Your customers have the clearest view of your products and services because they are the ones actually paying for them.
So, it’s important to analyze how your customers use your products and services, listen to customer feedback to find out how customers feel about their experiences, and understand at what particular points they may be having problems along the customer journey.
These problems are called customer pain points.
Customer pain points are specific problems customers encounter at any point of the “customer journey.” A pain point is any situation creating issues for the customer when the product or service doesn’t work seamlessly for them.
Customer pain points are inefficiencies in product experience (PX) or customer experience (CX). When a customer purchases a product or service they expect it to work exactly to their needs. And, even if you’ve spent months or years on R&D and testing, you won’t necessarily have created the perfect product for your customers. So you need to analyze customer pain points to understand specifically where your customers may be struggling.
Identifying customer pain points and what matters most to them are key to improving your products or services, making them accessible to the demographics you’re targeting, and creating seamless internal processes, so your customers are always center of mind.
But what are different customer pain point categories you have to look out for?
The most common types of customer pain points fall under the following categories. You’ll need to analyze them in order to improve and grow your business:
Price point is one of the most delicate aspects of the customer experience (CX). Customers want to feel like they’re getting a good value for their money. It’s simple to compare pricing to that of your competition, and look at how many subscribers or monthly purchasers you have. This is quantitative data that can be easily calculated with spreadsheets, like Excel and Google Sheets.
You can go deeper into financial pain point analysis, however, with open-ended survey questions, for example. Open-ended questions allow respondents to answer in their own words, offering opinions and feelings, or qualitative feedback.
Qualitative feedback allows you to understand the nuances of response data, more than just “Does the price seem fair: Yes or No?” but “Why do you feel that the price is too high?” or “What can we do to give you more value?” Sometimes offering relatively simple new features can be all it takes to give your customers more value for the money.
Products and services need to be designed for ideal usability. What are aspects of the product or service that waste time or may even be unnecessary? What aspects of your business work particularly well and could be put to use in other departments or features?
In SaaS businesses, for example, products should be designed to make life easier for your customers, increase their comfort, and allow them to use their time more efficiently. Time management is key, because customers want a product that solves their problems and doesn’t have a huge learning curve or require a lot of outside learning.
Onboarding, for example, is a common productivity pain point in SaaS – so you need it to work as seamlessly as possible, with easy-to-use tutorials and FAQs, and customer support always at the ready. When customers are properly trained to use products from the get go, there will be fewer pain points down the road and less stress on your customer service department.
Process pain points often cause the most headaches for customers because they can seem completely avoidable – yet, the customer is forced to endure them. Customers will often choose a product or service that costs more but is convenient over something that is cheaper but more difficult to use.
Performing a customer needs analysis to view your business from the customer’s POV can help greatly to understand these pain points and help you connect all of your processes. Your sales teams need to be fully educated on what they're selling, for example, and be able to connect prospective customers quickly and painlessly to make purchases.
SaaS products should offer as many easy-to-use integrations with other relevant software as possible, to simplify a user’s external processes, as well, so they don’t waste time switching from application to application.
Another simple note of advice: make information easy to find on your website or in your app, with business hours clearly marked and problem-solving tools like FAQs and tutorials readily available.
When you’re working to alleviate customer pain points, you need to build your company with a completely customer-centric philosophy. And that means giving your customers more convenient customer service and omnichannel support.
Customer support pain points can be some of the most time-consuming, because customers waste time trying to figure out the best way to contact you, or are left waiting by staff overwhelmed with support tickets. Certain tools and techniques can help streamline processes to automatically tag and route tickets, so you’re not wasting precious time simply figuring out why the customer needs help.
You need to make customer support available across all possible channels: phone, email, live chat, social media, etc., especially given Zendesk’s recent CX trends report showing that,in 2020, support communication grew by 110% on social media, 75% in SMS/Text, and 36% on in-app messaging. And a huge 64% of customers used a completely new service channel in 2020, with 73% of them planning to continue to use it.
Identifying customer pain points is easy when you learn how to properly listen to the voice of the customer (VoC). It’s as simple as collecting voice of customer data and analyzing it using AI tools to get the most accurate and detailed insights. Let’s take a closer look:
1. Gather customer data – from surveys, support tickets, social media, and more.
2. Use AI tools to identify customer pain points in data.
Voice of customer analysis allows you to follow customers’ opinions about your products and services and their reactions to your pricing, processes, etc., across the entire customer journey. You’re probably already collecting quite a bit of relevant customer feedback from emails, live chats, and customer support tickets.
SaaS customer feedback analysis tools, like MonkeyLearn, can integrate with CRM systems, email applications, and more, effectively consolidating this information, funneling all customer interactions together, and streamlining communication to proactively alleviate pain points. Meanwhile, you will have collected valuable data on customer pain points for further analysis.
MonkeyLearn’s text analysis tools also integrate with customer satisfaction survey tools, like SurveyMonkey and Typeform, so you can perform regular surveys to target individual pain points and have them analyzed automatically. MonkeyLearn allows you to go beyond the quantitative data of simple Yes/No or On a scale of 1 to 10 data, into qualitative data research, to uncover the feelings and opinions of your customers – oftentimes uncovering outcomes you may have never considered.
You can even extract data from social media, online reviews, news reports, and more, to find out what your customers are saying all across the internet – and compare it to similar data from your competition.
Data visualization tools, like MonkeyLearn Studio, can collect, analyze, and visualize this data, all in a single, easy-to-use and easy-to-understand dashboard. Take a look at how qualitative voice of customer data from Zoom has been quantified:
Each piece of customer feedback has been automatically organized by topic or subject: Usability, Support, Pricing, etc., then by sentiment, so we can see which aspect of the business is particularly Positive and which is Negative.
Imagine this analysis run on all of your customer data to uncover pain points 24/7 and in real time. You’ll be able to institute changes and respond to issues almost instantaneously. MonkeyLearn Studio presents an overall view of customer pain points and the ability to dig into individual aspects and issues.
And with the ability to train AI tools to the needs, language, and criteria of your business – tedious, often inaccurate human analysis is a thing of the past.
1. Don't assume you already know your customer's issues. Oftentimes, customer pain points occur in aspects of your business you hadn’t even thought of. An in-depth VoC analysis across the entire customer journey with open-ended surveys, customer support analysis, and social media sentiment analysis will help ensure you leave no rock unturned.
2. Detect common and easy to solve customer pain points. Use live chat and chatbots to automatically respond to common questions and solve issues that may not require customer service agents. You may need to rethink employee training to ensure that customers are properly onboarded to proactively avoid future issues.
3. Integrate processes for seamless communication across internal departments and to establish omnichannel customer support, so that customers aren’t left waiting for help.
4. Put a customer feedback loop in place to (1) gather, (2) analyze, and (3) act on customer feedback. This will make sure that you’re not only analyzing customer pain points but also “closing the loop” to let customers know that you’re listening and, ideally, have solved their pain point.
5. Help and support your customers with the solution. Be prepared to walk them through any help they may need.
Customer pain points can be a huge problem for any company, and you can’t merely assume that you know where they’re occurring. It’s important to dig into pain points with a full customer needs analysis and institute a customer feedback loop to inform your customers when appropriate changes have been made.
You’ll be able integrate processes and uncover customer insights from internal data, like emails, live chats, and surveys – and from all over the web, on social media, forums, review sites, and more. This will allow you to improve products, make your customers happier, and, ultimately, increase your profits.
Sign up to MonkeyLearn’s tools to see what they can do to analyze and alleviate your customers’ pain points.
Or request a demo to see how you can spot pain points in an instant.
March 4th, 2021