A customer's experience with one or more of your touchpoints can make or break a sale.
Every touchpoint channel and interaction should be optimized to make sure your customers have the best experience possible. This helps to lead them through the sales funnel so they can convert from a prospect to a customer.
The best way to optimize your touchpoints is by mapping out your customer journey so you can see how they interact with your brand. More importantly, when you know how they engage with your brand, you can identify opportunities for delivering value.
Let's review 60+ tips and suggestions to get you started with making your customers' experience great from start to finish.
What Is End to End Customer Experience?
End to end customer experience refers to the whole experience a customer has with your business. This includes every set of interactions they have with each of your organization’s touchpoints and team members throughout the duration of their relationship with your company.
The end to end customer experience is comprised of these three elements:
- The customer’s first point of contact with your brand.
- The entire customer journey.
- The environments where these instances occur.
All these factors added together make up the whole customer experience from start to finish through each touchpoint.
If you have never heard of touchpoints before, they are the places or marketing channels where your customers interact with your brand in some way. For instance, some primary touchpoints include social media, product catalogs, digital marketing content, phone, and live chat.
The Benefits of Improving the Customer Experience
Your customers are no doubt the most important part of your business. Providing them with an excellent experience is mutually beneficial for your business and for your customers.
Take a look at some of these benefits that you can take advantage of when you improve the customer experience.
You Increase Customer Loyalty and Retention.
Exceptional interactions provide customers with increased value. This sets a good foundation to start building customer loyalty. A customer that has positive interactions with your touchpoints has a good customer experience.
When they have a good experience with your organization consistently, they are more willing to pay your prices, instead of heading to one of your competitors to get similar products and services.
You Differentiate Your Brand From Your Competitors.
Standing out is easier when you provide an excellent end to end customer experience. It gives you a competitive advantage because today’s customers look for important things like service and user experience, instead of just pricing and quality.
This makes customer feedback an invaluable tool. An awesome customer experience yields good reviews, which help differentiate your products and services from your competitors.
Social proof is a must in any industry, so make sure you're delighting your customers and asking them to share their feedback online through testimonials and reviews.
You Increase the Trust Customers Have in Your Brand.
Modern customers are skeptical about new brands they haven’t tried yet. People trust good experiences more than they trust bad or neutral experiences.
Your customer judges you based on the quality of your service and how well you support them in finding success with your product or service.
Simply put, if you are consistent in providing a positive experience, they will begin to trust your brand.
You Grow a Community of Customer Advocates.
Customers are more likely to trust their peers than they are to trust an advertisement you put out. Once you build trust with your customers, they are more likely to advocate for you.
This means they will tell their friends, family members, and social media followers about your products or services. This helps to boost your word of mouth marketing and improve your brand recognition.
You Cut Marketing Costs.
Customer experience is mostly about engagement and conversations. This helps to create a safe space for your customers to be honest with you about how they feel about your products and what you can do better.
Through the discussions you have with them, your marketing team will be able to better understand what it is your target audience wants and needs. This means you don’t have to spend a bunch of money on research or paying to try marketing tactics that simply don’t work.
How Customer Journey Mapping Works
Customer journey maps are a visual representation of your customer journey from start to finish, including all of the touchpoints they interacted with. The visual map of their journey helps you understand the story of your customer experience.
For instance, say a customer finds your website on Google, then explores your social media channels and connects with your sales team. They have a few calls and close as a customer in a few weeks.
You can create a visual representation of their path to make a journey map.
A journey map helps you to ensure no customer is lost through cracks in the journey.
This allows business leaders to gain an understanding of common customer pain points in the journey so they can make the customer experience better.
Here are some ways you can create a customer journey map that aligns with your own customers and touchpoints:
Refine Your Buyer Personas.
The first step to creating a good customer journey map is to have an accurate idea of who your customers are. This means you must take the time to learn how your customers behave, including their likes and dislikes and their motives for why they do what they do.
Start refining your buyer personas to get the most accurate depiction of what your buyers are like. This ensures that your customer journey map will be accurate.
Determine What Your Buyer’s Goals Are.
After you build your buyer personas, you’ll need to think about your customers’ goals at each phase in the customer journey.
Some goals they may have include:
- Conducting research to find the different options available to them.
- Checking product features and package options to ensure they are getting a fair price.
- Reassuring themselves that they have all the necessary information about the product to make a good decision.
A good place to start with determining buyer goals is to identify the paths your customer takes within your website. They may browse, search products, and compare products, among other things.
