How to Find Customer Pain Points

Regardless of industry, your services and products are meant to provide answers for the issues that your customers encounter. Why do so many carefully designed solutions fail to meet the audience’s expectations?

Maybe it’s because businesses aren’t spending enough time on the first step: discovering customers’ pain points. Statistics and metrics are important, but in order to provide better value to your customers, you should begin by asking the correct questions. Here are some suggestions to help you get more out of consumer interactions.

Avoid assumptions

Your assumptions affect the way you interact with clients. For example, if you jump to the conclusion that your customer’s main pain point is poor time management, you might ask questions differently, unintentionally leading the conversation in an unproductive path. As a result, you fail to get helpful information about where your customer could use help. 

Ask the right questions

The questions you’ll ask clients vary by business, audience, and individual customer. Each conversation is different. A good way to gain helpful information from each interaction is by asking direct, open-ended questions. These type of questions are great conversation starters and allow for more beneficial discussion for both parties.

After getting to the root of the problem, you might learn that you have solutions that’ll help your customer — information that you wouldn’t have thought to share at first. Or better yet, you may discover one of your product offerings is the answer to a client’s pain. 

Example questions

“What’s the biggest obstacle you’re facing right now?”

This question is designed to get the customer talking about the pain point at a surface level. It’s a great conversation starter and leads to the discovery of new information. 

Example client response: “We’ve learned about several online reviews trash talking our company and we’re unsure how to address it.”

“What happens if you leave the problem unchecked?”

Once you’ve identified the problem, it helps to know how devastating the issue is to the customer. Is it costing them revenue, time, or their online reputation? This question allows you to evaluate the risks of leaving the problem alone against the benefits of making a change. It also reveals the client’s motivation for wanting to make a change. 

Example client response. “We get a lot of new clients through online referrals, and we don’t want these bad reviews to cost us customers.” 

“What has stopped your from easing the pain?” 

This question helps you find out what current and past solutions a client has used to solve the problem. It also helps you learn more about the hardships they’re facing. If they attempted other solutions, you can follow up and ask about those attempts: what went awry and what the customer would’ve done differently. Knowing an issue’s past helps you target a better alternative. 

Example client response: “To be honest, we don’t know much about online reviews, so we’re stuck right now.” 

“How would a new system solve the issue?”

This question is about establishing expectations. You might have identified the perfect solution to a customer’s issue, but if they have unrealistics expectations, they may never be happy with the results. In fact, many companies fail to meet customer expectations for great experiences. It pays to see if a customer’s expectations are plausible. 

Example client response: “We’re hoping you can teach us how to monitor and respond to online dialogue that involves our business, whether that means on social media platforms or review sites like Yelp.”

Change your pain point discovery methodology

Whether your client operates a SaaS call center or an e-commerce store, asking open ended questions helps you keep your customers happy. Take the time to actively listen and ask quality questions to help you find the right solutions to customer pain points. 


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