How to Identify Customer Pain Points
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.
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.
Your buyer personas are already developed, and likely capture the essential pieces of your target audience. But once you’ve launched your product or service, start to ask your audience some open-ended questions. 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.
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.
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
Delighting customers is an ongoing process. Identifying and addressing customer pain points is also 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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