Understanding and solving customers’ pain points can push your business to success. When you understand your customers’ pain points, you can position your company as a potential solution.

What is a pain point? A pain point is a specific problem that prospective customers of your business are experiencing. In other words, pain points are problems, plain and simple. Like customers, pain points can be diverse and varied. However, not all prospective customers are even aware that they are experiencing a pain point. This is where you come in, to help them realize they have a problem, and convince them that you can offer the solution.

Because keeping it simple is always better, breaking pain points down into categories, will help you narrow your focus and better target them. Pain points can be broken down into:

  • Financial Pain Points: Your prospects are spending too much money on their current provider/solution/products and want to reduce 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.
  • Support Pain Points: Your prospects aren’t receiving the support they need at critical stages of the customer journey or sales process.

When you think of pain points within these categories, it allows you to start thinking strategically how to position your company’s product or service as a solution to a specific problem.

The first step in understanding and solving a pain point is to identify them. The way to do that is through qualitative research. But what is that? Qualitative research focuses on detailed, individualized responses to open-ended questions, as opposed to quantitative research which is standardized questions. Qualitative is better because pain points can be very subjective. Even if two customers have the exact same problem, the underlying causes could be different. One of the best ways to get this research going, is to really listen to your customers. You can do this in many ways, including inviting customers to attend workshops and collaborative sessions.

The other research resource at your disposal is your sales team. Your sales reps work on the frontlines every single day, which makes them an invaluable source of feedback on your prospective customers’ pain points. It is important to note here, that you’re looking for your customers’ pain points, and not your sales reps’ pain points. That is a different issue, and must be distinguished and addressed separately. To identify your customers’ pain points, you have to isolate what is causing them the problem. If your customers find your product difficult to sell, that’s a pain point. If your sales reps find your product difficult to sell, that’s not a customer pain point. The difference is important to keep in mind, or you’ll be solving the wrong problem.

Once you’ve conducted qualitative research and gathered the data about the pain points your prospective customers are experiencing, then what? Remember, they are prospective customers, not existing customers, so you need to market your solution to them. You can start marketing your solutions via print ads, social media, and online ads, by using the knowledge you have accumulated to launch a campaign. And it’s not just about identifying your prospects’ pain points, it’s also about emphasizing what solving this pain will help your prospects do. The clearer you can make this in your copy and campaigns, the more likely your prospects are to respond positively.

Finally, keep in mind that you can’t prove that your product or service will be the most effective in easing your prospective customers’ pain point. What works for one customer might not work for another. This is when word of mouth recommendations and customer testimonials can be useful to persuade the customer that your product or service could make your life better.

Read more relevant blog post: ‘Knowing Your Audience’ What Does That Really Mean?