Understanding customer pain points can help companies develop and provide new services or products or improve processes and customer service.
Uncovering customer pain points can ultimately impact sales and user satisfaction, especially if you can identify and solve these issues rather proactively.
This article will take you through the process of understanding what customer pain points are, how to identify them, and questions you can ask to help put solutions in place before they become major problems.
What Are Customer Pain Points?
In a nutshell, customer pain points are any issue with a product or service that causes frustration or confusion for the customer. Pain points can include anything from when an app or website is not working properly to delivery delays to poor customer service.
Once you identify what a customer’s pain points are, you can work toward solutions that lead to better product development or service, greater customer interactions, and even enhance marketing efforts.
The biggest challenge is that not every user or customer will have the same pain points, and finding solutions that don’t have greater implications can be tricky at times.
Knowing your customer’s pain points can lead to a better customer service strategy. If you do your homework in the beginning so that you have a solid understanding of what’s most frustrating for customers, you’ll have the best chance of developing a solid solution.
Customer Pain Points Explained: 4 Key Areas
There are four primary areas to look at when trying to understand customer pain points. For almost every customer who has an issue or concern, pain points usually fall into one of these key areas.
Price is always a pain point. Even low-cost items can cause customers to question the value of what they are purchasing. It’s important to find a balance between price and perceived value to mitigate this pain point.
If a product is difficult to use or doesn’t do what it is supposed to, that can cause major friction for a customer. They need to be able to see the value in what you offer right away, especially if the product or service includes an element of training or uptime.
When something doesn’t work as expected, you’ll run into a process pain point. Break it down to the most simple of things: If a customer fills out a form on your website, clicks “submit,” and doesn’t get a message that it worked, that can cause a significant process pain point because they will question if the expected action happened or not.
Lack of timeliness and lack of knowledge are the most common pain points. Not having support when or where the customer wants it can also cause frustration.
How Do You Identify Customer Pain Points?
There are a lot of ways to tell if something isn’t quite right with a customer, most notably a lag in sales or if you don’t have many repeat customers for items that are “disposable.” Ask yourself, who is your ideal customer?
Before you get in that kind of trouble, start listening to customer questions to help see potential pain points popping up before they become major issues. That way, you can proactively problem-solve.
Here are questions customers might ask for each of these different pain points:
- Is the price worth the value of the product?
- How are competitor products priced?
- Am I getting a return on my investment for this service?
- How can I get this for free?
- Why is this taking so long?
- Is there an easier way to accomplish this task?
- What am I giving up in time to handle this issue with a specific product/service?
- What steps do I need to take to accomplish a specific task or function?
- Can I make multiple tools or elements work together?
- How can I save time with a specific task or function?
- Where do I get help with my question?
- Has customer support been helpful and knowledgeable?
- Can they resolve problems quickly?
In addition to customer listening, you can conduct further research to get into the heart of customer pain points.
When you launch a new business or product, qualitative market research is typically part of the process. If you suspect an existing product or service has an issue, you can research that as well.
Go back to the beginning and map customer journeys and personas for the product or service. (Does it match your current situation?)
Accept customer feedback and think about what people are saying. From online chat conversations to returns, these are all examples of things that could help you identify a customer pain point. (Particularly if the same feedback comes from multiple sources.)
Customer Pain Point Examples
Pain points can happen at any point in the customer experience – starting with the first impression they have of your business online or on social media through a bad service experience after decades of doing business with you. This makes it vitally important to stay on top of common pain points so that you can mitigate risk.
Examples of customer pain points include:
- Forms that don’t work on your website
- Slow or no response to inquiries or feedback
- Anything that doesn’t work (item won’t add to cart or sizes are out of stock)
- Poor or inconsistent user experience from visit to visit
- Lack of support
- Quality issues
- Complex processes for making a purchase, return, or other engagement
- Poor customer service experience
- Misleading descriptions of products or services
Knowing your customer’s pain point positions you to be a benefit and help in those pain points. You help your customer, and that help reflects in the success of your business.
10 Customer Pain Point Questions to Ask
Now it is time to think proactively. If you ask the right questions, you can help identify customer pain points before they become big issues.
This can allow you to make changes to products or services or simply evolve with the marketplace. Staying ahead of customer wants and needs will make you a more valuable business to repeat and new customers.
When looking for feedback, ask some of these questions to get to the heart of what your customer base wants and expects from your product or service.
- What isn’t working about your current solution to this problem?
- What is the biggest challenge you face in your business?
- What would you change about your business (if anything)?
- What takes the most time in your day that you would like to streamline?
- What is preventing you from hitting desired outcomes or goals?
- What do you need to help your organization grow?
- What would you spend an additional budget on if you were given the opportunity?
- What do you see as the future for your organization?
- What do you expect when you reach out to us for help/support/service?
- What methods are the best form of communication for you?
Make sure to do more than just ask the 10 questions above. Actively listen to the answers and follow up with questions that help provide an even greater understanding of what your ideal customer is trying to accomplish, how they use your product and service, and what will keep them coming back.
Once you’ve identified your customers’ pain points, you are ready to provide – and deliver – solutions that create function and help those users. It is important to keep in mind that different audiences or user groups might experience different pain points, leading to multiple solutions.
Don’t feel like you have to solve every problem at once. Work through pain points and challenges one at a time through iterative development to deliver more results quickly.
Challenge: Find a pain point and meet that need. Go through the questions. Connect with your target client and actively listen. Pinpoint ONE pain and then look at how you can uniquely answer that need.
Kristen has been writing tutorials to help WordPress users since 2011. As marketing director here at iThemes, she’s dedicated to helping you find the best ways to build, manage, and maintain effective WordPress websites. Kristen also enjoys journaling (check out her side project, The Transformation Year!), hiking and camping, step aerobics, cooking, and daily adventures with her family, hoping to live a more present life.