A touchpoint is any direct interaction a consumer has with a company, its products or services, or its employees through calls, e-mails, chats or face to face customer interaction. Every single customer touchpoint a consumer has with an employee registers some kind of impression about the company in his or her mind. Each customer touchpoint is critical to create or strengthen customer loyalty to the brand and create Loyal Promoters who recommend a company’s products or services to others.
A phone call, e-mail message, chat session or one on one customer interaction is one of the most important and influential of all consumer touchpoints. A consumer call, e-mail or chat about a particular problem is a one moment in time experience that may never arise again, an opportunity to serve and create a Loyal Promoter.
Any customer touchpoint can also produce the opposite – a consumer who is disenchanted and may ultimately become a Detractor. To create Loyal Promoters, customer service employees must address the consumer’s needs, both the practical and the emotional, in each customer interaction.
Consumers have a set of practical needs – something that is product or service-related that the consumer wants addressed.
Many company’s and employees fall into the trap of thinking that if they solve the consumer’s practical needs, they have done their job.
However, a consumer can leave a call, leave a store, receive an e-mail answer or close out a chat with their practical needs being completed satisfied … and still become a Detractor! Why?
The consumer’s emotional needs have not been taken addressed. Each consumer brings set of emotional needs to a customer touchpoint. He is not only thinking something, he is feeling something. Some emotional responses may be directly attributed to the consumer’s practical need. In other words, the consumer’s problem or issue with the product or service is causing an accompanying emotional need.
For example, the consumer’s emotional state can be impacted by the actual customer service touchpoint with an advisor or by past interactions with the company. When situations like these occur, a consumer’s negative emotions begin to build, and he or she starts to look at the touchpoint as a High-Effort customer interaction. High-Effort customer interactions always plant the seeds of dissatisfaction and disloyalty in a consumer’s mind.
Employees must identify and address the emotional needs of the consumer directly related to his practical needs and provide a solution that creates a Low-Effort customer experience for the Consumer. In order to create a Loyal Promoter, consumers must perceive service providers empathize with their issues and they are going to be focused on providing them the attention they need in a caring, non-condescending manner that makes them feel like they are important and valued. For a consumer to transition to a Loyal Promoter, company employees must create a Low- Effort customer experience along with a Pretium Golden Touchpoint™ with that consumer.