What Are Customer Touchpoints and How To Identify Them? [Examples Included]
Do you know that customer touchpoints can exponentially influence product growth? They can contribute to every stage of the customer journey and uncover insights into customer relationship management.
So let’s dive into details and learn from examples of what customer touchpoints are.
- Customer touchpoints are all customer interactions with your brand — direct and indirect. It may be reading articles on your blog, engaging with ads, leaving reviews, contacting the support team, and so on.
- Every customer touchpoint factors into brand perception and, therefore, impacts revenue so it’s critical to track them.
- Consumer touchpoints help to evaluate the degree of customer satisfaction and timely spot friction points (product bugs, lousy customer experience, poor UX, etc.).
- Group customer touchpoints by using the Pirate metrics framework. Assign various user interactions to the customer journey stages: acquisition, activation, retention, referral, and revenue.
- Focus on the most important touchpoints in each stage:
1. Acquisition stage: Engaging with your digital ads, reading reviews on product listing platforms, and booking a demo or signing up for a trial.
2. Activation stage: Reaching the activation point, discovering a new feature, and asking for help or using a resource center.
3. Retention stage: Upgrading from free to paid and renewing subscriptions.
4. Referral stage: Customers review your product and recommend it through word-of-mouth.
5. Revenue stage: Engaging with cross-sells/upsells campaigns.
- You can use these tools to track customer touchpoints in the app.
- Userpilot – for monitoring what users do in the product.
- Google Analytics – for analyzing behavior on the site.
- Hotjar- for session recording and heatmaps.
What are the customer touchpoints in the customer journey?
Customer touchpoints imply all customer interactions with your brand — direct and indirect. They appear at every step of the customer journey map, from acquisition to revenue. It may be reading articles on your blog, engaging with ads, leaving reviews, contacting the support team, and so on.
Why are customer touchpoints important?
Every customer touchpoint factors into brand perception and, therefore, impacts revenue. If users are delighted, you have positive customer feedback and a long-lasting customer lifecycle. On the flip side, negative customer experience results in high churn.
Consumer touchpoints help to evaluate the degree of customer satisfaction and timely spot and fix friction points (product bugs, bad customer experience, poor UX, etc.). All of these help product or service teams optimize the customer experience.
What are the stages of customer journey touchpoints?
Customer touchpoints happen at all stages of the customer journey, and you need to create a system to categorize them. Otherwise, it’ll become just a mess of irrelevant and useless data. So to start, we first need to map out the customer journey stages.
We recommend using the Pirate metrics framework designed by Dave McClure from 500 Startups. Pirate metrics is a system for grouping and tracking metrics across different user journey stages: acquisition, activation, retention, referral, and revenue. In short — AARRR.
Let’s learn what happens at each stage.
- Acquisition. At this point, users are getting familiar with your product. They’ve defined a problem and are trying to find a solution. So they might start interacting with your brand through SEO, paid ads, referrals, word-of-mouth, and other channels.
- Activation. Users are happy with their first experience and feel like your product probably has what they need. Users start digging down on your landing pages, blogs, etc. They reach the “Aha” moment.
- Retention. This stage represents repeated payments after the first payment. Every consumer touch point counts (e.g., customer support, knowledge base, product functionality, blogs, webinars, etc.).
- Referral. Customers recommend the product to their audiences (aka, they advocate your brand).
- Revenue (Expansion). Users spend extra money to get access to premium features or buy add-ons. They trust you and are willing to try new features you roll out.
How to identify which touchpoints are essential for your business?
The previous chapter taught us that touchpoints come across different user journey stages. Although they all have some value, the touchpoints you have to track will depend on the business model (e.g., freemium, trial, etc.) and the product-led or sales-led growth approach of your product.
The best practice is to focus on at least 1 to 2 touchpoints in each stage. Choose them by contribution to revenue.
Then, track how users progress through the journey and where they get stuck. Focusing on key actions users must take will help you attract, activate, and retain more customers.
Customer touchpoint examples: Acquisition stage
This chapter illustrates what customer touchpoints are essential for SaaS companies at the acquisition stage.
Engaging with your digital ads
Interactions with your brand for the first time usually happen through organic search and paid ads on different online channels (e.g., Google Ads, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.).
When it comes to paid channels, it’s important to make a good first impression. How? Align your ad (messaging, brand identity, CTA, etc.) with a positioning on the landing page to which customers will be redirected.
In other words, when a potential customer clicks on your ad and gets on your website, they must feel like they are getting the right value.
So your goal at this touchpoint is to communicate value quickly and clearly.
Reading reviews on product listing platforms
When potential customers are searching for a SaaS product to buy, they usually read reviews on major product review sites like G2, Capterra, Trustpilot, TrustRadius, etc.
People trust these product listing platforms as the platforms ensure you’re not a bot and are likely to write helpful feedback.
Having good reviews is essential on such platforms. But how can you get your team to work on acquiring customer feedback?
The first option is to reach out directly to happy customers and ask them to leave feedback. You can also prepare incentives such as extra days to the subscription or discounts to entice users to act.
Booking a demo or signing up for a trial
When a person is interested in your product, they will contact sales reps and request a demo or sign up for a trial. Potential customers want to get acquainted with the functionality and see if it’s the right fit.
This is a critical touchpoint for your marketing and sales teams. The former has to track and improve the conversion rate of a demo-request page. The sales team has to work on their presentation skills to convince buyers your product will solve their pain points.
If it goes just for a trial, without contacting sales reps, it makes product managers responsible for user activation and adoption. Get the product team to create outstanding personalized customer experiences to meet customer expectations.
