The Art of Marketing – Focus on Touchpoints

Receptionists working at desk in modern lobby

The art of marketing involves capturing a prospective customer’s attention and then sustaining the attention of existing customers.

 

Touchpoints are a variety of points of interactions that alter the way that an individual perceives and/or feels about your company including your service, staff, products, brand or otherwise.

A touchpoint can be physical.  For example, when someone visits your office and interacts with your staff, that is a physical touchpoint.  A touchpoint can also be non-physical.

When someone visits your company’s website or business social media sites, that is a non-physical touchpoint.

Your company’s brand starts to define itself and its value proposition across your business’s touchpoints and via all the marketing channels utilized by a business to reach a prospective customers, existing customers and prior customers. Marketing channels are where the touchpoints occur and hence an interaction takes place.

Marketing channels include: print mail, electronic mail, advertising in print, online or radio, websites, billboards, social media sites or at a physical location of an office site, among many others.

Most touchpoints are within direct control of a business but there are yet some there are not within the control of company such as online reviews.

If a business wants to improve interactions with clients and prospects, the key is understanding all the points of those key interactions and where they take place to assess if those interactions are positive or negative and monitor and analyze to improve continually.

For example, business cards, receptionists, customer service personnel, technical solutions personnel, email promotions, advertising flyers, automated answering services, Facebook posts, LinkedIn posts, sales staff, restroom attendants, and many, many more.

Below is a simple visualization of every day touchpoints:

visualization of touch points

Author/Copyright holder: Rosenfeld Media. Copyright terms and license: CC BY 2.0

Three examples of a physical touchpoints:

1.  How many times have you visited a doctor’s office and have left the visit with a subpar opinion about reception/intake staff that left you wanting for another physician, even when the doctor performed adequately but your paperwork and wait experience was very poor?

This is an example of a touchpoint that drives how a customer feels about their service.

Customers want to feel important and unique.  They understand that they are not the only customer of a business, but they also understand that their time and money is valuable and hence they want to feel “warm and fuzzy” when they interact with your business.

2.  How many times have you called a mobile service or cable service customer service line and terminated the phone call with a subpar opinion about the service department of that company that left you wanting for another service provider, even when service has been adequate but your customer service experience was lacking and poorly handled?

For me, this happens often.

Customer attention and service is key to customer loyalty and repeat business.  Focus on the quality of service to foster positive response rates and referral business as well.  People talk, and they do talk about the companies which they interact with, both positively and negatively.  Word of mouth is king for marketing.

3.   How many times have you visited a business and the receptionist was inattentive, poorly dressed or poised and not hospitable?  Often times, reception is the first touchpoint for many prospective customers.  I have walked out of a business while waiting for a consultation purely because my perception of the proprietor was poor due to their choice of reception staff and the wait prior to my actual product or service appointment.  Invest time and money in the right staff members, it will pay off in spades if you find the right fit.

Examples of a non-physical touchpoint:

1.  How many times have you called a business where the receptionist answering the phone did not speak clearly nor speak English well?  Verbal touchpoints are very important because audio/visual communications are key to customer perception of attention and “being heard” when they want to reach the right person at a business or need to resolve an issue.  The art of business is finding a need and then filling the need for your customers.

2.   How many times have received a letter and it was a mass mailing that was not personally addressed to you? 

Yes, prospects want letters to be personalized and like to be “sold” on knowing that the business which sells products or services to them knows who they are and what something as simple as their names are as well.  Customization and personalized are key variables when tailoring marketing communications.

Define and target who your audience is and then cater to that audience to achieve better results.

Touchpoints shape the perception of a business and can drive business or drive business away and towards competitors. Take time to pay attention to the details and all the many points of interactions.

Monitor activity and seek both internal and external feedback to consistently improve efforts. Seek the advice and assistance of marketing experts that can help you define, execute and manage touchpoints and marketing channels.

Marketing is key to sales for both product based businesses and/or professional services providers.  The art of marketing makes all the difference to your bottom line.

Related articles:

What Do Small Business Customers Want?

Data Analytics Driven Marketing for Small Business

Keys to Developing an Essential Small Business Marketing Plan

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