Customer Touchpoints in Jewelry Marketing
In conversations with my clients, I often use the phrase “customer touchpoints”, but I realize that “touchpoints” is a vague, catch-all term that could probably use some clarification. What are customer touchpoints exactly, and why is it important for your jewelry brand to remain consistent across all of them? In this blog post, I’ll explain where to find touchpoints and why they matter.
To put it simply, a customer touchpoint is any interaction a customer has with your jewelry brand at any point in the customer journey, from when the customer first encounters you through when the customer makes a purchase and beyond. You can probably name a few customer touchpoints off the top of your head – like your Instagram profile, your email marketing campaigns, or even your ecommerce website.
However, you may be overlooking some important customer touchpoints that need your attention. For example, jewelry brands can also have the following lesser-known touchpoints:
In the decision-making process, a prospective customer will often consult your product reviews if they’re available. If you don’t have any product reviews, then you run the risk of coming across as illegitimate or untrustworthy. However, if you do have reviews, any negative ones may be perceived as a red flag. Your product reviews don’t represent a direct interaction with your brand, but they allow customers to interact with your brand ambassadors. The customer will weigh reviews heavily in the decision-making process because they’re unbiased and genuine.
Like with product reviews, peer recommendations don’t represent a direct interaction with your brand. However, current customers who are already fans of your brand will hopefully sing your praises to friends and family – and be the customer touchpoint you deserve. Make sure to treat those customers like VIPs, so they continue speaking highly of you.
Interactions With Customer Service
As you probably know from your own interactions with customer service representatives, a negative experience with customer service can completely sour your opinion of a brand. Waiting for hours on hold or being unable to reach an actual human being can put a bad taste in anyone’s mouth. If you want to optimize all your customer touchpoints, then you need to make customer service a priority – and you need to make sure that everyone on your customer service team is delivering a consistently positive experience.
Today’s customers want full transparency when it comes to fulfillment and shipping. They want to know how quickly they’ll receive their package, and they want to know where the package is at any given time. The more transparency you can provide about your fulfillment and shipping processes, the better. For ideas and tools, especially if you have a Shopify store, you can view this page filled with shipping-related apps.
Unpackaging or Unboxing of Product
How much thought have you put into your shipping materials and even your packaging? Part of the fun of ordering something from an ecommerce store is getting your package in the mail and opening it, as if it’s a gift just for you. If anything about that experience is less-than-exciting, then it could tarnish your brand reputation and negatively impact the customer experience.
At every step of the customer journey, you have the chance to delight the customer or turn the customer away. If you haven’t taken the time to consider every customer touchpoint in the customer journey, then you could potentially be losing a customer’s interest – even if that customer likes everything else about your brand. You also need to consider how a change to one customer touchpoint can disrupt the entire customer journey.
I’d like to share a personal anecdote about customer touchpoints. I’m a customer of a jewelry brand that I love and have recommended to many people. However, I have trouble receiving FedEx packages at my home and prefer to have packages shipped by USPS or UPS. Recently, this jewelry brand announced that it would be shipping packages exclusively via FedEx, which they believe is more secure and reliable. From their perspective, this may be true. However, from my perspective as the customer, I think this is a terrible decision, and I’ll be hesitant to order from them in the future – even though nothing else about the brand has changed. One customer touchpoint has been disrupted, and my entire customer experience has been affected. At the same time, I’m sure some customers like the brand’s decision about FedEx shipping and are now even more committed fans of the jewelry brand.
When you change or even neglect a customer touchpoint, you do run the risk of losing customers. However, you do create the opportunity to gain new customers when you update a touchpoint in a strategic way. Before you make any decisions about customer touchpoints, no matter how small, you need to ask yourself some important questions. Is this decision serving the customer experience in a positive way, and do we have data to prove it? Or are we making this decision on a whim because we feel it’s best? Furthermore, is the decision in line with our brand identity, and does it reinforce consistency? Are we creating any confusion or unnecessary complication?
One excellent article from Harvard Business Review titled “Touchpoints Bring the Customer Experience to Life” by Adam Richardson also has some more excellent questions:
- What specific things are we doing at each touchpoint?
- Are the touchpoints addressing customers’ motivations, and answering their questions or allaying concerns? Are they working for your target customers, and for novices and experts alike?
- Are the touchpoints addressing your customers’ unmet/underlying/latent needs? Are there needs going unstated that neither you nor competitors are solving?
- Are all the touchpoints speaking with the same tone, the same message, even the same words? Is your brand being communicated effectively and clearly?
- Are there hiccups in the flow from one stage to the next that may cause potential customers to drop off, or cause dissatisfaction for current customers (and perhaps costly product returns or help-line calls)?
- Are the touchpoints differentiating you from competitors and helping retain the customer?
All these touch points together can help you plot your customer journey map, which can provide insight into a typical journey the customer takes from awareness to purchase. Over time, you may find a pattern that illuminates your customer’s typical journey. For example, many of your customers may first discover you on Instagram then visit your website before signing up for your email newsletter and receiving an average of four emails before deciding to make a purchase, typically when you offer a special sale or promotion. Once you’re aware of this journey, you can take steps to optimize every step to ensure that as many customers as possible take it.