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How to Identify and Overcome Customer Pain Points?

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How to Identify and Overcome Customer Pain Points?

Sep 14, 2022
    |    
8 min read
    |    
Hiver HQ
Steven Macdonald

Table of contents

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One of the most important aspects of running a successful business is understanding your customer journey pain points.

Customer journey pain points are difficulties your customers, or prospective customers encounter when interacting with your business. 

Understanding them helps you think about solutions with genuine insight into the issues caused by their problems. 

When you understand how to tackle pain points successfully, you won’t just turn more of your leads into customers⁠; you could also start capturing your competitors’ customers. 

Simply put, not identifying and tackling common customer pain points can lead to poor customer service resulting in lost customers and a poor brand reputation. In fact, Hiver’s research report shows that 30% of consumers will not give brands more than one chance after a bad customer service experience.

In this article, we’ll look at the types of customer pain points and learn practical tips on how you can:

  1. Find problems in your business
  2. Learn actionable ways to overcome them.

Table of Contents

4 Types of customer pain points

There are four main, well-researched customer pain points:

customer-pain-points
The types of customer pain points

1. Process pain points

Process pain points are problems in your internal processes that enable your business to interact with customers. These refer to cases in which it takes too long to get a response, causing potential customers to lose interest and go elsewhere.

Customer pain points related to processes include:

  • Tracking and delivery issues
  • Anything that doesn’t work–for example, the item won’t add to the cart
  • Too many redundant steps in the customer journey
  • Waiting in queues for answers to questions
  • Poor communication between teams
  • Difficulty in connecting to the correct department

2. Financial pain points

Most customers pay attention to price, value, and the potential to save money. In fact, according to a survey by BrizFeel, 36% of consumers say that price is one of the most important factors that drive customer loyalty.

Financial pain points come from the customers’ goal to cut back on the money they’re spending on your service or product. In other words: these are customer problems that involve money.

Money-related customer pain points include:

  • Expensive subscription plan or membership fee
  • No transparency of the final cost, for example adding hidden fees at checkout causes 16% of people to abandon their online carts due to not seeing or calculating their total order cost up-front, as per Baymard research.
  • Overpaying for equipment, software, or tools
  • Less browsing and spontaneous purchases, more buying in bulk

3. Customer support pain points

66% of customers think a company’s customer service reputation is a critical factor while making a purchase decision, according to Hiver’s research report. If your customers don’t get the help and support they need when looking for a solution, rest assured they’ll soon be looking for an alternative elsewhere. 

Customers lose trust when they encounter customer service staff who do not understand their products, services, or the importance of contributing to a positive experience.

According to Hiver’s research results, 1 in 2 people say the most annoying part of bad customer support is explaining their problem multiple times to different customer support agents.

customer-pain-points
A consumer’s insight into bad customer support experiences

Support pain points come from a failure to help your customers with their product-related questions throughout their customer journey or the sales process.

Examples of this pain point include:

  • Having to repeat information when transferred to other teams. Customers get frustrated when they provide information and it isn’t passed on to the appropriate person. 
  • Being unable to find answers on their own. Customers ideally want to resolve their own problems. Frustration arises when answers can’t be found in a self-service channel of their choice.
  • Not knowing who to speak to in the event of a problem with your product or service
  • Lack of product knowledge in your support team 
  • Lack of information available about your product or service

4. Productivity pain points

Customers don’t want to waste time using your services or products. They want to use their time more efficiently and productively.

Understanding productivity pain points can help you offer a solution that balances time and convenience. That means eliminating some of these inefficiencies:

  • Outdated processes and redundant steps in the buying process
  • Complicated checkout processes
  • Forms that don’t work with your customers’ systems
  • Not providing add-ons to boost your customers’ efficiency with your product (i.e. no mobile app for repeat purchases or access to user/ onboarding guides to SaaS products).

How to identify customer pain points?

Now that we know what the different kinds of pain points are, we need to work out how to identify them. Take a look at these tips that help you recognize them.

1. Observe your competitors

Growing your business without monitoring your competitors is a high risk. 

Closely observing your competitors’ pain points will help you understand what works and what doesn’t work for your business. Observing your competitors’ social media marketing strategy, for example, will help you come up with ideas and strategies that can strengthen your market position. 

Also, monitor third-party review sites to find out what people are saying about your competitors. What do they like? What do they dislike? Having this information will help you decide which areas of your product or service you need to focus on.

2. Use live chat

According to a report by Salesforce, 81% of customers use online chat for communicating with a company.

customer-pain-points
A large number of customers prefer using live chat to communicate their needs

A good live chat option allows customers to share their pain points instantly. It also gives an opportunity for your business to respond immediately and gather data on common pain points – all in real-time.

Using live chat on a company website is also an excellent passive way of gathering data regarding customer pain points. While there’s no way to measure exactly what a customer is seeking when they’re on your FAQ page, the queries they ask on live chat can be collected and studied to understand customer needs and pain points.

3. Check in with your sales, marketing, and support teams

Customers interact with multiple teams across their journey with your brand. So, it’s only fair that you collect information about their pain points from a range of sources like marketing, customer service, and sales teams.

