Deborah Wilson is a freelance copywriter, a technology aficionado, and a digital nomad. She loves connecting businesses to audiences by explaining complicated topics in plain language.
In its most basic form, a pain point is any of the problems that an existing or a potential customer faces and wants to be resolved to experience a smooth journey. Depending on the niche and business model, customers might stumble across various pain points that require individual thought-through solutions.
Although some problems seem to have been revealed and researched long ago, companies can’t simply scale up previous successful results. For example, B2B customers often aim to reduce expenditure or receive more profound support. Are these challenges new? No, they are ever-green. Ensuring a smooth customer journey throughout requires constant research and creativity. However, efforts pay off.
Making the buying journey of customers delightful is the best way to build a company’s reputation and brand credibility. Revealing customer’s pain points and addressing them through customisation and personalisation is a major part of this process. Be transparent about your strategy to let them know that you are working on their issues.
A classic example of a pain point
By definition, a customer pain point is a specific problem that a customer or lead experiences along their customer journey. As a business, your job is to successfully identify those pain points and offer your product or service as a solution to the problem.
Let’s consider the classic situation: a company decided to try the product you’re promoting. However, at some point, it struggles to complete the payment, for example. If your support team doesn’t react fast enough to the problem, the customer is likely to give up on buying the product. It is difficult to make them come back. No matter how beneficial your offer can become, the cumbersome payment process and the lack of live support (chatbots would rather annoy people than help them) will cast a shadow on it.
Even the most sophisticated software may have some flaws. If your customer support team reacts to the problem in a timely and polite manner, customers will appreciate that and keep using the product.
The first aid kit for tackling most customers’ pain points includes the following steps:
- Try to contact the customer to find out the cause of their frustration. If they share their phone number, call them directly.
- Address the issue if you can with instant solutions. This will show them that you care and work with a positive approach towards your customers.
- Be mindful of the fact that your customers get thousands of emails daily, and they might be actively looking for how to stop getting spam emails and keep systems safe. Make sure your email does not end up in a spam folder.
Try starting the subject line with a greeting and the first name, followed by a sentence with a few characters to state your intention. You can also mention the name of your company or the items that the customer was trying to purchase from your website to personalise the email.
Personalising your email from the first line goes a long way in building a successful customer partnership. Take a personal approach from the first sentence. It will help increase the email open rate and make customers trust you more.
Why determine and address pain points?
Detecting customers’ pain points can help improve products and services. This process makes businesses closer to the world of their customers. It provided companies with lots of insights into how people perceive their products, and what they feel interacting with them.
Customers become more loyal when they see how companies make efforts to become better and offer people viable solutions. Apart from this reputation boost, businesses also spare money on research. If you encourage your audience to share their experience of using the product, you get valuable knowledge for further development.
Types of pain points
We briefly touch upon the subject of how to identify your customer’s pain points and classify them. Let’s move to some practical guidelines, although they are not comprehensive. The practical solutions offered can fetch you some results if done consistently. Getting to understand the pain points requires you to be in customers’ shoes and think creatively. We cluster the pain points and dive into each category.
1. Productivity pain points
Productivity pain point encompasses all customer-related issues from the time of product discovery to the time of its abandonment. These customers want solutions to their problems in easy steps in the shortest steps possible. Therefore, eliminate all redundancies from the buying process.
- Show them how your product can be utilised to optimise their productivity by saving time.
- Give them a positive experience with your product by making your product the most comfortable to use.
- Make your products accessible where the customers want them the most. Usually, they will not mind paying extra if it means added convenience.
2. Support pain points
Support pain areas are points where your customers need help during the customer journey throughout the buying process. If they are struggling to find the answers because of your faulty website or your unresponsiveness, they will be frustrated. Lack of support during critical stages can hurt your brand.
- Reposition your solution to alleviate the problem part and tailor your product with a rebranded message.
- Realign your marketing practices to address the pain points during the customer’s pre-buying journey process.
- Give them periodic reassurances that somebody is working on their problems, and give them an approximate time when you would get back to them.
