Why your offline touchpoints matter
Delighting your customers with UX
Delighting your customers with UX
We all want to feel appreciated.
A smile and thank you from a shopper you let go ahead of your trolley full makes your day brighter. You’re more likely to do it again than if they grunt at you and hurry off.
Showing your appreciation for your customers isn’t hard but it has a big impact on their loyalty.
We’re going to explore the offline touchpoints and the impact they have on your brand.
Tangible touchpoints have a much longer effect than digital. But they’re both necessary. Combined, they have the potential to leave a long-lasting positive impression and keep customers coming back for more.
Don’t worry, a touchpoint isn’t about getting physically affectionate with your customers. It’s where your brand and your customers meet. Any time they interact with your brand provides you with the opportunity to woo them.
In this digital age, we often forget about offline brand discovery. But all of the non-digital ways your customers encounter your brand have just as big an impact as your website, social media and emails.
Common offline business touchpoints:
The beauty of offline touchpoints is that your customers aren’t in a distracted state. Navigating the digital world is like running through a maze with a swarm of bees around your head. There’s so much vying for their attention.
But offline, you have their complete attention. It’s just your brand and your customer getting cosy together.
Your unboxing experience in particular provides a unique opportunity to appeal to their senses. How the packaging feels, the scent it has, the sound it makes as they open it, the colours and shape…it’s not just about serving up the product they’ve bought. It’s your chance to wow them and turn them from one-time buyer into brand ambassador.
Creative branding at every touchpoint builds the bond between you and your customers.
“You walk into a retail store, whatever it is, and if there’s a sense of entertainment and excitement and electricity, you wanna be there.”
—Howard Schultz, CEO, Starbucks
When you’re looking at customer touchpoints there are three key points to keep in mind:
Enhancements to your customer experience need to be relevant to where your customer is on the journey of brand awareness. A person seeing your brand for the first time needs a different experience from your long-standing customers. We don’t want to scare them away by getting intimate too quickly. You also don’t want to lose loyal customers by treating them like strangers. (No cold shoulder thanks.)
When adding new details to your branding, you need to keep the user in focus. While a curling script may whisper the elegance of your brand, if they can’t read the font on your menu, they’ll become frustrated rather than happy.
We all want to be treated like we’re special, even though as consumers we know you’re marketing to other people. (Shhh, we’ll share you, just don’t remind us about it.) A handwritten note leaves customers feeling like you made an effort to show them you care.
Some touchpoints are somewhat out of your control, like word of mouth and viral marketing. The only way to ensure these reflect well on your brand is to create a smooth and delightful experience at every point within your reach.
Tap into your existing customer base and start a conversation with them. Ask them how they feel about a specific touchpoint or the overall experience. Ask them if they feel like anything is missing.
You don’t have to implement what they suggest but if you see a theme from their feedback, it’s worth investigating how you can improve.
If you’re a start-up, don’t fret. You may not have existing customers but there are people wanting to buy your product or service. Use social media to engage with them and find out what they’re looking for.
Start refining your user experience by conducting an audit of your current touchpoints. This means looking at the experience people have from first learning about your brand through to leaving a review.
Don’t be afraid to dig deep into what’s bothering your customers. You need to look at each touchpoint but also the experience from end to end. A disjointed experience where the pre-purchase looks and feels very different to the buying stage will turn people away. Your branding always needs to be aligned.
As you identify each touchpoint, look for opportunities to create new ones and refine your current moments of contact.
Slot them into three categories — pre-purchase, purchase and post purchase. This will make it easier to know how best to improve the user experience.
Along with improving your brand image, looking over your user experience helps you to optimise your business strategy. Understanding your customer interactions enables you to see your business as your customers do. And that’s the best way to develop a business strategy that leads to growth, recognition and appreciation.