Whether you’re starting a new business or already established and growing, identifying your customers’ pain points is critical to your success. Your marketing strategy, products and services should all be geared toward solving your customers’ needs. Identifying the trigger that causes your customers to seek out your solution helps to articulate your value in a way that makes them feel as though you genuinely care. It also allows you to adequately solve their problems.
So how do you determine what these pain points are?
Act as if you’re a potential customer for your company and go through the entire customer lifecycle yourself so you can understand what your audience is going through, searching for, or struggling with in their day-to-day activities. Then you can prove to them that you genuinely understand their pain points, care about their problems and want to help.
Conducting market research is one of the most effective ways to identify customer pain points. Designing surveys that encourage your audience to provide the most insight is key, and open-ended questions are the way to do it. Focus on the “how” and “why” rather than the “what.” You want to know what your customers are feeling about a certain product or service, so that you can provide the correct answers and solutions. This proves that you have a genuine interest in what their problems are and allows you to solve them.
The most common mistake brands can make is talking too much. The decision to use your product or service rests in the hands of the customer. Listen to their story! Ask questions to learn what they’re feeling and what they need to make their ultimate decision. Then, take those insights to smooth out the customer journey and gain customer loyalty.
Market research is a never-ending process. Don’t make the mistake of doing it once at the beginning of your business and never thinking about it again. Feedback collection is arguably the most important part of market research, which is why you should never stop listening to your customers and analyzing their insights. This can be done through a structured survey process or measured checkpoints along the customer engagement process. Here you can find five of the best ways to collect customer feedback from Kissmetrics. Collecting feedback will allow you to find patterns and trends, better understand your customers’ problems, and ultimately serve their needs.
Every industry is being talked about online — whether blogging, online magazines, news sites, social media, forums, FAQ sites, etc. Look at this as free research about your customers’ pain points, just waiting to be read and analyzed by you. By spending a few hours per week looking at these sources, you’ll gain insight into your customers by reading what they read, learning what they want to learn and then using this information in your content marketing strategy. Here’s how:
Figure out what your customers are searching for on the Internet with keyword research. There are a number of free and paid services that allow you to figure out what other people are searching for online. If we learn what people are searching for, we know what problems they are facing. Therefore, we know how to position our services to solve those problems. Here are those free and paid tools we mentioned above:
Do a quick Google search: “blogs about (insert your industry here)” and focus on the results that have solid monthly traffic. Find those numbers, using tools like SEMRush.com, Alexa, and many others. Look at what topics these bloggers are focusing on and incorporate those into your strategy.
An easy way to gather customer data without conducting your own surveys is to seek out your competitors FAQ pages. These pages are a gold mine for the most commonly asked questions coming from your target audience and serve as a great starting point to figuring out broad pain points.
Social media is the easiest way to gain insider information about what your customers are talking about. Groups, forums and communities on any topic exist on social media, and with just a little bit of digging, you can find the ones that are related to your niche. Spend 1-3 hours a week on the main social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit and Quora) searching for topics in your industry and reading what customers are saying about them.
Your customers’ pain points should be the driving force behind your products and services. Listening is the number one thing you can do to identify these pain points. Being attentive to the voice of your customer allows you to meet their expectations and build loyalty. Combine this with market research and online resources and you’ll be left with a group of happy and loyal customers.