All interactions between you and your customer are touch points, opportunities that should never be ignored. Yet, every day, business owners and managers fail to recognize and understand the importance of using touch points to excel at providing customers an above average experience that translates into building brand loyalty.
Brand Awareness to Brand Loyalty
From the moment of the buyer’s awareness of your brand – through the consideration stage – to the crucial act of decision-making, a customer is on a journey. They are usually looking for:
- An Affordable Answer or Solution
- A Specific Strategy or Tool
- A Particular Product or Plan
- A Reliable Resource
- A Better Result
…And it’s up to you to convince them that they need look no further, that what YOU offer is the perfect fit for them.
What is often ignored is the fact that customers are actually looking to place their loyalty somewhere.
1. Touch-Points That Teach
You probably realize that telling someone how to do something is usually less effective than showing them. But an even better strategy is to involve the person in the process.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin
Because consumers always want to know “How does this benefit me?” you should never ignore the opportunity to teach customers the benefits of a relationship with you.
And never ignore the opportunity to learn from your customers, as well.
Even in the early stages of awareness, make it a point to encourage interaction with you. Help them to become involved in helping you to build a genuine relationship through personalized:
- Satisfaction Surveys
- Follow-Up Emails
- Follow-Up Phone Calls
- Invitations to Experience More
To do this effectively requires:
- Knowing your customer
- Understanding their actual needs
- Clarifying your ability to provide the right solutions
Ask for the input of others and value it. Be willing to hear from them regarding their experience (good or bad) with your company, your products or services.
2. Touch-Points That Empower
Consumers today are savvy. They know what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. They are educated, experienced – and empowered.
As an entrepreneur, you must meet your customer where they are:
- At the right time
- In the right place
- With the right ‘stuff’
To empower your customers to find you, ensure that your content is smart, online, and mobile.
Today’s consumer has a computer on-hand or in their hand nearly every moment of every day. It’s called a smartphone – and it’s their constant companion. With one click information is retrieved and reviewed, choices are decided, and purchases are made.
Your customers will find you and engage with you more consistently when you have a strong digital presence, including:
- Optimized Content
- Social Media
Making your website mobile, keeping your communication clear and concise, and your search engine rankings high will empower you to reach your customers where they are, when they want to hear from you, in formats best-suited to their particular needs.
3. Touch-Points That Convert
Converts can occur as satisfied customers freely tell others how awesome you are. But serious marketers realize the value of investing in more solid, measurable metrics.
Today, while marketers may not always agree on the number of touch points needed to convert leads or contacts into buyers, most marketers agree that the goal is to convert with fewer touches – utilizing each touch point’s maximum potential for persuasion, and doing this consistently.
But here’s what is too often overlooked by marketers: It’s good to be consistent in your efforts to attract and convert leads into loyal customers. It is counter-productive to constantly do so, in the same way, each time, repeating the same message, extending the same offer.
Reaching out multiple times won’t work unless you vary your messaging. Every time you contact a prospect, provide value in a new way. For instance, you might send a short tip in one email and link to a helpful ebook in the second. ~Jeff Hoffman
In the digital marketplace, the number of touch points, those points of interaction between you and potential customers, seems endless. It can get confusing – not to mention frustrating – to try to keep up in today’s hyper-competitive environment.
At every step of the customer journey, there is one opportunity you should never ignore for building brand loyalty and converting window shoppers into buyers. It is this:
Identify your customer’s journey and work to see it from their point of view so that you can create and manage a more personalized customer experience from the start, expertly guiding them to a successful end experience.