Understanding Common Customer Pain Points

product design


Want to master value-driven sales? You’ve got to learn how to get to the bottom of your customers’ pain points. Quick refresher: pain points are the common problems that your customers are currently encountering and, in many cases, they’re actively searching for solutions. If you understand your customers’ pain points, you can then position your brand as one that can help them get to the root of their issues. Here’s what you should know…

First, let’s talk more about those pain points. They typically fall into one of four overarching categories: finances, productivity, processes, and support. In order to understand the common challenges your customers face, you need to understand the different forms they might take:

  • Financial Pain Points: Perhaps the most commonly encountered pain points you’ll see have a financial element to them. While this often boils down to customers opting for the best prices they can find, it could also center around concerns about the longevity of a product, the use of a subscription model, the need to make bulk purchases, or the overall value of the product or service they intend on purchasing.
  • Productivity Pain Points: If a customer is having a problem with efficiency, they’re experiencing a productivity-based pain point. The speed at which something can be done can sometimes outweigh other factors, especially when a customer is in a pinch and needs to get results in the quickest manner possible.
  • Process Pain Points: These are closely related to productivity pain points, but are instead centered around entire business processes and how they can be made more efficient. As such, you’ll likely see these pain points the most with your B2B prospects.
  • Support Pain Points: These pain points usually have to do with the sales process, and whether or not customers feel like they’re getting adequate attention to their needs.

Now that you understand the broad strokes, how are you supposed to figure out what your customers’ specific pain points are? One of the most immediate ways you can do this through detailed, qualitative research. This differs from quantitative research (standardized questions/responses and statistically significant sample sizes) in that it zeroes in on individualized, detailed responses to open-ended questions.

Why? Because the world of pain points is a subjective one—even for two customers having what appears to be the same problem. A qualitative market study can help you get the types of responses that will be useful in evaluating where those pain points lie. You can gather the data you need through focus groups and workshops, but you don’t have to limit yourself to using those methods exclusively, as there’s plenty more info to be gathered from the field.

Your customers have plenty to say, and they’ll often reveal it to your sales reps, through customer service interactions, on reviews for your product or service, and at all the other little touchpoints where you grant them an opportunity to speak their mind.

Be sure to pay attention to the feedback you’re getting through these channels, and apply it to refining your brand so that it speaks more directly to the needs of your customers.