At Dana, we have long been passionate advocates of brand touchpoints—the places where your brand comes in direct contact with your customer—to create a holistic experience at every phase in their journey. Touchpoint planning is about connecting the dots and designing a strong brand identity.
For hospitality brands, this exercise has our team comb through a checklist of hundreds of individual touchpoints—from the sense of arrival at the front door to interactions with front desk staff and beyond—all the way down to details as (seemingly) minuscule as cocktail napkins at the bar.
Of course, not all touchpoints are the same, nor do they have equal value. Some touchpoints happen almost all at once, requiring greater continuity than those that exist separately. Some touchpoints occur regularly, which implies a kind of rhythm, while others are ad hoc, providing a little splash or surprise. Some touchpoints may create a subtle impression, while others directly influence a customer’s buying decision.
One thing all touchpoints have in common right now? They need to be reexamined—and some will need to be reimagined as brand touchless points to boost customer confidence in their safety and well-being while on your property.
As a hospitality brand, you are in the business of making people feel welcomed and comfortable. Having spent months social distancing, many hotel guests will now be wary or even outright fearful of close personal contact with your staff and other guests. To help illustrate how to convert brand touchpoints into brand touchless points, let’s walk through the first couple hours of a typical guest experience:
It’s early evening. Joe Guest parks his car, removes his bags from the trunk and approaches your property. He acknowledges your hotel sign (touchpoint) or possibly even a brand flag (touchpoint) before wiping his shoes on a logoed walk-off mat (touchpoint). So far, so good.
Next, we come to some potential complications. At a luxury resort, bell service would ordinarily offer to take Mr. Guest’s bags and another team member would hold the door open for him. These properties must now consider procedural changes to minimize person-to-person contact while still offering a level of service their upscale guests have come to expect.
We encounter similar challenges during front desk interactions. Rather than registering Mr. Guest face-to-face with exchanges of a credit card, paperwork signed with a logo-imprinted pen (touchpoint) and an electronic key packet (touchpoint), offering options to check-in through a branded digital app or at a self-service kiosk convert this transaction into a touchless point.
Now Mr. Guest has arrived in his room. The TV displays a personalized welcome message (touchpoint) or a property video (touchpoint)—all wonderful. But the branded binder (touchpoint), a longtime staple of guestrooms that communicates where to eat, when the fitness center is open, how to get to the pool and what services are available in the spa may now be viewed with trepidation. Your website—your brand’s hardest working touchless point—is an excellent resource for all of this information. Consider creative ways to direct guests to access your site (or your proprietary app) for the essential details they’re seeking, conveniently at their fingertips.
Tired and hungry from his long drive, Mr. Guest decides to order room service before turning in early. He views the menu online (touchless point) and places his order digitally (touchless point). Next step? Properties must evaluate room service operations to ensure contactless delivery of meals that still make guests feel they’re being well cared for.
Fast forward beyond the first couple hours of Mr. Guest’s stay and you can imagine how many additional touchpoints need to be reassessed—from restaurant menus to shopping bags to dozens of details across other on-property assets.
As you audit each opportunity where your brand comes into contact with your customer, carefully considering which moments can remain touchpoints and which should be reinvented as touchless points, keep your focus on the primary objective of the exercise—gaining customer engagement and, ultimately, brand championship.
To learn more about how to rethink your brand’s touchpoints as touchless points, reach out to Lynn Kaniper at 609.466.9187 ext. 117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.