Why Identifying Customer Pain Points is Critical for Your Business

Weronika Masternak

Weronika Masternak

15 min read
May 28, 2024

I bet you’re always on the lookout for ways to enhance your offerings and draw in more buyers. But what’s the real trick to succeeding? Getting a deep understanding of what your audience really needs and the specific customer pain points they’re facing.

Digging into these pain points is essential – the daily hurdles or issues your clientele encounters, especially when interacting with your products or services. By pinpointing and addressing these issues, you’re boosting your customer experience and crafting marketing strategies that really hit home with your audience.

To get there, start by really listening to understand the issues they’re facing. What annoys them? What frustrates them? That’s your roadmap for making meaningful improvements!

Understanding customer pain points

Let’s start with the basics: what exactly is a “pain point” when we talk about brand experience?

Think of a pain point as any specific problem or challenge that a person (existing or future user) encounters while interacting with your business. This could be anything that causes frustration, delays, or dissatisfaction.

Understanding these pain points is like getting a peek into people’s minds to see what troubles them the most. Once you identify customer pain points, you can work on fixing them. This improves your service and enhances your products, leading to happier customers and, ultimately, business growth.

Types of customer pain points

Let’s explore some of the common types of customer pain points your audience might be experiencing and discuss the ways to identify and address them effectively. This way, you can solve their issues and build stronger, more loyal relationships with them.

Types of customer pain points

Financial pain points

The first type is financial pain points, where customers feel like they are paying too much for a product or service or they aren’t getting enough value for their money.

For example:

  1. Subscription costs. Customers may feel that a software service’s monthly subscription cost could be higher than its competitors, especially if they use only a subset of the available features.

  2. Upfront investment. A small business owner may hesitate to purchase necessary equipment due to the high upfront cost, even though it could streamline their operations.

  3. Perceived value. Customers might perceive a lack of value in a bundled telecommunications package that includes services they don’t use or need, leading them to feel overcharged.

Process pain points

Process pain points (or support pain points) occur when people face difficulties navigating a complex purchasing process or receive poor assistance. Addressing support pain points can also be crucial, as people may feel frustrated and dissatisfied if they don’t receive timely and effective support from the business.

For example:

  1. Complex checkout. Customers abandon their online shopping cart because the checkout process involves too many steps or requires too much personal information, making the process feel tedious and intrusive.

  2. Customer service wait times. Customers experience frustration due to long wait times when trying to reach support teams through phone or live chat, impacting their satisfaction and perception of the company.

  3. Return process. The return process for an online retailer is complicated and time-consuming, requiring customers to fill out multiple forms and wait for confirmation emails, leading to dissatisfaction and potential loss of future business.

Product pain points

Lastly, product-related or productivity pain points can occur when customers have issues with a product’s functionality, usability, or quality. Such a productivity pain point could include frequent malfunctions, difficulty understanding how to use the product, or not meeting expectations.

For example:

  1. Software usability. Users need help navigating a new software’s interface, which they find non-intuitive and poorly documented. This slows down their work and increases their frustration.

  2. Hardware reliability. Customers frequently encounter hardware malfunctions with new electronic devices, which disrupt their usage and force them to seek repairs or replacements more often than expected.

  3. Feature limitations. A graphic design tool lacks certain advanced editing features found in other competitive products, limiting the creativity and efficiency of professional designers.

Identify and automatically resolve all listed pain points in HelpDesk for free for 14 days. Turn them into manageable tickets 👌

Identifying and smoothly addressing customer pain points can significantly impact the customer journey and overall satisfaction. By understanding what is causing frustration or dissatisfaction, you can make necessary changes to improve the overall experience. This could include adjusting pricing strategies, improving internal processes, simplifying processes, improving support systems, or enhancing product features and quality.

The impact of unaddressed pain points

One would think that if a customer is in pain but the alternatives are limited, they would bear the discomfort and continue to use the product or service. However, this isn’t always the case. Unresolved pain points in business can dramatically affect a company and their customer relationship.

Unaddressed pain points can lead to decreased retention. If buyers consistently face issues with a product or service, they are likelier to switch to a competitor, resulting in a business revenue loss. Negative experiences can also lead to poor reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations, potentially deterring new customers from trying out the product or service. This can damage a business’s reputation and result in reduced brand loyalty.

For example, let’s say someone purchases software that promises to streamline their work processes. However, they encounter frequent glitches and errors that hinder their productivity when using the program. The issue remains unresolved despite contacting customer and support teams for assistance. Frustrated with the lack of resolution and ineffective product, the buyer switches to a competitor’s software.

