Customer Touchpoints: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:04 Make It Interesting
  • 0:36 What Are Customer Touchpoints?
  • 1:45 Identifying Touchpoints
  • 3:40 Managing Customer Touchpoints
  • 4:06 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kent Beckert

Kent is an adjunct faculty member for the College of Business at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and has a Master's degree in Technical Management.

In this lesson, we discuss the concept of company branding and how branding influences customer touchpoints. We also look at a merchant shopping experience to isolate and identify where customer touchpoints should be utilized to be effective before, during and after shopping.

Make It Interesting

Imagine you're walking along the sidewalk in your hometown, and across the street you notice a very interesting storefront. In anticipation, you decide to take a closer look and cross the street to enter the store. But when you enter the store, there's little inside that catches your attention, and you have no desire to stay and browse.

This same scenario happens often online. A website grabs your attention, but once you begin surfing and investigating what it has to offer, you find little to keep your interest. In both cases, merchants failed to properly engage you by providing the customer touchpoints necessary to retain your interest and make a sale.

What Are Customer Touchpoints?

When a merchant establishes an enterprise, hard decisions must be made regarding how to present the new business to potential customers. The presentation must be unique, effective, and identify the company's attributes to entice prospective customers to both visit your place of business and purchase items for sale. Presenting your company's identity in a unique and memorable way is referred to as branding.

Businesses spend a great deal of time and money creating a unique identity. Names, logos, color usage, website layout design, and so forth are planned and produced for the sole purpose of establishing the brand in the minds of consumers. The marketing team or advertising agency accomplishes this feat by carefully positioning customer touchpoints, targeted instances in time and space in which the prospective customer is showered with branding information, from the beginning of the purchasing process to the end. They do so using effective product and business branding methodologies intended to attract and retain clientele.

Examples include online ads, written product reviews, brochures and emails, as well as the physical appearance of the storefront, website, and even employees. In addition to printed material, customer touchpoints include any audio and video method intended to attract and focus the customer's attention on a particular brand.

Identifying Touchpoints

A popular method used by many merchants in identifying customer touchpoints is to place themselves in the customer's shoes. In other words, go shopping at your own store (online or in-store) and make detailed notes documenting the customer touchpoints you experience relative to your brand. Begin the list as you prepare to start shopping and continue taking notes through the experience, even after the shopping is complete.

Before shopping, individuals generally know what they're looking for, because chances are that they have been previously exposed to customer touchpoints. A few customer touchpoints typically experienced before shopping include:

  • Social media discussions
  • A neighbor's recommendation
  • Television advertising
  • Written review in a magazine praising a particular brand

Other customer touchpoints include maps and driving directions, a well-worded online advertisement with a hyperlink provided, or something as simple as a posted sign indicating the location of a parking lot. With this in mind, keep track of customer touchpoints you identify during preparation and record them for future reference.

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