You’re probably familiar with the saying your brand isn’t your logo. But have you looked at your brand touchpoints recently? And how do you know if you’re even using your brand touchpoints effectively as you could be? In today’s episode, I’ll be highlighting not one, not three, but five brand touchpoints. Walk away with the knowledge to better your ideal customers experience so that your one time customers become forever loyal repeat customers. Welcome to the BrandMade show notes. If you’re a little busy right now you can hear the five powerful touchpoints – episode 004 on >>Apple Podcast<< Click here!
Too Focused On What Your Logo Looks Like And Not On Your Brand Touchpoints?
Nobody wants to be an unforgettable brand and your brand touchpoints are their to help! So why is it that you feel like you aren’t being noticed? Just not being picked or worst of all, not being remembered? Well, Seth Godin once said, a brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships taken together account for a customer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. Every brand has a similar bunch of brand touchpoints. These touchpoints occur when a person interacts with your brand. These touchpoints could be through your marketing, social media posts, website packaging, even invoices. We need to see each of these interactions as a chance to make a positive impression on your customers. And we do this through mindfully creating memorable experiences. However, both really positive and unfortunately, really negative experiences are the ones people find most memorable. We’ve all experienced, obviously, wonderful holidays or being hurt by a loved one. However, our day to day most neutral or mundane experiences are the ones that fall by the wayside and likely forgotten about. For example, washing the dishes or reading for the 14th time a similar list of facts and features about a product or service you’re interested in. It just sort of becomes white noise unmemorable, forgettable, I want to make sure you’re seeing your touchpoints as a as an opportunity for your brand to be more memorable than the last brand they looked at. So today, I want to bring awareness to five brand touchpoints that will help you build a positive experience for your customers to increase the chances of your brand being remembered. And the probability of them choosing you over another.
Touchpoint One | Website | The Virtual Online Experience
The first touchpoint we’ll be discussing is your customers online experience. And of course, that is your website. I know a website is definitely something you might already have up and running, or you obviously know your need, and are well aware that it has to be obviously practical and functional so your customers can find the information they need quickly and efficiently. Once you’ve obviously been on our website, they tend to kind of mould into each other. There is obviously a certain structure that works. So I’m not recommending you throw out the rulebook, put the menu bar at the bottom because that’s just counterintuitive. But now what I want to make you think about is how can you make a customer’s website experience more interesting, a list of facts and features becomes a little samey after a while, especially if you’re reading it on the third or fourth website. So think beyond how you can present information differently and don’t need to copy what other people have done previously, maybe your show yours either in a video slideshow animation or text with icons.
Now, I know everyone uses Apple as an example for that I’m sorry but it works as a really good explanation here. So I’m just going to quickly if you’re not doing anything hop on to the Apple website and specifically go on to the iMac learn more page, not their homepage, the iMac learn more page and there you’ll be greeted with a video that actually includes their product and tax. And if you scroll down further, you have a button to invite their customers to interact with immediately and animated decks and dynamic scrolling features that make images and text move whilst the background says still. This web page has so much going on that it really does interact and it’s not overload. It’s not busy, it just has a lot for you to sort of interact with. And see as well as explains everything that needs to be said, but done in a memorable way. Now, I’m not saying to obviously copy Apple by any means. But the concept here is vital. You want to form a balance of familiarity and individuality so that you’re not just informing your people, but you’re keeping them entertained as well. And the more entertaining they are, the longer that they’re obviously going to stay on your site and keep interacting with your brand. You don’t need to obviously learn coding, I’m not telling you to do that. But be mindful about your customers experience. How do you want them to feel when they visit your website? And how can you better communicate who your brand is through layout animation, moving images and interactive elements in tech, it can sort of be easier to think of your website as a physical shop that your customers are walking into.
Touchpoint Two | Onboarding Process | The Process for Lead to Client
The next touchpoint is onboarding clients. The process of onboarding a client usually involves a contract to be signed to posit to be paid and the client informed on how you intend to work with them. The way in which your small business actually handles this onboarding process and experience can say a lot about you. And your customers can either feel reaffirmed in their purchase, or overcome with fear or buyer’s remorse. So to avoid obviously, the latter, let’s talk about what we should and shouldn’t be doing. So firstly, this is an experience in itself. And if it’s handled chaotically and haphazard, it’s likely your clients will lose some confidence in you. So you want to create a seamless and comfortable experience.
Firstly, we’ve got to actually remember that every client is new, and doesn’t have prior knowledge in the way you work with people. So the process to them is completely unknown and unfamiliar. And if we let it can lead to stress and fear. So in order to make the experience as smooth and comfortable for your clients, it’s best to sort of sit down and map out every step from the moment they’re a lead to a client. Once you’ve written out every step, and highlighted the steps that you’ll need something from them, or will need to tell them something gives you a map of what needs to happen. The most important thing of this experience is to not allow your customers to have the chance to sort of think now what?…Should I be doing something. And this we’re going to talk about from the transition period from the lead to clients. So the contract phase is important. Don’t make your client have to work harder than they need to. And that means sending them a contract to sign off to print off sign and send back. It can be done in a few clicks. The whole printing and scanning is messy and long winded and it will just slow the whole process down use an electronic contract so they can sign digitally and show them you value their time.