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In addition to uncovering customer pain points due to losing loyal brand users, unaddressed pain points can also lead to missed opportunities for improvement and growth. By not addressing and resolving customer pain points, businesses miss out on valuable feedback and insights that could help them improve their products or services.

The consequences of ignoring customer pain points.

One real-world case study of the impact of unaddressed pain points is the downfall of Blockbuster. The video rental company failed to address pain points and peoples’ changing preferences and needs, such as the inconvenience of physical store locations and late fees.

As a result, they lost many loyal users to more convenient and cost-effective alternatives such as Netflix, which ultimately led to Blockbuster’s bankruptcy and closure. If you ignore your customers’ pain points, you can watch as buyers suddenly leave for competitors. Addressing these issues is not just a defensive move—it can also help grow a business.

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Benefits of identifying pain points

You can create a positive customer experience that fosters loyalty and retention by addressing and resolving pain points. Consumers are more likely to continue using a product or service that meets their needs and resolves any issues. This can result in long-term customer relationships and, ultimately, increased revenue for the business.

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In addition to conducting research, understanding and addressing genuine customer pain points can help businesses improve their products or services. Customer feedback is a valuable source of information that can be used to make informed decisions about changes or updates to a product. By listening to people’s needs and concerns, businesses can continuously improve their offerings, ultimately leading to higher-quality products and services.

Standing out from the crowd is hard but rewarding. Businesses can differentiate themselves from their competitors by identifying and addressing pain points. People are likelier to choose a company that values their needs and solves their problems. This can give businesses a competitive advantage and attract new customers.

In systems thinking, a positive feedback loop is when an action causes a change that results in more of the same action, creating a self-reinforcing cycle. In this case, addressing pain points can lead to increased customer satisfaction and engagement, resulting in more positive feedback and referrals from happy brand users. This creates a continuous cycle of improvement and growth for the business.

Benefits of identifying pain points.

Overall, identifying and resolving pain points benefits the customer and positively impacts the business. But the question remains: How exactly do we identify and address these pain points?

Strategies for identifying pain points

1. Customer feedback and surveys

The first and simplest way to identify customer pain points is to ask them directly. This can be done through feedback and surveys. Go through all your bad reviews and see if there’s a common trend of customers being dissatisfied. This data can be used to identify areas for improvement and devise solutions.

Collect feedback continuously after each interaction. Create surveys in HelpDesk and evolve based on insights 🌺

Additionally, conducting surveys and directly talking to brand users can provide valuable insights into their needs and pain points. This allows you to understand what your buyers seek and how to meet those needs. This can be a gift card for your store for their participation or some other incentive. By interviewing your audience, you can also get them involved in the product creation and sales process, which is an exciting way to create a closer bond with them.

Don’t make the mistake of using only one channel to identify pain points. Some respondents may not be willing to answer surveys but will post about their pain points and bad experiences on other channels, such as social media. By actively listening and watching for these types of mentions, you can collect a wider range of feedback and identify potential pain points you may have missed through traditional methods.

Customer feedback process

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2. Customer journey mapping

Customer journey mapping is more complex than simply asking for feedback, but with the right tools and techniques, it can provide valuable insights into experiences. A customer journey map visually depicts each point of contact between a person and a company, from initial contact to post-purchase support. Mapping these touchpoints allows companies to gain a deeper understanding of the overall customer experience when interacting with their brand.

One major benefit of customer journey mapping is that it can highlight friction points, meaning places where people are frustrated or encounter difficulties. Spotting these issues means companies can jump in early to smooth things over and improve the overall experience.

So, how do you do it?

Start by listing every single way someone might interact with your brand – whether that’s popping into a store, browsing your website, making a call, or reaching you up on social media. Then, it’s all about gathering data and feedback for each of these points to see what’s working and what’s not.

For instance, let’s say you run an eCommerce site. Mapping the journey from the moment someone lands on your website right up to making a purchase can reveal a lot. Maybe customers are bailing because the site’s too slow, the layout’s confusing, or the checkout process is a headache. Knowing exactly where they’re dropping off lets your team zero in on those areas to make shopping smoother and keep those carts rolling all the way to checkout. It’s about making things better step by step, and it’s pretty amazing what this perspective can do for a business!

3. Data analytics and monitoring

Data analytics is irreplaceable in insights and identifying common customer pain points. By analyzing customer data and feedback, you can pinpoint specific areas where people are experiencing difficulties or frustrations. Only then can you take proactive steps to address these pain points and improve the overall experience.

Monitor individual and team performance in regularly updated reports in HelpDesk. Test them for free for 14 days!

