How Are Customer Touch Points Changing?

Across customer touch points, companies face a connected mandate.

Time to read: 3 minutes

Customer touchpoints are the windows of interaction between an individual buyer and your business. This encompasses any exchange, whether in person or via digital means. Research in the “State of the Connected Customer” report shows how modern customers are looking for interactions that are connected and contextualized at every turn. From product recommendations to proactive service, customers expect touchpoints that are uniquely personalized across their journey.

For business teams accustomed to owning only one stage of the customer journey, it’s a tricky proposition. Customers judge companies based on their experience as a whole — not just interactions with individual departments — and they expect consistency.



of customers expect consistent interactions across departments

Source: "State of the Connected Customer," October 2020.
This can mean seamless touchpoints between departments, customized engagement based on earlier interactions, and other factors that make the customer experience more connected. Today’s customers seek contextualized experiences — meaning their engagement with a company reflects an understanding of past actions, product usage, and a myriad of other factors.

People expect to be able to engage across multiple touchpoints anytime and seamlessly transition between them. Companies need a full picture of what that journey looks like for any individual, and understand their pain points.”

Catharine Findiesen Hays | Co-Author, "Beyond Advertising: Creating Value Through All Customer Touchpoints"

Customer touchpoints shift as engagement goes digital

As customers spend more time at home with their devices, digital customer engagement has hit a tipping point. An estimated 42% of customer touchpoints were digital in 2019, but that figure rose to 60% in 2020 as stay-at-home orders drove customers out of stores and toward ecommerce.

In marketing, customers want personalized touchpoints

What experiences are customers looking for before they even make a purchase? A recent study found that personalized engagement based on an individual’s purchases and preferences is more desirable than the brandwide sales that have been a mainstay for years.

Which touchpoints should brands focus on when engaging customers in this personalized manner? Research shows that digital channels like social media, email, and video are among the best bets.

In sales and commerce, customers seek connected touchpoints

When it comes time to buy, today's customers expect more than knowledgeable salespeople and a quick and easy checkout. Increasingly drawn to ecommerce sites, they value product comparison tools and the ability to shop from their mobile devices. On top of it all, they want to move seamlessly between various digital and offline touchpoints, often browsing on one in the morning only to close the deal on another in the evening.


of customers have used multiple channels to start and complete a transaction



of customers have used multiple devices to start and complete a transaction

Source: "State of the Connected Customer," October 2020.

In customer service, customers value multichannel touchpoints

Customer service isn’t just a reactive cost center — it’s a core element of differentiated customer experience. To meet current standards, service must be quick, readily available anywhere, and even proactive.

Increasingly unfamiliar with the concept of waiting, customers are keen on self-service tools that empower them to find quick answers on their own: Just 17% of customers say they’re not interested in using self-service. When they do need more personalized help, they’re not apt to wait on hold, expecting instead to speak, type, or engage otherwise with an agent immediately.



of customers expect to engage with someone immediately when contacting a company — up from 78% in 2019

Source: "State of the Connected Customer," October 2020.

Across the journey, connected customer touchpoints are essential

Customers see one company, not separate departments, and expect connected engagement across their various touchpoints. Yet 54% of customers say it generally feels like sales, service, and marketing don't share information as customers navigate their paths to purchase. To create truly customer-centric experiences, it's vital that companies unite around those customers with a 360-degree shared view of customer touchpoints.


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