B2B Customer Journey Touchpoints: A Guide for CS Teams
B2B customer journey touchpoints mark the roadmap toward successful outcomes for clients and CS teams. By charting the points in your SaaS customers’ journeys, you can plan how to deliver clients’ desired outcomes and satisfying experiences that promote subscription renewals and higher revenue. In this way, customer journey B2B touchpoints serve as a powerful tool for increasing the effectiveness of your customer success strategy.
In this article, we’ll cover what you need to know about B2B customer journey touchpoints and how to plan them out to deliver tremendous customer success. First, we’ll look at what customer journey B2B touchpoints are and which ones are most critical in the B2B customer journey. Then, we’ll consider why B2B touchpoints are useful for customer success teams and why mapping them out is such a powerful strategy. Finally, we’ll offer some guidelines on how to structure your B2B customer journey map around key touchpoints and how to use technology to automate an effective touchpoint management strategy.
What Are B2B Customer Journey Touchpoints?
B2B customer journey touchpoints are occasions when business customers interact with a brand. For example, a website visit, an online sales purchase and a phone support call are all potential customer journey B2B touchpoints. Touchpoints also include occasions when clients interact with your software app in a SaaS context.
Touchpoints can be categorized in terms of:
- Where they occur in a customer’s lifecycle
- Which business functions or departments are involved in the interaction
- What functions the interaction serves
- What type of medium is used
Let’s break down how customer journey touchpoints fall into each category.
B2B Customer Journey Touchpoints and the Customer Lifecycle
In terms of the customer lifecycle, touchpoints may occur at any point during an interaction with your brand, including:
- Pre-sales, starting with a prospect’s first marketing touch
- During the sales process, including sales appointment scheduling, meetings and payment processes
- Post-sales interactions, starting with the customer’s onboarding experience and continuing throughout their relationship with your brand
Thus, customer journey touchpoints may occur anywhere in the marketing, sales and support processes.
B2B Customer Journey Touchpoints and Your Team
These touchpoints may involve multiple functions of your company, including:
- Customer service
- Customer success
- Tech support
Any outward-facing part of your company may play a role in managing touchpoint interactions.
B2B Customer Journey Touchpoint Functionality
Touchpoint interactions may serve a variety of functions, such as:
- Inviting a customer to visit your website
- Persuading a customer to try your freemium app
- Extending an offer to upgrade to your premium app
- Guiding customers through onboarding
- Providing tutorial tips to answer customer questions and encourage greater product adoption
- Delivering customer support
- Resolving customer escalations or problems
- Administering customer satisfaction surveys
- Reminding customers to renew subscriptions
- Making upsell offers
- Offering incentives for referrals
These are some of the most outstanding touchpoints relevant to SaaS business models. Others may apply for specific markets and products.
B2B Customer Journey Touchpoint Mediums
Touchpoints may involve any medium you use to interact with customers, including:
- Search engine marketing
- PPC ads
- Social media posts and ads
- Video content and ads
- Blog content
- Live chat and chatbots
- Video chat
- White papers
- Phone calls
- Sales checkout carts
- FAQ guides
- Customer Success Communities
- Support forums
In short, B2B customer journey touchpoints may involve any stage of your customer’s journey with your brand, any outward-facing business process where you interact with customers, any function of your interactions with customers, and any medium you use to connect with customers, digital or otherwise.
8 Types of Customer Journey Touchpoints for B2B SaaS Clients
Because B2B customer journey touchpoints can occur anywhere in your customer’s lifecycle, the opportunity for potential touchpoints is expansive. Generally speaking, SaaS business touchpoints can be organized into eight main categories based on the main stages in your customer journey:
- Expansion and growth
- Loyalty and advocacy
The awareness stage corresponds to the early stages of the marketing process, where the customer becomes aware of your brand. This may occur through encountering your brand or product through a search engine result, a search engine ad, a social media post, a video, a review on a technology website, word-of-mouth or other means. Each time a prospect comes across your brand or product, it increases their awareness. It may require multiple marketing touches before their awareness grows enough to move on to the next stage.
Consideration begins when a customer becomes interested enough in your product to consider becoming a buyer. This moves them from the status of the prospect to a qualified lead. It typically results in them visiting your website or downloading your freemium app.
Conversion occurs when a lead in the consideration stage makes a purchasing decision. If they’re already using your freemium product, this may consist of an upgrade to premium. Some leads may convert to premium users immediately without going through the freemium stage.
Onboarding transitions a new customer to an active user of your product by guiding them through the steps they need to start using your software. This may involve activating an account, setting up a username and password, completing a profile, getting oriented within your navigational menu or learning to use your product’s basic features. At the end of the onboarding stage, the customer is ready to begin making practical use of their product.
