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Blog

Jul 18, 2017

Customer Touch Points: 4 Simple Steps for Improving Experiences

[Estimated read time: 5 minutes]

If you're like a lot of CX professionals, you know there are touch points along the customer journey that need improvement -- but revamping the whole customer journey can feel like a massive undertaking. 

One way to approach such a task is by breaking it down into smaller pieces. Instead of addressing the entire customer journey at once, choose a single customer touch point to start with. Use your customer journey maps to understand which touch points customers experience as they interact with your brand. For each touch point, follow these four steps for improvement:

  1. Identify what goal the customer is trying to accomplish
  2. Empathize with what the customer may be feeling or thinking in that moment
  3. Brainstorm potential ways to enhance this touch point 
  4. Define which KPI (key performance indicator) would be influenced by any improvements

By tackling one touch point at a time, you'll be able to make more progress than if you had tried to overhaul the entire customer journey in one go.

Here are some examples of how to use the four steps above to analyze and improve customer touch points:

Example 1: Shopping online

man at a table ecommerce shopping online

In this example, the customer touch point is a webpage on your e-commerce footwear site: a product sizing chart. The customer's goal while he browses this page is to find out which size shoe will fit him best. In this moment, he may be feeling unsure or apprehensive about ordering the wrong size. 

With his goals and feelings in mind, what could you do to improve this touch point? One option is to proactively engage this customer with a web chat, asking him if he would like some assistance finding the correct shoe size. Considering that more than half of online shoppers are likely to abandon a purchase if they can't find a quick answer to their questions, proactively providing those answers can have a huge impact. From a KPI standpoint, your website's conversion rate stands to improve considerably. 

Example 2: Using live chat on a mobile app

customer touch points example a customer using live chat on a mobile app for self service

Let's say this customer ordered a pair of shoes from your website, and the next day he's wondering when they'll arrive. He opens your mobile app, clicks a button marked, "Ask a Question," and a live chat opens. His goal is to find out exactly where his new shoes are and when he should expect delivery. Since he's using a mobile app, it's logical to assume he's on the go, and wants a quick, easy answer. And since he's presented with a messaging interface, he's expecting to be able to converse with your brand in the same way he texts with his friends or family.

With these assumptions in mind, how could you enhance this touch point? First, make sure your app supports natural language; meaning that customers are able to engage in a two-way dialog with a chatbot who can understand their intent and answer their questions, much in the same way a human agent would. Answers should also be personalized to each individual -- after all, this customer isn't asking about your typical shipping times, he's asking when his shoes will be delivered. He didn't ask a generic question, so don't give a generic answer.

Improving on this experience further, you could consider offering this functionality through Facebook Messenger, allowing your customers to communicate with you without having to download another app. What's more, you could also offer more communication options from within the chat interface. For instance, you could enable one-click escalation to a voice or video call with an agent who already has all the context about the customer's identity, history, and current needs. 

Such improvements would affect several KPIs, including:

  • Better customer satisfaction, resulting from finding quick, easy answers to their questions
  • Lower call volumes and shorter hold times, because simple, repetitive questions can be answered using chatbots
  • Higher agent engagement, since they have the time and tools needed to better serve customers

Learn more about how to improve customer experience through web and mobile customer service technologies.

Example 3: Calling the contact center

customer touch points include this man calling customer service contact center

The customer's shoes were delivered, but after he opened them, he decided he didn't like the style after all. He calls your 800 number to talk to an agent. His goal is to find out if he can exchange the shoes for a different style. In this moment, he's probably feeling a number of emotions: He's disappointed he didn't like the shoes as much as he thought he would, he's dreading having to wait on hold and explain his situation to however many different customer service people, and he's worried the exchange process is going to be painful.

Knowing what he wants to achieve and how he's feeling at this touch point, how could you make this experience better? First, you could speed up the issue's resolution by supplying in-the-moment guidance and smarter data entry tools for your agents. Once the agent identifies which customer they're speaking with, they should be able to quickly confirm what product he purchased and why he wants to exchange it. Their CRM system could provide a suggested next action -- in this case, an email to the customer containing a return label for the shoes. The email could even be pre-filled with all the customer's pertinent information, allowing the agent to simply review and send. 

People often dread calling customer service, so by making the process far less painful than they expected, you build customer loyalty. In addition, according to Aberdeen Research, the average agent spends 15% of their time hunting through enterprise systems for the data they need to resolve customer issues. For a 300-seat contact center, that can add $1.57 million in unnecessary costs annually. Providing all the information and guidance agents need at their fingertips can reduce your costs -- and allow agents to focus on providing the best possible service to each customer.

Using the four steps and the examples provided here, you'll be able to make meaningful and manageable improvements to your customer journey.

Astute Solutions eliminates friction and enhances experiences throughout all customer touch points, in CRM and in other channels. To learn more about how our technology can play a major role in elevating your customer experience, schedule a live demo of our software.

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