Trustpoints vs. Touchpoints?

touchpoints fish market example

August 12, 2022

I am sure you all remember my blog post about a $1000 toilet seat, but if you don’t, you can read it here.  

So onto what inspired me recently… and of course, it had to do with Sushi. 

As some of you may know, I have taught myself how to make sushi, sashimi, rolls, etc. I now look forward to treating my family to my newfound culinary “expertise” once or twice a month. So far the empty plates at the end of these meals tell me my practice is paying off! While I won’t bore you with the details of the knives, mastering rolling techniques, or finding the perfect soy sauce, I will share that an important part of my routine is buying fish directly from the local farmer’s market.

There are two fish vendors, one uses Square (Block) to take payments digitally and the other only takes cash or checks. I will let you guess as to whose stall is busier.  Obviously, the vendor that offers the convenience of Tap-2-Pay has a much longer line, whereas the cash/check vendor typically has many slow periods… I decided to observe what was happening and sure enough, many customers would come and look at his fish selection, get ready to buy, but then leave because he did not take credit cards.

Since I am contrarian, I just had to talk to him and find out more about his business. I noticed that he had a lot of signage about the quality and the source of his fish (wild vs. farmed etc.) and he kept repeating the fact that once I bought fish from him, he would become my trusted fish vendor, especially when he learned that I buy fish regularly.  Frustrated, I paid cash to see if he would live up to his promise. I have to admit, his fish was as good as promised! 

This got me thinking; this vendor had converted a “touchpoint” into a “trustpoint” and had now snagged me as a customer.  Now, all I had to do was convince him to open up the convenience axis of easier payments, so customers would defect to him.

So what exactly is a trustpoint you ask? 

Critical interactions are the foundation of building trust with customers. These interactions can be digital, physical, or in my fish market example, simply a conversation between two people. What they all have in common is that the interaction delivers on a promise, inherent or otherwise, to deliver the best experience possible, every time.  

I believe there is a lesson to be learned here: As a retailer, every interaction with customers is a touch point.  When you decide that every touch point should become a “trustpoint”, you can look at each interaction as a way of building loyal customers through exceptional interactions.  Even something as simple as paying with a credit card allows the customer to trust the transaction (and even allows the customer to dispute the transaction and get their money back.)  Customers trust their credit cards to protect them from being cheated.

Once you view the customer’s interactions in your dealership through the lens of trustpoints, every interaction is an opportunity to build loyalty.  From easily selecting an appointment time that is both available and accurate to sending high-quality photos and videos of a vehicle, each small interaction builds upon the next for the ultimate experience. At the fish market, it’s about selling the highest quality fish and making it easy to pay for it.

Most importantly, when you string together a series of trustpoints, you quickly leapfrog your competition by making a series of small interactions easier and creating a completely superior and unique experience.

“Take the time and look at every interaction between your employees and your customers and make sure you convert every touchpoint into a trustpoint!”

Ujj Nath, Chairman and CEO