Customer touchpoint examples: Activation stage
This stage is imperative for product-led companies as this is the first customer experience with your product. You’d better know if something is wrong with onboarding, the welcome flow, or the product. And fix it as soon as possible.
So let’s see what customer touchpoints are essential to keep an eye on.
Reaching the activation point
This touchpoint aims to help customers reach the “Aha” moment as soon as possible. This means you have to focus on analyzing in-app user behavior to find what areas of the product cause friction and slow down or endanger product adoption.
Another thing you can do is utilize user onboarding checklists to drive customers to the activation point faster. Create interactive walkthroughs to ensure users continue engaging with the product and reach activation.
Here’s an example of Rocketbots’ onboarding checklists created code-free with Userpilot.
Discovering a new feature
As a product manager, you will want to make sure that customers find all the features they might need.
Keep in mind, that some customers don’t notice plenty of your features if you don’t highlight or introduce them.
Use Userpilot Feature Tagging to monitor customer touch points inside the product (aka track product usage), and create tooltips to navigate users throughout the product to improve product adoption.
See how Rocketbots uses in-app tooltips to get users to discover a feature.
Asking for help or using a resource center
Looking for help for the first time or across the journey is a critical touchpoint. It signifies that users are confused, need clarification, etc. Whatever it is, you want to make sure users get timely help.
Using an in-app resource center (or help center) can help remove friction and confusion as customers get on-demand support.
Customer touchpoint examples: Retention stage
Let’s break down what consumer touchpoints are essential at the retention stage.
Upgrading from free to paid account
The retention stage begins with the first monetary conversion. Once the first transaction is completed. Your goal at this stage is to provide as much value to the customers as possible and make them think they need additional resources.
For example, use modals or tooltips to highlight premium features and encourage account upgrades. Deliver unforgettable content through your blog, webinars, podcasts, and in-person sessions. Create the secondary onboarding flow to present useful features customers have not discovered yet.
Here’s how to contextually use modals to spark curiosity and prompt users to sign up for a free trial.
This is a make-it-or-break-it touchpoint. Users who get value out of your product retain and renew their subscriptions. So you want to provide constant value, so customers stick to the product and don’t churn.
Also, analyze customer segments with high customer lifetime value to understand their journey. Try to replicate patterns in other segments with similar behavior or customer profile.
Customer touchpoint examples: Referral stage
The referral stage involves turning your customers into brand advocates and a lead gen channel. See what touch points signalize you can reach out to current customers and ask for help with product promotion.
Customers reviewing your product
Your loyal customers who are happy with your product will often leave reviews on product review sites, give kudos to their customer success specialists and recommend the product on social media.
Provide exceptional customer service and make sure customers are happy with your product.
Promoting your product with word of mouth
Happy users also promote your product with word-of-mouth and recommend it to their friends, family, or network.
This is a critical touchpoint as it can bring many potential customers to your business. You can also ask promoters to share their point of view on further product development. This will help to enrich the roadmap and build products users want to use.
Customer touchpoint examples: Revenue stage
Let’s learn what touch points to monitor during the revenue stage.
Driving more revenue with upsells / cross-sells
Users who love your product buy additional features by upgrading their accounts. This adds up to your SaaS revenue. Use modals and tooltips to contextually prompt users to make extra purchases.
Lastly, analyze which customers clicked on the modal but haven’t upgraded. Get your customer success team to get in touch with them and offer help.
How to track touchpoints and map the customer journey?
So far, you’ve learned what touchpoints to collect at different customer journey stages and how to act on them.
Here, we’ll show tools and methods for collecting customer data.
Set up goals for milestones and track the completion rate
Add touchpoints as pre-defined goals that users will need to reach. This is especially helpful for moving forward with user activation and product adoption. Set up milestones like Account created, X tool connected, Engaged with X feature, etc.
Track milestone completion rate and see at which touchpoints customers are dropping off.
Use the Userpilot Goals feature to monitor product usage code-free.
Use feature tagging to monitor how users are engaging with the app
Feature tagging gives you a deep understanding of product usage. With this, you can measure how often customers interact with particular features.
You can use Userpilot to tag any feature you want to track using UI elements, and it will start counting how many times users click on that particular feature. This will help detect possible friction points between touchpoints and most/least likable features.
Use heatmaps to identify touchpoints that are causing friction
Use Google Analytics to track website traffic and see how many repeat visitors advance through the journey (i.e., Check your homepage, then your product page, then the pricing page — your funnel).
You can also build Path/Funnel exploration reports in GA and see how users progress through the journey and where they drop off.
Once you find weak spots in the funnel, use heatmaps and screen recordings by Hotjar to see where the friction is coming from.
Use a tool to map the customer journey
Understanding customer touch points is only half the battle. The next step is to create or update the customer journey map. As a business grows, new features are added, new marketing channels are explored, etc. All that leads to mutations in the initial user journey.
Analyzing customer journey touchpoints, you’re likely to discover changed behavior. Map it out to work on improving customer experience at every customer’s journey stage.
Miro’s journey mapping tool will come in handy to do so.
Optimizing customer experiences and customer satisfaction takes time as it implies hours of analytics and a bunch of tools to understand your users on a deep level to uncover the touchpoints that need to be improved. But this should be on your priority list as your SaaS business is heavily dependent on frictionless customer touchpoints and a great user experience.
Want to get started with analyzing customer touchpoints and growing customer loyalty? Book a demo with Userpilot and start monitoring customer behavior in the app code-free!