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How to Identify and Address Customer Pain Points

How to Identify and Address Customer Pain Points When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Just about every product or service is designed to solve a problem. Whether it’s a mechanic fixing squeaky brakes or a revolutionary service like Lyft or Uber, every successful inbound business has to know what customer pain points it’s addressing.

But what are pain points and how do you go about identifying them? You’ve come to the right place to find out. Throughout the course of this article, we’ll break several examples of pain points that customers commonly face and how to address them at each stage of the customer journey.

What are customer pain points?

Before we delve into the process of identifying and addressing customer pain points, let’s start with a baseline: what is a customer pain point?

Customer pain points are problems that a current or potential customer is experiencing. At the most basic level, pain points begin as unmet desires or unsolved problems that potential customers are looking for a way to solve.

 Whether they manifest as minor annoyances or major business challenges, everyone’s pain point definition will likely look a bit differently. But one thing will always remain constant: it’s the job of the products and services a company offers to solve that problem.

But it’s also important to address customer journey pain points, which are issues that stand between customers and your company’s solutions. Identifying these issues can go a long way toward providing a better customer experience.

Types of customer journey pain points

Customer journey pain points are the potholes along the road to customer satisfaction. At some point, we’ve all found ourselves on the receiving end of common pain point examples like getting stuck on hold or dealing with confusing product instructions. Here are several major types of customer pain points to avoid:

Product or service quality

No matter how skilled your sales and marketing teams may be, news of a bad product won’t stay quiet for long. Never release a product or service before you’ve done enough research to ensure that it adequately addresses the customer pain points it’s designed to solve.

Subpar customer service or support

The realm of long, elevator music-infused wait times, multiple call redirects, and slow responses is where customer satisfaction goes to die. Make sure your customers know exactly where to go for support and that they’re able to receive it in a timely and efficient manner.


Financial pain points come in many forms, from excessive subscription or service prices to hidden fees. Avoid this pitfall by offering fair, transparent, and consistent pricing. Additionally, ensure that your checkout process is as easy as possible.

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How to Identify Customer Pain Points

As you can see, the term “customer pain points” can be used to refer to two very different sets of problems. The first are the pain points that your product or services are designed to solve. The second are the internal issues that can hamper your customer experience. Let’s begin by tackling the first.

Regardless of whether you’re a scaling startup or a veteran entrepreneur, you’re going to have a pretty good idea about what your product is and how it can help people. You’re probably familiar with the three kinds of customer pain points that HubSpot outlines—Productivity, Process, and Financial Pain Points.

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These categories can go by several names, but what’s important is that you know how to recognize them, and even better, know that they are just a starting point. If you want to learn how to delight customers for the long haul, then you need to go further.

That’s where the importance of getting to know your target audience comes into play. Before you can provide the best possible solution to any problem, you need to gain insights into people who deal with them on a regular basis.

Start by researching your customer base, through market research, interviews, surveys, and feedback. Competitor analysis can also provide plenty of great clues into what has and hasn’t worked for the competition along their journey to offer alternate solutions.

Condense your research into buyer personas, fictional characters who embody the characteristics of your target audience. The better you get to know your personas, the easier it will be to turn their problems into solutions.

How to Identify Customer Journey Pain Points

Your buyer personas are already developed, and likely capture the essential pieces of your target audience. But the quest to weed out customer pain points doesn’t end there. You’ll rarely go wrong by assuming there’s always room for improvement, even after you’ve launched your product or service.

Start by thinking of common customer pain point examples that you’ve experienced firsthand. Ask yourself what your company can do to ensure that your customers never deal with the same frustrations.

In some cases, this may mean upgrading a product to include additional features. In others, it may mean outfitting your customer service team with solutions like HubSpot’s free help desk and ticketing software.

Next, look for ways to begin collecting customer feedback on a regular basis. For example, you could try including a question like “what’s the biggest obstacle you’re facing right now?” on your website forms. Or you could send out a simple questionnaire to a segmented list of customers as part of your email newsletter.

Online reviews and social media interactions can also be gold mines for customer pain point information.

Whatever you do, make sure that you always stay curious about your customers. If you want to find new ways to delight and surprise them, then you need to stay-on-top of what challenges (or successes) they’re experiencing. Even more importantly, however, is paying attention to what your customers have to say.

“As you look through the information you’ve gathered,” Inc.com says, “you’ll start to see a bigger picture and learn exactly where your customers are coming from and how you can build your brand around their needs.”


How to Address Customer Pain Points

Okay, so you’ve begun identifying your customer pain points. You’ve asked the right questions, taken note of responses, and you’re ready for the next steps. Identifying the pain points your customers are facing is an essential first step. But if your product or service isn’t evolving to address those pain points continually, then something’s gone amiss.

You can avoid this by placing yourself in the customer’s shoes. Companies like Uber and Lyft were started because they identified a pain point and offered a solution.

And they didn’t stop there either. After recognizing that customers were often getting into the wrong car, for example, Lyft designed an LED display that sits on a driver’s dash to help passengers find their ride. This development came as a result of Lyft listening to their customers and responding with a solution; an example we should all follow.

Inc.com says it like this: “Use your own experiences to think like your customer and imagine how you could alleviate their pain points.” When you put yourself into the mind of a customer, as Lyft did, you’ll gain a clearer insight into what their problems are, why they view them as problems, and how you can resolve them.

Which department should solve customer pain points?

In most cases, resolving customer pain points is a team effort. Pain points often have ripple effects that can be felt throughout an entire organization.

The trick is learning to predict what pain points your customers will have and addressing them before they become a real problem. For example, customers don’t usually enjoy asking for help. So, try creating a customer service system where customers don’t have to ask for help. This could mean installing an automated chatbot on your website, so customers don’t have to get on the phone when they get stuck. You could also build out a robust FAQ page as well, that asks and answers many of the questions you’ve encountered (and predicted) from your customers.

When it comes to delighting customers, the bottom line is this: make it easy. But what does “make it easy” mean, exactly? According to HBR, it means “Remove obstacles.” Instead of going overboard in your delight marketing efforts, focus on reducing the amount of energy a customer has to exert to get their problem solved. This not only builds loyalty, but it can also “help improve customer service, reduce customer service costs, and decrease customer churn.

Solving Pain Points = Delighting Customers

Much like delighting customers, identifying and addressing customer pain points is an ongoing process. As your company continues to grow, always make sure that you’re prioritizing your customers, their needs, their questions, and their concerns. The closer you pay attention to your customers’ well-being, the easier it’ll be for you to successfully identify, address, and even predict their pain points.

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