The most successful products and services are way more than “good ideas” or “useful things to have”. Rather they are opportunities to address and solve your customer’s pain points.  Here, ‘pain points’ refers to the potential problems that your customer may have and will be looking to solve. Like the things they get frustrated by, or inefficiencies and obstacles that are getting in the way of success, delivery or growth. They are looking for things that would make their lives better. Ideally a business should be set up directly in relation to their customer’s pain point for example, “my product solves the following pain point for my customer by doing XYZ” but often a business is not holding this in mind. And so business owners can very quickly lose sight of their customer’s perspective. So why is it so important to understand your customer’s pain points and how is this central to the success of your business?

Understanding the different types of pain points

Broadly speaking, pain points refers to a problem or frustration your customer would like solved. But this can be sub-categorised into the following key areas:

  • Financial pain points: This means your customer is spending too much money on a particular product, solution or provider and would like to reduce this amount.
  • Process pain point: This means your customer is frustrated by an operational aspect of their lives or business and are looking to streamline or improve their internal operations.
  • Productivity pain point: This means your customer feels they are wasting time on a particular product, solution or service and want to improve productivity.
  • Support pain point: This means your customer requires critical support in a given process and needs support working through this issue.

Benefits of understanding these pain points

If you are always thinking about your customer’s concerns then you will always develop products in relation to these needs, and also pivot so that communication addresses these concerns upfront. Here you won’t necessarily address the solution itself but rather focus on the relief your product or service will give them. Underlying all of this is that by authentically addressing your customer’s pain points you will then be connecting with them and building trust because you truly have made their lives easier. This creates a symbiotic relationship where everybody wins. 

How to identify your customer’s pain points

Talk to customers

The process begins with really listening and conducting qualitative research by talking to customers. Here you need to create open forums to engage with them. Scour social media for networks where people are sharing these kinds of experiences. Research online and send out mailers and surveys inviting participation for feedback. 

Talk to your service and sales teams

The other line of feedback comes from your internal channels; namely your sales and customer service teams. They should be able to explain what customers have been feeding back to them, why leads have not converted and what causes the customer frustration. Remember that here your aim is not to work on the pain points of your sales team (that’s another article for another time) but rather your priority needs to be about identifying what your customer is struggling with and addressing that accordingly. 

Research reviews

This is a great opportunity to understand what your customer’s pain points are. Here you need to check and see what customers are saying about your product on social media and other other online forums. Don’t take bad reviews negatively, rather think of them as an opportunity to understand something and pivot as needed.

Understand your competitors

It is vital to stay in touch with your competitor’s activity. While you may never be able to achieve their success or reach their customers it is important to understand how your greater market is servicing potential customer pain points. Every business will solve these pain points differently and it can be so useful to widen your lens and  get in touch with different ways of thinking. 

The bottom line

When you understand your customer’s pain points you develop products and services in direct relation to these needs. This type of outlook gets to the heart of what a customer is looking for and when done right, addressing your customer’s pain points can build rapport and secure your customer’s relationship with your brand. This is a win-win for both the customer and business owner and can create a fruitful relationship that will support the future growth of your business. 

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