Every business wants their customers to have a great experience so they tell their friends and come back for more. Every time your business interacts with your customer, you are contributing collectively to their experience . . . from the first marketing communication through the sale, delivery, invoice, and satisfaction follow-up . . . the end-to-end process collectively creates an impression. Throughout this process, every customer touch point --- be it in-person, by email, by phone, or by social networking --- is an opportunity to deliver a great or mediocre experience. An outstanding performance at one touch point can be negated by a calamity at a different touch point.
Engineering your customer touch points provides the opportunity to design, measure, and continuously optimize your customer’s experience.
Start by making a list of all of the current interactions across your customer lifecycle. Include every step of the process from a quote, to a scheduling phone call, onsite visit, follow-up calls, invoice, etc. Then examine each touch point to assess how it is experienced by the customer and if it is a great experience. Something as simple as a scheduling phone call can be handled poorly or with finesse . . . who is making the call? what are they saying? could they be provided some training or a script that would improve how the customer receives the call? if a call goes to voicemail, what is the follow-up process? if you were the customer, how would you like to be spoken to and pursued?
Performing this type of analysis on every touch point shines a bright light on your customers’ overall experience. More importantly, it gives you the handles to change and improve your customers’ experiences. You can easily identify which touch points are providing a sub-par experience, and make one-by-one changes in delivery process to each. You can close experience gaps in your customer lifecycle by designing and adding new touch points . . . e.g. a how’s-it-going phone call, or project summary email.
Collectively, a bunch of small changes across numerous touch points can dramatically transform the customer experience your business delivers. And knowing and managing your customer touch points gives you the handles for continuous improvement.