Use these 6 steps to measure your customer touch point effectiveness: 

Step 1: Inventory Your Touch points

To measure the effectiveness of your touch points, you first need to inventory all the touch points your customers encounter throughout their entire life cycle.

An easy way to start is to create an Excel file that contains these six columns:

  1. Touch point
  2. Operational purpose
  3. Role in customer experience
  4. Life cycle stage
  5. Touch point owner
  6. Importance/impact

Note: If you haven’t named the stages of the customer life cycle, you should do so. For example, you might have stages similar to this:

  1. Investigation/contact
  2. Interaction/connection
  3. Education/conversation
  4. Evaluation/consideration
  5. Selection/customer
  6. Advocate/community

Your touch points need to include every encounter in the attraction process (such as your website, published content, press coverage, social media, and advertisements), through the sales process (such as whitepapers, customer testimonials, samples, product literature, and sales presentations to your prospects), through the delivery and service processes (such as invoices and trouble tickets), and finally through your retention process (such as your account management, referral program, and customer advisory boards).

If you’re like most companies, you’ll come up with a fairly long list of encounters.

Step 2: Every touch has a purpose

Transfer all your touch points to individual Post-it notes.

For each touch point, indicate its operational purpose and its role in the customer experience. On the operational side, a touch point may be designed to identify a prospect, resolve a problem, accelerate conversion, or support executing a transaction; on the customer experience side, a role of a touch point might be to influence perception, build preference, or create loyalty.

This work is often done best in a facilitated working session that includes people from functions that “touch” the customer, as well as some customers.

Together, organize all the Post-it notes on a wall in the order they are most likely experienced. The goal is to group together all the touch points associated with a specific phase in the customer life cycle.

Then transfer that information to the first four columns in your touch point spreadsheet.

Step 3: Identify ownership

Who owns the touch point? Use the working session as an opportunity to clarify touch point ownership.

For example, appointment scheduling may be owned by Pre-Sales, invoicing by Accounting, troubleshooting by Support, demos by Product, and webinars by Marketing.

Indicate the primary owner (column 5) for each touch point in your spreadsheet.

Step 4: Rate the touch point’s impact

Since not all touches are equal, it’s important to understand the individual impact of each interaction.

Even some touches that appear similar do not carry the same weight. For example, a mix-up in a coffee delivery might be irritating but not damaging if rectified quickly. A mix-up in the delivery of medication, however, may be enough to lose the customer.

Score the impact of each touch point on the experience using a 1-10 scale, with 1 being “doesn’t have a high impact on the experience” and 10 being “has a very high impact on the experience.” Avoid guessing. Consider including members of your customer advisory board in the process. If necessary, conduct some customer research.

Add the information that results from this step to column six.

customer touch points effectivenessStep 5: Assess the effectiveness of critical touch points

Ah, the value of the sort feature in Excel! Sort your touch points by the impact column. Initially focus on touch points with a score of 8 or higher.

Add two more columns to your spreadsheet (your spreadsheet now has 8 columns) with these labels:

  1. Operational effectiveness
  2. Customer experience effectiveness

Then using the same scale of 1-10, with 1 as “extremely ineffective” and 10 as “extremely effective,” evaluate each touch point that earned an 8 or more on its ability to positively impact operational effectiveness and customer experience. (If you’re up to it, do this for all the touch points.)

Step 6: Analyze what is and isn’t working

You’re almost finished. Create a 2×2 grid, with one axis labeled “operational effectiveness” and the other labeled “customer experience,” and map each touch point with an 8 or higher onto the grid.

Each touch point will fall into one of four quadrants on the grid—high operational effectiveness/high customer experience, low operational/low customer experience, high operational/low customer experience, low operational/high customer experience.

The mapping will allow you visualize whether and where there are weak links in the overall experience. Indicate the quadrant for each touch point back on your map.

So what now?

For each touch point you now have three pieces of data:

  1. An impact/importance score
  2. An effectiveness score
  3. A point on the grid

For those touch points that were in the low/low quadrant of the grid that have a rating of 8 or higher for importance develop, prepare and implement a corrective action plan.