Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Customer Experience - Touch Point Madness

Recently I came across a site that boasted of how its software could track 100 Touchpoints throughout the customer experience as it applied to the primary sales process. I had to stop and really think about that one. Even the most ardent marketing manuals don't count that high. So I sat down using my new customer experience model and went to work.

What I found, and already knew, is that they had grossly understated the number of potential Touchpoints that are associated with the sales process alone. Most Touchpoints are outside of the direct sale process and yet have a direct effect in the “will I buy” emotional mentality of the customer. The emotional triggers connected to these are connected to the same primary triggers that most marketing and branding methodologies touch on, but fail to connect to because of their indirect placement or that they may be once or more removed from the direct process of the buying experience.

Never underestimate anything especially small anything’s that might influence a client’s potential appraisal of your company or product. One good example would be the negative advocate. A friend of a friend who says, or the dirty road poster that is tattered and torn. What about the truck driver in a truck that is bearing your company name and logo. In his un-thoughtful haste cuts through an intersection causing people to slam on their breaks and curse the company. I could go on and on with this. There are so many more Touchpoints that they would be hard to even boil down to 100 in general terms.

This is really an issue that we in business need to attend to. Whether in marketing or management we can't be cavalier about this any more. As the customer’s importance to the business process is redefined so is the direction in which we interact with them. How we manage this new perspective and new definition of what a customer relationship is as it applies to a business will determine the success of our placement in the market place. For small to medium size businesses this is crucial. To overlook the extended reach of customer interactions (Touchpoints) is to slam the door shut to future business.

Remember it isn’t the obvious that makes the deal it is the non-obvious that set the emotional tags in the sales process.

We invite any and all comments. Please share your thoughts so that others can grow.

For more information on Customer Touchpoints and Customer Experience Management visit The Customer Development Center.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

I think customer service is crucial during this time of economic downfall. The customer is very aware of where they spend their dollar and if they aren't treated right they will take their business elsewhere. I took a customer service survey
that tells you how well you understand customer service. I learned a lot and found it very interesting. I am going to use it for my employees.