By Berta Ventura, on 15 June 2021
Customer pain points are one of the most important things for a brand to investigate. People buy to solve a problem, increase their happiness, or both. Everyone has problems, questions, and issues that they would like to solve, so consumers turn to products and services to do that for them. As brands we need to put the customer first, and that means discovering, addressing, and preventing their pain points. Knowing pain points is also essential to creating an effective marketing plan.
Think about a travel cooler bag: at one point these didn’t exist and people needed a way to keep food and drinks cool while on the go.This was a major pain point for many travelers and commuters, which was solved by the invention of a cooler bag. Customer pain points can be significant or more subtle, like having to open a difficult package or navigate a checkout page, for example.
The key is to discover what your customer pain points are and be the best at easing them. Here we’ll cover what pain points are specifically, how to identify them and how to satisfy your customers’ needs.
What Are Customer Pain Points?
Customer pain points are any problem, whether concrete or perceived, that customers experience. These could be difficulties in some aspect of their life, questions they need answered or just a general lack of a satisfactory solution to a problem.
In some cases, customers don’t even realize they have a pain point. Here, it’s your job to spell it out for them and show why your product is the best solution. Here are some examples of customer pain points.
Financial Pain Points
Customers are frequently unhappy with how much they’re paying for products, subscriptions, membership fees, and renewals. They’re looking for less expensive providers and products that last longer and don’t need to be replaced so often. Customers are also pained by lack of transparency about pricing like hidden fees, sudden price hikes, etc.
Support Pain Points
When customers need help with problems or questions, they want a quick and definitive response. Unfortunately, many brands fail at this and leave a lot to be desired. If customers can’t easily find what they need on your website or from your support team then they’ll quickly take their business elsewhere. Some industries, like airlines, are notorious for bad service so by offering responsive support, a brand can quickly delight buyers.
Process Pain Points
Process pain points occur when customers have difficulty during the buying process. Any extra friction or work customers need to deal with in order to make a purchase could be a process pain point. It could be annoying pop ups, limited opening hours, cumbersome forms, or lack of payment options that frustrate customers.
Productivity Pain Points
People want convenience and efficiency, especially when it comes to making purchases or using a product. If your product promises increased productivity or presents itself as a more convenient solution people will be highly motivated to try it out. Our schedules are getting tighter and tighter so any increase in productivity is attractive for buyers.
How Can You Identify Customer Pain Points?
We’ve covered what customer pain points are and shared a few examples, but how do you know what your customers’ pain points are? You probably have a general idea of how your product or service helps people, yet there are likely motivators or detractors that you’re not clued in on. There are a few things you can do to dig deeper, and they all start with feedback.
Performing market research by asking customers or target audiences open ended questions is essential to discovering pain points. Surveys and polls are great at collecting data on customer likes and dislikes, but open ended questions allow customers to give context to their answers.
Similar to market research, another highly valuable method for identifying pain points is social listening. Social listening involves setting up alerts for when consumers mention your brand or industry keywords on social media platforms. This allows you to monitor buyer sentiment about your business, your competitors, and your industry as a whole. It’s an excellent way to keep your finger on the pulse of customer pain points.
Support Team Feedback
Your support and sales teams are interacting with customers day in and day out. They hear customer gripes and suggestions continuously, so who better to ask than your own team about customer pain points. Not only do they hear complaints but they can consider them in the context of the situation and how your business works—they get the whole picture.
How to Address Your Customers’ Pain Points
Addressing customer pain points is where it all comes together. How can you delight customers instead of frustrate them? If you’ve done your research it’s now just a matter of taking action and testing what works. Let’s explore a few ways to ease your customers’ pain.
Make Easy Fixes
To begin with, you can fix all of the small and quick issues that your customers deal with. Perhaps it’s a payment problem, no FAQ on your website, or lack of website support. Adding a new payment method, creating an FAQ section, and installing a chatbot are all very easily doable fixes you can make right away.
Increase Company Efficiency
Customers should come first. That means reducing wasted time in meetings and other administrative tasks that can be outsourced or simplified. Focus on solving your customers’ problems first and foremost.
Increase Communication Methods
Make it easy for customers to be in touch with you. There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to have your issue resolved because a brand obscures their contact info. This could mean taking an omnichannel marketing approach and being open to communications on WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Allow people to contact you from the channels they feel comfortable with.
Customers buy from brands they trust. If your processes or services are lacking, admit the problem, let customers know you’ve heard them, and then show how you’ve improved. This process is natural and lets customers know their feedback matters. You’re in a relationship with your customers so transparency and trust are paramount.
Customer pain points are key to creating great products and services. While you can address them and delight your customers, it’s important to remember that pain points aren’t static. Customer expectations and industry trends are continuously shifting and it’s your job to stay informed. That being said, a customer first approach based on integrity, efficiency, convenience, responsiveness, and understanding will always be in style.