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Katerina Kondrenko
Experienced content creator with a passion for research, French bulldogs, and British cats. Katerina has an economics degree but prefers letters to numbers. She has been exploring different audiences for popular culture projects, was involved in the creative development process, and now she’s playing in the CX field.

Customer touchpoints: what they are, how to identify them + examples


In the grand library of different industries, customer touchpoints are the well-worn pages of a brand's novel. These intimate, dog-eared corners tell the story of connections forged and narratives unfolding. 

They are the carefully penned paragraphs that capture attention, the bold chapter titles that guide the reader through the brand's tale. Much like a riveting book, the journey through customer touchpoints is an immersive customer experience where every page turn reveals a new layer, a fresh insight, and an opportunity for the reader to be spellbound.

So, let us embark on a literary expedition where we decode the plot twists of customer touchpoint analysis, explore the eloquence of their examples, and flip through the engaging chapters of customer interactions. 

Turn the page, and let the narrative unfold.

What is a customer touchpoint?

What is a customer touchpoint?

A customer touchpoint boils down to the following: it's a moment when you, as a customer, interact with a brand. Simple, right? 

These interactions happen all over the place, from the first time you hear about a brand to when you're on their website or buying something in a store. Essentially, it's the journey you go through with a brand, starting from the first encounter to the final purchase and what happens afterward.

Read also: The difference between customer touchpoints and channels.

Why are customer touchpoints important?

Why are customer touchpoints important?

Recognizing and optimizing these touchpoints is crucial for businesses for different reasons:

  • Higher customer retention

Strategic touchpoint management actively contributes to customer retention by weaving positive experiences, resolving issues promptly, personalizing interactions, optimizing the customer journey, building emotional connections, maintaining brand consistency, and strategically implementing loyalty programs.

Imagine this: An online store that sells coffee beans messed up and sent the wrong type to a customer. When the customer complained, the store not only replaced the coffee but also threw in some sweets as an apology. They even asked how everything was and if it all tasted good. Despite the initial hiccup, the customer ended up happy and kept on shopping from the store. Plus, they started telling their friends about it.

  • Brand impression

How you feel about a brand often comes from these moments. If everything goes well, you trust and like the brand. But if something goes wrong, it can make you think twice. Such touchpoints are called moments of truth; they are critical junctures in the customer journey where high expectations meet outcomes that create a lasting impression. 

These pivotal moments significantly influence whether a customer becomes a loyal advocate for the brand or decides to switch to a competitor. 

Picture this: A coffee joint that always serves fantastic brews, sports-friendly staff, and oozes a comfy vibe. It gives customers the impression that it's a reliable, top-notch spot. But for some folks, their moment of truth isn't the chill atmosphere or the barista's grin. 

It's more about how well they wrap up those pastries to-go or if the coffee joint is open when they're hustling to work.

  • Understanding the customer journey

By looking at these moments, businesses can understand what customers go through—the good parts, the tricky bits, and what they like. This helps companies shape how they do things and improve customer experience. 

It's worth adding that a smooth journey not only enhances the customer experience but also helps clarify responsibility within the team, making teamwork more efficient. This means the team can work together more effectively, knowing who's accountable for each aspect and ensuring a well-coordinated effort.

See this happening: An airline thinks about your whole customer journey, from booking a ticket to giving feedback after your trip. This helps them make things more convenient for you and fixes any problems along the way. 

Understanding the customer journey

Take, for example, this company that caught on to the fact that folks in the back rows weren't getting much choice when it came to in-flight meals, and it was irking passengers. So, they rolled out a new deal—now you can pick your grub when you snag your ticket. They even started putting together meal combos tailored to what passengers wanted. It's a smart move that keeps people happy and amps up the company's fan base.

  • Spotting and fixing issues 

Businesses can figure out what needs fixing by determining customer experience at this or that touchpoint. It could be making things faster, improving products, or just being better at helping customers.

See the improvement: A tech company listens to customer questions and issues. They noticed a trend where customers often faced delays in product deliveries, leading to dissatisfaction. 

To address this, the company revamped its logistics system, partnering with a more efficient courier service and implementing real-time shipment tracking. This made deliveries faster and provided customers with transparency and peace of mind.

  • Getting feedback and data 

These moments are also chances for businesses to learn. By asking customers what they think, businesses can make smarter choices.

