The 2020 Holiday Season will—without a doubt—be the biggest year so far for online holiday shopping.
Knowing it has already been a stressful year for many people, no one is wanting to add a hectic shopping experience to their agenda. So the question becomes how can you, as a business owner with an online store, make your user experience as easy and enjoyable as possible to draw consumers to your store—and keep them coming back?
The answer is by having strong TOUCH POINTS.
A touch point is any encounter a customer has with your brand from start to finish. So that means from when they first discover you, to the end of your business transaction.
Any time one of your touch points is confusing, or doesn’t meet expectations, the value of your brand drops in the eyes of the consumer and drastically reduces the likelihood of them spending money with you.
If you review your touch points from the perspective of the potential customer, you may well find your client experience is not quite as you had intended…
So let’s take a look at 5 Touch Points you can review and refresh today.
1. SOCIAL MEDIA AND MARKETING
If a potential customer finds you via social media, what do they see? What impressions do they gain of your business from this interaction? Are they able to make a connection with your brand, or is it a cold, impersonal experience? If they then jump over to your website, or come across paid advertising from your business, do these interactions portray that same brand identity as you’re projecting via your social channels?
2. WEBSITE + ONLINE STORE
So a customer has found themselves on your website / online store. Perhaps they’ve landed there via an Instagram or Pinterest link, or maybe it was a Google search. However they’ve navigated there, you now have less than 15 seconds to impress them! That’s the average time it takes us to decide whether or not we want to dig a little deeper or leave. In order to get your visitors to stay longer (which will drastically increase your chance of converting them into a loyal follower or customer), take a look at the following:
*** It probably goes without saying, but make sure your site is mobile responsive! Mobile devices are responsible for 60% of all internet use and research shows we’re now spending more time on our smartphone than we are watching TV, so having a mobile-responsive online store is paramount.***
3. TRANSACTIONAL AND MARKETING EMAILS
Depending on your type of business you’ll have a range of different emails that your customers might receive. These could include auto-replies as a result of making an inquiry or purchase, shipping notifications, marketing emails if people have subscribed to your email list, or personalised emails for direct interaction. Regardless of the type of email being sent, they are all a reflection of your brand. There’s no use putting all of your effort into your personalised emails if the initial “auto response” a customer experiences feels generic and impersonal. From the imagery to the language, every email matters so treat them equally!
4. CUSTOMER SERVICE
How quickly do you respond to a customer? How do you handle problems with a customer’s order? Do you personalise the interaction, or does your customer service department come across as a “robot”? Whether it’s before, during, or after a customer’s transaction/interaction, your customer service matters. It will often be the experience that results in a testimonial / rating / review being given online about your business. Don’t be afraid to be human! Give the same level of care and attention to your customers as you’d expect in return from your favourite brands and businesses.
5. TESTIMONIALS, RATINGS, REVIEWS
Which brings us to testimonials, ratings and reviews! This is a touch point that people might experience before they’ve even engaged with your brand personally. Think how much weight you give to a review when you find one online. Although no one wants to have an unfavourable review written about them, how you handle them in the public sphere speaks volumes for your brand. Customers are always appreciative of a brand and business that can handle criticism, acknowledge room for improvement and most importantly, take the time to respond. Same goes for positive reviews! Show your appreciation for people going out of their way to praise your efforts.
So there you have it! A few customer touch points you can start to pay attention to today and improve upon before holiday season shopping begins.
Keep in mind your touch points will vary a lot depending on your type of business so to identify your unique customer touch points, make a list of all of the places and times your customers might come into contact with your brand and take it from there.
Your ultimate goal is a simple and pleasant experience that will encourage returning customers for the future.
I’m a brand and web designer, stylist and strategist. I work with talented and seasoned professionals to design strong brand identities that help improve their businesses. I’ve supported many entrepreneurs in further defining their brands through thoughtful design that not only appeals to their audience visually, but strategically.