The 40 Critical Touchpoints to Map in the B2B Customer Journey

As many of you know, I’m a huge advocate of customer journey mapping.  Customer journey mapping can create a lot of goodness for your organization, regardless of your size, maturity or industry. Understanding the various touchpoints across the journey – and the interrelatedness between them – allow you to understand where the customer experience succeeds and where improvements are needed. A documented customer journey will also expose insights around the sales process, marketing attribution and why some customers dissent while others become your strongest advocates.

Now that you’ve decided to map your customers’ journey, you should be asking the following questions: Which events or touchpoints do we track? Why do we track these touchpoints? Where do we find the data?

Good news – I’ve compiled them for you.  The following list includes 40 customer touchpoints that are uber-critical to the customer journey and – where appropriate – should be included in your journey mapping exercise. We have categorized the touchpoints to make the list even more digestible. Enjoy, good luck and happy journey mapping!

sales2Sales Touchpoints

Touchpoints: In-person meetings, proposals, inbound/outbound emails, inbound/outbound calls, demos.

Why are these touchpoints important? Not surprisingly, the sales process is owned and often controlled by the Sales team. New and recurring revenue are so instrumental to an organization’s growth. The analysis of Sales touchpoints will provide valuable insights around the Sales tactics that are working … and those that aren’t.

Where can I find these touchpoints? If your Sales team is diligent about putting in their activities, then your CRM instance should suffice. It won’t likely include every email and phone call but the most pivotal engagements should be in there.

finance2Finance Touchpoints

Touchpoints: Contract signatures, cancellations, purchase orders, renewals, upsells, cross-sells, invoices, refunds.

Why are these touchpoints important? Money talks and nothing speaks more to a positive, negative or stagnant customer experience than financial transactions. In a B2B environment, a customer’s acceptance of your product or service is best justified through their willingness to pay.

Where can I find these touchpoints? Finance, ERP and/or accounting platforms. The best part of this data is that the information has to exist in this system for revenue recognition purposes. While access to financial software is often clamped down, getting an Excel sheet with the transaction information goes a long way.

social2Social Touchpoints

Touchpoints: Tweets, online reviews, Facebook posts, posted questions

Why are these touchpoints important? Social touchpoints – more than any other – convey emotion. If a customer is dissatisfied with the experience your organization has provided, you’ll get candid data from an online review or unhappy tweet. Conversely, if your customer is satisfied enough to post a recommendation to friends, there’s no better feeling (or advertisement for what you do).

Where can I find these touchpoints? These touchpoints are found on social network platforms. However, it’s worth pointing out that this information is very challenging when attempting to map back to your customer. For one, the information may be private. Even when it’s not, cross-mapping your customer’s social activity to their business persona requires sophisticated tools.

marketing2Marketing Touchpoints

Touchpoints: Nurture emails, email opens, email click-throughs, webinar attendance, content downloads, website visits, survey completion, digital advertisement clicks, blog visits, conference attendance.

Why are these touchpoints important? Marketing can – and should – provide touchpoints throughout the length of the customer journey. If your organization is truly dedicating the appropriate levels of marketing throughout the funnel, then the customer should always be engaged with marketing material. For a customer at the beginning of the journey, s/he could be enjoying a case study. For a customer along the journey, s/he could be contributing to a case study.

Where can I find these touchpoints? Marketing automation tools, webinar platforms and email service providers are “freebies” in that they – by nature – track users by email address, potentially your best chance at identification. Engagement with digital advertisements are tougher to track, however integration into marketing automation platforms could make this easier in the near future. Gated material on a company website could also be tracked by asking for contact information.

support2Support / Customer Success Touchpoints

Touchpoints: Support calls, cases opened, cases closed

Why are these touchpoints important? Retention, retention, retention. Oh yeah, and identifying your most engaged users. While it may seem paradoxical to think of those who’ve entered support tickets as engaged, it’s common for a segment of your customers to get comfortable providing feedback in the form of support tickets. After all, you can’t nitpick the product unless you’re using it. On the bleaker end, you’ll want to track support calls that occur early in the onboarding process that could wipe out any chance of user adoption.

Where can I find these touchpoints? Support and customer management systems like Zendesk and Salesforce are a good place to start.

product2Product Touchpoints

Touchpoints: Product logins, product logouts, shares, trial registrations, FAQ visits, role changes, new user additions, key product milestones.

Why are these touchpoints important? Product touchpoints are critical and almost criminally ignored in crafting the customer journey. After all, what is more indicative of customer happiness than consistent product usage? Product usage will help you understand the relative health of each customer. In terms of journey automation, product usage may help your team determine the next best action for the customer. Is this customer ready to solve new problems by considering/purchasing new offerings?

Where can I find these touchpoints? Ah, this is the tough one. Product usage may be done in many ways. From our experience, it’s often custom implementation built into the product itself or tracked manually by members of the team. Not every click of the button or page navigation needs to be tracked if your team can identify key usage milestones within the product. However this data is tallied, what’s most important is that product consumption is tracked and well-understood by the entire team.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed this resource use this as a baseline in mining the right data for your customer journey. You may not be able to access everything listed above, but including even a portion of these touchpoints will allow you to construct a pretty nice journey map. With that said, are there touchpoints we left out? Which touchpoints do you find most valuable in assembling your journey maps? Let us know as we’d love to hear from you.

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