Think about the memories you cherish. I’ll bet more than half are happy ones. And I’ll place another bet that your actual association with that happiness is more about the anticipation rather than the event itself. This is a fascinating aspect of the human brain and gets at the heart of what marketers are always trying to accomplish with customers: build anticipation, happiness and desire for their products and services. That’s the answer to the customer touchpoint.
If marketers can integrate positive experiences to each customer touchpoint, they might raise their conversion rates and see higher numbers of brand loyalists. We’ve already discussed the emotional approach to marketing, but ensuring joy is a part of each touchpoint is a good way to keep your customers coming back for more.
Designing an effective customer touchpoint begins with understanding what your touchpoints include and which customer needs will be addressed with each. As with all other parts of marketing, a complete comprehension of your customer leads to better insights and execution of personalizing content, and interactions to their deep-seeded emotions, needs and wants.
Customer Touchpoints Worth Designing
The sales funnel, a content journey, a marketing roadmap. Whatever you call it, there’s a process to guiding your customers from initial awareness to becoming company advocates. And at each point of this guided route, marketers should be providing high-quality levels of content and engagement. Disney, the entertainment brand, is a master at turning every customer touchpoint into an experience.
Initial point of contact
This can happen on social media, through advertising, a search engine or your website. Regardless of how customers initially come in contact with your company, the first customer touchpoint should be a strong one. Most people’s first encounter with Disney comes at a young age and conjures ideas of fantasy, adventure, love and goodness. Those are hard to argue with when establishing a reputation with your audience. But we can’t all use fairytales to get our message across. However, the opening statement of a brand’s voice should convey a sense of personality and connection. This will resonate with prospects and lead them to the next touchpoint.
- Middle of the Funnel. At this point for most B2B companies, reaching customers takes the form of premium content, webinars and sales meetings. Even these should incite emotion and are crucial to getting customers through the journey to the final stage. Disney’s expert approach to this is to constantly revisit the things people have connected to in the past. Disney would be nowhere without nostalgia. They also know how to update a cultural mainstay to match the current decade. Mickey Mouse has become synonymous with Disney, from his first appearance in 1928 to the thousands of hidden Mickeys in the Disney parks. That’s not just staying power; it’s brilliant branding.
- Final Touch. Although there shouldn’t be a final touchpoint, as that would mean the customer leaves never to return, there should be a final touch. Within an experience, the final element can make or break how a customer remembers and interprets the interaction. Businesses should ensure that even brand loyalists feel like they are getting an added bonus with each touchpoint. Disney’s version of this extra edge is what they call the “kiss goodbye.” It’s the fireworks show at the theme park or other perfectly timed elements that transform even the most mediocre experience into a fantastic memory.
The Extra Mile
Many companies have mastered the customer touchpoint with personal embellishment that evokes happiness, surprise and joy. SoulCycle, the progressive chain of spinning studios, has designed each fitness space so that students finishing a spin class will pass by the students entering class. The students on the way out have an opportunity to have their success recognized and the students going in feel the anticipation of what’s to come.
This example is just one of many showing how businesses have infused every interaction with customers with a human element inspired by our intrinsic need for satisfaction and fulfillment. It is possible to effectively reach your customers if you know their needs and desires? Designing customer touchpoints around these ideas succeeds in transforming the average marketing strategy into innovative and persuasive experiences. What is better than putting a smile on a customer’s face and gaining the sale?