Doing this will help you collect specific data points such as:

  • The frequency of a particular problem
  • Whether the pain point occurs at a certain point in the year
  • Whether particular segments of customers have specific problems 
  • How these pain points are usually resolved

4. Implement thank you page surveys

Using customer surveys to uncover pain points is standard practice for marketing and customer service teams. 

However, traditional methods of sending surveys and questionnaires by email are plagued by two common problems: inaccurate or missing information and low response rates.

Implementing thank you page surveys, on the other hand, is a great way to increase customer response rates. Customers who’ve just bought from you are much more likely to comply with another request – filling a survey, in this case.

Here’s the thing:

Your thank you page has an effective ‘open rate’ of 100%. Every shopper sees it – this is not the case with your traditional email survey. The more impressions you get, the more responses you will collect – leading to more pain points identified.

A thank you page captures your customers’ thoughts and feelings immediately after the checkout. The shopping experience is still fresh in their minds, which means you’ll get more accurate information about your customer’s pain points.

5. Conduct market research and surveys

According to a report by Microsoft, 89% of customers view brands favorably if they proactively invite and welcome customer feedback.

Offering customers an incentive to complete surveys helps increase potential responses. For example, you could offer discounts on products or lower subscription charges for a specific duration.

Ensure to include open-ended questions in your surveys. Questions like: what communication channels do you prefer? Or what suggestions do you have to improve our customer service?

Ask the right questions and don’t make them too specific.

Questions that are too specific usually end up with businesses losing out on possible breakthroughs and end up with the same answers that only cater to assumptions, and not to real problems.

How to overcome customer pain points?

Here’s how to help customers overcome their pain points before they switch brands.

1. Remedy any pain points that are easy to fix

Sounds simple, but this is one strategy that is highly effective! 

It’s likely you will have many pain points which are relatively easy to fix. A broken link, a rude employee, or long call wait times can all be fixed with relative ease, showing that your company is taking action to improve customer experience

There may be instances where you make a mistake, or where your customers misunderstand what you have said. Perhaps the salesperson promised them an unrealistic shipping date or the wrong price, or your product or service quality didn’t meet their high expectations. When it comes to employees, you can use a time tracking system to keep up with their productivity and how they get the job done.

Make sure customer support reps have access to clear procedures for escalation management. Knowing how to escalate their concerns further builds confidence and trust. 

In fact, according to a report by Khoros, 83% of customers agree that they feel more loyal to brands that respond to and resolve their complaints.

Once you’ve found the solution and put the necessary changes in place, measuring improvement and monitoring it is the most fundamental action your business should take.

The only way to truly know whether the customer pain points are resolved is when you see actual improvements in the customer experience.

2. Analyze results from research

Finding the root cause of your prospect’s pain points is an important step in understanding how to fix them.

Analyze results from third-party review sites, customer research and surveys, and social media comments and integrate them with your existing data.

Recommended Reading

customer-pain-points

3. Improve processes and monitor changes

Now that you’ve got robust data about your customers’ pain points from a variety of sources, use it as a way to improve your internal processes and systems.

For example: if you’ve identified that one of your customers’ frequent pain points is not having access to online user guides, develop your website to include access to information about your product or service based on insightful customer feedback.

But, updating your processes isn’t the be-all and end-all. Monitoring and tracking your improvements is vital to working out if your customer pain points are actually resolved. 

4. Offset negative experiences with positive experiences

Offset customer pain points by providing positive customer service experiences. In fact, according to a Qualtrics research report, nearly 80% of customers will forgive a bad experience if they rate the service team as very good.

Your customer may post a negative comment on an independent review site. Respond quickly by acknowledging their experience and offering to follow up to remedy their pain point. Offsetting negative comments with positive experiences can show that you take their feedback seriously and take action to improve their buying experience.

Similarly, customers may have had a negative experience with a competitor and their pain point was unresolved. Provide a different experience by showing them how you listen carefully to customer pain points, take action to overcome them, and give customer feedback – all as standard practice!

It’s not just the customer service team that can benefit from this strategy. Your marketing can, too. Share the pain points and feedback with your marketing team and they can address this in their marketing communications. The end result? Better, relevant marketing messages that show new prospects how your product solves their problems.

5. Have a customer follow-up strategy

A customer service strategy is vital to improving your business brand. Most businesses prioritize their marketing efforts on attracting new customers. Many don’t give much thought to what happens once they have secured those clients.

Good customer service goes well beyond a sale and is offered to customers even after a transaction is closed. Customer follow-up is a great way to build trust. Be proactive in your support strategy, use follow-ups and above all, make sure the customer is happy.

Ultimately, it’s about showing your customers that you care about their experience.

Conclusion

Customer service plays an important role in overcoming pain points. 

Customer service software like Hiver can make the process of customer service follow-up really easy. With features like customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys, email templates, and the ability to personalize follow-up emails at scale.  

Never make assumptions about what you think your customer pain points are. When your business can find a way to identify and tackle customer pain points, you’ll succeed in keeping your current customers happy and winning over prospective ones from competitors.

Solutions like Hiver can help with this. They allow support teams to communicate seamlessly with customers, truly understand their pain points, and develop stronger customer relationships. 

Want to learn more about our unique solution?

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Resources you’ll love:

Steven Macdonald is a digital marketer based in Tallinn, Estonia.

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