Everyone has that one brand in their feed that just doesn’t know when to stop, or worse yet, brands like Pepsi and United Airlines that don’t even realize what they’re doing wrong. If you want to convert customers, your interactions with users must extend past advertisements and branded CTAs.
Interacting with Users Through Touchpoints
These interactions are called customer touchpoints. These occur wherever someone can come into contact with your brand or product. Posting photos and tweeting, your ecommerce platform, and even the confirmation email customers receive when they make a purchase are all examples of different customer touchpoints.
Designing a successful customer touchpoint is a give and take relationship, especially when it’s pre-purchase. In order to get your customer to interact with your advertisements, you must provide something in return for their time and energy. For most pre-purchase situations, this typically means a piece of content that attracts your user. It’s easy to add value to your users’ lives once they start using your product (and if it’s not, you’ve got a different problem to address) – what’s hard is creating value for your customers before they make a purchase.
In the beginning, you’re using touchpoints to fight for extra interaction time with your customers. The easiest (and arguably the only) way to actually get this time is to give the viewer an immediate return by teaching them something new or making them laugh. If you’re not adding immediate value to your users’ lives, it’s unlikely that they will respond to your CTA and continue through to your website to make a purchase.
Identify Your Audience
If you want to create a meaningful customer interaction, you have to know who you’re dealing with. The first step in creating positive touchpoint is getting to know your audience. If you have user profiles in place, you’re already one step ahead.
Social media is already likely one of your brand’s biggest customer touchpoints. Luckily, most services make it incredibly easy to gather analytics about the people viewing your content.
It’s important to try different things to find out what generates the biggest response and how it resonates with those people. In the beginning, experiment with different services and posting styles.
If you want to create touchpoints that effectively convert your target users, you need to identify what they’re interested in. The most effective way to do this is to simply go out and talk to the people using your product. Figure out what they like to do online, how they like to use your product, and of course, any feedback they’re willing to give you. Again, most ecommerce and advertising platforms make it extremely easy for you to get information about the people clicking your ads and buying your products, but there’s nothing like reaching out to actual users.
Whether it be a simple newsletter with a question regarding their favorite piece of content or even calling users into your office to A/B test a new interface, the best way to design better touchpoints is to learn more about your audience.
Generate Conversation About Your Product
Apple products speak for themselves. For most people, the products are so iconic that they can be recognized by their packaging alone. Fortune reports over 700 million iPhones are currently in use. Once you have this type of user base on one of your products, it’s understandable why your designs will start to speak for themselves.
However, unless your startup has a user base this big, you can’t expect your products to speak for themselves. If you want to get people to start talking about your product, you have to take matters into your own hands and make sure those conversations get started.
Getting people to talk about your product serves two purposes. First, every mention of your brand serves as a potential funnel to new users. Second, you are the least credible source regarding your product. Guest articles, referral programs, and influencer marketing are all excellent ways you can add authenticity to your product.
In particular, reaching out to influencers is a cheap and effective way to generate tons of conversation about your product on social media. Nielsen reports 83% of people trust a recommendation from someone they know. It’s up to you to find the right people to talk about your product and recommend it to people they know.
Take Your Customer’s Perspective
In the end, you always need to check your customer interactions by looking at it from the user’s perspective. All of your touchpoints should add value to the lives of your customers in one way or another. If someone has a question about your product, they shouldn’t have to dig around for an answer. Your users shouldn’t have to buy your product to know what it does. Make sure your customers know how your product will add value to their life before they click “add to cart.”
Looking at your touchpoints from the perspective of your customers is particularly important when designing content for social media. Most don’t like seeing their feeds clogged up by ads. If your business exclusively posts flash-sales and product links, you’re going to get a lot of unfollows. Direct ads almost never provide context to understand how your product or solution actually works.
Make customer touchpoints that teach people something new about your product. Most people want to be entertained, and a laugh or new piece of knowledge goes a long way in trying to convert users. As long as you step into your customers’ shoes, it’s easy to make sure every interaction with your brand is positive.