Article No :25 | January 17, 2006 | by Howard Mann
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.