3. Financial pain points
It is painful for customers to know that they are spending way too much money on your products when they want to cut their costs. Financial pains are the problems they face when it involves money. If your expensive product does not come with added value, customers can become very disappointed.
- Lower subscription plans and membership fees if it is relevant to your business. You can also provide extra something with your product pro bono.
- Improve the quality of your products without raising the price, so they know they are getting value for their money.
- Do not give them any unpleasant surprises by adding fees and other charges at the check-out
4. Processing pain points
Processing pain points are the frustrations caused by the customers at any point in their journey due to your inefficiency or suboptimal buying process. The friction arising thereby should be identified immediately and streamlined to make it convenient for them to make the purchase.
- If it is a call centre not being open at all hours when they made the product discovery, make sure you keep it open 24 hours.
- If it is a cumbersome and unfriendly website where they must scrawl through a trove of data, revamp your website.
- If it is a slow payment process, talk to your service provider to upgrade the software.
Ways to identify pain points
Information is the key to identifying the pain points. Your customer base is diverse so expect their problems to be equally diverse. Two different customers might have the same pain point, but the underlying cause will probably be different. Therefore, collecting information in an objective way to address the subjective issues faced by customers is important. Here is how to do it:
This must be your initial step in looking for customer complaints. Use Google and other popular search engines to identify and study blogs where customers’ pain points may be discussed. Make a note of the discussed issues.
Analysing existing customer records
Use your company CRM system to send emails with questions about pain points. Compare their answers to the previous answers they gave. Spot the similarities in their initial challenges and requests. This will make you realise where you have fallen behind.
Further reading: What is a CRM?
Qualitative market research
Qualitative research is a good way to obtain detailed customer responses where they explain their pain points in full. Asking the right questions in this approach can help you identify the fatal buying blocks. They can tell you the errors about companies that you may not have noticed.
Analysing the survey feedback can give you a lot of information about where you can work on your business. It gives you deep insight into their pain points. Surveys are easy and fast to conduct, but the feedback is valuable.
Proper usage of live chats can help you get information about pain points directly from the customers. That way, you can even offer them instant solutions to their problems that can inevitably turn into a sale. Customers always appreciate timely intervention to address their needs.
Start chatting with your prospective customers online on social networks and relevant forums. They will tell you exactly what they are frustrated by and interested in. The information obtained in the process of social selling can show you ways you can convince them to buy your product.
Interacting with sales teams
Problem-identification is a group endeavour. Consider who in the sales team might be the most in touch with the customers and hold brainstorming sessions or a few meetings to come up with ideas. After that, assign tasks and deadlines, ending it by jointly evaluating the results.
➡️ Learn how to marry your sales and marketing using CRM in this article. ️
Analysing the flaws of your product
As a business, it may be difficult for you to assess what is wrong with your business. You might think you know everything about your business. Ask a third person to look at your business objectively from a customer’s point of view and tell you what is wrong with your product.
Quick solutions to customer pain points
There are several common solutions to customer pain points...
- Always be polite and patient with the customers to keep them highly engaged. Very often, rude customer service representatives are the reasons cited by customers for dissatisfaction. Make them feel as if you care and that you feel their pain. Pepper your conversation with empathy phrases.
- Do not make the customer wait to get answers to their questions. If they have raised an issue, make it a priority to address it as quickly as possible. Implement live chats to answer all queries instantly. Chatbots can also reduce the number of touchpoints, which is the hallmark of a customer-centric company.
- Be accurately consistent in your corporate messaging and information sharing. Make sure the details you share on your website are congruent with the messages you share on social platforms. Asymmetric information sharing can lead to a bad customer experience.
- Provide proper training and coaching to customer representatives periodically to keep them abreast of the latest updates or any new changes to the products. This should be in tandem with the instant dissemination of information as and when new details emerge.
- Provide effective and customised solutions to customer problems as if they are your best customers. Identify their needs and understand what they want. Then come up with a solution in the shortest time possible and offer it instantly.
Customer pain points are the biggest sales objections in any business or company. By categorising them and finding effective solutions, you easily align your business to meet the expectations of the customers. Some of the solutions we provide here can be done on a grassroots level without incurring any cost. Try them out and tweak them if necessary.
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