Journey Component: Touchpoints
A Customer Journey Touchpoint is nothing more than a point on the customer journey timeline, that you can make some marketing/brand impact on the customer. In effect, touchpoints are the moments that your company interacts actively or passively with a prospect or customer.
So at the moments we come into contact with a customer or prospect, we make a record about the interaction. When the customer interacts with a live channel, it's often the call center agent or retail office person that notes the interaction. But when the customer interacts with an automated system (e.g. a website, App, chatbot or Voice Response service), the interaction can be logged using automatic rules.
Typically companies store these interaction summaries in the logs of their CRM database.
We can distinguish between three main Customer Experiences that can happen at Touchpoints with regard to brand promotion:
The interaction with your company was 'a complete disaster' for the customer or prospect. He or she wasn't helped correctly or wasn't helped at all with achieving their goal or task. More even so, the experience was so bad that it damaged the perception of the customer or prospect about your brand or company for that person.
The interaction with your company was ‘as expected’ by the customer; the process went fine and the customer may be content. Though, nothing special has happened for the customer. Therefore the touchpoint was mainly functionally OK.
The interaction with your company was ‘surprisingly more than expected’, and the customer really appreciated the interaction and may promote (brag about) it to peers.
If your company tries to minimize and take out any inconveniences for the customer that may happen during any buying, usage or support process, the customer may become content/satisfied. So lowering the Customer Effort Score (CES) improves customer satisfaction. However, it is very unlikely that effortless processes within your company would attribute to active customer promotion. Your clients may be satisfied, but they wouldn't (voluntarily) promote your brand to others without incentive.
When your company delivered ‘way more than expected’ to the customer, the customer may very well become a fan. Surprising customers positively at the good moments really helps your customer start sharing the good news. Especially the moments (touchpoints) in your customer journey where you can create a huge positive emotional impact on the customer, will be eligible to become Brand Moment.
At these steps and touchpoints, you can really bond the customer to your brand and company, and win from competition. These are the points where your company image and values gets further shaped and applied to the customer relationship.
Touchpoints that will be very decisive for your customer and your business to go ahead – milestones – are called Moments of Truth. Moments of Truth are points in the customer journey where emotionally, rationally or psychologically important (impactful) decisions are to be made by the customer or your business about the continuation of the relationship. E.g. signing a mortgage contract can be a very important moment for a house buyer, because that moment effects the obligation to pay the bank monthly a huge part of his/her income for over 30 years.