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Blog Customer Experience

A Definitive Guide to Finding Customer Pain Points

Sayantan Sen

25 January 2019

7 min read

Anyone, everyone, who’s ever tried to sell something will agree that it is super hard to find your ideal prospects. It’s no walk in the park. Why in the world would your customers want to buy the product/service you wish they’d buy?

Probably because you are solving one or more of their sore spots. They willingly pay for your product/service because they address their pain points and offer a badly needed relief.

Thus, all you need to make your product sell is to identify from your customer feedback surveys the customer pain points you resolve. You tell them why your product is exactly what they were looking for, and, Bingo! You’ve got a bunch of hungry, committed customers.

Where would you start though? You begin by understanding what customer pain-points actually mean.

A Quick Definition of Customer Pain Points

To put it straight, customer pain points are problems/challenges your prospective customers are facing. Pretty straight-forward, right? For a Restaurant owner, it could be the uninterested staff. For an HR Manager, it would be the employee retention rates taking a dip.

How likely are they to buy a product that promises to help solve exactly that challenge? Very likely, of course! That’s why discovering your customer pain points become the most critical factor for your business.

Here’s an easy and doable guide to finding customer pain points.

1. Gathering Information Through Your Sales Team

Your sales team can be so very helpful if you know how to tap their caliber. Yes, the purpose of your sales team is to convert leads into customers. And yes, without the right marketing strategy and market research tools, the sales team can rarely do well.

However, it seems that as a marketing team, very often, you can seek help from your sales team. Since they go out in the market and talk to prospective customers, they gather a lot of information that remain untapped.

As a business owner/marketer, you need to sit with the sales team and ask them the following questions:-

  • What are the questions that you repeatedly hear from your customers?
  • Why do they refuse to buy our products/services?
  • What solutions do they need?
  • What’s the strategy you followed to close the deal?
  • What would be your answer if I would ask you to jot down 5 core pain points of our prospects?

Why is it important to collect customer pain points from your sales team? It will propel them to ask the customers the right questions and collect the right information. Asking them the above questions will allow you to dig deeper. Which takes you forward to understanding and solving customer pain points.

Have a look at what Kristin Smaby says about the importance of collecting customer pain points:

quotes on customer painpoints


2. Understanding Customer Pain-points Through Google Ads

A start-up company won’t have many existing customers. And even if they have a few, the data points they would receive from them wouldn’t sufficient to understand the pain points of their ideal prospects.

So, what’s the alternative? Turns out, Google can help you a lot in finding out customer pain points. Let’s say that as a new company you sell accounting software. So, all you need to do is to go to Google and type “accounting software”.

use google to identify customer pain points



By writing “accounting software” in Google, first, you can take advantage of Google’s predictions. In the above image, have a look at what Google came up with –

  • Free download full version
  • Free
  • With GST
  • Tally
  • For small business in India

If you use the permutations and combinations of the phrase “accounting software”, you would get a brief idea about what people search on Google while looking for accounting software.

Further, search for “accounting software” on Google and look through the ads. Look at how each ad copy is written.


google ads to identify pain points

When I searched for “accounting software” on Google, these three ads were on top. The copy of the first and reads – “simplify your accounting process”, “sign up for a free trial”, “client portal”, “exhaustive reports”, “purchase order”, “inventory management” and such.

Why do you think they have mentioned these keywords in their copy? Probably because they know the customer pain points so very well.

If you list down what the ad copy reads, you will easily be able to find out what customer pain points they’re trying to solve. And you can target the similar challenges and update your product/service accordingly.

3. Referring your competitor’s FAQ/Testimonials/Case Studies

It is vital for companies, especially the newbies, to find out ingenious ways to collect customer pain points. Here’s an alternative to discover what your customers need from what your competitor will tell you.

First, select the right competitors for your business. Choose the competitors that are bigger than you in reach and market share. The right things to look is at their pricing page and look through what they offer. Do you offer the similar products/services? If yes, they’re your competitors.

Let’s say that you offer email services. Now, to understand the customer pain points of the prospects, you need to look at similar companies that are much bigger than you. Here’s a snapshot of two popular email service providers:


look up competitors to understand customer painpoints

If you go through the features of MailChimp, you will see that they’re most suitable for businesses that just got started.

discover customer needs from competitor pages


If you go through the pricing page of ConvertKit, you would see they’re catering businesses that have a decent cash-flow and wish to improve their presence online.

Now, whosoever be your ideal customers (a new business, a small business or a large enterprise), you can zoom in on the customer challenges by using the above methodology.

The next way is to go to their FAQ page (testimonials or case studies, as applicable).

Once you made a quick judgment on what your competitors offer and for whom, you can go to their FAQ page and find out who (ideal prospects) they’re targeting and what “pain points” they’re talking about.

Have a look at the FAQ page of the ConvertKit:

use competitor FAQ to get ideas


In their FAQ page, they have answered a lot of questions such as:

  • Is ConvertKit built for people like me?
  • Is there a way to try ConvertKit before I pay?
  • Can you help me move from my old provider?
  • Do I pay extra based on how many emails I send?

By using this technique, you’re using the research of your competitors without any cost. All you need to do is to read everything that you can get your hands on and then target the pain points that seem relevant.

4. Ask Your Existing Customers to Go Through a ‘List Protocol’

The marketers or business owners don’t just magically realize the pain points of their prospects. They need to dig deep to find out.

Possibly the easiest way to find the customer problems is by talking to your existing customers, relying on market research surveys, and discussing what they’re struggling with. For instance, you can start with an email that reads like this:

email template to identify customer painpoints
If I were to receive an email with a similar message, I’d love to contribute. As would many of your customers.

Derek Sivers of CD Baby used to send his customers emails with a creative punch at the end. If the customers would take out their time to help his company out, he would literally send them pizza or a pack of lozenges. He believes that if you make customers happy, they will be happy to pay you.

Quote on customer happiness


While we are at it, what exactly should you ask in your survey? I’ll tell you what. Ask them to go through a protocol where they can list down the challenges they face. You can help them think with prompts such as these:

  • “What keeps you awake at night?”
  • “What’s the thing that you worry about all day?”
  • “What is it that you’re fed up dealing with?”

Now that they tell you what challenges they face, you can ask them to choose the acutest problem they have to deal with.

The purpose of asking them to identify their challenges is to see whether there’s any disconnect between what you’re offering and what they’re experiencing.

You may now follow up with a query on which challenges you help solve with your product/service. Heard of a product-market fit? This is it!


Your job isn’t done just by finding the customer pain points. I’d rather you think of it as the beginning. Based on the customer pain points, you need to create buyer personas for all stages of the lifecycle and then create a content strategy for your ideal prospects.


buyer's journey is done digitally

As per Sirius Decisions, 67% of the buyer’s journey gets done digitally. Now it has become more important that you address the customer pain points at each stage of the buyer’s journey – awareness, consideration, and decision.

There! You now know how to identify the customer pain-points and what to do with that information. So? Don’t just wait.

Go, make something happen!

Sayantan Sen

Guest Blogger at SurveySparrow

Help businesses achieve their vision through content. Passionate about entrepreneurship, content marketing, blogging, and social media.

Everything about delighting customers.
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