How to turn customer pain points into business gains

Leveraging pain points in your business customer’s operations

One of the best ways to be a success is to identify your customers’ problems and give them the solution. That’s what business is all about! If you can identify their problems, you can use these pain points in your business’s marketing plan. Knowing that you understand their problems and have the ideal solution, ready and waiting, can take your business to the next level.

Leveraging customers’ pain points is so essential that billionaire Richard Branson once commented, “for your business to succeed you have to put yourself in the shoes of your customer and experience their pain.” (Source: Business Insider)

What do we mean by pain points in your business customers?

Some people can clearly state their problems and are actively searching for solutions. These people are easy to identify and engage with your products. If you can convince them of the efficacy of your product or service, they will be onboard in a minute! This is because you have clearly identified their pain points and your business has provided the solution they needed.

Other people don’t even realise they have a problem, not until you show them the solution. For example, your software might optimise productivity in a warehouse. If the owner doesn’t realise that his current system is not working as well as it could, then he or she won’t be searching for a solution. This means that you need to show these people that they have a problem and then introduce them to the solution.

The best way to attract the attention of people who don’t realise that your product or service is the solution they need to a problem they didn’t know they had is to identify their pain points. In business, customers tend to have four different problems or pain points: financial, productivity, process or support.

1. Financial pain points

This means that your customers think they are paying too much for a service or product. In other words, they have a limited budget.

Example: Workplace compensation lawyers across the country tend to market one key line above all else: “No win, no fee!” Why do they do this? They know that the cost of legal fees is a substantial pain point of their target market preventing them from using their legal services. By ensuring that there is no cost unless the case is won and compensation provided, they’ll alleviate the customers’ fear of being out of pocket.

2. Productivity pain points

This means that they think they are spending too much time in some aspect of their business which is not optimising their output. In other words, they have a time management problem.

Example: Check out the Google ad below for a simple search: “Uber for Business”. They’ve directly targeted two main pain points of their business-to-business customers: stress and productivity. By focusing on how using Uber For Business will reduce stress and increase productivity they’re assuring potential customers that their main pain points will no longer be painful.

Uber for business

3. Process pain points

This means that they believe they are not processing orders, leads and operations as efficiently as previously. In other words, rapid growth has resulted in outdated processes.

For example, Shopify, one of the largest international online providers of e-commerce websites, has built its brand on providing small and independent retailers with an easy platform for creating an online store that can grow as efficiently as their business. By focusing on the improved processes of online commercial activity with their platform, Shopify is directly addressing a key pain point of customers.

4. Support pain points

This means that they believe they aren’t receiving all the help they need from their current supplier (e.g. dealing with an ad hoc website malfunction!). In other words, they aren’t getting enough support to effectively use their current third party product or service.

Example: NextFlightCourier provides medical equipment courier service. Of course, when it comes to urgent and emergency medical care customers–in this case most likely hospitals–don’t just need support between the hours of 9 to 5. Recognising this, NFC have positioned themselves on line to offer pick up and delivery service “anywhere, anytime”. They’re open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to ensure that their customers have their support pain point completely and utterly alleviated.

These four pain points can help you to position your products or services to catch a potential business customer’s attention, however, it’s not that simple. That’s because they might not just have one pain point, but several. The more pain points you can touch, the more likely you’ll be to spark their interest. Also, there may be different levels to a single pain point, where for example, they are not happy with productivity in many areas of their business.

All of this means that identifying your business customer’s pain points can be a complex undertaking. If you can do it, however, and you can present your products or services as the solution to numerous pain points, then you can gain a customer for life.

Identifying your customer’s pain points

Your customer’s pain points will be many and varied and identifying them can be troublesome. The easiest way to resolve this issue is to speak to your customers and to your sales team. This is called qualitative research where you don’t need to worry about sample sizes and statistical analyses, you simply go to the source to find the problem.

This type of research works because the same problem or pain point can have entirely different underlying causes. This means that whilst the pain points might be the same for a number of customers, the cause and therefore, the solutions, may well be different. As you can appreciate, there’s no easy fix and no quick way to identify a customer’s problems. Once you have done this, however, you’re in the enviable position of being able to present your products or services as the perfect solution to these problems.

