Today every business is being driven by customers making it even more important for a call center to provide their customers with extraordinary experience.
But that can only be possible if they can present a great experience in every contact they have with the customer for which, they have to understand a customer’s journey and how a customer interacts with a business throughout the process.
There is no denying of the fact that using the best in market tools like the best call center software is one of the most important things required to be able to showcase a great service experience.
But, along with that, good knowledge about the various points where a customer interacts with your business or its services either directly or indirectly helps in making your marketing and service strategies accordingly which are also critical for an exceptional service experience and gaining customer’s loyalty.
Thus, in this article we will learn about different point of contacts, customer has with a business and how a contact center can use those points for a better service experience.
Defining customer touchpoints:
Touchpoints which are also known as contact points are business jargons usually used in relation to customer service. They can be defined as any interaction that happens between a customer and any aspect of a business.
There are a number of ways using which customers can interact with an organization about their product or services let it be person-to-person, with the help of their website, mobile application, receiving emails or any other form of communication.
What are the types of customer touchpoints?
As explained before touchpoints are an interaction between the user and the service provider, so it varies from one business to another based on their process.
Thus, it needs to be planned and finalized only after deeply analyzing the various communication points and based on customer’s journey by categorizing it in before purchase, during purchase, and, after purchase. So to be able to deliver a better customer service experience.
Thus, as a best practice and to be able to design a successful touchpoint map, it is essential for a contact center to understand the business from its user’s point of view.
Keeping the fact aside that touchpoints vary from business to business, there are some common touchpoints that every contact center must consider which are as follows:
1. Advertising: Advertising is the first step for gaining customer’s attention and it also plays a big role in product marketing.
Thus, it is a very critical touchpoint as every customer’s first interaction with the product is through its advertisement and it can help a contact center in leaving a long lasting impact of their product or service on customer’s mind.
So, properly advertising your product is very crucial for securing more business opportunities.
2. Word of mouth: There is no denying of the fact that a lot of customer does believe in word of mouth and recommendations.
Whenever your product or service is being recommended or opposed in a way the customer is getting to know more about your call center and the services provided by you thus indirectly interacting with your business. And so it is also one of the common touchpoints for every business.
3. Ratings and reviews: Rating and reviews are a clear indication of the quality of service a contact center gives to their customers. It’s a known fact that every consumer looks for product ratings and user reviews to get an insight into the contact center product’s performance.
So, providing your existing customers with a great service experience is important to gain better rating and reviews.
4. Social media and Website: A customer can gain a lot of useful information from a company’s website. Thus, it is essential that the website should be designed in such a way that it is easy to navigate, provides clear details of the product/service, easy to locate etc.
Along with websites, social media can also play a vital role in advertising your product and collect valuable information about various services offered in your contact center.
Once the customer feels that the contact center offer high-class service, they can consider purchasing the product/services offered. Thus, all the above points are key touchpoints for every business.
1. Staff and agents: The experience a customer has with your staff during and after the purchase of the product is very important as it ensures if the user will trust the contact center for future purchases or not.
A good interaction with your staff and agents can make sure that customer is loyal towards your organization and its services. That guarantees not just improved productivity but a recommendation to other future prospects as well.
2. Product or service: The most important thing that assures customer satisfaction and loyalty is the performance of your product.
No matter how good the advertising is or the agents are, the customer will only be happy if the product or service they have purchased meets their expectations and requirements.
And that is why, the performance of the product is the most influential touchpoint.
3. Packaging: The presentation and packaging of the product can be used as a way of drawing a customer’s attention.
If the package looks good, there is a high chance that the customer will at least give a thought of buying the product which increases the chances of selling the product.
That is why packaging is also considered a significant touchpoint in customer service industry.
The importance that touchpoints play are not completed until selling the product, rather it goes a long way. To be able to build a strong and lasting relationship with your customers for a long duration of time the following touchpoints are also critical.
1. Proper Billing: Providing customers with clear and detailed information in the bills, so they do not face any difficulties in future is a company’s way of showing how much they care for their customers.
Sending them a soft-copy of the bill in case they lose the original copy, can also be used as a strategy for improving customer service experience.