Adoption occurs as onboarded customers increase usage of your product. This may involve logging in more frequently, spending long periods of time using your product, learning new features or integrating your product into their daily workflow. Adoption may occur on the customer’s initiative or be prompted by proactive client engagement strategies such as in-app messages and email links to tutorials. When adoption activity is low, there is a risk that the customer’s journey with your brand may end in this phase if proactive intervention is not taken.
Renewal involves the period leading up to and including a customer’s decision to renew their subscription or license. During this period, customer interactions may include reminders of upcoming renewal deadlines, emailing of renewal offers and automatic processing of credit card data. As renewal approaches, a customer satisfaction survey may be emailed to the customer or solicited via in-app messages to assess a customer’s propensity to renew. If a customer fails to renew, their customer journey ends in this phase, at least for now. However, your marketing and sales department may pursue retention policies to win back lost accounts.
7. Expansion and Growth
Expansion and growth occur as a customer adopts advanced product features and branches out into your other product and service lines. In this phase, the customer’s value from your SaaS product increases, and their customer lifetime value increases accordingly. It is also possible that an upset customer may downgrade, creating a situation your CS team may attempt to remedy.
8. Loyalty and Advocacy
Loyalty and advocacy occur as a satisfied customer becomes an enthusiastic advocate of your brand and refers your product to others. This may happen on their initiative, or it may be encouraged through incentive offers and rewards programs.
Key Touchpoints within the SaaS Customer Journey
Within each of these stages, there may be multiple customer journey touchpoints. Some of the critical touchpoints for SaaS brands include:
- A prospect’s decision to start using your freemium product
- A freemium user’s decision to upgrade
- The new premium user’s completion of the onboarding process
- A user who wants to integrate your platform with another solution
- Daily usage of your app
- Initial adoption of specific product features
- Customer support events
- Quarterly business reviews
- Customer satisfaction surveys
- Subscription renewals
- Product upgrades
- Upsell offers
Specific touchpoints will vary with the nature of your product and the details of your marketing, sales, and support processes.
The Value of Mapping B2B Customer Journey Touchpoints
Being aware of your customer journey B2B touchpoints allows you to create a map of key touchpoints and what type of outcome a customer should be experiencing at each one. This provides multiple benefits for your customers and your brand:
- Mapping customer touchpoints lets you create standard operating procedures for each step, including what to do when something goes wrong, allowing you to optimize your customers’ experience
- Standardizing touchpoint procedures positions you to leverage technology to automate workflows supporting each touchpoint
- Standardizing and automating touchpoint workflows help you define key performance indicators (KPIs), which can be used to monitor and measure the quality of your customer’s experience at each touchpoint
- Monitoring of performance lets you make adjustments and improvements to optimize your customers’ experience at each touchpoint
- Improved experiences deliver better outcomes for customers and higher satisfaction
- Greater customer satisfaction promotes a higher rate of subscription renewal, adoption, customer retention and referrals while reducing customer churn
Together, these benefits tend to promote better touchpoint outcomes and experiences for your customers, delivering greater value for your customers, which translates into higher customer lifetime value revenue for your company.
How to Map Your Customer Journey B2B Touchpoints
You can use customer journey mapping to lay out your touchpoints by following a few simple steps:
- Start with a general outline of the main stages of your customer journey as discussed above (awareness, consideration, conversion, onboarding, etc.)
- Within each stage (or whichever stage you wish to optimize), list the different ways your customers interact with your brand or product
- After listing your touchpoints, identify those that represent the highest priority to address first to improve customer experience and increase revenue
- For each priority touchpoint, develop best practices that represent what the customer should ideally experience to achieve a satisfying outcome, as well as possible impediments that can arise and how your team can resolve these
- For each touchpoint, identify which KPIs you can use to set goals and benchmarks, measure outcomes, and evaluate the performance
- Use your customer success platform to automate KPI monitoring and triggering of workflows that optimize the customer experience at each touchpoint
Totango’s customer success platform can help you implement these steps. The platform includes modules called SuccessBLOCs, that break the larger customer journey into smaller journeys focused on a specific stage or challenge. Totango’s SuccessBLOCs have built-in KPIs and scripts to automatically or manually trigger optimized workflows, called SuccessPlays, appropriate to what the KPI data indicates for a particular customer. This allows you to personalize and optimize the touchpoint experience for individual customers or segments of your customer base, driving higher satisfaction.
Use B2B Customer Journey Touchpoints to Chart Your Map to CS Success
Customer journey touchpoints represent events where clients interact with your SaaS brand and product. Using a customer journey map to chart your touchpoints enables you to develop standard operating procedures that can be automated to optimize client experiences throughout their interactions with your brand. This helps your customer success team deliver more satisfying outcomes that increase client retention and lifetime value, benefiting both your customer and your company.
Totango’s customer success platform includes built-in tools to help you set up automated KPI monitoring and workflows to optimize touchpoint interaction throughout your customers’ journey. Start for free today to start harnessing customer touchpoint mapping for better customer outcomes and higher SaaS revenue.