How a Touchpoint Expansion Cycle Drives Customer Experience
On today’s relentlessly competitive business landscape, delivering positive customer experience is more important than ever. For example:
- 70 percent of buying experiences are based on how customers feel that they are being treated. (source: McKinsey)
- 55 percent of customers will pay more if it means better customer experience. (Source: Defaqto Research)
- 42 percent of customers have purchased more after a good customer experience. (Source: Zendesk)
Two Things Separating Leaders from Laggards
Per this new normal, successful companies are doing two major things better than the rest of the pack. The first is that they are developing products, processes and policies in light of the question “how will this improve customer experience?”. This is not because they think customer experience is trendy, topical or makes a good PR story. Rather, it’s because they understand that in the big picture and when it comes to the bottom-line, customer experience is their most valuable and profitable brand differentiator.
The second thing that successful companies are doing is somewhat related to the first, but deserves its own spotlight because the difference between leaders and laggards in this regard is starkly pronounced: they’re optimizing their product documentation touchpoints. These typically include (but are not limited to):
- Search engines, which are usually the first search option.
- Documentation portals, which enable deeper technical research.
- Knowledge bases, which contain SME-curated content and support assets (e.g. how-to articles, videos, use cases, etc.).
- Call centers, which provide live customer support, and can also repurpose content created by other touchpoints (e.g. customer feedback, SME responses, etc.).
- Customer communities, which provide an interactive platform for customers to engage with support agents, SMEs and other company stakeholders.
- IoT, which among other advantages allow companies to deliver documentation directly to customers based on product usage – or in some cases, transmit fixes that allow products to self-recover or re-configure with no customer involvement at all.
Touchpoint Expansion Cycle
Even more important than where successful companies are reaching customers is, of course, how they are reaching them to deliver positive and memorable experiences. This is where a touchpoint expansion cycle enters the picture, and makes all the difference.
A touchpoint expansion cycle is a streamlined framework for subject matter experts (SMEs) to quickly and effectively share feedback and advice during writing and editing cycles — rather than before or after. As a result:
- Product documentation is consistent across all touchpoints, and there is no duplication or mixed-messages to confuse or frustrate customers. This improvement alone is a major, game changing accomplishment. A study by Epica found that when asked the same question by email, Twitter and web chat, only 11 percent of companies delivered a consistent answer.
- The “voice of the customer” is effectively captured in product documentation, and therefore content is more relevant, useful and valued.
- It is cost-effective to update and maintain product documentation across each touchpoint at scale.
Best Practices on the Road to Positive Customer Experience
At the same time, companies that are winning the customer experience game are positioning and powering their touchpoint expansion cycle f best practices, which include:
- Building a strong business case to get buy-in from all stakeholders. Whether they work on the front-lines or back-end, everyone must be in alignment regarding macro and micro touchpoint purposes and goals.
- Relying on hard data – instead of best guesses or anecdotal evidence -to prioritize touchpoints in terms of impact and reach, and allocating resources accordingly.
- Using topic-based authoring to identify and re-use product documentation across multiple touchpoints along the customer journey.
- Finding ways to co-share budgets that support the touchpoint expansion cycle, since everyone is benefitting directly or indirectly.
The Bottom Line
The battle for customers’ hearts, minds and loyalties, has never been more intense or urgent. Companies that optimize their touchpoint expansion cycle – and power it with smart and proven best practices – will continue surging ahead of competitors that have not yet realized on today’s business landscape, delivering positive customer experience isn’t just important for success: it’s essential for survival.
To learn more and put your company ahead, schedule your guided demo of Zoomin’s powerful and innovative product documentation publishing platform.