The initial customer touchpoint is often the most crucial of all instances for interaction. First impressions have been proven to be effective in instilling brand recall to prospects; and it is at this point where the probability of converting leads increase. To ensure that every opportunity for customer interaction works toward the forging of lasting and healthy business relationships, a generous amount of focus should be given to customer interaction management.

Capitalizing On Customer Interactions

The value of touchpoints benefits those in the supply end of the business spectrum more their customers. Needless to say, if there is a subset that needs to fully understand how to maximize the potential of these channels of communication, it is the members of an organization driven to deliver excellent customer service. To have a better grasp of how to capitalize on touchpoints, here are certain facts about it to take note of.

Identifying your customer touchpoints is crucial in creating well planned out customer service strategies. These points of contact are where your expertise as a sales agent is tested. From digital and print ads to community involvement, the channels by which you reach your audience are limitless. Starting efforts pushed by companies include: social media, ratings and reviews, testimonials, advertising, and marketing/PR; while efforts to keep in touch with clients within the sales journey include: websites, catalogs, promotions, and phone systems; lastly, after sales efforts to verify customer satisfaction include: transaction emails, marketing emails, service and support teams, online help center, follow-ups, and thank you cards. Depending on your company’s structure or the niche you cater to, not all of these devices could easily fit your systems of operation. Making informed decisions is the key to the optimization of these touchpoints.

If you have dilemmas on which modes to use, try looking at it in your customer’s perspective. During the process of creating your brand, you have formalized different factors to consider in shaping a strong visual identity, and one of those factors is pinpointing the demographic you aim to satisfy. Now, having that concrete picture of who your customer is, ask yourself these questions that he or she would ask when they face a problem that your product hopes to fix: here do I go when I need a product to solve my problem? And, how am I able to reach that product easily? Asking yourself these questions can ease the decision-making process of selecting which touchpoints to pursue. But of course, the best way to go about this is to create a survey for your existing customers to detail to you their individual purchasing process—from how they found out about your product to how they found the entire purchasing journey satisfying.

A Matter Of First Or Last

Which one really weighs more? Is it the first click or the last point of interaction? Which part of the sales journey should a sales team exert more effort on? Google Analytics points to the latter part of a customer’s sales journey as the one which drives more traffic than the rest, and ultimately seals the transaction. But is it safe to say that you should direct all your attention to what is this specific area? No. To better understand at which point leads are converted, you will have to take a closer look into the two methods of attribution: last touch attribution and first touch attribution.

Google Analytic’s chosen method is what is known as “last touch attribution.” From the name itself, you would know which area this manner of analysis zeros in. The sales process, as we all know, is made up of three main parts: one, prospects discover your business; two, that prospect bites the bait and the sales process is furthered; three, an opportunity is creation. A customer has to go through these three occurrences before a transaction is considered a done deal. Last touch attribution focuses on the third part of the client’s journey, the efforts—among many others, landing pages and email campaigns are prime examples—exerted before the deal is closed—everything except the part where a lead is formed. Meanwhile, the method of attribution that deals with providing analytics on how leads are created is known as “first touch attribution.” Further, in this method, efforts exerted by those at the frontline of sales operations are given due credit; such that, all analytics will be attributed to top-of-the-funnel channels (i.e. blog posts, SEO, paid advertising, white paper, free trials, etc.).

Going back to the main argument of this section, what method of attribution really takes the cake in converting leads? The answer is, there should be an equal appreciation for both. In most cases, organizations have the tendency to unconsciously put more focus on one method. In cases like these, it will be best to take a step back and evaluate your analytics. Look at these numbers: your lead conversion and your actual sales. If your lead conversion numbers outweigh your actual sales values, then it would mean that you would have to dedicate much attention to your last touch efforts, and vice-versa.

Organizational memory is a big thing to consider when developing your system of operations. Making sure that you use your customers’ data to your advantage and using that to further instill your brand’s identity in their minds is the inevitable challenge any business has to face. But it does not mean that this feat is undoable. Utilizing all points of contact, ensuring proper follow-up, providing after sales service, and then evaluating your conversion rates; these will be the components of your plan of action to avoid losing that potential sale.