How to Identify Customer Pain Points

by Joseph Jones December 12, 2023

What happens when you’re not reaching your customers in the way you intended? What do you, as a company, do when you put out products or services with features you thought were revolutionary only to find no one’s buying?

While features and benefits are neat, customers want to feel heard, and the best way to do this is by addressing pain points. 

It might seem simple: create a survey and send it to your customers to see what’s happening, right? While this approach can help somewhat, People Pulse found that customer satisfaction and market research surveys have 10-30% response rates

This means you’ll have to do more of the heavy lifting if you’re going to identify major pain points in marketing strategies. In this article, we’ll look at how to identify customer pain points and what strategies you can employ to solve them.

Before We Dive In

Customers experience pain points all the time, it’s your job as a business to be the solution for them. We’re not just talking about pains your customers experience with your products or services. What we’re really talking about is what the customer is experiencing and why they’ve come to you in the first place.

Your customers have a need or a want and you’re there to fulfill this for them. However, you’re probably not the only business trying to help the customer so look to your competition for what issues your ideal customers are running into and make your product/service better. Show your customers what makes you the winning solution to their problems.

When you can resonate with your customer’s pain and sensitivities, you win their business.

What Are Customer Pain Points?

Persistent issues with a product or service that inconvenience customers and their businesses are commonly known as pain points. In simpler terms, these are unmet needs awaiting resolution — that’s where you come in!

An example of customer pain points isn’t tied to one form. 

Customer pain may manifest in various ways, whether tied to personal or professional aspects, and can encompass physical, emotional, or logistical challenges.

Interestingly, some people might be oblivious to the pain points they encounter. It becomes imperative to not only make them aware of the problem but also to persuasively communicate that your company holds the solution to alleviate these concerns.

train running into a bus meme: pleasant customer experience, pain points

Financial Pain Points 

Financial pain points are pretty clear-cut. In essence, the customer is allocating an excessive amount of funds toward a specific service or product.

Examples of typical financial pain points include things like:

  • Hidden or last-minute fees
  • Expensive subscription or membership fees
  • Product replacement costs

An Example Of Customer Pain Points When It Comes To Finances

We live in a time when consumerism is at an all-time high, so we’ll use product replacement costs as our pain point for this example. 

Imagine a widely used smartphone manufacturer announcing a substantial increase in the cost of replacing damaged devices. This adjustment creates a financial pain point for users, but not all are affected equally.

Some users might absorb the added expense with minimal concern. Others, however, could explore third-party repair options or seek more durable alternatives, potentially leading to a shift in brand loyalty. The price hike may also prompt certain users to reevaluate their choices altogether, considering alternative brands that offer comparable products at a more reasonable replacement cost.

How to Address This Potential Pain Point

The first step in addressing financial pain points is transparent communication. 

Clearly outline any adjustments in replacement fees and highlight the value proposition that justifies the cost — people need a reason for why things happen. Offering bundled services or warranty packages that mitigate replacement expenses can be a good solution because you provide customers with added reassurance and value for their investment. 

Another step you can take is implementing loyalty programs or exclusive discounts for long-term customers. This strategy can soften the impact of increased costs, incentivizing brand loyalty by showing customers you care about addressing their pain points. 

Productivity Pain Points 

Inefficiency leads to customer dissatisfaction. 

Productivity-related challenges revolve around efficiency issues, often termed ‘friction.’ This friction can manifest itself as several pain points, be it in the sales process, onboarding procedures, or the user interface of an application.

Here are some common ones:

  • Inconsistent product functionality 
  • Underwhelming features
  • Inconvenient navigation (software) 

An Example Of Customer Pain Points When It Comes To Productivity 

Let’s tackle underwhelming features for this example.

Picture an email marketing platform designed for small businesses to streamline their communication strategies. The promotional material highlights advanced analytics for targeted campaigns, personalized automation, and seamless integration with popular e-commerce platforms. 

However, upon implementation, users find that the automation features lack the possibilities promised, limiting the platform’s ability to tailor campaigns to specific customer behaviors. 

How to Address This Potential Pain Point

Like dealing with the financial pain point, clear communication is your starting point. Take the time to understand where your customers ran into problems and get all the details on their pain points. 

In the case of the email marketing platform, this could involve incorporating advanced customization options and refining automation functionalities to empower businesses to deliver precisely targeted content. 

Look at what was promised to the customer in the first place and work on adding those features. 

Process Pain Points 

Any situation that imposes additional, unnecessary steps toward a customer’s objective qualifies as a process pain point. 

This customer pain point can take the form of:

  • A complicated sales process
  • Delayed deployment times
  • Disorganized customer support and a lack of resources

An Example Of Customer Pain Points When It Comes To Processes

You’ve more than likely had to submit reimbursements in your career, whether for office equipment or travel expenses. 

Consider an expense management tool designed to alleviate the hassle of employee reimbursement processes. 

If the software streamlines the submission and approval of expenses, it could quickly become an invaluable asset within the organization. 

However, suppose the tool introduces a complex series of steps or documentation requirements for employees to navigate during the expense submission process. In that case, the business might unintentionally replace one pain point with another.

How to Address This Potential Pain Point

Leonardo da Vinci has been credited with saying, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

The solution here lies in optimizing the tool’s user experience, ensuring that the steps required for expense submission are intuitive and straightforward. Introduce features such as smart autofill for common expenses, a clear and concise submission process, and real-time status updates for reimbursement. 

Support Pain Points 

If a customer struggles to find solutions to urgent concerns, what’s preventing them from seeking a company that prioritizes providing meaningful help? Support pain points arise when customers encounter challenges in obtaining the assistance they require.

These pain points often include:

  • Slow response times
  • Low success rates in troubleshooting
  • Poor product knowledge 

An Example Of Customer Pain Points When It Comes To Support

Consider an e-commerce platform that offers a customer support chatbot to handle inquiries. Despite the good intentions behind the system, customers might struggle to describe their issues accurately, resulting in the chatbot misinterpreting the problem. 

As a consequence, customers may be directed to the wrong support channels or, due to the lack of specificity, end up in generic queues. 

This misrouting not only delays issue resolution but also contributes to customer frustration as they navigate through multiple support stages before reaching the appropriate specialized agent.

Bernie Sanders meme: I am once again asking to speak to a representative

How to Address This Potential Pain Point

To address the misrouting challenge in the customer support chatbot scenario, integrate machine learning algorithms to improve the chatbot’s ability to understand ambiguous inquiries and suggest relevant support categories. 

Additionally, you should give customers clear prompts or examples to help them articulate their concerns more accurately.

Identify Your Customer’s Pain Points With Disruptive 

We get it; running a business is already a full-time job, and that’s an understatement. Let us take care of helping address the pain points customers have and bring solutions to your marketing campaigns.

By pinpointing and engaging with your ideal customers, we tailor marketing initiatives that directly address their pain points, fostering a win/win scenario. A win for the customer and your business.

Let’s get started.

  • Business

  • Marketing

  • Strategy

Joseph Jones

Joseph Jones

Joseph is a fitness fanatic who found his way into SEO through trial and error. A wizard, a dog parent, and a Californian turned Coloradoan, he loves psychology as much as learning new marketing tactics.

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