These 20 brand touchpoints may well precede any interaction you have with a potential customer – thereby impacting your ability to make a sale, or even deliver your pitch.
20 Customer Touchpoints Can Build Your Brand and Help to Seal the Deal Before You Ever Get to Make a Pitch
Once upon a time, consumer research included speaking with company representatives about features, benefits and pricing. But now, most consumer research is pretty much concluded by the time they walk into a store or reach out to a salesperson to make a purchase.
Customer touchpoints that provide brand impressions have always preceded sales opportunities. However, prior to the advent of the internet and ever-increasing quantity of data accessible to retail and B2B buyers, it might be accurate to say that there are now more customer touchpoints than ever before that could potentially stop a customer’s progression through the buying cycle in its tracks.
Consider some of the statistics relative to consumer research prior to making a purchase decision:
- 91% of people have gone into a store because of an online experience (Marketing Land)
- 89% of consumers conduct research using search engines (PR Newswire)
- 97% of all consumers use online media to shop locally (BIA/Kelsey and ConStat, via PR Newswire)
- 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (Search Engine Journal)
- 78% say that a brand’s social media posts influence their purchases (Forbes)
This wide-spread and overwhelming evidence points to one conclusion: By the time a customer comes to your business or contacts a representative about one of your products or service, it’s very likely that they are ready to buy, and they are probably ready to buy from you.
The Disclaimer: The list of 20 customer touchpoints that can help or hurt your brand identity before you even get to tell customers what your business is about is probably not complete. If you step back and analyze the journey that each of your customer’s took to “find” your business, you may find more touchpoints that merit analysis and improvement.
20 Brand Touchpoints that Impact Customer Attraction, Lead Generation and Sales
- Business website (and any individual product or service web landing page)
- Parking lot (general appearance, distance away from your business, protection from weather, foliage, signage, cleanliness, safety, lighting, fading, broken concrete bumpers or sidewalk, etc.)
- Entry to your building and entry to your business’ space within a building
- Signs outside of and inside your business
- Business logo, colors and fonts
- Social media pages (likely more than one!)
- Advertisements and marketing collateral (imagery, appearance, professionalism, current or dated, quality of materials used, etc.)
- Community involvement and charitable work, donations, etc.
- Civic involvement and activism
- Ambiance in your business (smells, sounds, lighting, styling, artwork, etc.)
- How they are greeted when arriving at your business (calling on the phone, interacting via online chat, email, social media, etc.)
- Anything overheard while in your business (how staff interact with one another, other customers, on the phone, etc.)
- Perceived attitude of employees
- Employee dress and appearance
- Ease of shopping, convenience, ability to quickly find what they were looking for
- Hours of operation
- Personal recommendations from friends, colleagues or family
- Social media recommendations
- Online reviews and ratings and customer testimonials
Ensuring a positive experience across all of these channels may seem like a daunting task; nevertheless, for your business to grow, paying attention to the details that lay the foundation for what consumers believe to be true about your business and its brand is critical.
As you analyze these and other customer touch points you may have identified that occur before you even get a chance to pitch your business or its products and services to customers, here are a few ways to help ensure that you’ve done all you can:
Delegate! No one person can ensure the quality of customer experience for all customer touch points.
- Take a team approach; ask for volunteers or assign responsibility for each customer touch point to an individual or department.
- Take before and after photos, screen shots or keep records of the old vs. the new.
- Measure progress against set goals, and measure results in terms of new leads, conversions and customer satisfaction.
- Reward employees who take ownership of various customer touch points and recognize their efforts and successes.
- Design your own continuous improvement program for employees complete with incentives for employees providing cost-saving or experience-improving suggestions which are implemented to improve customer touch points.
‘Hire’ customers to help.
- Ask customers how they found your business and what made them decide to purchase from you; use results to identify each phase of the buying cycle for new customers and improve or ensure continued high quality for each of the touch points they used.
- Ask customers what they love about your business (and should never change) as well as what they don’t love so much about your business (that may merit analysis and change).
- Invite customers who are representative of your target markets to participate in focus groups.
- Take customer care surveys on a regular basis including giving each new lead and/or customer an opportunity to provide you with feedback.
- Invite customers to lodge suggestions or complaints, and make it easy and safe for them to do so.
First, second and last impressions all add up in the customer’s mind. These 20 unique touchpoints either strengthen or detract from your brand image.