How to Identify Customer Pain Points

When customers struggle with some aspect of your product or service, this is considered a ‘pain point.

For companies that wish to prospect and grow, it’s important to identify and track these pain points to not only fix them but ensure they don’t keep repeating. To get into a better position when dealing with fresh customer complaints, it’s helpful to see create customer journey maps. These can assist in seeing what should be happening versus what the customer is experiencing.

how to identify customer pain points

There are customer journey map examples that can be used to speed up this process. This avoids beginning with nothing and not being sure how to create an accurate journey map.

The first step is to learn to identify customer pain points. Here are a few suggestions about the best ways to do that.

Financial Pain Points: What Financial Aspect Caused the Problem?

A pain point can be a financial one when there’s some money difficulty associated with establishing a relationship with the company.

The most common reason for this is because the customer perceived that the price was too high for what was being offered.

Comparisons Can Create Problems

Of course, if there are somewhat comparable services or products elsewhere, the comparison could be based on those alternatives.

However, an unfair comparison with an inferior product could have led to a faulty conclusion that your product is overpriced.

Complicated Pricing Structures Aren’t Always Worth It

Alternatively, the website could be confusing with tiered pricing levels along with monthly and yearly costs, confusing the potential customer. In this situation, simplifying the pricing plans and the way they’re presented, instead of changing the prices, could be worthwhile.

People do suffer decision paralysis when presented with too many options, especially if they’re confused about the main differences between them. They then do not purchase at all or are unhappy with their purchase, feeling that they made the wrong decision.

Productivity Pain Points: Was the Company Too Slow?

Customers are stuck for time. Put simply, when dealing with the company takes too much time, they will walk. This is true with a phone call but is even truer online where they don’t need to worry about being polite about it.

Bad Initial Touchpoints with the Company

Any customer touchpoints with the business need to go smoothly.

When that doesn’t happen and they feel frustrated because they were unable to get things moving, this is seen as a productivity pain point.

Buying Process Is Cumbersome

Customers are used to a fast checkout process with online companies that have this developed to a high level. If they’re already signed up and have their credit card on file, then the process of logging in, finding the product they want, and completing the checkout process is a rapid one. However, for a new site and a fairly unfamiliar company, signing up and purchasing a product will take longer. Sometimes, too much longer for the customer.

Making efforts to streamline the checkout process, especially for new customers, is especially important. Following up with them through email with abandoned shopping carts is also valuable if they’ve been persuaded to provide their email address already. Adding a sweetener of a discount on their first order can encourage people who gave up trying it again.

Support Pain Points: Did the Company’s Response Lag Behind Expectations?

Another familiar pain point is customer services and customer support.

There will be fewer or greater responses from customers depending on the type of business. Sometimes, these are points of contact to clarify something ahead of a purchase, such as compatibility or suitability for a certain purpose.

Other times, it is customer support where they’re experiencing some difficulties and need help to resolve them. A slow response is an issue here because the customer is often stuck while waiting to hear back. They feel helpless at that stage.

Also, when asking multiple questions in a single message, they will often only get a short answer on one of the questions with the others being ignored. Some customers go so far as to number the questions to try to avoid this happening. This comes down to the inattentiveness of the staff, partly due to pressure to process a fixed number of customer contacts per hour, leading to rushing.

Within customer service and support, it is possible to use feedback to redesign product packaging, provide better instructions, create video walkthroughs, update the knowledge base, and use other tactics to reduce the pain (and reduce costly customers contacts too).

Process Paint Points: Wrongheaded Processes Cause Customer Frustration

Generally, customers understand that businesses have processes that they follow. Even if they’re unfamiliar with the term or understand how processes are created, they still fundamentally get that businesses are large enough to need to follow procedures.

Customers can experience pain because the processes are poor and create frustration. Not being able to work around the system to fight against it, they struggle to get help. This could occur when wanting to reach a certain employee and being only able to get through to the customer service team. Or it could be when asking a direct question and being given an oblique, non-committal response.

This is a situation where processes can be updated using a continuous improvement approach to never let them sit unchanged for years at a time.

I’m Just a Number Pain Point

The last pain point we’ll mention often crosses over several others. It is when the customer feels like they are being treated as “just a number” because it’s such a large organization and they’re being shepherded around.

This can occur when they struggle using the phone system “dial 1 for this, dial 2 for that” and cannot reach the right person. When customer services give them rote answers rather than listening to their problem and providing a human answer that’s more honest and helpful, they feel like they’re getting nowhere.

These types of customers will often feel frustrated on several levels and will intentionally establish new business relationships with smaller companies where they find such issues are less acute.

Addressing customer pain points is critical to building a successful business. Otherwise, a poor reputation can result online that leads to bad business results in the future.

By Krasimir Hristov | 30/12/2021