What do you stand for in your customers’ mind? How does a customer or prospect perceive your company when they interact with you?
Your brand is determined by exactly what your prospects and customers experience every time they interact with one or more of your touch points. The facts about your company are unimportant; your brand is being built every time a customer comes into contact with your company.
Prospects and customers expect meaningful brand interaction whenever they come into contact with your company. At every brand touch point, whether it be your receptionist, website, advertisement, or a sales person, it is imperative you have purposely planned how the customer’s experience will be received.
Most importantly, are your brand touch points strong enough to get people talking about you? Next, are they saying what you want them to be saying?
You must deliver the right message to prospects and customers at every touch point. When all your touch points provide a high level of value, trust, and loyalty with customers, it will create a shield to protect your customers from competitors. It will differentiate your company to such a degree that it reduces competition. It creates loyal customers who talk about your brand.
Start by making a list of every place a prospect or customer touches your company. Next, utilize the following strategies to strengthen your brand consistency through a touch point analysis.
1) Consider Immediacy. The speed of service at every touch point is imperative. Today customers expect service to be instant and to have access to what they want immediately.
2) Consider the impact of technology. For example, today there are more smart phones in the hands of consumers being used for instant shopping information. Consumers are empowered more than ever before to comparison shop using the latest technology apps. As you plan your branding touch points, consider the newest technology being used by your customers.
3) Consider information. Consider the information you should be providing at every touch point . Each step within the purchasing path will require different information to be accessible. So think about what information is applicable at each touch point relative to the step within the purchasing path. Also think about what information will be required at each touch point from the time of purchase through ownership.
4) Consider integration. To create a consistent brand experience, you must integrate the various touch points so they are seamless. Examine each step of the purchasing journey. Create a touch point brand experience that is seamless as they move throughout the various touch points in making a purchasing decision. Next examine the touch point brand experience from time of purchase through ownership.
5) Consider training. As an exercise, have every employee write down a few sentences describing your brand. The answers may surprise you. It is imperative that everyone in the company is on the same page as your company’s branding goals. Develop training programs to educate employees about what your brand is intended to look like to your customers, and what actions accomplish those goals.
6) Consider every touch point. A touch point can be people: the receptionist, salesperson, delivery person, customer service person, cashier, and so on. A touch point can also be physical: a brochure or catalog, a store front, product display, or trade show booth. And, of course, a touch point can be digital: an email correspondence or your website. And a touch point can be a business process: an invoicing or collection method, a customer service procedure, or the company’s training processes.
7) Consider engaging employees and customers. The secret is to never lose sight of what the customer wants. Since the employees are responsible for touch point experiences, engage them in determining what your customers want and deciding what actions will satisfy those wants. Have them conduct surveys with your customers.
Every time a customer or prospect interacts with your company, they form a perception of your brand. How do you want people to perceive your brand? The place to focus your attention is your company’s touch points.
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