By José Manuel Brell, expert in "customer experience".
Partner of BRAINTRUST. Prof. IE Business School, Carlos III University.

As the name suggests, touchpoints are nothing more than the points at which the brand comes into contact with its customers (potential or current), i.e. any interaction between the customer and the company.

All of these elements, whether tangible or intangible, cause customers to create an impression of a brand and make value judgements about what different companies can represent to them.

There are numerous types of touchpoints of very different characteristics: from management times, treatment by company employees, advertisements observed in different advertising media... to any observable action or process that occurs at a specific time or in a specific channel and that leads to contact with the brand should be observed by companies, in order to try to generate positive experiences at these points.

Depending on the type of touchpoint, these could be grouped into the following categories:

- static (the customer cannot interact, e.g. a TV ad)
- interactive (the customer can interact, such as checking the balance at an ATM or making a transfer via the web/app)
- personal (there is a personal interaction, such as a phone call to the manager or a visit to the office).

Some of thesetouchpointsare critical and we must pay special attention to them: they are the "moments of truth". These moments represent the moments that can truly generate loyalty and positive recommendation if the brand gets it right, or customer disengagement if the company fails to manage them correctly.

All these interactions with the customer throughout the different stages of the customer's life cycle, and through all the channels that the company makes available, not only project an image (favourable or not) for a brand, but are directly related to feelings and how the customer perceives the company; in other words, to the experience.

For companies, successfully managing the experience in all contact channels is essential, as this will determine customer loyalty and recommendation of the brand or, on the contrary, the possibility of losing them forever.

Monitoring a brand's interactions with its customers is essential to know the footprint it is leaving on them through the different contact channels. Implementing a programme of this type will allow companies to increase or improve the information they have about their customers and implement strategies aimed at offering a differential experience.

Nowadays, it is easier than ever (especially with the rise of digital channels, social networks, review websites, etc.), for a customer to spread an opinion or share an experience. This experience may have an influence on family, friends or even strangers who have had access to this comment. In this context, the repercussion of each action carried out by companies takes on special importance and the generation of good experiences is presented as a great challenge.

The creation of a programme to monitor the Voice of the Customer at the touchpoints of their relationship with the company will serve to better understand the customer, their problems and needs. Once the information has been obtained, the next step will be to analyse it, see what needs to be taken into account and how, and from there, design new experiences that respond to the demands made by customers.

«Solo lo que se mide se puede mejorar».

Photo by Caroline Attwood on Unsplash