The Customer Journey, Part 1: Identify

“But I would walk 500 miles. And I would walk 500 more. Just to be the brand that walks a thousand miles to be delivered at your door.” – The Proclaimers (kind of)

Your customer’s journey may not take a thousand miles, but their journey is unique to them. Whether they are an old customer returning to your brand or a new one experiencing your brand for the first time, each touchpoint propels them further along in that journey. Understanding where your customer is in their process—and the next steps they might take—enables you to offer them a more personalized experience that centers their needs and encourages action.

The first step in the customer journey is one that the brand is not necessarily involved in, known as identification. During the identification stage, the customer becomes aware of pain points or needs in their life, realizing they are either lacking a provider for a product or service to satisfy these pain points, or they are unhappy with the ones they have.

Customers may become aware of such pain points in several different ways. If they already have a brand providing the product or service, the pain points may arise as the honeymoon stage with the current brand ends. As with any relationship, after the initial excitement fades and the customer becomes aware of flaws, they might feel ready for a change. On the other hand, if the customer does not already have a brand providing the product or service, they may become aware of pain points through digital advertisements, social media, billboards or a variety of other means.

No matter how the customer discovers their pain points, the result is the same: They begin to look for solutions. And that is where your brand comes in. Throughout the customer journey series, we will lay out how customers travel from discovering a pain point to becoming a loyal brand advocate–and what you can do to engage each step of the way–creating a positive customer experience and elevating the customer-client relationship.

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