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Why Brand Touchpoint Management is the better kind of Customer Experience Management


“Customer Experience Management” is one of the main topics for marketing decision makers worldwide. Those who place their brand center stage will have the advantage – it makes the brand incomparable.

Brand Touchpoints are the eye of the needle of every brand promise, every day and everywhere your brand is present.

Weather people buy, buy again, recommend – such customer experiences are crucial for the success of a business. This insight seems to have finally made it through to companies and their managers.
In 2017, „Customer Experience Management" will be given top priority by international marketing decision-makers: 63 percent intend to concentrate on it intensively, as the global study „Digital Trends 2017" vcommissioned by Adobe (conducted by Econsultancy) has revealed. More than 14,000 marketing managers across the globe were surveyed, and it turns out that convincing customer experiences are considered one of the most important challenges of the next five years by more than one in four marketing managers (29 percent). Product and service innovations, customer service, and product quality came in a distant second at 17 percent. The customer appears to be gaining importance.

However, as significant as "Customer Experience Management" may be – in saturated and highly competitive markets, it will not be enough for profitable growth. When most companies are focusing on it, it becomes a must-factor, and anybody who does not toe the line will suffer substantial competitive losses.

CX Management concentrates on improving customer satisfaction, which is significant. But when everyone offers a similar level of customer satisfaction – meaning similar CX – the result is comparability, which in turn leads to lower prices and price wars.

Brand Touchpoint Management = the better CX Management

So how does a company gain a competitive advantage through "Customer Experience Management"? When it uses its brand. More precisely: when it conducts "Brand Touchpoint Management", which is "Customer Experience Management" that places the brand center stage. Because the brand is the element that makes the crucial difference in achieving profitable growth. Brand Touchpoint Management analyzes existing touchpoints based on the brand rules and gives all measures resulting from that analysis more clarity and stringency. This is why "Brand Touchpoint Management" is always the better kind of CX Management.

The main problem of most brand companies is that over 80 percent are not perceived to be different by consumers (BrandTrust Study 2015, n = 1.863). Their top brand touchpoints – for instance advertising, PoS initiatives, catalogs, online platforms – are considered interchangeable. Only very few brands stand out from this mainstream mishmash, such as Migros in Switzerland, or Sparda Bank in Germany. Customers see a perceptible difference – which makes the enterprises the most attractive in their market segments. 65 brands were examined for this study.

60% of customer service employees cannot tell you what makes their brand different from the competition, as Bain & Company found out in 2015, 40% at least think they know. From the customer's viewpoint, that number shrinks to 20%. This is the perception.

Love of detail is better

The devil is in the details. The touchpoints of a brand are nothing less than the gateways to the perception of its performances. They are what make appreciation and added value possible. Everything is decided there by the many individual experiences customers have. The challenge: the weakest brand touchpoint. It determines the overall experience of a brand centered customer journey.

"Customer Experience Management" usually only reflects the top 15 to 30 touchpoints of a brand. "Brand Touchpoint Management", by contrast, means keeping your brand promise every single day at several 100 brand touchpoints around the world. Because just one single poorly-managed touchpoint, your weakest, will cause you to lose customers forever. What impact a poorly-managed brand touchpoint can have was recently illustrated by United Airlines. A guest was forcibly removed from an overbooked flight and injured. The incident was in all the media. United Airlines is now trying to regain the public's trust by means of a ten-point program. Giving up one's seat can earn a passenger up to $10,000. Brand Touchpoint Management loves details and anticipates.

Multi-dimensional is better

"Costumer Experience Management" usually tries to show with simplified illustrations or funnels how customers journey to the point of sale. It presents just one single route. It assumes linear purchasing processes that are just not the reality. Wanting to determine processes and sequences and trying to force customers into a predefined process will work less and less. Every customer shapes his very own individual customer journey, and each journey's sequence and composition is different from every other. Effective "Brand Touchpoint Management" ensures that ideally every customer can put together his individual journey and they all still have similar brand experiences.

What does your customer think?

Ultimately, your customers will clearly recognize the difference between conventional "Customer Experience Management" and "Brand Touchpoint Management". If they have a common customer experience, their assessment might very well be: "I am very satisfied." However, if they have made a journey through the different brand touchpoints of a company, they will conclude: "That is one-of-a-kind. Nobody else can do that."


Do you have questions or suggestion about this article? Alexandra Fischbäck is looking forward to your email.

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