The Origin of Winning, Part II


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Touchpoint Redefined

Touchpoint is every point of interaction, internal and external, seen and unseen. Although touchpoint is countless, it can be grouped under three categories: People (P), Information (I) and Deliverables (D). Why three, but neither less nor more? There is a natural relationship among people, information, and deliverables: people produce/hire deliverables based on information available.

Of the three core touchpoints, people are always the most important, but only if they have the right attitude. While positive attitude alone won’t guarantee positive touchpoint experience, the absence of one will almost certainly turn every positive touchpoint experience into negative. When touchpoint experience is negative, it becomes difficult to turn everything downside up. Positive attitude is about WATER: water gives life to everything yet does not ask anything in return.

People make informed decisions based on relevant information, the lifeblood. Without it, there would be no touchpoint. When there is no touchpoint, there would be no deliverables. Although information is the enabler of competitive advantage, information overload becomes an impediment to producing deliverables. Too much information is just as bad as too little. Too many creates confusion, and too little hinders progress.

Deliverables are the end results. Deliverables without value deliver negative deliverables experience. Value is not about what the deliverables do but what they offer, which means value is only defined by people who hire the deliverables. Positive deliverables experience extends touchpoint chain.

Touchpoint is in the eye of the beholder. No touchpoint is more significant than others. It all depends on which touchpoint matters most to people who do the hiring.

In Overpromise and Overdeliver, Rick Barrera mentions three types of touchpoint: Human, System and Product. Barrera’s touchpoint system is external-focus, and may not be able to apply to internal business settings. Since touchpoint is defined as every point of interaction, the touchpoint system should not only be external-focus but also internal-focus. Customer-centric initiative is necessary, but it should not be achieved without balancing internal experience.

In Service-Profit Chain, Heskett points out that “successful CEOs spend a great deal of time with customers and employees, experiencing their companies’ service processes while listening to employees for suggestions for improvement.” There is a direct relationship between internal quality and external result. The stronger the internal quality, the better the external result.

Balance, as in yin-yang, is the key to stability. With stability comes success. Without comes chaos. Chaos brings inefficiency, damages efforts, and eventually results in negative touchpoint experience.

In internal organization, people refer to staff, managers, and leaders. Deliverables are produced by informed people. People get informed through different communication channels. Effective communication should be 360-degree, meaning the communication flow should be top-down, side-side, and bottom-up. Since information directly affects execution quality, information collected should be relevant to producing the right deliverables which suit market needs. Information should be market-driven, as information serving only internal needs is junk. Without specific information, deliverables produced will be irrelevant to both internal and external needs. Lose-lose is the usual outcome.

In external market, people refer to customers, suppliers and competitors. Customers hire deliverables based on information made available to them through different communication channels. Information may not serve any purpose when there is no market need, however, it
has to be at least made available to facilitate hiring decision once need is being created.

The more the touchpoint, the deeper the relationship; or else, out of sight, out of mind. Relationship is positive if experience throughout touchpoint chain is positive; or else, negative.

Daryl Choy
Daryl Choy has worked with companies of various sizes, from multinational corporations to small and medium enterprises in a wide variety of industries. His responsibilities have ranged from sales and marketing to system development and human resources.


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