Conduct a Touchpoint Mapping​

Summary: Touchpoint mapping is an inventorying technique used in Service Design to identify customer, employee, and brand interactions throughout a service or product experience. By mapping, you can bring these into a visual view where you can design, adjust or eliminate the touchpoint.

Touchpoint mapping is an active service design technique that visualizes and maps the interactions between customers and a service or product. By Touchpoint Mapping, we can identify and analyze various interactions such as a tip given to a customer, a brochure, an area of a store, an advertisement or promotional sign, or a customer service encounter.

Touchpoint mapping takes us away from looking at them as simple Channels. Channels are where touchpoint interactions occur. If you only look at channels, stop wasting money and map touchpoints first.

Understanding Touchpoint Mapping:

Touchpoints live within Moments. Moments are moments of time (in a space) that occur within a stage. For example, Stage: Register for Healthcare by May 30th; Moment: Discuss with partner, consider best options for the family; Touchpoint: Look at a brochure from HR and pull up that email announcement.

Also, see, What is a Touchpoint?

First, what Touchpoint Mapping is not:

  1. Going Beyond Listing Touchpoints: Touchpoint mapping is more than a superficial list of touchpoints; it involves analyzing customer emotions, pain points, and motivations at each interaction.
  2. Ongoing Process, Not a One-Time Activity: Touchpoint mapping should be an ongoing process to adapt to changing customer needs and technological advancements. Just as a Service Blueprint stays updated, so does its Touchpoint inventory.
  3. Considering the Entire Customer-Employee Journey: It should not solely focus on individual touchpoints but also consider connections and transitions to understand the holistic journey. These Moments and their higher-level stages need to be considered for context.

Conducting the Touchpoint Mapping steps:

Step 1: Define the Scope and Objectives

Clearly define the scope of the touchpoint mapping exercise, deciding whether it covers the entire customer journey or a specific segment or service. Identify the objectives, such as improving customer satisfaction, streamlining the customer journey, or identifying pain points.

Clarification on the Service Design process: Before starting you have already conducted workshops to draft Business Models and Value proposition canvases.

Step 2: Assemble a Cross-Functional Team

Gather a diverse team from different organizational departments or roles, including marketing, customer service, design, product development, etc. Ensure that team members have a solid understanding of the service or product being mapped. Conduct a Stakeholder Mapping to identify who is relevant to influencing the product-service.

Step 3: Gather Data and Customer Insights

Collect data and insights related to each touchpoint through Ethnography and Service Safaris interviews, analytics, and observation. Understand customer emotions, pain points, and motivations at each touchpoint. Personas and Journey maps typically accompany Service Design efforts.

Step 4: Identify and List Moments

Moments are passages of time that occur in a channel (within a journey stage). A classic example of moment design is the problem of waiting (in a restaurant) or, in this case, airport dining (see timer basket below). One of the big fast food chains to implement this early on (late 90s) was Olive Garden. As customers waited on benches at the entrance, they would give customers a timer and a glass of wine (or two, on Friday nights), which filled the moment with conversation, wine, and a tab (hint: the alcohol costs as much as the food it seemed). Happy customer, waiting ignored, lines managed– and a bigger bill at the end of the night.

restaurant timer in service design

Map your moments in conjunction with touchpoints below. Keep reading for Touchpoint cards that can help structure this process.

Step 5: Identify and List Touchpoints

Discuss and document all the touchpoints where the customer interacts with the service or product, considering pre-purchase, during purchase, and post-purchase interactions. Include both direct and indirect touchpoints, encompassing physical, digital, and customer support channels.

Example touchpoint mapping for Frank Spillers’ UX Inner Circle Service Blueprinting workshop. It is based on mapping an energy savings (smart thermostat) product-service experience. The “Tech guy visit” is the moment, and the touchpoint is the recommndation of which thermostat to install.

touchpoint mapping for an energy service design study

Step 6: Organize the Touchpoints with cards

Create a visual representation of the touchpoints in chronological order or a journey map format. Use sticky notes or digital tools to map out the touchpoints on a board or software. A Touchpoint card (image below) can help you structure your documentation. It should have a Name, associated Channels and the Need or role it plays.

Touchpoint card for touchpoint mapping

Step 7: Analyze the Touchpoint Inventory

Analyze the touchpoint map to identify gaps, redundancies, or inconsistencies in the journey. Look for pain points or areas where the touchpoint experience can be improved.

Step 8: Prioritize Improvements

Prioritize the touchpoints or areas that require improvement based on their impact on the overall customer/employee experience and the feasibility of implementing changes.

Step 9: Ideate and Implement Solutions

Discuss potential solutions to address the identified issues at each touchpoint. Involve the cross-functional team in generating ideas and collaborate to implement the selected improvements. Once your touchpoint inventory is complete, you can move on to creating the Service Blueprint.

Step 10: Monitor and Iterate

Continuously monitor the impact of the implemented changes on the customer experience. Iterate and update the touchpoint map regularly to reflect any changes or new touchpoints that emerge.

Conclusion

By following these steps, your organization can create a comprehensive touchpoint map, providing valuable inputs for your Service Blueprint and enabling a more seamless and satisfying service experience.

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