One example of how data analytics can help identify pain points is by looking at retention rates. A significant drop-off in retention after a certain point in the overall journey could indicate a specific pain point, causing existing customers to lose interest or satisfaction with the company.

Other metrics and KPIs that can reveal pain points include:

Metrics revealing pain points.

4. Usability testing

Usability testing involves observing how people interact with your products/services to identify potential issues or pain points hindering their experience. Regular usability testing allows you to stay in touch with your end-users’ needs and make necessary tweaks.

One effective technique for conducting usability testing is user interviews. This involves recruiting a group of customers to test the product or service and gathering their feedback in a structured interview format. Through this method, you can gain valuable insights into how customers use your offerings and any difficulties they may face.

Another technique is conducting A/B testing, where two versions of a website or product are shown to different test groups to see which one performs better. This allows you to make data-driven decisions on what changes or improvements must be made.

Usability testing methods

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Usability testing can also be done remotely. In this method, users are given tasks to complete on a website or product, and their interactions are recorded. This method is convenient for both the business and the customer, as it can be done from the comfort of their home.

The main takeaways from conducting valid usability testing are to comprehend the research goals, choose appropriate methods and tools for data collection, and involve a diverse group of participants.

5. Competitive analysis

Competitor analysis is also required to understand the market and identify potential pain points in your offerings. By comparing your products or services with those of your competitors, you can gain valuable insight into which areas need improvement and how to stand out in the market.

One way analyzing competitors can help identify pain points is by highlighting gaps in the market that are not being addressed by current offerings. By thoroughly examining your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, you can identify opportunities to fill these gaps and provide a unique solution.

You can also read the negative reviews of competitors to understand what pain points customers are experiencing with their products or services. This can give you insight into common issues that your own offerings should address. It can also help you avoid making the same mistakes as your competitors.

When conducting a competitive analysis, it’s important to approach it with a holistic mindset. This means considering direct and indirect competitors that may offer similar or alternative solutions to the same problem.

For example, ride-sharing apps may be a direct competitor to a traditional taxi service, but public transportation could be an indirect competitor. Both competitors serve the public by providing transportation, but in different ways. Knowing the landscape of all competitors can help you better understand the overall market and how your offerings fit into it.

Here are some tips for conducting both qualitative research and a thorough competitive analysis:

  1. Start by identifying your top direct and indirect competitors in the market.

  2. Gather information on their products or services, pricing, target audience, marketing strategies, and reviews.

  3. Use SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) to understand each competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.

  4. Look for any unique selling propositions (USPs) your competitors have, and consider how to differentiate your offerings from theirs.

  5. Pay attention to reviews and gather feedback on what customers love or dislike about your competitors’ products or services.

  6. Keep in mind that a competitor’s weakness could be an opportunity for you to capitalize on and differentiate yourself in the market.

  7. Regularly monitor your competitors’ activities and update your analysis accordingly to stay ahead of any changes or new developments in the market.

SWOT analysis template

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Creating solutions after you identify customer pain points

After conducting a thorough competitive analysis, you may have identified pain points your target audience faces. These pain points could be slow service, high prices, lack of convenience, or poor customer experience. 

Now, it’s time to come up with solutions to address these pain points and differentiate your business from the competition.

One way to brainstorm potential solutions is by gathering a team of individuals with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. This can help generate various ideas and approaches to tackling the identified pain points.

Another approach is to contact your customers directly and gather their feedback on internal processes and what they would like to see improved or changed.

Once you have a list of potential solutions, evaluate them using your SWOT analysis. Consider how each solution addresses the identified pain points, how feasible and cost-effective it is to implement, and how it aligns with your overall business goals. Prioritize the solutions that have the most potential to positively impact both your customers’ experience and your bottom line.

Implementing these solutions has had significant outcomes for these businesses. For example, Apple’s iPod became a cultural phenomenon and led to the company’s dominance in the music player market.

Netflix’s shift to streaming resulted in a significant increase in subscribers and solid recurring revenue.

Amazon’s one-click purchasing has made the shopping experience more convenient and efficient, increasing loyalty and sales.

Amazon 1-click patent

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Summary

From financial pain points to support pain points and more, there are plenty of places within your business that you can solve. The help desk is designed to help you with your business’s support pain points. HelpDesk can help gather common customer pain points through its support ticket features.

Manage all your customer messages in one place with the power of AI and empower your team in addressing customer pain points more effectively. Build better bonds automatically with your prospective customers. No matter how many buyers you have, fixing your audience’s concerns is something you don’t want to ignore.

Mastering customer communications starts with understanding your end-users’ perspectives, and HelpDesk is the perfect tool for this. By uncovering customer pain points, you’re positioning yourself to become a leader in your industry.