The importance of touchpoints in the online marketing strategy that connect with each other

Why is it so important that online and offline customer touchpoints connect well? The answer is quite simple. When they are well connected, they increase customer satisfaction. Customer interactions with your brand or product that are inconsistent or even conflict lead to less value creation and therefore to lower customer satisfaction.

The interaction between offline touchpoints and online touchpoints

Online touchpoints and offline touchpoints are often intertwined in the delivery of a product or service. The customer orientates himself about a product online and buys it in a store (or vice versa). Or he can make an appointment for a repair via the website and a technician will be at home a day later to carry out the repair. All those online and offline interactions the customer has with your company determine customer satisfaction.

A recent study by Pham and Ahammad looks at the perceived customer satisfaction of a complete online shopping experience, but including offline touchpoints.

The researchers looked at the webshop itself, namely the information provision, the layout and user-friendliness of the site and the extent to which the customer is offered a customized experience. They also looked at the ease of checkout and the feeling of security that the customer experiences during checkout. Finally, three offline facets were examined, namely how the order was processed, the speed of customer service and the ease of returning products.

Source: Antecedents and consequences of online customer satisfaction: A holistic process perspective
Pham, TSH, Technological Forecasting & Social Change (2017), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2017.04.003

The answer? All facets that take place in the webshop certainly influence customer satisfaction, but all offline facets (order fulfillment, responsiveness and ease of return) had the greatest impact. So they are the offline touchpoints that determine the success of a largely online help determine the journey!

Connecting the customer touchpoints

Below we have provided a short step-by-step plan that will help you better connect your online and offline touchpoints.

  • Particular customer journey from the customer
  • Map which touchpoints have the greatest impact on customer satisfaction. This can be done by doing desk research, but you can also talk to your customers
  • Find places where the touchpoints can strengthen or complement each other. For example, following the example above: create a section on your website where customers are explained everything about how they can return a product or gain insight into the status of their return
  • Check whether the touchpoints are properly connected: you can do this yourself by going through the journey, by engaging mystery guests, or holding tests in a lab setting. Also check whether every touchpoint matches the brand promise you make.