How to identify customer pain points
by Lou Harnett
Active buyers are people on the hunt for a product or service. Active buyers are the ideal target audience because they’re ready to make a purchase and are actively seeking solutions. But what are they looking for, and how do we identify the driver behind this purchase decision-making?
Acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones boils down to delivering a frictionless purchasing experience - so how do you accomplish this? You need to understand their pain points. We thought we’d use this blog to offer a helping hand by explaining what client pain points are and some tips and tricks for identifying them and working to resolve them. Before we take a deep dive into the most vital component of aligning your sales and marketing with customer pain points, we’ll cover exactly what client pain points are.
What are customer pain points?
Customer pain points are certain challenges or issues that your customer (or prospective customer) is facing. Of course, everyone experiences challenges in their day-to-day lives so these pain points can be very diverse and range in severity. Different pain points often dictate the different kinds of solutions a client may seek. For example, a client might be struggling to get materials supplied on time. They might be struggling to reduce costs in their business. They might even be struggling to solve their client’s pain points!
By finding out your audience’s pain points you discover the problems they’re trying to solve. This helps you to identify the products and services you offer that help them solve these problems. This, in turn, helps you realign your marketing and sales towards how your products or services fix these issues, which makes it easier for prospects to see the value in purchasing what you’re selling.
Ultimately, there are four core types of pain points that are important to understand so you know how to address them. They include:
- Process pain points: This is when your customer wishes to improve their processes, whether that be increasing internal efficiencies or reducing friction.
- Support pain points: This is when your customer isn’t receiving the support they require or their existing solution isn’t meeting their needs.
- Financial pain points: This is when your client wishes to reduce their spending in certain areas of their business or increase their income.
- Productivity pain points: This is when your client feels like they’re wasting time and needs help increasing their efficiency.
Whichever category your customer's pain points fall into, understanding them, and which apply, is instrumental in your business’ success. The purpose of most businesses is to help their clients, so when you understand what their pain points are, you’re equipped to do just that.
4 ways to identify your customer’s pain points
Once recognised, these pain points should inform your marketing and sales strategies. Marketers need to utilise these pain points to create marketing content that advertises your business’ solution attractively, pulling in more customers to the sales team. On the other hand, the sales team must understand these pain points so they can focus their pitch and present your product or service as the ideal solution. That’s why identifying client pain points is business-critical and can transform your success. Below we explain some effective methods of pinpointing these pain points.
Conduct customer research
Getting inside the minds of your customer to reveal their struggles and desires is incredibly helpful and enables you to figure out their pain points as well as potential solutions. A great way to do this is to conduct qualitative customer research. By this, we mean using the likes of customer feedback surveys to get the information straight from the source. Asking your clients exactly what they like, don’t like, what drove them to you, and the issues they faced and find difficult to solve will give you all of the answers you need.
A great tool for this is Review Tui. It’s a feedback platform that offers a new way to gather and measure customer feedback. It enables businesses to easily create surveys, gain public reviews, and track and analyse feedback. This way, you can gather and analyse information about your client’s pain points and use it to inform your business strategy.
Listen to your customers
This may sound a little obvious, but it’s vital that you truly listen to your clients. Sales and customer service reps are generally in a great position to do this as, when they interact with clients, they have an opportunity to listen and understand any pain points from the client’s perspective. Not only this, but it’s also great customer service to avoid pushing your product or service onto clients, but rather listen to what they have to say and see where you can genuinely help them.
Sales personnel should always do some form of discovery when talking to a new prospect. How did they select this product, what drove them to this solution and why now? While many will happily take the sale and move on, uncovering the root driving forces behind a sale can unlock key marketing insights that might otherwise go undetected.
Use live chat and website enquiries to identify client pain points
Live chat and website enquiries are often a good place to start as the first question a client (or prospective client) asks may highlight the reason they reached out. However, it’s important to note that these are often people that have already gone through the research/consideration phase of the buyer’s journey and landed upon your business, so you ideally want to find people earlier in their discovery stage.
Using the ‘five whys’ is a great way of diving into the root of the issue. When a prospect asks for a solution, we recommend you try to get five layers deep of ‘why’. For example, if a client says they want a certain product or service you offer, it may be insightful to ask them why they’ve settled on this solution, or what drove them to this option.
Live chat and website enquiries offer a unique look into the solutions your clients are looking for which offers your business a tonne of valuable customer-driven data.
Social listening is essentially monitoring the sentiment and content of what is said about your business online and over social media. Being clued in on what clients have to say about your business, your offerings, and/or anything they’re struggling with concerning your business will help you to identify client pain points. This is an excellent method to garner honest opinions as people tend to speak freely on the internet!
Identifying customer pain points should be a crucial element in informing your business strategy. They enable you to genuinely solve the problems your prospects are facing before they buy your product or service. In turn, businesses can expect to see an increase in both customer acquisition and retention, catapulting business growth. All in all, the insight gleaned from understanding your client’s pain points should be used to inform your sales and marketing strategy so you're in a better position to alleviate them. Once you’ve gained such valuable insight, it’s not only important for your sales and service reps to use in their pitches, but it’s also vital to use as marketing collateral to entice your audience. Not sure how to do that? Feel free to download our content mapping guide to put your learnings into action and to keep your business satisfying clients while pushing for growth.
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