What is a touchpoint inventory?

In the context of digital transformation, customer experience planning, and customer journey mapping, you may have heard of a touchpoint inventory. In this post we’ll explain what that is, how to use it, and what benefit you get from the exercise.

Definition: A touchpoint inventory is both the process and the result of gathering together all the customer touchpoints that make up a customer experience journey for all journeys and all customers that a business has.

Here we use the term “customer” loosely, as not all organizations have customers. Some have stakeholders or taxpayers for instance, but here you can insert those in place of customer. Also, an organization can plan experience journeys for internal customers, like employees that going through onboarding and a lifecycle, or internal customers for specific reports.

The key benefits of a touchpoint inventory are:

  • Organization: To understand how to impact and improve all the experience touchpoints in your business, you first need to collect them and have them at hand. A touchpoint inventory provides the mechanism to do this, putting them all together in a way that can be easily accessed and utilized, making sure nothing is forgotten about, lost or misplaced. 
  • Clarity: Creating and conducting a touchpoint inventory puts the organization in a touchpoint or customer experience journey mindset and creates clarity around what the touchpoints are and how they connect. Visual cues that are used for touchpoints, particularly as part of customer journey management software creates shared understanding and transparency around touchpoints and the journeys they make up. 
  • Alignment: With this shared understanding comes alignment between teams and roles. While this becomes more apparent through customer journey experience maps that are created with these touchpoints, the act of touchpoint gathering and brainstorming starts the understanding. It gets teams on the same page as to what touchpoints represents, who is responsible for what, what’s involved at each touchpoint, and how different touchpoints connect. 
  • Re-use: The great thing about having a touchpoint inventory, especially when it is created and stored in touchpoint inventory software is that the touchpoints can be easily re-used again and again for different maps and purposes. There is still value in the sticky notes and big boards, but translate those into digital versions to make them useful in your daily work and across different teams, timezones and geographies for greater collaboration. 
  • Framework: A touchpoint inventory, and the strategic activities you can conduct with them, provide a framework for getting teams thinking about touchpoints and their properties, how they connect into larger customer journey experiences, and how those experiences can be improved to create competitive advantage at each touchpoint and across the system as a whole. 

How you conduct a touchpoint inventory:

We discuss this in more detail in the post on how to gather a touchpoint inventory. In short, you conduct a touchpoint inventory by finding the right interface for collecting the touchpoints and then you make a comprehensive list and connect the points to each other and other elements such as teams and technologies.  

Do you want to get started building your touchpoint inventory? Sign-up for a 30-day free trial today and get a guided tour on your first demo call.

How to gather a touchpoint inventory

When seeking to create competitive advantage through great customer experiences, it pays to engage in customer journey mapping. Before you can do that though, you first need to gather your touchpoints. In this post, we’ll examine how to go about gathering an inventory of those touchpoints and how you can use software to make the process more efficient and effective.

Step 1: Set-up the interface for brainstorming touchpoints.

In traditional customer journey mapping, you typically start with a large piece of paper or a wall and fill it with touchpoints using sticky-notes. In fact, you can also do this as a first step and then use it as a basis for entering it into a digital interface. Or you can skip that and go directly to software. One advantage of going directly to software is that you can access pre-built templates for mapping those touchpoints onto and an existing list of touchpoint examples that you can configure to suit your needs.

Why you do it: The right interface helps you brainstorm a comprehensive list of touchpoints.

Step 2: Brainstorm and select your touchpoints.

Once you have your interface, you use it to visually compile a list of all the touchpoints that happen in your business. If you want to expand touchpoints beyond customer-facing touchpoints, such as internal employee-facing touchpoints, you could do that as well or make that part of a different touchpoint inventory list. In the software interface, it is easy to add new touchpoints, and/or clone existing ones to configure them to represent a new touchpoint that you need.

Why you do it: A comprehensive set of touchpoints helps create better customer journey maps.

Step 3: Connect your touchpoints to each other and other elements

Using the touchpoint connection interface, make connections between touchpoints and with other elements such as teams and technologies and these connections will then automatically appear when you are plotting them on a customer journey map.

Why you do it: Through connecting the dots of the customer journey you gain a richer understanding of how to create competitive advantage at each possible touchpoint.

Now that you have it you can use it map your customer journey experiences according to touchpoints and elements that connect to them. Sign-up of for a free 30-day trial today to get started breaking down siloes and creating more aligned customer journey experiences.