You take pride in your customer service, which is why when you lose customers or can’t close a deal, you’re crushed.
So what can you do to ensure your customer’s happiness? Their experience is determined with every interaction they have with your overall brand. While you may excel at face-to-face communications, you may be failing with other touch points, such as advertising, social media, or even billing.
By analyzing what your specific touch points are, and then creating a system to nurture customers at each and every interaction, you’re guaranteeing a quality experience, and will be less likely to lose out on opportunities to finish deals and bring on new policies.
What is a customer touch point?
A touch point is any time someone comes in contact with your brand. And yes, even though you think you’re just an everyday, run-of-the-mill insurance agent, you do have a brand...You are your brand.
It doesn’t matter if the person coming in contact with your brand is a current client or a potential one. Any time they interact with you, your online presence, or your company in any way – even if you aren’t involved – that is considered a touch point. This can happen before, during, or after a purchase.
Are you thinking, “It sounds as if everything is a customer touch point.” Well, you’re right. This is why the quality of care is so important. You might not think a properly designed and easy-to-navigate website makes a difference, but that’s one huge touch point that often creates a sense of frustration for prospects and customers.
Imagine this: a customer’s car recently broke down, and the cost to repair it is unimaginable. She just purchased a new automobile, and she needs to get in touch with you to update her insurance information.
Here’s the catch. She’s beyond frustrated. She’s already been forced to deal with her mechanic, the auto dealer, and now she needs to work with you before heading over to the Department of Motor Vehicles – just to sit and wait to get the car registered. She’s entering this process with a negative vibe, even if you have a great rapport.
To get in touch with you, she needs to find your contact information. Of course, it isn’t in her phone, and she can’t find her address book, so she searches for you online, and guess what: your site isn’t mobile responsive. Your images aren’t loading, and she can’t find your contact information easily.
Your website was a touch point, and you lost an opportunity to serve your customer. If she can’t find your information in a different manner, and soon, there’s a chance she’s going to give up and bring her business elsewhere.
A really good chance.
Focusing on different points in the sales cycle
Think of touch points as thermometers. They help gauge the temperature of your customer’s experience. Are they getting the best personal service along their customer journey, or is something a bit off?
A touch point allows your leads and customers a chance to give you feedback at every point in the sales process. It’s up to you to listen closely for that feedback. Your customer might not come right out and tell you that your website was difficult to navigate on her phone, however, she might tell you that she couldn’t find your number on the contact page. When you hear small criticisms, take a look at the overall process. Adding your contact information to your homepage is just the first step. Be proactive, and take this feedback to look at your entire website for improvements.
Identifying customer touch points
The best way to identify the ways your customers experience your brand is by taking yourself through the customer journey. When you categorize your touch points, you’re better able to align them with marketing goals.
Prospect touch points before purchase:
- Review sites
- Word of mouth
- Social Media
- Your website
Touch points that happen during the purchase
- Face-to-face meetings
- Reviewing promotions
- Phone contact
- The point of sale
- Appointment reminders
Customer touch points after the original purchase
- Payment receipts
- Claims help
- Online help center
- Thank you/birthday/anniversary cards
- Policy renewal letters
- Marketing emails
While this is a long list of ways your customer will come in contact with your brand, it’s certainly not a complete list. Every business will have different touch points, even in the same industry, depending on how each is marketed, involved in the community, practices administratively, etc.
Analyze and improve your communication
When you want to improve your business and stand out from the crowd of insurance agents, identifying and then analyzing and improving your customer touch points will change how your customers experience your brand. Now that you know many of the possible ways your customer may interact with your brand, it’s time to see how you can improve business.
Pay attention to the touch points your customers will come in contact with numerous times. These could be your website, social media, your voicemail, and your business paper products (policy information and forms, for example). These are areas that you want to perfect. If your stationary is outdated, hire a designer to update it. Make sure your policies and statements are easy to interpret. Speak clearly on your voicemail.
Don’t skip the easy-to-forget customer touch points that you use (or should be using) regular, specifically social media or your content marketing campaign. Make sure you check all blog posts for grammar and spelling. Be informative and welcoming with the content you share. Keep your social media networks from being a straight advertisement of your services by sharing other people’s content, asking questions, and engaging with your followers.
Improving customer touch points may feel overwhelming, but the more effort you put into analyzing and upgrading your prospect and customer experience, the better your business will do.