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How To Identify Customer Pain Points In A Flash

Every business ends up with unhappy customers. We may not like it, but it’s unavoidable since nobody is perfect! However, it’s possible that your customers may be experiencing more frustrations with your business than necessary.

It’s also possible that you’re doing fine, but your competitors are leaving their customers unsatisfied. If you haven’t done anything to demonstrate how you can improve on their performance, you’re leaving a lot of potential business on the table.

These complaints and difficulties these customers are experiencing usually have one or more common threads. They indicate a consistent problem with the business at hand- something we call a “customer pain point.”

What Do We Mean by “Pain Points”?

So, what are pain points? Customer pain points are specific problems or frustrations that your customer runs into on a regular basis. Businesses exist to solve these customer pain points through products or services.

customer pain point definition on a blue and orange background

The better you can address a particular pain point, the more positively your customers will engage with your business.

Pain points tend to fall into one of four categories.

A customer experiences financial pain points when they feel they’re paying too much for something they need.

Support pain points occur when customers feel like they don’t get enough communication and support from their current solution provider.

Productivity pain points revolve around a customer’s feeling that they are spending too much time and energy to solve a problem.

Process pain points can feel similar to productivity pain points, as they occur when a customer feels that their process for solving a problem is inefficient.

four types of customer pain points

However, these types of pain points tend to crop up more in B2B relationships and have more to do with the complexity of a solution than the effort.

How to Identify Pain Points

If you want your business to appeal more strongly to your customer base, you’ll need to understand how best to solve their problems. That means you must learn how to identify customer pain points.

Taking the time to learn what’s bugging your customers is essential. After all, a seemingly cut-and-dry problem usually has underlying causes that lead to other pain points.

Don’t assume you know what’s wrong: check, and then double-check.

Some customer pain points are generalized to your industry, such as people being dissatisfied with the price of all locksmiths in their area. Others will be specific to your business, like customer dissatisfaction with your shipping speeds.

It’s essential to consider and understand both types of pain points.

Below are four common, easy ways to identify customer pain points so you can make corrections to your business practices.

4 ways to identify customer pain points on an orange background

Survey Your Customers

Your customers will often be the first person to tell you what is and isn't working with your product or service. Listen to your community and take their feedback to heart.

By conducting well-constructed and brief surveys, you’ll be able to hear directly what your customers are struggling with.

Ask questions like:

  • What problem were you trying to solve when you initially came across our product or service?

  • What is the top benefit that you have received from our product or service?

  • What is the biggest drawback of our product or service?

  • What would you likely use as an alternative to our product or service if it were no longer available?

  • How do you think we could improve our product or service?

These surveys can also help lead your customers, leads, or audience down the marketing funnel towards the loyalty stage.

When your audience feels like their thoughts and opinions are considered, they’re more likely to continue to purchase your product or service and recommend you to their peers.

Types of survey for the buyer journey

To learn more about the importance of customer surveys, when to conduct them, and how to conduct them, click here.

Utilize Sales and Customer Service Teams

The best people to ask for information about your customer are the ones who communicate with them most frequently.

Your sales and customer service team members speak with customers every day, hearing their problems, complaints, and hopes for your business. They have a keen perspective of what is and isn’t working- probably even better than your own!

You can learn a lot from them. Give them some time every month or two to check-in and pass on the messages they’re frequently hearing from the customers.

customer servicewoman gaining insight from a customer

Ask them questions like:

  • What were the pain points put forward by the prospect?

  • What did the prospect like/dislike about the product?

  • Why did the prospect choose not to use our business?

  • What would have kept the prospect from turning down the product?

  • Did the prospect compare our product with the competition? If yes, which aspect did they compare?

Check Out Your Online Reviews

Today, more people than ever are taking to online platforms to write reviews of the products and services they experience.

Some of these people only review when they’re very upset with their experience, while others are review fanatics that evaluate everything in sight. You can learn a lot from most of these reviews, no matter what perspective they’re coming from.

You’ll be able to see in plain words what was upsetting or exciting enough about their experience to compel them to write a review.

The breakdown of these pros and cons should give you some ideas as to how you can improve your company. Oh, and while you’re looking at your reviews, be sure to respond to them!

quote about responding to customer reviews on orange and purple

Whether they’re positive or negative, this will have a beneficial effect on your SEO and public perception of your business.

Research Your Competitors

Don’t just look at your own reviews- look at your competitors’. You’ll find some of the things that help them keep their customers, and what pain points are losing them customers.

Anything they could be doing better is something you have an opportunity to take advantage of.

Review their social media as well, as you’ll often discover pain points in their marketing. What platforms are working best for them? What types of posts are making their audience happy? Often, feedback, complaints, and compliments appear on social media platforms as well. It’s a good source of information outside the typical review environment.

Which Method Will You Use First?

By asking smart questions, doing a little research, and truly absorbing the feedback you get, you’ll discover some of the pain points your customers are experiencing most often.

You should also get some strong ideas about how you can improve on these pain points going forward. Hearing out complaints can be challenging, especially if you’re not sure you have the resources to address them right away.

Ultimately, though, information is power in the business world, and the better informed you are, the better you’ll be able to adapt and grow going forward!

Some of your customer pain points may revolve around your website. A roughly-made, inefficient, or outdated website can drive away potential customers and make it harder to build a good reputation.

If your website is giving you trouble, Zoek can help! Just reach out today for a consultation with one of our Wix website designers. We’d be happy to answer those pain point questions and set you on a path to greater success!


Ryan Sargent is a Content Specialist at Zoek, an SEO, Web Design, and Digital Marketing Agency that assists small and medium-sized businesses with their online footprint. He’s been a writer for over ten years, handling everything from pop culture coverage to video descriptive services to marketing copy and SEO text. Outside of work, Ryan also spends time as a game designer and podcaster, and enjoys watching movies and visiting new places with his wife.


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