Think about this scenario: A food delivery app team frequently seeks user feedback to enhance their service. After a user gets an order, they send a quick survey asking about their experience—the delivery speed, food quality, and overall satisfaction. This real-time feedback loop allows them to understand customer preferences and concerns. 

For instance, if users express a desire for more restaurant choices in a particular area, the company can strategically expand its partnerships. Alternatively, if customers consistently praise the app's user-friendly interface, the development team knows they're on the right track.

Customer touchpoint examples

Customer touchpoint examples

Let's explore some common customer touchpoints and why they matter:

  • Website visiting

As the initial digital touchpoint in the customer journey, a brand's website serves as the book’s first chapter, setting the tone for the customer's perception.

What would you choose as a customer?

  1. A software developer, Leo, visits a SaaS provider's website looking for API documentation but finds the site cluttered and the search function unhelpful. Frustration mounts as pop-ups disrupt his navigation, leading to a negative first impression that deters him from considering their services further.
  2. Leo, a software developer, visits a SaaS provider's website to find API documentation. He's immediately directed to a well-organized 'Developers' section, where comprehensive and easy-to-follow documentation awaits. A convenient live chat option lets him quickly clarify a question, enhancing his experience and confirming his interest in the company's offerings.
  • Engaging on social media

Interacting with a brand on social media is a dynamic touchpoint where customers can engage in real-time conversations. This engagement, whether through direct messages, comments, or content shared in a direct message, provides immediate and personal interaction. It is positioned as a pivotal touchpoint for building community and customer loyalty, often influencing the relational aspect of the customer journey.

What would you choose as a customer?

  1. Michael, a procurement manager for a hospitality business, inquires about a furniture manufacturer's Instagram post about bulk order discounts. The manufacturer's account quickly responds with a direct message, offering to set up a call to discuss detailed pricing and customizable options for businesses, showcasing their responsive B2B customer service on social media.
  2. Michael, a procurement manager for a hospitality business, decides to reach out to a furniture manufacturer via Instagram regarding bulk order discounts. After leaving a comment on the manufacturer's post, he receives no response for days. Frustrated, Michael decides to send a direct message to the manufacturer, but the reply she eventually gets is generic and unhelpful. The message simply directs him to their website for pricing information, showing a lack of interest in catering to her specific business needs. This leaves him feeling ignored and disappointed with the manufacturer's apparent disregard for personalized customer service on social media.
  • Getting help from customer service

Reaching out to customer service is a decisive touchpoint that often occurs when a customer is experiencing a problem or needs assistance. The efficiency, empathy, and effectiveness of the support provided are crucial in determining customer satisfaction and retention. 

Positioned at a critical juncture, especially when a customer is deciding whether to continue using a service or product, excellent customer service can turn a potentially negative experience into a positive one, reinforcing customer loyalty.

What would you choose as a customer?

  1. Sarah contacts customer support for help with her laptop, hoping for a good experience like others have mentioned. However, when she starts a live chat, the person helping her is slow to respond and seems like they don't care about her problem. After a long wait, the representative gives vague instructions that don't really help with Sarah's issue. Feeling frustrated and unable to fix her problem, Sarah is unhappy and feels like the company doesn't value her, making her view of the company not so great.
  2. Sarah contacts customer support for a laptop issue and is quickly assisted via live chat. The representative's prompt and helpful service leads to a swift resolution, leaving Sarah with a strong sense of being valued by the brand.
  • Opening a package

Opening a package is a tactile touchpoint where product presentation and packaging quality directly impact the customer's brand perception. It's an opportunity for a brand to impress and delight the customer through thoughtful presentation and personal touches.

Opening a package

What would you choose as a customer?

  1. Alex eagerly awaits the arrival of his custom-built keyboard, expecting a personalized and premium experience based on the positive reviews he read. However, when he finally receives the package, he is disappointed to find that the eco-friendly packaging is damaged, and the keyboard inside appears to have been mishandled during shipping. Instead of a handwritten note, there's a generic and hastily written message that doesn't convey the same level of care and attention as promised. The overall unboxing experience falls short of Alex's expectations, leaving him with a sense of dissatisfaction and questioning the quality of the product and the company's commitment to customer experience.
  2. Alex receives his custom-built keyboard with the company's logo on eco-friendly packaging. Inside, a handwritten note accompanies the well-protected product, making the unboxing experience feel personal and premium.
  • Receiving emails

Emails are a personal touchpoint where content relevance and tone can significantly influence customer perception and loyalty. An effective email strategy delivers timely, useful, and personalized content to foster a positive connection.

