Touchpoint Mapping

motiv strategies
The Backbone
Of Customer
motiv strategies
Touchpoint Mapping
The Backbone Of Customer
Experience Design
increasingly multifaceted and
interconnected, it is critical to
gain deep insights about how
customers interact with your
business. Touchpoint mapping is
a valuable tool that can help
ensure that each connection
between your company and your
customer is meaningful and
Picture this scenario: You have just
landed after a grueling international
flight. The captain disembarks before the
passengers and the flight attendants are
too busy to notice your exit. The flight
crew’s lack of attention to the customers
leaves the impression they are
ambivalent about them, their jobs, or the
airline for which they work.
Now picture this alternate scenario: After
that same flight, the flight attendants and
captain stand at the plane’s exit door,
thanking the passengers individually for
the opportunity to serve them. Their
words and smiles seem genuine and
give the sense that the airline values your
business greatly.
Which version of this same interaction
will generate more value for its airline?
Seemingly small gestures like these at
key touchpoints in the customer journey
can make or break the customer
experience with your company.
According to a recent study by O’Keeffe
& Company, executives estimate that the
potential revenue loss for not offering a
positive, consistent, and brand-relevant
customer experience is 20% of their
annual revenue. Understanding the
emotional content and relative
importance of every touchpoint your
company produces is one way to protect
and grow your revenue streams.
The Value Of Touchpoint
Touchpoint mapping and
customer experience
In the last several years, customer
experience management has become
recognized as a necessary capability for
Figure 1
Human-Centered Design Tools For Understanding The Customer Journey
There is a wide variety of human-centered design tools that can be used to understand and improve the customer experience. Journey maps,
touchpoint maps, and service blueprints are different ways to document the customer journey. While each method is unique, they are all derived from
studying the customer and looking at the world from their perspective.
A journey map identifies the phases
customers go through to fulfill a
need, both within and beyond the
organization’s purview.
A touchpoint map outlines the
interactions between customer
and an organization throughout the
customer’s journey.
businesses across industries, and
touchpoint mapping has become an
increasingly popular tool for visually
representing the customer journey and
managing the customer experience.
increase revenues. Touchpoint mapping
is an effective tool for discovering when
these defining interactions occur.
Specifically, touchpoint mapping can
What are touchpoints?
• How an organization interacts with its
customers by chronicling touchpoints
Motiv defines touchpoints as direct and
indirect interactions customers have with
a company’s product and services. The
sum of these interactions form an overall
customer experience.
• Which touchpoints are more
important than others and why
It’s important to note that the lifecycle of
these touchpoints extends beyond the
point-of-sale or point-of-delivery, from
becoming aware of the offering’s
existence to after-sales support and
beyond. For example, corporate
Facebook pages are becoming
important points of customer interaction
and should be taken into consideration.
• Opportunities to develop new
product and service offerings to
address customer needs
Defining moments
Companies are eager to address and
capitalize on defining moments in the
customer experience to differentiate
their brands, boost customer loyalty, and
A service blueprint outlines the
processes, both visible and invisible
to the customer, that work to deliver a
service to that customer.
Touchpoint Mapping: The Backbone Of Customer Experience Design
• Insights about how customers feel at
critical touchpoints
What is a touchpoint map?
A touchpoint map is a visual
representation of a customer’s journey,
identifying the specific interactions a
customer has with an organization over a
period of time. This could be the span of
an hour, a week, or a few months,
depending on the journey in question.
motiv strategies
Touchpoint mapping can describe a
generic customer journey, such as a
basic trip to the grocery store, or a more
specific one, such as a family of four
checking in for an international flight. A
good touchpoint mapping project
studies and integrates what customers
say, think, and feel at each touchpoint
through a process that includes field
research and synthesis.
Components of a
touchpoint map
While touchpoint maps can demonstrate
a variety of insights about the customer’s
journey, the most effective maps identify
moments of truth, pain points, and
pleasure points as well as the customer
needs, expectations and emotions at
each touchpoint.
• Moments of truth are significant
touchpoints in the customer journey
that can make or break a customer
experience and create a lasting
impression of the organization in the
customer’s mind. An example of a
moment of truth could be talking with
a customer service representative
when trying to resolve an issue
involving a defective product or
• Pain points are touchpoints that are
perceived to be significantly difficult
or frustrating, like waiting in a long
line. Interactions at pain points may
inspire customers to abandon a
service, to never return, and/or to
recommend against it. Addressing
these issues is critical to improving
the customer experience.
• Pleasure points are the opposite of
pain points. They are touchpoints that
delight customers, meeting or
exceeding their expectations for the
interaction. Pleasure points
contribute to an excellent customer
experience and can serve as
inspiration for improving other
Consumption, not production
Touchpoint mapping is one of several
human-centered design methods that
chronicle a series of steps a customer
must go through to accomplish a goal or
task (see Figure 1). These methods differ
from traditional operations-focused
methods such as process flow mapping
because they focus on the customer’s
viewpoint, illustrating what experience is
being consumed. Operations-minded
managers often focus their attention on
the process of delivering a product or
service, highlighting the experience
being produced.
Uncovering unknown
or misunderstood
touchpoints is a
particularly valuable
outcome of
touchpoint mapping.
These companies risk ignoring key
customer touchpoints of which they
might not otherwise be aware. By
examining the critical steps and stages
from the customer’s perspective,
managers will understand the functional
and emotional needs of customers and
have the opportunity to alter the
customer experience for the better.
Identifying blind spots
When touchpoint mapping is done right,
managers gather deep insights about all
touchpoints across the journey from the
customer’s perspective. Uncovering
touchpoints that were previously
unknown or misunderstood is a
particularly valuable outcome of
touchpoint mapping.
For instance, Starbucks learned that
interactions with baristas were a
highlight for in-store customers, but
those who used the drive-through option
missed out on that experience.
Furthermore, drive-through customers
struggled to communicate their orders
over the traditional drive-through
microphones and faced long wait times,
creating a painful step in the customer
To improve the customer experience at
this specific touchpoint, Starbucks
recently began testing a new ordering
system that uses a video screen and
camera at the point of ordering, allowing
customers and employees to interact.
This redesigned touchpoint increases
employee-customer contact and helps
ensure that Starbucks meets customer
expectations of friendly and
personalized service, regardless of
Customers develop fierce loyalties to
organizations like Starbucks and other
customer experience exemplars
because these companies consistently
exceed customer expectations across
touchpoints. Managers who understand
the power of touchpoint mapping are
able to use the methodology to
intentionally deliver excellent
experiences for their customers.
Touchpoint Mapping: The Backbone Of Customer Experience Design
Improving the customer experience
requires companies to become more
purposeful in their interactions with
customers. Touchpoint mapping
provides greater visibility into the
customer experience and helps
organizations better understand their
interactions with customers.
Savvy managers across industries are
adding touchpoint mapping to their
management toolboxes. They rely on
this methodology to deliver useful
customer insights that help achieve
organizational objectives such as new
product and service creation, strategy
development, and ongoing customer
experience management.
Jeneanne Rae
President and CEO
[email protected]
Ian Campbell
[email protected]
Joy Thomas
[email protected]
Motiv helps leading organizations create new strategies for growth. We
combine business analysis with design strategy tools to help our clients
discover new opportunity spaces, develop new services and better
customer experiences, and drive the change management required to
enable breakthrough innovation.
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