Have you ever bought a product or service where you were excited about your decision to buy (maybe after a rigorous buying process), only to be very disappointed by the delivery? It happens all the time. Buyers deal with a great sales person, but delivery is slow, installation sloppy, customer service doesn’t solve problems and/or accounting doesn’t understand what the customer is trying to communicate.
Could that describe your level of service to your customers? Make sure you provide an excellent customer experience by doing a customer touch point analysis.
A customer touch point analysis allows you to scrutinize all the points at which your company touches customers and assess how you perform on each touch point. The objective is to identify any touch points that cause friction (problems) for the customer and resolve the friction.
The customer touch point analysis is an easy exercise which can provide amazing results. The biggest challenge in doing this analysis is in being open and honest about what is really going on and acting and solving the problems. It’s easy to defend your business practices. It’s hard to open up and say, “Hey, what are we doing wrong?” “How can we fix it?”
So, be brave. Open up and ask the question, “How can we do it better?” Involve your employees and get their feedback. You’ll be surprised. They will like you more for including them in the effort, and you will get information you may not have known before.
Customer Touch Point Maps can take the form of a simple text list or a graphical representation of touch points, as shown above. It’s an exercise that any company can and should do, with the goal of improving the customer experience.
Recently I worked on a customer touch point map for a department at an educational institution that was founded in 1891. The particular department had been operating for over 50 years and was known for excellence in education. Lots of customers, many years of touch points. Even though the department provided an excellent product and customer service, we found some touch points that needed attention. The primary reason for the friction was that customer expectations and behaviors had changed over the years and my client’s delivery needed to change meet them.
For example, customers would travel from all over the country to attend classes at the institution. We found out that some customers had a hard time finding the building even though they had the address and used maps and the directions we provided. This is a very small part of the entire customer experience, but it caused friction and could be easily resolved by providing a picture of the building in customer registration materials. We also realized that sending the registration confirmation via snail mail was limiting. Many customers never received the materials because they traveled so much. We changed the process to send confirmations by snail mail and email to ensure delivery.
Have you done a Customer Touch Point Map? What did you find? Were you able to improve your customers’ experience?