What would you choose as a customer?

  1. Jordan receives an email from the software company whose product he uses. This time, the content is confusing and poorly written. The message is filled with technical jargon and lacks clarity, making it difficult for Jordan to understand how the new features align with his interests. Instead of feeling informed and valued, he is left frustrated and questioning the company's ability to communicate effectively. The lack of professionalism in the email erodes Jordan's confidence in the software company, making him reconsider his decision to use their services.
  2. Jordan receives a concise email from the software company whose product he uses, highlighting new features that directly align with the interests he indicated during sign-up. The clear and professional communication reinforces his decision to use their services, feeling informed and valued.
  • Searching for a product

The experience of searching for products on the shelves is a critical touchpoint that can influence customer satisfaction. Clear signage, well-organized displays, and easily accessible products are crucial to a positive in-store experience.

What would you choose as a customer?

  1. Mia enters a store in search of a specific kitchen gadget. However, the aisle markers are unclear, and the store layout is confusing. Mia finds herself wandering around aimlessly, struggling to locate the kitchenware section. When she finally stumbles upon it, the products are haphazardly arranged, and many items have no price labels. Frustrated and unable to find the specific gadget she needs, Mia's shopping experience turns into a stressful ordeal, leaving her with a negative impression of the store's organization and customer service.
  2. Mia enters a store looking for a specific kitchen gadget. She easily locates the kitchenware section thanks to clear aisle markers. The products are neatly arranged and labeled, making her search quick and stress-free, enhancing her overall shopping experience and impression of the store.

Why it's important: Going to a store is like an adventure. If it's organized, the people are nice, and you find what you want easily, it's like having a great adventure. You'll want to come back for more adventures.

 Going to a store
  • Creating an account

The account creation step is a critical touchpoint where ease and transparency can set the stage for user engagement. A straightforward, secure, and user-friendly sign-up process encourages continued use and trust in the app.

What would you choose as a customer?

  • Tom downloads a fitness tracking app and immediately faces a lengthy account creation process filled with unnecessary questions and requests for excessive permissions. This invasive and time-consuming setup frustrates Tom, causing him to uninstall the app before even using it in search of a more user-friendly alternative.
  • Tom downloads a fitness tracking app and is pleasantly surprised by a streamlined and user-friendly onboarding process. The app requests only essential information, keeping the account creation process quick and hassle-free. Tom appreciates the app's respect for his time and privacy, as it doesn't ask for unnecessary permissions. Impressed by the seamless experience, he easily completes the setup, feeling confident that he made the right choice. This positive onboarding experience encourages Tom to explore the app further and commit to incorporating it into his fitness routine.
  • Expressing gratitude after purchase

A post-purchase thank you is a touchpoint that can leave a lasting impression of appreciation and value. It's an opportunity for a brand to express gratitude and reinforce a positive customer relationship.

What would you choose as a customer?

  1. After purchasing a new book online, Raj receives an automated order confirmation email, but it lacks any personal touch or a genuine ‘thank you’. This oversight makes the transaction feel impersonal and transactional, missing the chance to foster a greater connection with Raj.
  2. After purchasing a new book online, Raj receives an order confirmation email that goes beyond the standard automated message. The email not only provides the necessary details but also includes a personalized message expressing genuine gratitude for his purchase. The tone is warm and friendly, making Raj feel appreciated as a customer. Additionally, the email provides a personalized book recommendation based on Raj's purchase, showing that the company values his interests. This thoughtful touch turns a routine transaction into a positive and memorable experience, fostering a greater connection between Raj and the online bookstore.
Leaving feedback
  • Seeing ads

Seeing an advertisement is a touchpoint that can either capture interest and reinforce brand recall or lead to ad fatigue if not executed thoughtfully. Ads should be relevant, engaging, and ideally add value to the viewer's experience.

What would you choose as a customer?