Seeing their activities on your website can help you identify the goals associated with their actions throughout the journey.
Identify and Map Out Your Touchpoints.
Figure out what all of your touchpoints are. This includes online, in person, and over the phone touchpoints.
Each one serves an important purpose, but some may impact the rest of the touchpoints more than others. Be sure you know which touchpoints are crucial to the customer journey.
You can use Google Analytics, surveys, or other methods to figure out which touchpoints are most impactful to your ultimate goal – driving revenue.
Learn About Customer Pain Points.
Bring together all of the data you collect and identify potential pain points or roadblocks. Then, write down the customer journey aspects you have already optimized to figure out how to deliver even more value.
Ask yourself these questions to identify pain points:
- Are my customers able to achieve their goals on my website?
- Which areas cause the most frustration or friction in the journey?
- Where and when do people abandon purchases (and why)?
Mark the pain points on your customer journey map.
Set Priorities and Fix Roadblocks.
Look at the big picture of your customer journey map to identify what can be done to optimize the whole journey to push customers further down the sales funnel. This way, they get closer to converting each time they interact with touchpoints.
Everything you fix in each touchpoint should help you to reach your ultimate goal of creating more conversions and driving sales.
Consistently update your customer journey map about twice a year to include updates to your customers or new touchpoints you’ve added to your process.
How to Optimize Touchpoints Throughout the Customer Experience
Here are some ways you can optimize touchpoints to help enhance the customer experience.
Before the Purchase
- Make it easy for customers to contact you.
- Make your site design responsive and easy to navigate.
- Clearly communicate costs.
- Use quality images.
Digital Marketing Content
- Make your written content easy to scan.
- Make on-page and off-page SEO a priority.
- Research relevant keywords and use them in your content.
- Create quality content based on your target audience.
Testimonials and Reviews
- Request reviews from your satisfied customers.
- Add testimonials on your website.
- Respond to customer reviews.
Promotions and Advertisements
- Write clear and concise ad copy.
- Don’t run the same ad too long.
- Add clear calls to action.
- Test different ad types.
- Provide referral incentives.
- Interact with your audience to garner word-of-mouth referrals.
- Build your credibility and trust through reviews, videos, and testimonials.
During the Purchase
- Avoid mandatory account sign-ups by providing guest checkout options.
- Include social login options.
- Provide multiple payment options.
- Use smart forms to fill in information for returning customers.
Product or Service Demo
- Humanize the demo by building rapport with clients.
- Set an agenda for the demo.
- Explain the product or service.
- Answer any questions the prospect has.
- Set expectations for the next conversation.
- Keep your service consistent and friendly.
- Make sure to respond to requests in a timely manner.
- Reflect and validate.
- Be transparent and communicative.
- Talk like a human.
- Ask for feedback.
- Avoid passive writing.
- Personalize the conversation.
- Check chat history for returning visitors.
- Use a conversational and friendly tone.
- Reinforce their choices by highlighting your best features.
- Use a standard onboarding procedure.
- Set goals with your customers.
- Make progress measurable.
- Celebrate early success.
- Make adjustments as needed.
- Ask for feedback about your onboarding process.
- Brand your packaging.
- Minimize waste.
- Include the necessary labels for warnings and other regulations.
- Make the unboxing experience special with a coupon or another incentive.
- Allow them to track their order.
- Send them an email to let them know their order has gone through successfully.
- Make returns simple.
- Automate processes for faster order fulfillment.
Thank You Cards and Follow Up Emails
- Send personalized thank you cards with each order.
- Email them to see how they like your product or services.
- Ask them if they need help with anything.
- Include a relevant CTA to drive cross-sells or upsells.
- Set scheduled follow-ups.
Customer Support and Knowledge Bases
- Build a rich knowledge base beyond FAQs
- List your customer support hours on your contact page.
- Include knowledge base forums.
- Empower your team to provide excellent customer support.
Surveys and Questionnaires
- Define the purpose of your online survey.
- Keep the survey short.
- Use close-ended questions.
- Put the questions in a logical order.
- Send survey reminders.
You may have different touchpoints from the ones we listed above, but you can continue to improve them by creating a visualization using a map and by having a system that works for your target audience.
Optimized touchpoints throughout the end to end customer experience yield higher quality leads, increased customer satisfaction, more brand loyalty, and a boost in referral business. Start mapping your customer journey and optimizing your touchpoints now to reap the benefits sooner rather than later!