2. Follow-ups: Following up with a customer or frequently getting their feedback about the product or service they have purchased can be very much beneficial for a contact center.
As this not only provides them with the valuable information of their weak area it also helps in gaining customer trust.
With the help of regular follow-ups, the contact center can make their customers feel more appreciated and respected which is the basis of a great service experience.
3. Product Documentation: Product documentation can tell a lot about the quality of the service you provide to your customers. If the documentation is good it can directly affect the number of incoming calls in your contact center.
If the customers can find every detail about the product in the documentation itself they do not need to call in queue and wait for an agent to solve the issue rather they can do it by themselves.
This not only improves productivity but provides agents with an opportunity to invest their time in learning other technologies as well.
The case study is about a food order and delivery company which was founded in 2009. The company had their call center set up in various countries and was using the cloud-based call center solutions with each call center having 20-25 agents handling various customer queries.
They were also using their call center software for various activities like monitoring every call and agents performance, keeping a record of every customer interaction, routing of calls and for training purposes as well.
However, the CSAT scores and productivity of call center was very low. The management was concerned that despite of using all the latest tools, technologies and enough taskforce the performance is not up to the mark.
Because of consistently low performance, they were losing on a lot of business opportunities causing loss of revenue as well as bad reputation.
The whole call center team was under a great pressure from higher management to perform better and deliver results. So, to overcome this serious problem they had to find the root cause and needed to do immediate damage control.
The managers first thought of monitoring every call with the help of their call center software solutions but they did not find any alarming issues other than long waiting time and high incoming call volume.
Then they decided to go through each and every customer feedback as agents call handling skills did not seem to be the cause of the problem.
When reviewing the feedback’s the management found following problems that required urgent actions to be taken.
• Their website design was very complicated which caused difficulty in finding the items that are delivered.
• The contact information and store address were missing from the website.
• Not enough information was present like is there any shipping charges, how much time it will take for the order to arrive etc.
Due to all these small reasons, the customer had to call their support line which was resulting in high call volume and was also the reason of low rating and bad online review.
Also, they never gave their attention to customer’s feedback or did advertising of their services thus they were losing on new business opportunities.
From all the feedback’s and online reviews, it was very clear to the management what they needed to work on, in order to improve their service level and that was deciding on touchpoints to give their customer with better service experience.
They did the following to take control over the situation.
1. As most of the issues were related to lack of information on their website they immediately hired experienced and professionals website designers and included all the information that customers mentioned in their feedback’s or reviews.
2. They also simplified the website design for better view and ease of customers.
3. The contact center started using social media as a way to advertise their services to gain new customers and improve their reputation.
4. For retaining their old customers they contacted them frequently and requested for their feedback about the new changes to know more about their weak areas and understand customer’s requirement.
5. For improving their sales and marketing of their services they introduced various offers for new and existing customers.
With all these new schemes and modification in website and marketing strategies the contact center observed the following results:
1. Due to frequent follow-ups, their existing customers saw a change in service level and continued their collaboration with the company.
2. As they used the social media for their service marketing and advertising they were successfully able to expand their business reach which resulted in new customers.
3. By adding the basic information that most customers look for, like shipping charges, delivery time, menu options etc. the number of incoming calls reduced in the call center and agents were able to handle critical issues more quickly and effectively.
4. With low incoming call and less waiting time, the productivity and revenue increased considerably.
5. With exciting new offers for the new and existing customer, the number of order placed increased, they started to build a good reputation for their company.
6. Due to all these changes in place, they saw 8% increase in productivity and 12% in CSAT level in just 10 months as well as increased traffic on their website.
So, In this article, I have tried my best to explain the important touch-point’s in providing customers with a great service experience and how it can help a contact center in gaining their trust and loyalty.
We all will agree that only when the customer is satisfied with the whole buying and after sales experience only then they can put their trust in you.
Thus, providing an exceptional service experience is not just a one-time thing it’s a life-long process. And to be able to do that, every interaction that you have with the customer should be an excellent experience which is why touchpoint’s are very important.
If you also feel that deciding touchpoint’s can help you and your contact center in developing a better understanding of customer’s requirement and deliver better service, do use the above tips and enhance your service experience.