  1. Emma keeps encountering the same Google ad from an online retailer on various websites she visits. The ad is not tailored to her interests and appears too frequently, which annoys her to the point of developing a negative association with the brand, reducing the likelihood that she will click or make a purchase.
  2. Emma starts noticing personalized and well-tailored ads from her favorite online retailer while browsing various websites. These ads showcase products that align with her interests and preferences, providing a more relevant and enjoyable experience. The frequency of the ads is balanced, and they appear at strategic moments, making them less intrusive. Emma appreciates the effort the online retailer has put into understanding her tastes, and the positive association with the brand increases the likelihood that she will click on the ads and explore new products, ultimately enhancing her engagement and potential for making a purchase.

How to identify your customer touchpoints?

Now that you know why and understand what it is, here are a few tips on how to identify touchpoints:

  • Review your customer journey
How to identify your customer touchpoints?

What to do: Start by mapping out the entire customer journey from the initial awareness of your brand to the post-purchase phase. Identify key stages, such as research, consideration, purchase, and post-purchase. 

Why it helps: Mapping the customer journey visually lets you see where customers interact with your brand. It highlights customer touchpoints and allows you to analyze each stage for potential improvements.

  • Utilize customer feedback and surveys

What to do: Actively seek feedback from your customers. Use surveys, interviews, or online reviews to understand their customer experience at different stages of interaction with your brand.

Why it helps: Customer feedback is a goldmine for data that helps to identify touchpoints. It also reveals which interactions left a lasting impression, both positive and negative.

  • Track online and offline interactions

What to do: Keep a close eye on both online and offline interactions. This includes website visits, social media engagement, in-store experiences, customer service interactions, and any other points where customers interact with your brand.

Track online and offline interactions

Why it helps: Monitoring various channels helps identify touchpoints across different platforms. Customers may engage with your brand in multiple ways, and understanding each touchpoint ensures a holistic approach to customer experience.

  • Conduct employee interviews

What to do: Talk to your employees who interact directly with customers and gather insights about the touchpoints they consider important. Additionally, conduct interviews with customers to understand their perspectives on their journey with your brand.

Why it helps: Frontline employees often have valuable insights into customer interactions and their experience related to those. Customer interviews provide firsthand accounts of touchpoints that stood out in their experience.

How to improve the customer journey with touchpoints?

How to improve the customer journey with touchpoints?

Improving the customer journey with touchpoints involves enhancing the overall customer experience at every interaction. Here are the strategies and best practices to help you optimize and enhance customer touchpoints:

  • Continuously refine and update your touchpoints. For example, technological changes can introduce new touchpoints or alter the effectiveness of existing ones. During unexpected events or crises, touchpoints may need adjustment to address new challenges or concerns.
  • Use customer data to tailor touchpoints to individual needs and preferences. Personalization can range from addressing the customer by name in communications to recommending products based on past purchases.
A touchpoint created in UXPressia
A touchpoint created in UXPressia

  • Solicit feedback at various touchpoints and use it to make informed improvements. Act on both positive and negative feedback to continuously refine the customer experience.
  • Implement an omnichannel strategy to ensure a unified customer experience across all channels. The message and experience should be consistent whether a customer interacts with your brand online, in-store, or over the phone. Consistency builds trust and reinforces brand identity. Also, ensure a seamless transition between touchpoints, allowing customers to move effortlessly from one stage to the next.
  • Invest in user-friendly design for digital touchpoints, such as websites and apps. Ensure that navigation is intuitive and the overall design enhances the user experience. Consider the optimization of steps your audience has to take to achieve their goals. 
  • Post-purchase touchpoints are crucial elements of the customer journey that unfold after a customer has completed a purchase. Despite their significance, these touchpoints are often overlooked. Meanwhile, they play a pivotal role in determining whether customers may churn or, conversely, transform into dedicated brand advocates.

Wrapping up

Touchpoints aren't just steps your customers take; they're opportunities. Whether it's a website visit or getting help from customer service, each interaction adds to the customer experience story. 

Effective customer touchpoint management allows a brand to forge meaningful connections, leaving a lasting impression that resonates with customers. It's akin to reaching the conclusion of an exceptional book, understanding that the collective experiences woven through these touchpoints are what truly etches a brand into the memory of its audience.

Ready to dig into analyzing touchpoints and the customer journey?

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