Examples of this are websites, online platforms, apps and ATMs. Touchpoints include any interaction that might alter the way a customer feels about a product, brand, business or service.

A key starting point for crafting a great customer experience is to understand the typical interactions individuals might have with a brand and where, how and when they may take place.  

A company's success is not defined only by the products and services it offers, but more importantly by the customer journey — the entire brand experience from product exploration, discovery and purchase up to product use, bonding and after-sales service.

Mastering touchpoints can be a key competitive differentiator. It is an important part of a company's brand positioning strategy that often leads to the development of loyal brand advocates for reasons beyond primary features and attributes that competitors may also offer.

According to a Gartner research study, top marketers need to understand key customer personas, map customer journeys and design and optimise interactions to deliver innovation when looking to implement effective customer experience management across the enterprise.

Customer experience should be a top marketing investment priority

Unless businesses build an exceptional experience around their brands, they risk losing the loyalty of their customers, which can be translated into a measurable loss of commercial value. Various statistics illustrating the link between customer experience and business revenue have been published. Examples of such include:

  • 50-60% of customers have stopped buying from a company due to a competitor providing a better experience.
  • Approximately 80% of customers say that the experience of dealing with a company is as important as its products and services.
  • 60-75% of customers are willing to pay more for a great experience. 
According to Gartner, 89% of companies compete on customer experience. The research indicates that customer experience is hard to copy but it helps companies to differentiate against the competition. The study also suggests that the easiest way to improve customer experience is by improving your customer communications. 

Companies who take advantage of the optimisation of the brand touchpoints along the customer journey not only create a great customer experience but also increase their bottom line through effective sales, including cross and up-selling of products / services to existing and new customers.

Touchpoint optimisation

The customer journey for businesses such as banks and fintechs consists of a broad array of touchpoints across product offerings, services and enabling technology. Retail banks and fintechs need to migrate from a strategy of only sharing customer data to sharing a single source of consistent information across integrated channels.

Digitalisation and channel integration are part of the COVID-19 pandemic-induced 'new normal' in the 2020 way of doing business, and organisations need to adapt quickly.

The pandemic is the catalyst that expedites companies' digital migration. The question to be asked is whether these organisations are rolling out digitalisation as an end-to-end solution to enhance the customer journey and customer experience, or implemented in silos.

Banks, fintechs and other customer-facing financial organisations should catapult their digital transformation by focusing on their core business and partnering with service providers like the InsideData Group, which enables optimisation of their engagement with stakeholders and customers along the customer journey.

We have developed services and smart solutions to provide customer organisations with streamlined digital services across the whole value chain of customer touchpoints to allow them to focus on their core business.

Touchpoint optimisation contributes to customer retention and attraction; it also holds the key to a maximised bottom line and guarantees a great customer experience.

Staying relevant

Businesses need to embrace digital transformation to remain relevant to their customers. The transformation addresses an ever-changing business landscape and should focus on improved business results and continuous improvements, from innovation to automation.

COVID-19 is becoming the accelerator for one of the greatest workplace transformations of our lifetime. How we work, exercise, shop, learn, communicate, and of course, where we work, will be changed forever. This is according to Forbes.

Digitisation on its own will not necessarily improve the customer journey and experience; it may make engagement more convenient and accessible, but unless there is true transformation the outcome will not be significant. 

With the tools available to developers and the pace at which technology is evolving, the ability to make a digitised message 'exciting' by combining text with animation, video and voice is now effectively boundless.  

Digitalisation will, if executed properly, result in the end user (the customer) wanting to engage with each message, excited for the next engagement as the brand story unfolds from touchpoint to touchpoint.

Digital transformation in the customer communication space is not just converting print to electronic, but it is using the customer journeys and experiences across touchpoints, including personalisation, as the basis for transformation.

Utilising the opportunity to transform the processes as well as the experience and not just convert. This also implies that there needs to be a good understanding of the customer personas, the touchpoints and what the customer wants.

For more information, visit www.insidedata.co.za.