Everyone talks about creating a great customer experience, but few people really deliver one that’s special in any way. Creating an exceptional customer experience is pretty simple really – you only need to do one thing – pay attention.

Customer Touchpoint Map

Click to Download Map Form

Okay, I know you want more than that so I’ll expand on this thought and then break it back down again.

We lose customers and erode what could be a great customer experience when we fail to pay attention to every possible way that our business comes into contact with a customer, or for that matter, a prospect.

Everyone works in the marketing department

No matter what department bumps into a customer in the name of your business that department is performing a marketing and overall customer experience function.

So you see Stan from Accounting is equally capable of creating or ruining a great customer experience as Sandy from Customer Service, but I wonder how often you pay attention to that fact.

There’s plenty of evidence out there to suggest that our perceived experience with a company is often formed by our last contact, not the first impression, put on your Sunday best, marketing contact we’ve had.

Map the touchpoints

One of the most potent tools you can create for your business is something I call a Customer TouchPoint Map. (Click to download sample map form) The idea behind this tool is to use it to chart every way your business comes into, or should come into, contact with a customer and then set out to make sure that each touchpoint is designed to create a better customer experience. (This dovetails nicely with our Marketing Hourglass)

See, we’ve been trained to think that the marketing department is the only place where marketing messages, brand flourishes and little things matter.

One of the most effective marketing things the Natural Running Store did for me as a customer is slip a handwritten note and some samples from strategic partners into the box of running shoes I purchased recently.

What if your invoices had humorous quotes related to how super-excited you were to present them with this representation of the value delivered in every order? What if you delivered products on a bike?

What if you made it a point to follow-up with every customer using a simple tool that made it easy for them to vote on how good of a job you did? What if your CEO wrote hand-written notes of thanks?

What if you sent timely messages with videos educating customers on how to use or get more from their purchase? What if you included more than they expected?

What if you sent them flowers just because? What if your phone hold message wasn’t painful to listen too? What if you wrapped your shipments in works from local artists? What if . . .

All of the things mentioned above are examples of touches that could enhance your customer experience and get people talking, but it’s the collective focus on the entire map that really pays off.

It’s not really that hard, map it out – pay attention to how your business comes into contact with customers and make every touchpoint, with every department, thoughtful and downright enjoyable.

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • genialjoe

    Hi John, I just recently subscribed to your blog. I love the practical tips 🙂 In my experience generally speaking there is a lot of room for improvement in customer service. If companies just got the basics right and did 1 or 2 of these things it would make a big difference.

    • I think part of the issue is we only think of customer service as something when a customer needs help or has an issue – this expanded view suggests customer experience is everything.

  • Great points! I just read a blog post yesterday talking about a similar issue. Where the company created excellent marketing materials but lacked follow through when customers came to them as a result of those materials. 

    You can see the story here: http://soupbases.com/?p=670 – Great Marketing – Bad Results

  • MD

    Most businesses are worried about getting the next customer than increasing the existing customer experience.

    • MD..I agree my friend..people should focus in what they have now and making that better versus seeking new money as I say.

      “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • miriamgomberg

    You raise some good points here. So often companies only consider the actual purchase in the customer experience when in reality, everyone who touches him enhances or diminishes the overall feeling. Nice post! Miriam

  • Hi John,

    Every member of an organization is a marketer. When you touch a customer, they person forms an instant opinion of your organization based on their experience.

    Work of mouth marketing is THE form of marketing we all seek, for an endorsement from a friend or trusted individual is golden.

    Thanks for sharing your insight.


  • John, Companies need to have an enchantment department, a team who’s sole purpose is to work with departments in implementing these types of ideas. 

    I think the big question is how do you convince management above you that this is how it should be done? Any suggestions or strategies you’ve learned?

    • Boy, Doug I agree with that – it would be awesome – my take is to convince most people of something you want to propose a small test and get some tangible wins and then move it up to the place where you can engage in a larger discussion.

      • I like it, you have to start somewhere. Thanks for the advice. 

  • The key is really to understand your customer. Deliver on what is being promised.

  • I give my customers multiple ways to pay and also have a concise sales funnel for them to go through

    • Mind describing your sales process here?

  • We do customer service to eBay and Amazon stores and we take lot of care to be more customer centric so that they come back for more…

  • Thanks for this good reminder John.  
    In the service biz we say that you start saving a customer from quitting with the first impression you make.  You pretty much get 3 strikes (IF YOUR LUCKY) and YOUR OUT!  And a strike can be from any dept. or interaction, that my customer has with my company.  They count the strikes, like it or not. 
    Think about what you will do for a customer that is talking about quitting your service, and then do those things for your next new customer BEFORE it they have any issues.
    Thx, Steve
    p.s. I have to tell you John, it’s not much of a “Map”.  I’m just keepin’ it real!

    • Steve – you make it a map – just trying to give you a guide – strikes can be very subtle things as well.

  • Many people would always think that it is the customer service department that is responsible for the customers. But the truth is that, every department also has the responsibility for customers. I love this customer touchpoint map idea. Thanks for sharing that one out. 

    • You bet – hope you come back and tell me how it worked after you used it.

  • The customer’s experience is reflected in  the impact the company has on the customer throughout the whole process of interaction, even after the service is provided (and especially then). The map is really indicative on the matter.


  • Many companies are ditching customer service and taking customers for granted. I think everyone should be re-educated on the benefits of a good customer experience. Your first impression is crucial, no matter what department you reach out from. It may not run customers off immediately, but it certainly won’t establish a relationship. 

  • Hmmm…  let me see if I understand….

    1. Find every Touch Point.
    2. Make each one Better.

    Thanks for simplifying it, John.  Do you mind if I forward this post to all of my vendors??!

    Best regards,
    Jim Watson

    • Yes share with your vendors Jim, but don’t tell everyone how simple it is or they won’t need to hire me anymore 🙂