Three Rules for Building Cross-Touchpoint Experiences

Offering a seamless customer experience across touchpoints is important to your customers and your business, but how do you anticipate and develop experiences that span across the various touchpoints?

At our recent webinar “3 Rules for Optimizing Cross-Touchpoint Journeys,” guest speaker Tony Costa from Forrester Research, Inc. identified three rules for building cross-touchpoint experiences.

Three Rules for Building Cross-Touchpoint Experiences:

1) Don’t try to please everyone. Identify your key customers and high-value customer journeys.

“The reality is you cannot do everything for everyone. You do not have enough money. You don’t have enough resources and time to make everything available and possible everywhere.  You have to set priorities and focus on specific customers and journeys,” shared Tony.

After you identify and segment key customers, it’s time to pinpoint and prioritize high-value customer journeys.  Focusing on the journey requires getting inside the head of your customers and thinking about what they are trying to accomplish, their goals, and the tasks at hand. When you stop looking at journeys from a process or transaction standpoint and, instead, from a customer goal standpoint, it gives you a better idea of where your customers are going and how they’re going to approach your products and services.  To help prioritize the high-value journeys, identify situations that are both good for your customers and your company.  A win-win situation is ideal.

Many companies also get caught in the trap of prioritizing journeys based on frequency or how often they occur.  While that’s important, it’s also about identifying emotionally important tasks. “An onboarding journey may only happen once in a relationship, but that may set the tone for every interaction to come thereafter and so you want to make sure it’s an excellent experience for that customer,” explained Tony.

Lastly, think about focusing on quick wins that you can implement while you’re working on more challenging items that are going to take longer to execute.

2) Optimize the journey, not the touchpoint.  Map customer journeys from end to end.

Most companies have a limited understanding of their cross-channel customer journeys.  According to research from eConsultancy1, only 23% of surveyed companies said they are coordinated across online channels.  The vast majority of companies are missing important pieces of their customer journeys.  One way to uncover these missing pieces is to map the customer journey from the customer’s perspective. A journey map is a way to visually illustrate the customer’s processes, actions, tasks, needs, and perceptions throughout their relationship with your company – and sometimes it goes beyond.  Tony explained, “If it’s for a purchase, you (as a customer) may talk to friends. You may be go to third-party sites. You may be ask for references elsewhere. That’s all part of the customer’s journey.  It may not be part of your company’s journey or your process.  It may involve stitching together touchpoints in ways that you didn’t expect.  It’s really about understanding what the customer does, not necessarily what you designed the process to be.”

Optimizing the role of touchpoints requires figuring out how the touchpoint functions in relation to other touchpoints based on two elements: 1) what the touchpoint needs to deliver in that moment and 2) how it connects to the other touchpoints. Not every touchpoint needs to support every interaction; it’s about understanding and optimizing touchpoints within the entire system that’s critical.

3) Manage the transitions.  Help customers as they switch touchpoints.

This rule is about building experiences that your customers desire. “When you force customers to do things that they don’t want, it degrades the experience,” stated Tony. “Make use of what you know about your customers to make the experience as seamless as possible.”

Tony provides examples of companies that are excelling at these three rules in this 2-minute video.

How would you describe your company when it comes to understanding your customers’ cross-touchpoint journeys?   Are you following the three rules?

Click here for the full webinar recording.

1 Source: eConsultancy “Understanding the Customer Journey: More Than Just Online,” April 2015