logo? That speech connects the brand to the speaker and the speaker to the content, and if the content is uninteresting or poorly delivered, guess what? That impression flows right back up the chain to the brand. A bad speech can quickly tarnish an otherwise healthy brand, and if you’re delivering that speech in a big room full of industry influencers, there may be no recovery from the negative psychological association.
Invest in speaker training for your leaders, and for each speaking gig that’s high-profile, hire a professional to outline and craft a compelling presentation. It would help if you also did a deep dive into resources that outline effective modern speaking techniques. Ted Talks have trained us to expect to receive a large amount of valuable information in a short amount of time, which is a good thing! Nobody enjoys 15 minutes of good content “packed” into an hourlong presentation.
CX Category: Products & Services
CX Touchpoint: UI
The user interface (UI) is one of the giants of the CX world. It receives a good chunk of upfront time and investment, so you’re probably asking why it’s showing up in a list of overlooked touchpoints. The truth is that while a lot of planning and care typically goes into UI work during initial development, very little attention is generally paid to it post-launch. It’s true that you don’t want to constantly make extensive changes to a UI once it’s in the market (thereby spawning user confusion). However, it’s critical to continually solicit feedback on your product’s UI and make micro-tweaks that make life easier for the end users.
Adobe is one of the best practitioners of this, always working to understand how people use their software, noting where needless friction occurs and making incremental changes on a regular release schedule to eliminate the rough edges. You should copy Adobe’s approach.
CX Category: Sales
Touchpoint: In-person Sales
Being sold to may be almost as stressful as being the person doing the selling. There’s typically a lot on the line for both parties in a sales scenario, including deep layers of distrust, and the fear of bad decision-making, and potential rejection bubble just under the surface. Many things can go sideways in a hurry.
Sales is one of the most overlooked customer experience touchpoints, with some businesses making the mistake of not including it under their CX umbrella. This is unfortunate because the sales experience has an enormous impact on brand perception. Regardless of whether it’s a first-time sale or an ongoing relationship—it should be viewed as the initial phase of your customer experience approach.
Companies on the vanguard of sales psychology emphasize empathy as their most valuable ally during the sales process. This is because they understand that a compassionate approach can do a great deal of heavy lifting in a sales scenario and alleviate many of the stressors that accompany it.
There are numerous free, high-quality resources available to guide you on instilling a culture of empathy and compassion in your sales team. It’s a time investment that will memorably introduce your brand promise and pay unlimited dividends as the relationship grows.
From Average to Great
A customer experience strategy that delights at every touchpoint should be your north star but don’t make the mistake of letting it feel daunting or unachievable. Continually make small incremental changes over time, observe the results, and let the data guide what you tweak next. It doesn’t take much to go from average to great, and by prioritizing CX, you’ll make your customers happier, build enduring loyalty, and improve your bottom line.