At Narrandum, we try to avoid buzzwords and jargon, and put things into everyday language wherever possible. That's why we like to refer to customer journeys as ["stories"](/customer-stories/), and user personas as ["characters"](/narrandum-characters/). But there's one term which is often used in service design that we haven't (yet) come up with a better alternative for, and that is "touchpoint". In this article, we're going to talk about what touchpoints are, and how they can help you to develop a better understanding of your relationship to your customers.
What is a touchpoint?
Narrandum's basic definition of a touchpoint is very simple - *any interface between your customer and another stakeholder*. This means that at any point on the customer journey, when your customer exchanges ideas, data, or information with some other person or system, the touchpoint is how that exchange takes place. These interfaces can take many forms. Here are just a few:
- Digital touchpoints
- Physical touchpoints
You'll notice that we're framing this in terms of your customer, not you. Other sources you read on this topic may not see it like this, but we believe it's very important, for two reasons. Firstly, we're trying to create customer-centred products and services! But secondly, and more importantly, not every interaction which your customer makes in the course of a customer journey is with you. They might ask friends for advice, or visit a reviews website, or – perish the thought – check out your competitors! As you can see, all of these interactions are important, and should be captured so that we can consider how the affect the overall customer journey.
How do I use touchpoints in my customer journey maps?
Incorporating touchpoints in your customer journeys is simply a matter of thinking about where, when and how interactions occur.
For each stage of the journey, think about what the user wants to do, and what they need to understand. This will help you to see where they might come into contact with either your service, or other influences. Once you've identified these occasions, think about the most effective medium for them. In other words, you've identified a point where your customer will touch another actor. Bingo, you have a touchpoint! Simple as that.
How can I map touchpoints to my stories in Narrandum?
Narrandum includes dozens of predefined touchpoints to help you figure out which ones best apply to your customer journey, and we're adding to them all the time. But if you find that none of these are quite right for your particular needs, no problem - you can include as many touchpoints of your own as you like.
Adding touchpoints to your story is really simple and straightforward. First, open a story:
We've included some example stories for you to check out.
We've included some sample stories for you to check out.
Now open any scene, and scroll down past the image. At the top of the right hand column, you'll see a dropdown for touchpoints.
Now just choose the appropriate touchpoints from the dropdown list. You can also type in anything you like to search through the list more quickly.
And you're done!
This functionality is built in and free for every user, forever. Why not sign up now and give it a try?