As most of you probably know by now, I am in the throws of writing a book on Customer Touchpoint Innovation. Simply put, the book is about applying the principles of Strategic Innovation to the Customer Touchpoints in your business so that you can craft compellingly innovative customer experiences – or Unexpected Encounters™ – that are specifically designed to help you attract, keep and engage more customers more often so that you can grow your business.
(Quick – anybody remember the 5 S’s of Unexpected Encounters™?)
When we set out on this journey, we had already identified 77 Customer Touchpoints hence the beginning of the series “77 Top Customer Touchpoints to Innovate…and counting.” Our stretch goal was to reach 100.
Little did we know what “and counting” was really going to mean. As of today, we have reached a whopping 176 Customer Touchpoints and I’m pretty sure that we’re not finished yet.
So, to avoid us completely giving away all of our secrets, today’s Innovation Insights will, as originally promised, complete the list up to #77. But for the rest, you’ll need to stay tuned for the book.
If this is the first post in the series for you or if you are simply in need of a reminder of the rationale behind Customer Touchpoint Innovation, you can find the first three installments of the list at
Now, back to business. What could you do in the next two weeks to turn just one of these Customer Touchpoints into an Unexpected Encounter™ experience that would remind customers why they should do – or continue to do – business with you?
#46 Articles (by you or about you, print or online media)
#47 Confirmations of appointments or meetings. (Ok – the phone reminder is great. The email confirmation is time efficient. But surely, even within those contexts, there’s an idea for a message that not only reminds me of the appointment, but that takes the opportunity to remind me of its value in a way that results in me actually looking forward to the appointment. Remember, a Touchpoint missed is an opportunity missed to remind your customers why you?.)
#48 Badges worn by staff (I recently stayed at a Westin Hotel and noticed that each staff member wore a badge that in addition to their name, indicated the passion of that particular staff member. Nice touch. Unfortunately, when I asked the young receptionist Joelle why reading was her passion, she was at a complete loss for words. Once she had recovered from the surprise of my question, she then told me that in all of the time that she had been wearing the badge, I was the first guest to ever engage her in conversation about it. Westin’s badges may meet the S for surprising but I’m not convinced they meet the S for Strategic. What do you think?)
#49 Business Card Holder (We all know business cards are a Touchpoint Opportunity. But what about what you carry them in? My friend Bob Abrames aka Voyageur Bob carries his wooden coin shaped biz “cards” in a black leather pouch. What does your business card holder say about why you?)
#50 Check out Counters (What you sell, what people say, how the counter is set up – all of these count. Not to mention the fact that how you handle waiting lines tells customers exactly how much you respect their time and value their business. And by the way, we all have check out counters of some sort. When was the last time that you took a good hard look at yours?)
#51 Blogs (What you say on yours, how you respond to your readers’ comments, comments you make on other people’s blogs, when you guest blog on someone else’s blog, the type of guests you can get on your blog. Ok – you get the idea…. )
#52 Containers (Think Starbucks cups with quotes and Dutch boy paint cans with handles. How could you turn your container into an Unexpected Encounter™?)
#53 Email subject lines (If you can’t get them to open the email, you can’t get them to _ _ _ _ it!)
#54 Those horrible badges that they make us wear at meetings and networking events. (Design your own custom badge holder and take it with you; For that matter, design your own badge. If you must use theirs, wear it upside down; wear it on your back or don’t wear it at all but at the very least, think. Think about the opportunity for strategic differentiation that is lost every time you succumb to a badge that was designed by someone whose ultimate goal is to make sure that you blend in!)
#55 And while we’re on the subject of Networking events, what about what comes out of your mouth when someone asks you what you do? Is it an elevator pitch that sounds exactly like an elevator pitch? Or is it a surprising, strategic and seductive conversation starter? Only you know for sure…
#56 Media interviews and Press releases
#57 Your telephone hold menu if you have one
#58 Your online store
#59 Catalogues (online or print)
#60 Shopping bags
#61 Park benches
#63 Delivery (process and people)
#64 Holiday cards (Best holiday card I ever received: Not only did it arrive in a hugely oversized envelope and fold out to poster size; not only did it provide me with the opportunity to go to the sender’s website and choose from a selection of charities to which the sender would then make a donation on my behalf but it was all linked to a holiday theme that also just happened to tie in perfectly with the launch of their new website. Pure Touchpoint Gold.)
#65 Your charitable donations (Giving to charity is always a great idea. Giving to a charity whose purpose is linked to yours and can remind customers of that purpose, is a strategically great idea.)
#66 Your landscaping (Hey… why should highways have a monopoly on messages in the grass?)
#67 Your storefront and any other physical spaces that your clients are exposed to.
And to close up the list for now, here are a few Touchpoint Opportunities that haven’t appeared on the list so far that apply more specifically to my speaker, trainer, coaching and consulting buddies.
#68 Your book
#69 Your bio (The definition of biography is an account of someone’s life not just a list of their accomplishments. What makes your bio stand out in a way that is at once surprising, seductive and strategic?)
#70 Your photo (One – would your photo stand out in a group of 100 photos? And two, would it stand out in a way that helps remind people why you?)
#71 Your program/course/presentation titles and descriptions
#72 Your introduction (Need I say more?)
#73 Your stage props
#74 Your Power Point presentation if you use it. (background, content etc… )
#75 Your DVD’s, CD’s and any other learning products, on line or physical
#76 Your webinars, teleseminars etc…
#77 And, of course, your presentations themselves
I hope that you have found this list helpful but most importantly, I hope that you will use it to create your own uniquely innovative Unexpected Encounters™ that will attract, keep and engage more customers more often.
Bottom line: A list is just a list until you choose something on that list to work on and a Touchpoint is just a Touchpoint until you decide to turn it into a compelling customer experience that will remind customers why they should do – or continue to do – business with you.
Because after all, growing your business is not about you. Growing your business is about why you?
Now, go Imagine the Possibilities!