Extra | What your Onboarding Pack should include
The second part is you’ll probably have to send them a onboarding pack or introduction booklet, whatever you want to call it. But in this pack, you should include details of how your work together setting expectations and boundaries, things like the management platforms your you may want to use to communicate together. So obviously, depending on which one you use, it might be as on a Mondayor Trello. And I just want to briefly talk to you about the one I use which is at dubsado. This is not sponsored I found solder I think a year ago, I believe my luck really this the flexibility and features that it has to offer in one place is amazing. My favourite part is that my clients receive a more of a custom made luxury experience because I can set up their own portal. And it’s kind of like their own membership area or dash that they see. So instead of losing things within email chains back and forth, they receive all documents, questionnaires, invoices and contracts within their own online portal and I can always notify them through email with clickable links. So if you are interested in having a look at Dubsado obviously you don’t have to sign up today or anything but if you are interested just to have a look at it, I would definitely recommend it and I do have a >>Dubsado<< affiliate link to get you 20% off, so have a look!
What you include in this pack will vary but setting boundaries is something I think everyone needs to include. And that could be the times in the week you’ll be available. You might not work past five or six. You might take I don’t know Wednesday’s as an admin day to swap out business things Whether or not you allow texting voice messages as a way or a form of communication is good to know. Plus, knowing how quickly you should be responding to emails in the week is also good to mention and just being clear at the beginning. Otherwise, we can lead to having clients that will expect you to be free 24 seven. And it’s best to set these boundaries and expectations. So they know when best to sort of contact you. And they’ll know you’re not ignoring or following them off, if they contact you after hours. So it kind of takes pressure of you always having to be available 24 seven. Another thing you should be including is sort of a roadmap of milestones included within your project together so they can visually see the start. And the end of working together. And with service based businesses, we don’t sometimes always provide a physical thing. And it’s good to have a visual, so they know where they’re at what the what’s going to be happening in the future. So it sort of just provides our clients with a bit more reassurance to be honest and makes the unknown a bit clearer. Being mindful how you create this pack and how you send it, I think it’s best to break it down into sections. So it’s obviously not one long essay of information that they have to have to chew through. But a simple easy step with instructions on what will happen next.
Touchpoint Three | Customer Service | Improving Your customers perception
The next touchpoint is your customers service, now I get it you’re a small brand so you might not of outsource for a small team this is more directed at you and your customer service of your own brand. So we can all probably think back to a time when we’ve experience a bad customer service experience. And you I be afterwards that you felt different towards that brand or business right? In our small business we are bound to get a customer or client that is upset or annoyed about something, we must dwell on the fact the we did something wrong and try covering it up, we must simple just fix it. Make a wrong a right as they say. We must remember that when a customer does experience a negative experience, doesn’t mean we can’t change it into a positive one again. This is were your customer care comes in, because problem are likely to arise. As a small business owner or solopreneur you might not of given you customer service much thought, because you handle everything. However when we do drop the ball and where to not it was our fault or not we have to realise that it’s on us to fix it. Let’s put this into context and only fairly because the last section was for service based business let’s use a shop as this one. One of you deliver doesn’t reach your customer within the expected delivery date. Go back in time is not a option, there’s a few way to handle this situation. One is as you know that deliver y may be arrived later than expected date to warn them as soon as possible, no crossing your finger hoping it will still arrive on time. However, in other circumstance you might not be aware of the delay, and if your customer unhappy about the later arrival of their product then you need apologise.
Apologising doesn’t show weakness it actually show you taking responsibility and not passing the blame! But don’t stop here because sorry can only do so much, your customer will probably see the email and think well that doesn’t changed what happened. So it’s always best to go one step further to show them that you really really do care and back up that apology with an action. That could be offering them a discount on previous product purchase, send them a little freebie surprise in the post, refund their delivery cost because it was late. It’s really up to you what you offer in compensation. With this extra step might turn the customer opinion of you from huh I paid more money to get this on time and it still arrived late I don’t trust ordering from them again. To ok they apologies and they also refunded me the delivery money with no questions asked. This actually might have been an unusually mistake for them. This is an experience that shows your customer you really do care and your not ignoring your not trying to pass it off. Sort of see this as a opportunity to change their minds, and handle the situation the best way you can and to not loss a customer.
Touchpoint Four | Payment | Your client or customers Payment Process
We are at the second to last touchpoints! This one is all about your payment process. When we pay for something it is actually an experience whether that’s in a shop or online. We’ll be focusing online, and how do we like to pay online quick, easy and safely. If you run a online shop make sure your not offering just one payment option make sure you inclusive. Also don’t try to do anything different on your check our page, make sure it looks consistent with your other pages so they now their still on your site.
