One of the most effective ways to build brand credibility is to craft long-term customer relationships by understanding their customer journey. According to a PwC study on the future of CX, 1 in 3 customers will walk away after just one bad experience, ensuring a smooth and streamlined customer service journey needs to be a top priority for businesses.
Being able to identify customer pain points early on and removing them faster can be the defining factor for success. When companies focus on understanding the underlying problems of their prospects, they pave the way for innovation. They are no longer merely focusing on the solution but strategizing on the relief and benefits that their solution brings to customers.
When businesses prioritise how to identify customer pain points, they drive their business towards success while building strong customer relationships. However, there is no one-size-fits-all technique to understand the many problems of customers. Before we dive into identifying customer pain points, let us begin by clarifying what exactly are customer pain points.
What are customer pain points?
In simple terms, pain points are problems. A customer pain point can be any difficulty or inconvenience that your customer encounters at any point of the customer journey when interacting with your company.
While customer pain points vary by industry, and even by individual customers, the most common domain that they fall under is customer support. And when you fail to uncover customer needs, it affects both your sales and marketing strategies. Done poorly, your sales teams fail to tailor their pitch and present the product or service as a remedy to the challenges faced by your customers. Similarly, marketing teams are unable to advertise their solution effectively.
Identifying customer pain points is not optional if you want to succeed in your area of expertise. But it does require a degree of thinking outside the box in order to get to the bottom of your customer pain points. Consequently, you are rewarded with customers who are more likely to make repeated purchases and prospects who are more inclined to convert.
The 4 types of customer pain points and how to address them
As we mentioned earlier, customer pain points can vary by industry or individual. Additionally, they may also be small or large. Rather than trying to tailor your solution for each pain point, it is a common practice to group them into categories. This makes it easier to analyse and find remedies for the same.
Broadly, customer pain points fall under four groups:
#1. Productivity pain points
Two of the most common example of productivity pain points for customers are:
- Inconvenience in using your product or service
- Frictions in the buying process
Productivity pain points refer to a scenario when the customer expects a more seamless experience while getting in touch with businesses. They want to make the most of their time and avoid frustration.
What you can do: Businesses must convince their customers and prospects that their product will help them to save both effort and time. Appeal to your customer base by showcasing how your product will help them to stay more focused, optimize their productivity, and make way for more comfort.
#2. Support pain points
A leading reason why customer support is so crucial is that its absence impacts most important areas. Among the most common support pain point are:
- Delay in response
- Lack of product knowledge
- Non-availability of business on customers’ preferred channel
Your customers are more likely to churn and go elsewhere if they are unable to obtain a timely response from customer service for a pressing problem.
What you can do: You can proactively pitch in to help your customers by digitally engaging with them by using tools such as live chat, co-browsing, and AI chatbots.
#3. Financial pain points
As the name suggests, financial pain points are those problems that involve money. The problem indicates the pain of spending excessively which may lead to financial strain. Some common examples include:
- High cost of repeat purchase
- Expensive subscription plans
- Lack of transparency
What you can do: A remedy to such a problem does not mean that your product should be the cheapest. Instead, help your customers understand the long-term returns on their current investment
#4. Process pain points
Process pain points refer to the different methodologies and processes that businesses employ to interact with their customers. These pain points might be creating friction for customers due to sub-optimal processes. A few examples of such pain points are:
- Problems in connecting to the right department
- Application submission
Customers will quickly switch brands if companies fail to address process pain points. Addressing these pain points must be a crucial strategy for companies since processes form the lifeline for any business and help in streamlining individual activities.
What you can do: At times, process pain points may not be so obvious for a company to detect. Talking to your customer is the most important step you can undertake to remedy this challenge.
6 ways to identify customer pain points
Now that you know what customer pain points are, it is time to step into the next domain which is – what is the most common approach to discover customer problems.
Customer pain points are often complex and it requires you to dig a bit deeper in order to understand where your customers are coming from. This is what you can do.
#1. Create your customer persona
Creating a customer persona can help you to effectively evaluate the value you are offering through your business. Your customer or buyer persona describes your ideal customer and answers key questions such as
- Which industry do they work in?
- Where do they live?
- Are they well-equipped to make purchasing decisions?
The better you understand your buyer persona, the more equipped you will be in anticipating their needs.
#2. Conduct a qualitative market research
Qualitative research deals with detailed responses from customers. This includes mapping customer journeys and examining data pertaining to pain points. Besides mapping customer journeys, qualitative research creates customer personas so you focus your time on qualified prospects.
Qualitative research is a powerful tool because it gives businesses an opportunity to ask open-ended questions where customers can go into as many details as they want. For instance, you may be completely unaware of a pain point that your business can help consumers with. This may be highlighted by the customer and enable you to consider the option.
#3. Listen to your customers
Uncovering your customer’s needs requires you to walk in their shoes and see how they experience your product. By simply listening to them, you can augment your customer experience cycle. Service interaction also tends to be smoother when customer support reps listen to the customers.
#4. Employ the use of live chats
Adding live chats is an excellent way to learn more about your customers’ pain points and issues they are facing. With live chats, your customers can easily contact you, leading to a more frictionless experience while helping you determine the product or service that best meets their interests.
#5. Have a direct line of communication with the sales team
Your sales and customer service teams are at the frontline of your business, interacting with your customers on a daily basis. They are an invaluable source of information when it comes to identifying customer pain points. Make regular conversation a practice to identify and categorise pain points. Ultimately, this will add to the core strength of your product.
#6. Dig deeper
We spoke about the broad categories that customer pain points can be bracketed under before. But even if two customers have the same pain points, their goal to manage it might be different. It is vital to ask clarifying questions that help you to discover what they value.
Customer support is an ever-evolving concept, employing different techniques of customer service while playing a vital part in sales, marketing, and product innovation. And as a result, companies are realizing the benefits of putting customers at the front and center of the business.
When you know how to uncover customer pain points and remedy those issues, you align your product with your customer’s expectations. You transform your customers into advocates for your business.
With the competitive ever-changing business landscape, it is more crucial than ever to gain insight from every facet of your business in order to put your solution to action and gain the maximum potential out of your investments!