Pain points are critical brand touchpoints a customer encounters along his customer journey. Every badly managed touchpoint that is not designed in keeping with the brand leaves the customer with a negative experience – so it is a pain point. If there are too many badly managed touchpoints along a customer journey, the overall customer experience turns negative.
For example, if the online ordering process of a product is too complicated or not smart phone compatible, the brand touchpoint "order process" becomes a pain point that negatively impacts the customer's decision. The customer might turn away and go to the competitor Amazon – where the order process works with one click.
Pain points exist not only in direct customer contact, but off stage as well: Buying decisions are often negatively impacted by negative reviews from other buyers posted on portals, or when a good friend does not recommend the brand. When a buying decision is negative, all pain points are essential. The building of a customer journey must therefore focus on identifying these pain points and optimizing them to become "gain points".
Once all pain points are identified and checked against the brand rules, the first optimization ideas for better brand embedding can be generated.
A positive customer experience only results when the brand, its core values, and its positioning can be experienced at all touchpoints. Such gain points create enthusiasm and turn customers into fans.