10 Perfect Touch Points
Customer touch points. It is a concept that is often mentioned but rarely focused on as an opportuinity for persistent innovation and impact.
Trying to consider the big question of “How do I improve our customer service/experience” winds up being too big a problem to solve so it often just gets bandaged or abandoned. Trying to tackle big picture questions triggers fear and anxiety. When that happens, progress comes to a halt leaving you to go back and focus on the ironically comfortable routine of solving customer complaints and fighting off competition.
But how about breaking down the initiative into bite size pieces that allow you to make a consistent series of small steps forward?
I propose that you write down every single customer “touch point” that exists in your business process. From initial phone call to payment of your invoice. If you don’t have 10 then add some more until you do. Send a birthday card, call monthly or quarterly to ask how business is doing. Maybe an extra email confirmation or a newsletter. Just keep putting yourself in your customers seat and consider what would make each piece a memorable experience. Think about great experiences you have had and translate them back into your business. Ask your clients what interaction with your company is the most frustrating.
Now, here is the important part where you make a plan of action and make progress. What additional idea can you add to each touch point that would move it closer to perfect? Just a small step (change the way you answer the phone or a thank you note when an invoice is paid). Implement 1 change/innovation to each touch point every month and you will completely transform your customers experience within a year.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Howard Mann is the founder of Brickyard Partners, a business strategy agency based in Portland, OR. Prior to founding Brickyard Partners in 2001, Mann owned a premier international logistics company with over 140 Million in revenue, six U.S. offices and a global network of over 40 agents worldwide.
As that business came under severe pressure from the previous economic downturn and industry consolidation, Howard lead the company out from those treacherous times by returning to the basics that make every business great and completing 6 acquisitions that re-imagined the business so it was highly attractive to buyers. Finding that “secret sauce” did not come easily but has fueled his purpose to help other business leaders to never have to go through what he endured. Through real world experience and those hard times in the “trenches” of business he has learned that it is not following the latest fad, copying competitors or adding complexity that makes a business truly great. His pragmatic approach and knowing what it feels like to sit in the CEO/Owner chair is what makes his work so different and effective.
In addition to his strategy, marketing and communications work, Mann coaches a select group of entrepreneurs, CEO's and business owners. His highly focused workshops and keynotes help executive teams take aggressive action to unlock the true potential of their organizations and build remarkable businesses that endure. In good times and bad. Online and off.
Howard is a sought after speaker both in the U.S. and around the world. He writes frequently on his blog about the importance of the basics and reconnecting to the passion that too often gets lost as businesses mature.