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How to Find Your Customers’ Pain Points

  • Pain points are any specific problem faced by a customer using a product or service
  • While there are four areas of pain points, issues often fall into multiple categories
  • Market research can help you identify customers’ pain points and offer insights into how you can address them

While most business owners strive to provide the best customer experience possible, they aren’t always successful in this endeavor. Slow service, poor product quality, and numerous other factors all represent “pain points” that can sour a customer’s perception of a company – and open the door for competitors to lure them away.

What are customer pain points?

A pain point is any specific problem a customer is experiencing with a product or service. These issues generally fall into one of four categories:

  • Financial: A customer believes a product or service is too expensive
  • Productivity: A customer thinks a product or service is taking up too much time
  • Process: A customer is seeking a more streamlined internal process
  • Support: A customer needs better assistance in using a product or service

Issues often encompass more than one of these categories. For example, a customer frustrated with the long hold times for customer service is experiencing pain points in both productivity and support.

How can you identify customers’ pain points?

Market research is an effective way to find customers’ pain points, and qualitative responses will be more valuable then quantitative ones. Simply asking a customer to rate a service on a scale will only give you minimal information; inviting open-ended responses through surveys, focus groups, and other means will yield more valuable insights.

An informal meeting with a client is another way to identify pain points. Take the time to listen to their thoughts on how your company is operating and you’ll be able to find areas to improve.

Online resources offer a wealth of feedback on customer issues. People are more than willing to use review sites and social media to air their grievances about a business’s shortcomings. Reviewing these sites, competitors’ FAQ pages, and keyword trends will show you what problems customers are facing.

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