A guide to finding & solving your customers’ problems

The best products solve problems, either by offering a solution to a problem that’s never been solved before or by offering an entirely new way of doing things.

Consumers don’t care how great your content and your products are. What they’re looking for are solutions to their problems.

That’s why you need to pay attention your audience’s problems. They are your best choice when attracting more potential customers for your physical store or e-commerce website and generating more revenue for your business.

All you need to do is find the challenges your audience is facing. When you search for topics and product ideas that will help you achieve your goals, they will provide you with guidelines to follow.

What are customer pain points?

A pain point is a specific problem that prospective customers of your business are experiencing. Here are the five main types of pain points:

  • Financial Pain Points: Your prospects are spending too much money on their current provider/solution/products and want to reduce their spend
  • Productivity Pain Points: Your prospects are wasting too much time using their current provider/solution/products or want to use their time more efficiently
  • Process Pain Points: Your prospects want to improve internal processes, such as assigning leads to sales reps or nurturing lower-priority leads
  • Learning Pain Points: A major reason why members of your niche may not succeed is they’re having trouble learning all of the new skills that coincide with it. Again, there could be several reasons for this, ranging from their own inexperience to a lack of reliable information and tutorials on topics related to your niche
  • Support Pain Points: Your prospects aren’t receiving the support they need at critical stages of the customer journey or sales process

Viewing customer pain points in these categories allows you to start thinking about how to position your company or product as a solution to your prospects’ problems, and what is needed to keep them happy.

Many prospective customers’ problems are layered and complex, and may combine issues from several of our categories above. That’s why you need to view your customers’ pain points holistically, and present your company as a solution to not just one particularly problematic pain point, but as a trusted partner that can help solve a variety of problems.

How to find your audience’s biggest pain points?

No matter how much data you have access to, focus on talking directly to your target audience. Here’s a round-up of the methods we’ll be going over:

  • Method #1: Ask Them
  • Method #2: Listen to Them
  • Method #3: Forums
  • Method #4: Reviews
  • Method #5: Comment Sections
  • Method #6: Keyword Research

Although many of your prospects are likely experiencing the same or similar pain points, the root cause of these pain points can be as diverse as your clientele. That’s why qualitative research is a fundamental part of identifying customer pain points.

Regardless of what’s causing the pain, you now have a pain point you can counter in your marketing. Remember our list of pain points from earlier in this post? Let’s take a look at the pain points we identified, and see how we could address them in our marketing:

  • Financial: Emphasize lower price point (if applicable), highlight the average savings of your client base, use language that reiterates better ROI
  • Productivity: Highlight reductions in wasted time experienced by current customers, emphasize ease-of-use features (such as at-a-glance overviews or a centralized dashboard)
  • Processes: Mention current/planned integrations with existing products/services (i.e. Slack’s integration with Dropbox and Salesforce), highlight how your product/service can make typically difficult/time-intensive tasks easier
  • Support: Help the prospect feel like a partner by highlighting your after-market support, use connecting language (“us,” “we” etc.) in your copy

It’s important to remember that you can’t “prove” you are capable to ease your prospects’ pain, and what works for one customer may not work for another. That’s what makes social validation so crucial when using customer pain points in your marketing; word-of-mouth recommendations and user reviews become much more persuasive when a prospect already believes your product or service could make their life better.

No pain, no gain.

By now, hopefully you have a better idea of what your customers are really trying to do when they’re looking for companies or products like yours. Although many customer pain points are similar, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to solving your customers’ pain. Fortunately, nobody knows your customers like you do, so dive into your research and start helping your customers accomplish what they really want to do.

It’s a much more effective way to go about planning your business in the long run. While you can’t guarantee you’ll earn more revenue this way, you’ll at least know you’re creating solutions for topics you know your audience cares about.