When it comes to designing a seamless customer experience it’s important to understand every moving part of the customer journey.
Specifically, critical customer touchpoints, along with channels and devices that customers use to interact with your business.
Today, the modern customer uses a range of channels and devices within a single journey. So mapping out key touchpoints, devices and channels can help you meet them in their preferred way, and win engagement.
To help you succeed in boosting engagement, we’re taking a look at what touchpoints are in regards to the customer journey, the difference between channels and devices, and lastly, how you can optimize touchpoints to better engage customers.
What is a Touchpoint?
A touchpoint is a moment within your establishment or experience, where a customer can directly connect with your business. This can be a point where a device is used to access a channel or a customer experiences your product/service. Touchpoints can be both offline and online.
A string of touchpoints can provide you with insight into your experience as a whole, shedding light on the type of customer journey you provide. It’s important to note that a customer can utilize varying devices and channels at each touchpoint, so it’s important that your business is measuring every channel in a single touchpoint. By measuring at each individual touchpoint can help you get granular in providing a consistent customer experience.
What is the Difference Between Channels and Devices?
Within each touchpoint, customers leverage both channel and device in order to communicate with your business. While many might think channels and devices are one and the same, they are two completely different entities that work alongside each other. Here we define each with examples.
What are Channels?
Channels allow for direct communication between two individuals. In the sense of business, this would be between a customer and a business. Channels can be both uni-directional and bi-directional. For instance, communicating using text messages with a customer is bi-directional because both parties are able to communicate with each other. A uni-directional form of communication on the other hand, would be a business showcasing ads on television. This is where the business is directly communicating to the customer, without the customer being able to communicate back.
Whether a business decides to incorporate uni-directional or bi-directional channels, one channel or multiple channels, depends on the business, their offering, and who their customer is. Some businesses with only physical locations might just stick to a kiosk, while others may have WhatsApp, Email, Facebook Messenger, and Kiosk. It’s important to recognize that developing an omnichannel strategy should be a thoughtfully curated decision based on previous customer interactions and upcoming trends. Avoid taking on a handful of channels, unless you know your customers want them.
Examples of channels are as follows:
- Text messaging
- Mobile App
- Facebook Messenger
- Web Chat
What are Devices?
A device is a medium that supports specific channels and allows an individual to access them. Not all devices support all channels and although the channel may be the same, the experience on devices can be vastly different. For example, a feedback survey can look different on a laptop compared to someone accessing it using a mobile device. It’s important to understand which channels work with which devices and vice versa, for an optimized customer experience.
It’s important to note, that the landscape of device use has changed greatly. Whereas a few short years ago, desktop or in-person devices may have had greater popularity, today mobile devices are more prominent. Mobile usage statistics suggest that nearly seven out of ten internet users in the United States say they would look for customer reviews on their phones while in-store before approaching an employee (eMarketer, 2019). At the start of 2015, less than one-third (31.16 percent) of the global web traffic came from mobile devices. Fast forward to just six years later to the start of 2021 and that number has skyrocketed to 54.8 percent, marking a 75.9 percent jump (Statista, 2021). With that, it’s important to consistently measure the various channels customers are using and adjust accordingly – and don’t forget to pay attention to upcoming trends.
Examples of devices are as follows:
- Mobile Phone
How Channels, Devices and Touchpoints Impact Your Engagement Success
For a business, each touchpoint within the customer journey is unique. While one customer might want to connect using an app at your food court, another at reception might find it easier to pull up an email or fill out a survey using an on-site kiosk. For this reason, it’s imperative for your business to understand each touchpoint along with preferences in regards to channels and devices.
The impact? When you start offering a channel or device the customer is already using, engagement increases. It’s easier for the customer to respond, provide feedback, and overall have a great conversation with your business.
When mapping out your omnichannel strategy in relation to touchpoints, we highly suggest considering a customer experience management solution to keep preferences top of mind and to have a better understanding of performance.
For instance, with a solution like the Loop Experience Platform, you can measure the customer experience over an array of digital and physical touchpoints. Whether a customer is writing in from Facebook Messenger, using a kiosk in a lobby, or on your website, Loop helps you collect key data so you can better understand customers and their preferences.
In addition, using Loop you can create customizable dashboards to stay on top of customer trends. Analyze experience data with powerful visualizations, and keep everyone informed with digests and scoreboards. By using the data collected by Loop, you can better understand the experience at each touchpoint and tailor your channel and device usage accordingly.
Lastly, Loop makes choosing and providing channels effortlessly. For customers that use an array of channels, you can offer options like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Email and more, to stay in line with their preferences. Regardless of channel, employees can access all messages to read and respond to in real-time within a single inbox. Using the inbox you can directly see what channels are preferred over others so you can invest your time and effort into those that work for your business. And, if at any point you’re unsure about building an omnichannel strategy, a member of our team is always happy to help.