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A Definitive Guide to Finding Customer Pain Points in 2024

Sayantan Sen

14 October 2023

7 min read

Why are sales and marketing teams obsessed with customer pain points?

Well, anyone, everyone, who’s ever tried to sell something will agree that it is tough to find your ideal prospects. It’s no walk in the park. Why would your customers 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 you address their pain points and offer badly needed relief.

If you want your product to sell, identify the customer pain points from your customer feedback surveys. Let them know why your product is exactly what they are looking for, and, bingo! You’ll get a bunch of committed customers.

But, where should you start though? You begin by understanding what customer pain points mean.

A Quick Definition of Customer Pain Points

Customer pain points are problems/challenges your prospective customers are facing. Pretty straightforward, right?

Now, what are some examples of a customer’s pain point? 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 address their issues specifically? Very likely, of course! That’s why discovering your customer pain points becomes the most critical factor for your business.

Types of Customer Pain Points

Before we look at ways to identify pain points, we need to understand the different issues customers meet with.

1. Poor Customer Service

Nobody likes waiting on hold for hours. And then again, just imagine getting vague and unhelpful responses from customer support. Lengthy response times, unhelpful representatives, or lack of personalized assistance can significantly impact their experience.

2. Complicated User Experience

Complex interfaces, confusing navigation, or unclear instructions can create frustration. When customers struggle while using a product or service, it leads to dissatisfaction. This can further lead to abandonment of the offering.

3. Ineffective Communication

Clear, consistent communication is key! Mixed-up messages can cause misunderstandings. For example, ambiguous product details, conflicting information, or misaligned marketing messages can erode customer trust and confidence.

4. Product Quality Issues

When something you buy falls apart or doesn’t work as promised, it’s beyond frustrating, right? Customers may experience inconvenience, leading to dissatisfaction and negative reviews.

How to Identify Customer Pain Points 

1. Gathering information through your sales team

Your sales team can be 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’t do well.

However, it seems that as a marketing team, very often, you can seek help from them. Since they go out into the market and talk to prospective customers, they gather a lot of information that remains 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 our 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 asked you to jot down five 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.

Then, their next question would be: What questions should I ask to identify pain points? SurveySparrow‘s easy-to-customize Pre-Sales Questionnaire is a pretty helpful tool to use here.


Now, asking your team the above-listed questions will allow you to dig deeper. So, where does go? It 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:

understanding-customer-pain-points-through-the-sales-team

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 be sufficient to understand the pain points of their ideal prospects.

So, what’s the alternative? Turns out that Google can help you find 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 will get a brief idea about what people search for 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 pointsThese three ads were on top when we ran the search. The copy of the first ad 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? It’s because they know what their customers are going through.

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

3. Referring to your competitor’s FAQs/Testimonials/Case Studies

It is vital for companies, especially newbies, to find ingenious ways to collect customer pain points. Here’s an alternative. Try to discover what your customers need from the information you gather from your competitors.

1. Choose the right competitors

First, select the right competitors for your business. Choose those that are bigger than you in reach and market share. You can maybe take a look at their pricing or feature page to see what they offer.

Do they offer products/services similar to yours? If yes, voila! They’re your competitors.

For instance, let’s say that you decide to offer Surveys using AI. Now, to understand the client’s pain points, you need to look at similar companies that excel in it. Here, when SurveySparrow comes right at the top of all your searches, you might consider analyzing the product and website to make informed decisions.  surveysparrow-ai-survey-to-understand-customer-pain-points

2. Go through FAQs

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 you can go to their FAQ page and find out who (ideal prospects) they’re targeting and what “user pain points” they’re talking about.

Now, let’s assume you are a company offering email services. Have a look at the FAQ page of ConvertKit:

use competitor FAQ to get ideas

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 read everything that you can get your hands on and then target the user pain points that seem relevant.

4. Ask your existing customers to go through a ‘List Protocol’

Marketers or business owners don’t just magically realize the pain points of their prospects. They dig deep.

Possibly the easiest way to find customer problems is by talking to the existing ones. How? By utilizing 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 you were to receive an email with a similar message, wouldn’t you 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 their time to help his company out, he would send them pizza or a pack of lozenges. He believes that if you make customers happy, they will be happy to pay you.

ask-your-existing-customers-to-go-through-a-list-protocol-for-customer-pain-points

While we are at it, what exactly should you ask in your customer survey?

You can 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?”

Once 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 issue they need your further assistance with. Have you heard of a product-market fit? That must be your end goal! This is what a Product Market Fit Survey Template looks like.

product-market-fit-survey-template

If you like it and want to see more, sign up for free!

Conclusion

Your job isn’t done just by finding the customer’s 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.

Then use this data to create a customer journey map, and then create a content strategy for your ideal prospects.

SurveySparrow is a great tool to help you quickly convert customer data into helpful insights.

Sign up to try the software for free.

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.
You’ll find them here.

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