Touchpoints and Channels - Crucial Variations in Customer Journey
Customer journey analytics is a solution which offers overall sum of experiences which a customer went through, during interaction with a company or a brand. Customer journey includes documentation of the entire experience of being a customer, rather than focusing on just a part of experience. Customers now have several channels and touchpoints of interacting with brands.
Touchpoints are defined as an interaction point between customers and company throughout the entire customer lifecycle. For example: if a customer purchase something, had personal interaction, gives feedback, or calls for support.
Channels are considered as the medium of communication which a company offers to its customers. Channels are the environment (both online and offline) where touchpoints occur, which may or may not be interactive. For example: print ads, TV ads, billboard, flyers are the non-interactive channels, while social networks, live chat, homepage, store, branch are interactive channels.
Difference between Touchpoints and Channels
- Touchpoints can occur on different channels, and is usually defined by a channel, customer need and buying stage. It means a touchpoint will occur when a customer has some need and they are looking for a way to satisfy this need. Whereas, a channel is a way that a company provide to customers to meet their needs.
- A same touchpoint can occur across different channels, while some channels supports only specific set of touchpoints. For example: A customer can make payment of an order (touchpoint), via different channels such as bank payment, through website, or even paying directly to delivery person.
- Few examples of touchpoints include help & support, booking a table, giving feedback about one's experience, product demo, collecting information about a service, checkout form, warranty return, signing up at an online service.
- Few examples of channels include forums, kiosk, mobile app, target ad, social networks, skype call, face2face communication, live chat, email, talking to friends.
Customer journey includes several channels and touchpoints where a customer interacts (offline or online). Both the touchpoints and channels are the crucial elements of customer journey across various channels which captures each interaction between a customer and company.
– Sonam Chawla