Say you need a invoice paid, instead of using a bank transfer, you can set up an online payment through an invoice service, some platform let you connect payment invoices to your contract, killing to bird with one stone. Bank transfer are a grey area, the issues I have with it is it leave to much room for error. Your client could type in the wrong details and who’s to blame really in that situation, we don’t want any risk involve when it we want to receive our money. Plus if it’s a large bank transfer of money it can put stress on your client process. It put all the responsibility of them entering the detail correctly. That’s why I advise everyone to use an online payment process it will be directly linked to your account, no risk of it going into someone else account. Plus if your client is familiar with doing orders online, which we all most are at this point, it will feel more natural and far less stressful putting their details in and making the payment.
Now after these payments it always best to follow it through with some type of acknowledgment, through a receipt on an email a redirect page where it say payment was success. This provide your customer with proof and if in an unlikely event of an issues with the payment they know they have reassurance with a receipt or confirmation.
Touchpoint Five | Post-Sale Experience | Customers Experience After Point of Purchase
Last touchpoint, is your customers post-sale experience, what is post sale? It really means the customers experience after they have purchase the product or worked with you through a service. Post-sale stage sometime gets overlooked, we get too focused on gaining engagement from our ideal audience, and converting them to actually customers or clients that we forget to take it further after that sometimes. We shouldn’t just let our brand relationship with them stop here once sale is complete. You want your customers and clients to remember you, it’s far far easier to reach another sale from a previous customer than a new one. Lets give explain for both a product and service based business. So first up if you a online shop, your customer unpacking experience of their deliveries, is also really important, make sure it’s intentional the materials used and process of unravelling. A great post-sale here could be a booklet something that really beautiful it could relates to what they’ve bought. For example if you create your own ceramic, could create booklet with images and text showing the handmade process of you making it would be a lovely touch and show your customer how much each item is handled with care. You could also include a smaller item within the delivery. If your giving something fee I recommend you only do this when they’ve spent over a certain amount. I would never kinda recommend handing something free, because obviously its’ your time it’s material and it could make that one purchase profit margins far less if your always offering something free, so do that within reason.
Then there is always the discount codes to thank them for their purchase. However, now this could just be personally for me, my feelings towards them. But when I get given a discount code it kinda feel really promotional and sales to be honest, and I kinda pass them off. That’s why I would advice to handle discount codes a little differently, leave them a discount code later a couple weeks after purchase not so long they’ve forget who your brand is but long enough that it doesn’t look like you asking them straight away to buy something more! Plus the way a discount code looks can really change the way you feel about them. If you’re a small business you have the upper hand, by actually hand writing a letter inviting them to use another discount code and send it through the actual post! This is a far more personal way to show you A. remember them and B. you really appreciated that they order something from you. When discount codes are sent in emails they can feel little mas promotional and you feel like oh they sent this email to all the other customer on their list. But a handwritten letter it just gives that really special and personal feeling, and remind you customer that there is actually a person working behind that brand.
However if you’re like me and you’re a service based business we can do things a little differently. One common way is through a referral rewards program and this is great it helps both you and the previous client. A re-awards program means if an old client refers you to a new lead and they become a client of yours they receive a set amount of money. It becomes a win win! However, similar to the discount code asked to soon can feel as though the client doesn’t receive anything for just being a client and their previous investment, they still have to do something and may feel like I have to jump through a hoop in order to get a reward. So what I like to do is send a gift that could either be a bunch of followers, a bottle of prosecco or as simple as a card in the post, something to show you appreciate their investment with your brand and enjoyed the time you worked together, no string attached no talking about the referral program here. This is to reinforce that you are happy that they invested with you. The referral awards program can be an invitation that they receive a couple weeks a later when it seem like they already got a little gift for working with you and this is just an extra thing you could be a part of, you still exist your still here and thinking of them.
Lets round these touchpoints off
To reiterate we looked over the five brand touchpoints that can help you create a memorable experience for customers. There are many touchpoints out there that you should become familiar with but in this episode I highlight some of the most important touchpoints to date specially for small business. So remember these five touchpoints through your website, On boarding process, payment process, customers service and your post-sale strategy. I’ve shared with you how your customers will interacts with each of these different touch-point, what kind of experiences you want them to have, and how you can implement these with in your brand. So really what are you waiting for…You are now a master in enhancing your customers experience to be a positive one, providing you the upper hand to being more memorable and more likely pick over another. Plus not to mention that all of this can help you convert one time purchaser to become regular and repetitive customers…It would be a bit mad to keep over look these touchpoints any longer so start implementing what you’ve learnt today and become a memorable brand tomorrow. Remember your brand touchpoints can say more about your brand and what you stand for than your logo!
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