1. Speaking to your customers

Actually speaking to your current customers can provide a font of information that clearly identifies their pain points. Face-to-face meetings are a much better way of identifying their problems along with all the additional factors that might be making the situation worse. This is much better than sending them a survey, a strategy that is often used with limited success. With this influx of information, you can then focus on providing solutions to specific pain points in your business customer’s operations.

Famous marketer Neil Patel suggests a number of ways to gather information from your customers:

(1) Encourage customers to provide you with invaluable feedback by offering an incentive for them to provide you with data.
(2) Use an online live-chat system that’s quick and convenient for customers to use.
(3) Carefully inspect customer reviews online and offline, including both positive and negative ones.
(4) Use software products on your website to deliver targeted messages depending on their activity on your site. The feedback from this data will give you insight into their pain points and your success in addressing them. (Source: NeilPatel.com)

2. Speaking to your sales team

Your sales team will know exactly why your products or services are not selling. They will have intimate knowledge of your customer’s operations and know all the pain points in their business. The problem here, however, is that you need to recognise when your sales team is telling you about your customer’s pain points and not the team’s own problems. A lack in sales might not simply be due to the inability of your products or services to solve the customer’s problems. Instead it may be due to the team’s inability to match the benefits of your services and products to the customer’s pain points or even identify their pain points.

Case study: social marketing

As part of our SEO services, the GO Creative team provides professional social media marketing services. Not all customers experience the same pain points when it comes to social marketing. There are a variety of issues that customers can experience, from not knowing how to determine their return on investment (ROI) on social media to simply not knowing what sort of content to create and publish.

Our job is to understand our customers and work out their social media-related pain. We do this by offering a free consultation before any service agreements are even signed! That way, the services we provide can be tailored to addressing those concerns and ensuring their long term satisfaction.

Addressing customer pain points identified by your business

Victoria Taylor, the head of Customer Success at the UK-based company Traktion, equates customer success with “building a lasting relationship with your client to ensure they are achieving their desired outcome whilst using your product/service”. (Source: Core DNA) In other words, once you’ve identified the pain points of your customers, if you manage to address it and deliver the outcome desired, you’ll ensure a lasting successful relationship.

There are many ways you can approach your customer’s problems, but a quick example will be sufficient to give you an idea of an effective strategy you might use. If a customer mentions that they don’t understand how your product or service can help them, then this could be due to a lack of clarity in the sales presentation. However, it could also be due to the customer’s lack of understanding their own processes, just as much as a lack of understanding about your product.

Using the four pain points from above, you could explain how your product will increase their ROI (financial pain point), manage their time better and increase their output (productivity), update their lead generation systems (processes) and provide additional help to their own sales team (support).

Additional ways to address customer pain points that have proven to be effective in the past are testimonials. Many of the pain points suffered by your past business customers will resonate with your potential customers, helping them to understand the benefits they can also receive from your products or services. The overriding theme you need to get across to potential customers is how your products or services can solve their problems, a strategy that is much easier once you have identified their pain points. There are many ways to present this information to your customers but paid online ads and landing pages are extremely effective.

1. Online ads

If we take this example further, let’s say that you want to create an online ad for your product or service. You want to hit all of the possible pain points experienced by your customers with this ad, so you have decided to use the words ‘first month free’ and ‘fast, reliable, easy and affordable’ in the headline. All of these words are emotional triggers that refer to one of the four pain points mentioned above and are a very clever way of addressing all your customer’s problems in one ad. If you also include a reference to online reviews of your product in this ad, you have also included the all-important social testimonials as well.

2. Landing pages

Your landing page needs to be aligned with your online ad, expanding on all the pain points. Essentially, your landing page needs to focus on converting potential customers whose interest in your product has already been engaged by your ad. All the copy of your landing page needs to concisely relate to your customer’s pain points matching them to the benefits of your products or services. In particular, you need to leverage your customer’s problems using emotional triggers to help make the sale.

All of this brings us to our final point – that every customer is different and there is no single solution for their pain points. It takes time, dedication and research to identify the pain points in your business customer’s operations. With these to hand, you can clearly demonstrate to your customers how your products or services can help them achieve their own business goals.

Who are your customers? What sort of pain do you think they’re dealing with? And how can you address it?

We here at GO Creative would love to hear from you about what sort of customer pain points you’re working with and how you’re actioning them. Don’t be shy, get in touch with us today and share!